Quoting Quiverfull: Have ‘Joy’ And ‘Purpose’ Or Your Children Will Be Foolish?

Quoting Quiverfull: Have ‘Joy’ And ‘Purpose’ Or Your Children Will Be Foolish? October 28, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy Magazine – More Than Controlling Their Behavior

Editor’s note: Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Pearl is secretly saying and doing these things as a parody of religion or if he has the attention span/recall of a mosquito and simply doesn’t remember the stuff he said before. He’s always contridicting himself in his child training advice. This is a really good example of it. He’s claimed before you have to control every itty bitty bit of behavior until the will of the child is broken. Now he’s claiming you can only raise great kids in a home with ‘joy’ and ‘purpose’. And I think we can all agree that his definition of those words are likely to be vastly different than our own.

Though it is not the norm, I have observed several cases where parents were diligent to control the behavior of their children, especially in public, but their children all turned out to be foolish, undisciplined losers. Generally speaking, when children are caused to render consistent obedience, they grow up to be self-disciplined and diligent in life’s duties. But some homes lack joy and purpose, and no amount of constrained obedience will produce self-control and respect for authority in the hearts of their children.

I don’t know how many times I have said it, but it needs to be said over and over again: “More is caught than taught.” Sometimes our attitudes scream so loudly that our children cannot hear our words. Children are the best psychologists in the world. A parent can say “Good job!” for the umpteenth time, and the astute child hears, “I am too distracted with my own concerns to be engaged by what you are doing, so please grow up to be emotionally stable even though you will seldom receive any serious involvement from me.” The positive affirmation “good job” in response to a lousy job done divests the words of their meaning in the mind of the child. When I was in high school and the art teachers critiqued a work with the words “That’s interesting,” every student knew they were on the lowest rung of performance.

I have observed some really inept parents—broken people who are generally irresponsible—raise stable, secure, disciplined, moral children and not lose a single one to slothfulness or sin. Looking at it closely, I observe that though they lack any of the psychologically approved rules of effective child training (like saying “good job” at every turn) they did one thing right: they loved their children with their time and their best energies, engaging with them in every aspect of life. They never left their children alone to be idle. There was no TV or electronic media to compete with family. Or if there was some form of electronic entertainment, it was shared as a family event. Life was a constant corporate chaos of cooking, building, playing together, planning a big event that usually failed to get beyond the dream stage, and sometimes fighting over one thing or another. But they were together and fiercely loyal to family. By the time the children were grown they felt they had become overcomers with their parents and siblings. They had a history that would forever bind them together. And they knew there was a group of people (family) that would love them always, just like they are.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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  • Nea

    Mikey doesn’t have the intellectual chops to realize he can’t keep his story straight for three paragraphs in a row. But he does have the basic cunning to know that if he is vague enough, then no matter what bit of his blather the parents follow and get a negative outcome, he can blame them for doing it “wrong.”

  • Saraquill

    Do the Pearls keep mirrors in their home?

  • Mel

    Let me get this straight:

    As long as you avoid electronic media and micromanage your children’s lives, they will turn out fine even if your family is so dysfunctional that you cannot make dinner without it turning into a brawl.

    I’d like the names and numbers of some of these “winner” kids from these families, please. I suspect that their understanding of why they turned out ok is very different from Pearl’s beliefs.

  • Benoît Firer

    It always surprises me when people present electronic media and all that as the only thing that can compete with “family”. What if a child likes reading, writing, drawing, building models, all these activity that generally require some peace and quiet ? I do agree that it is possible for people to spend so much time on their computers and TVs that they become excessively withdrawn, but it strikes me more as a symptom of their personality than anything else…

    Also shocking is the fact that family must always be /forced/ on you no matter what. Well, yeah, there are times when it’s not unhealthy to ask someone to come do something with their family members, but if they never set out to do these things out of their own volition, there might be a good reason fo it.

  • Abigail Smith

    What always struck me about the Pearls is that they are so “ungracious” in how they talk about others (among other things)….Jesus didn’t call hurting, seeking people “losers”….but He did speak out against the Phundies, I mean Pharisees, who tried to control others with religion.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Translation: Make sure there’s plenty of FUN in your abusive parenting!

  • Astrin Ymris

    Michael considers it a “success” if the kids stay in the CPM once they reach adulthood. Nothing else matters to him.

  • FrequentFlyer

    Wasn’t Mikey away from his family all that time he spent in the woods killing rabbits and allowing the meat to spoil? That must have been many hours of lost family time, since I don’t think he or Debi said he took the kids with him. Sitting at hope playing video games might have been a better idea.

  • BlueVibe

    Oh, no–this totally works, as long as your definition of “joy” is to rejoice the knowledge that your parents only beat the tar out of you because they love you and that your life is miserable because God is testing you and He never gives you more than you can handle and this will all totally pay off someday. You know–that other definition of joy, not the one all those other, saner, people use.

  • AuntKaylea

    Is anyone out there familiar with the concept of psychological double bind?

    [It seems to me that this is the form of parenting advocated by this. . . ]

  • Catherine

    That sounds like much of my childhood. It was hell.

  • Allison the Great

    Those stories are just so weird. He wasn’t hunting for food, he was hunting because he wanted to hurt something. There are so many things that are disturbing about Mr. Pearl.

  • Allison the Great

    It’s interesting that he thinks he can call the children of other people “losers”. Look at his own kids! They ‘re not examples of success by any means.

  • Nea

    I think that the constant insults are part of the Pearl insecurity and inferiority complex. How could they feel better about themselves and claim power over others if they couldn’t insult Every. Single. Person. they see?

  • Nea

    So many upvotes.

  • Nea

    Mikey doesn’t measure success like we do. As long as they’re 1) still in his religious camp 2) cringingly submissive to men and 3) virgin when married, that’s it, job done.

    That none of them is capable of holding a job or get along with their neighbors isn’t his concern.

  • Antoinette Herrera

    Is Michael Pearl just throwing stuff, to see if anything sticks? I’m pretty sure he’s not as rational as he imagines.

  • B.A.

    Here’s another one.

  • Jenny Islander

    The words of this wizard stand on their heads. In the language of Orthanc, joy means sadistic satisfaction and purpose means narcissistic supply.