Quoting Quiverfull: Blind Obediance Isn’t a Well-Trained Child?

Quoting Quiverfull: Blind Obediance Isn’t a Well-Trained Child? February 13, 2016

quotingquiverfullby Shalom Pearl Brand in No Greater Joy – Reaching the Heart

Editor’s note: While Shalom doesn’t say anywhere in this article what type of punishment is meted out for failure to obey knowing who her father is and his ideas on physically abusing children I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the 1/4 inch plumbing line is alive and well-used in his children’s homes as well. This is the first time I’ve run across anything in the Pearl’s teachings that says that a child that blindly obeys isn’t doing it right. I thought the entire focus of Michael Pearl’s ideas was blind obedience each and every time. What do you think?

All seemed well and fine; I had three obedient children. But when I stepped back and looked at their hearts, I saw that the time and one-on-one training I had given to Gracie had instilled it in to her heart. The other children had surface obedience, learned habits, not obedience of the heart. When I separated Laila from Gracie and gave her a command on her own, she was slower to obey and would ask, “What is Gracie doing? Can Gracie help me?” Parker did the same.

Many parents mistakenly rely on their environment and control to raise good kids.

I asked a father at church, whose children range in age from one to eighteen, if he noticed that the example of the older children caused the younger ones to obey, and, of course, his answer was yes. When you put children in a good environment surrounded by obedience, they will most likely follow in the path of others. But when they are pulled out of the parade and must stand alone, will they still be obedient? This reveals whether their obedience is from the heart or merely from habit.

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.


Stay in touch! Like No Longer Quivering on Facebook:

If this is your first time visiting NLQ please read our Welcome page and our Comment Policy!

Copyright notice: If you use any content from NLQ, including any of our research or Quoting Quiverfull quotes, please give us credit and a link back to this site. All original content is owned by No Longer Quivering and Patheos.com

Read our hate mail at Jerks 4 Jesus

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

"I have watched just the BBC for many years, but I've steered clear of most ..."

Covid 19 More Ministry Responses and ..."
"And there's no cure for stupid."

Covid 19 More Ministry Responses and ..."
"Animal boarding is important too, for people who have nobody to care for their pets ..."

Covid 19 More Ministry Responses and ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nea

    The problem isn’t that the kids aren’t blindly obeying. It’s that the younger kids are putting their sibling ahead of their mother… and no Pearl parent can afford not to be the kid’s whole world above even the rest of the family.

  • Saraquill

    Conditioning via beatings isn’t obeying from the heart, unless “heart” is code for “terror” and “fear of suffering.”

  • Friend

    Every child needs to be equally brainwashed. Shalom is denying individuality as well as relationships among siblings and the effects of birth order.

    I always remember things better when I understand why and how I’m supposed to do them. These questions are not necessarily defiant. But even if they are, so what? We all live in a world of cause and effect, and children need to learn how to discuss things, negotiate, draw others out, articulate their own simple or complex or mixed feelings. No, I’m not describing the Pearls’ vision here, as they obviously want people to master a system instead of developing understanding.

  • Nea

    In Pearlworld, there is no negotiation or expressed feeling. There is only cheerfully obeying the orders of Beloved Leader.

    The only time Mikey ever talked about drawing out what a kid thought was so that he could assess how severe the punishment should be for masturbating. Seriously. He wanted parents to be calm, talk to their kids,make sure they were honest about why they did it — so as to be able to go apeshit with the whip later.

  • Friend

    Ew ew ew.

  • SAO

    Those poor kids. They ask “how high?” when their mother says, “Jump” and she’s complaining they didn’t instantly obey. When kids feel like nothing they do is ever right, they stop trying. That’s exactly what the younger kids look like they are doing.

    I hope to hell someone calls CPS and gets those kids away from the Pearls.

  • persephone

    Did you see the poll they did that showed the one difference between Trump’s followers and the other candidates’ followers? The only real difference was that Trump’s followers put extreme emphasis on children who obeyed the parents. I hate to bring up Nazis, but Nazis.

  • Karen the rock whisperer

    I actually think I get the “from the heart” thing, and I don’t have good things to say about it. I am a relatively independent person, and I really want good reasons for being asked to do something. I learned early on that not being immediately compliant to any “request” from my mother in particular would get me a good scolding and/or a nasty guilt trip, though I was allowed to do it with a neutral expression. So I got very good at obeying, because it was the least painful way to get through life. My mother got to brag on what I good kid I was. I got to read a lot and live a fairly rich life of the mind, without her having the least clue; she had no worries about what I might be thinking, because I was such a good, obedient child.

    Then, when I grew up, I no longer felt the need to keep my head down and my mouth shut. My mother was shocked and dismayed to find out we had disagreements over some serious issues; I always dealt with her diplomatically, but she never really got over the fact that I walked away from her religion, the religion I was raised with, and the fact that I would not give her grandchildren. (At least, that’s how she framed my and my husband’s choice not to have children.) The guilt trips didn’t work any more. I had never obeyed from the heart.

  • Julia Childress

    Something about this article brought back a bad memory from my childhood. I must have been about 5 and my next sister about 3. It was Halloween and my sister had on a witch costume (ah, those halcyon days when fundamentalist Christians still knew that Halloween was make-believe). My dad and I were sitting on the front porch with my sister, and I started making rhymes with “witch”: she’s a little witch, she’s a little fitch, she’s a little itch. etc. All of a sudden, my father’s hands came at me, and he grabbed me by my shirt collar and pulled me right up to his face. In a very angry tone he shouted at me “Don’t you ever say that word again.” I remember almost peeing in my pants because I had no idea what I had said and he scared me. You better believe that it was a long time before I ever said any word that ended in “itch” again. Years later I figured out that I must have said bitch, a word that would have been as meaningless to me as “fitch”. It is so cruel when adults apply adult reasoning and knowledge to little children. My God, I feel so sorry for all of those Pearl children to have their parents analyzing their every behavior, when all that the children want to do is please their parents and avoid punishment.

  • Astrin Ymris

    If they were asking for “help” from their older sister it’s most likely that they were having trouble understanding their mother’s verbal directions… and didn’t dare do the wrong thing. IOW, Shalom was confusing receptive language comprehension with “obedience”.

    This is why internationally adopted kids wind up getting killed by their Pearl-following parents: All failure to comply is presumed to be defiance, with no other hypothesis being entertained.

    And seriously– “when I looked at their hearts”? Shalom needs to get over her belief that she’s a telepath. Aren’t parapsychic abilities supposed to be Satanic to her cult?

  • adams12

    “The beatings will continue, until moral improves!”

  • zizania

    I’m still a bit huffy about the time I had my bicycle taken away for a week because my Mom caught me riding on the wrong side of the road. Of course, no one had ever told me that there was a particular side you were supposed to ride on. (Also, my two-years-older brother used to teach me rude words so that I would get in trouble for saying them in front of my parents. So much for learning obedience from your older siblings.)

  • BridgetD

    Second that.

  • BridgetD

    Trump isn’t someone that I’d normally be scared of. He’s really just an arrogant fool, and anyone with half a brain can see that. His supporters are WAY scarier than he is.