NLQ Question of the Week: Why Do QF Parents Assume Every Child’s Motivation is Evil?

NLQ Question of the Week: Why Do QF Parents Assume Every Child’s Motivation is Evil? February 2, 2017

QuestionoftheweekThis is a series we run every Thursday. The questions are things that people who may not know much about the Quiverfull movement or even Fundamentalist or Evangelical Christianity ask about the lifestyle. Examining some of the questions involving Quiverfull theology and life can only shine a light on the toxic nature of this lifestyle choice.

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a long time now. I’ve noticed that in many Evangelical and Quiverfull circles that any type of behavior or attitude that does not 100% line up with what the parent thinks is proper is judged to come from the most evil of motivations. Why this assumption that a tantrum is stubborn rebellion or demonic instead of a place of lack of sleep, hunger or frustration? There’s a real danger when you start to assume that all motivations are evil and rebellious that you could end up in a life and death situation disciplining a child.

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  • Storm

    Because wanting food or sleep or comfort when it’s inconvenient IS evil and sinful in their worldview. A good Christian must not want anything for themseleves or their own comfort. Being worldly is denounced at every turn, and what’s more worldly than an infant wanting food or sleep?
    They believe they are teaching the child and preparing them for a life of refraining from a wide variety of indulgences and to be absolutely unquestioningly obedient to authority in order to be saved for heaven. No wonder whining and crying are seen as sinful – a child whose parents give it everything and give in to tantrums are dooming their child to hell.
    Of course, they willingly ignore mountains of evidence about many healthy ways to parent children that don’t spoil them but also provide for all their needs and don’t involve violence…

  • Nightshade

    I wonder if in some cases they are judging children by their own very deep down, barely recognized selves?

  • Allison the Great

    Because their own motivations are evil.

  • paganheart


  • Mrs. Sunshine

    Children are the most amazing blessing and you should have tons of them but also you must drive the evil out of them. It is such a negative view of children. I hated even when I was a Christian that people would call their kids “little sinners.” I had someone at church talk about how my infant was still a sinner when I said how wonderful she was. Healthy!

  • Mrs. Sunshine

    You have to protect you children from what your God will do to them if they do not obey. That is a lot of pressure to parent under and a sad way to live.

  • Nadja

    I’m confused. How can kids be a blessing and evil at the same time? I honestly don’t get that logic.

  • IMO, a lot of it has to do with the doctrine of original sin. We’re taught that people are, from birth, sinners that God would just as soon smite as look at. When you’re taught and believe that humans are born sinnful creatures, it’s not that big a jump to feeling every childish action has an evil motivation behind it.

  • pinkie

    Because they’re only blessings if they behave exactly how the parents’ strictly defined and contradictory rules?

  • Astrin Ymris

    Because they view their children as their product. They sired/bore them, they kept them away from all evil secular influences, so what but the kids’ own bad selves be responsible for any “malfunctions”?/sarc

    Also, since their their offspring belong to them, they feel no obligation whatsoever to be fair to them. If they treat their children unjustly, then the kids need to suck it up. The little ingrates should just be glad that their parents didn’t use contraception, thus giving them, “the gift of life”. So they owe their parents obedience– for the rest of their lives.

  • Patricia Lakin

    Because denying a child’s basic needs when it’s “inconvenient” to the parents “creates Christ like character”. Teach them how to “suffer for the Lord” by reminding them of the pain of Jesus’ crucifixion whenever they are lacking food or sleep.