Quoting Quiverfull: Be Shamefaced?

Quoting Quiverfull: Be Shamefaced? October 23, 2017

quotingquiverfullby Anonymous at Joyfully Keeping Home – What is Shamefacedness?

Editor’s note: Here’s one of the bloggers Lori Alexander likes to sometimes quote. Her descriptions of ‘Shamefacedness’ seem off. Is this what it is?

The word, of course, is “shamefacedness”. Modern translations have used words like “self-control”, “propriety”, and “discretion”, but none of these convey the actual meaning of the Greek word like the King James Version has. Because none of the words used by the modern translations get at the sense of deep humility that should guide women in both their adornment and behavior.

Looking to a dictionary, one will find these definitions associated with shamefacedness:

  • Bashful
  • Restrained by shame
  • Firm in modesty

The idea is not that Christian women would always be somewhat ashamed of themselves, but that they would have a deep aversion to whatever God says brings shame.

Women, the problem we have with this is that we resent the thought that we should be restrained by shame. The message we prefer is that we shouldn’t be restrained at all. Not by modesty, not by the roles God gave us, and not by anyone’s expectations. Look at the clothing marketed to young girls these days. You’ll find hundreds of printed shirts with slogans such as:

  • “Girl Warrior”
  • “Gifted, Intelligent, Rebel, Leader, Superstar” (spells “GIRLS”)
  • “Power to the Girls”
  • “#FIERCE”
  • “Girls Run the World”
  • “Flaunt It”
  • “Run Wild”
  • “This Girl has NO Limits”

Do I have to point out how opposed these fashions are to God’s desires for women?

Paul says shamefacedness should be playing the key role in how we dress and carry ourselves, but our culture says it’s pridefulness that should take the lead.

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

Check out today’s NLQ News at NLQ Newspaper

Contact NLQ at SuzanneNLQ@gmail.com

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


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


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

    They talk about their god like he is the rich uncle that absolutely no one likes, but they have to be nice to so they can get some money when he dies. I have to confess that I have never really been a fan of shirts with slogans on them. I have no problem with the ideas behind the slogans, I just think they should be in your head and expressed in words and deeds rather than worn on clothing, oh and stay the hell off my lawn with your loud terrible music. =)

  • Saraquill

    Because there are no female entrepreneurs, judges, queens or other badass women in their holy book? They must read a scissor-edited edition of the Bible.

  • CS

    If the core of those t-shirt messages is that girls shouldn’t be restrained by shame, then that’s because someone is telling us girls that they should be ashamed, that they are limited, and that they cannot be “fierce” or a “girl warrior”. The “coexist” logo isn’t used because we feel that strongly that all religions must coexist, but because we’re disagreeing with people who say they can’t; “black lives matter” is because certain people say they don’t, or at least don’t equally.

    And when you tell people they need to be ashamed all the time, eventually it stops restraining them. People respond strongest to sensations they’re not used to; someone from the tropics will be more restrained by cold from going out to shovel snow off the sidewalk than someone who has been raised north of the tree line, but by their second winter, they’ll be out there with a shovel too. The only person who won’t, other than people with actual disabilities, is the one who has internalized and even takes perverse joy in “I can’t do it”. That’s why you get “good girls gone bad”; if they’ve been shamed for existing, speaking anything but the party line, and not being good enough all their lives, it doesn’t take much more to also ignore the shame others try to put on you for sexuality. And on the other side, you get fully-embraced fundamentalists who fetishize being “shameful” and “guilty”, taking pleasure in how at least they’re so much better than the nebulous “everyone else” who doesn’t follow their god, while actually being far less empathetic because the normal response to other people’s suffering gets lost in the noise of being “guilty” for existing as a flawed human in need of salvation.

  • SAO

    Once more, an attempt to say women belong in a cramped, uncomfortable box and they should never, ever think outside the box.

  • Tawreos

    I doubt they would like the thought of women thinking at all. inside the box or out.

  • Chiropter

    Exactly! You don’t see little boys’ t-shirts that talk about breaking limits because society doesn’t constantly tell boys that they’re lesser.
    It doesn’t mean we want boys to lack confidence. We just want girls to gain the confidence that people like Lori try to take away from them.

  • Chiropter

    It’s always a conversational adventure to watch a fundamentalist wrap himself in circles trying to explain Deborah

  • Mel

    I’m not a Biblical scholar and I certainly do not understand Biblical Greek – but I have a sneaky theory that the people who chose “self-control”, “discretion” etc., did so because it’s as close as we can get in modern English usage.

  • Allison the Great

    You know, all this going on about how magnificent their god is and he’s not even imaginative enough to come up with more than one “role” for each sex. Both sexes have so much intelligence, yet we all have to follow such a boring and bland script, especially the females.

  • AFo

    I think it’s pretty clear that they want women to feel ashamed all the time- for having bodies that “tempt” men, for not breaking their backs to make everything easier for men, for not “joyfully” providing sex on demand…the list goes on and on. The constant message is “You’re not good enough, and you should be ashamed of that.” Try and sugar-coat it all you want, it doesn’t change the essence.

  • Ruthitchka

    Yup! Deborah for the win. Also, that “Proverbs 31 Woman” not only was a businesswoman, but she made sure her SERVANTS had warm clothing for the winter. I was chatting with my Mom about this the other day, and asked,”Hey, where are MY servants? I need some servants!”

  • AuntKaylea

    So, as one who studied the Greek and Hebrew (although I have a masters degree with them, I do not consider myself a true scholar) – there are a couple of fallacies in the argument. #1 – amongst Biblical Greek scholars, the text for the KJV was notoriously poor, and relied more on the Latin Vulgate than on the Greek text – so “shamefaced” came from the Latin translation of the Greek and not the actual original text. It’s like translating Spanish into Russian and then the Russian into English and not directly from the Spanish into English.
    #2 – The word in the Greek appears frequently throughout the new testament, and especially the epistles. The meaning of “moderation, decency, sensibleness, sound judgment” is one which fits every context. In translation practices, then, the burden would be to prove something unique to the context to apply a meaning to the word here and only here within Scripture. Even scholars who start looking for proof in the 1 Timothy passage to support “shamefaced” in the Greek just can’t find it. – the whole passage is meant to impart some common sense into the church organization.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The passage in 1 Timothy 2 Debi selectively quotes from actually says:
    “I wish, therefore, that men pray in every place, lifting up kind hands, without anger and dissension, and in the same way also women, in respectable clothes with modesty and self control, adorning themselves, not in braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or expensive outfits, but, which suits women professing godly piety, through good works.”
    In other words, don’t come to church in fancy clothes showing off your wealth.
    It has nothing whatsoever to do with shame, sexual modesty, female submissiveness or anything Debi is talking about. In so far as it says anything about anything except clothes band jewelry, it encourages women to actively do and show off good works.

  • smrnda

    I’m sensing a contradiction or gap in logic.

    The idea is not that Christian women would always be somewhat ashamed of themselves, but that they would have a deep aversion to whatever God says brings shame.

    But then, what about each of the sayings or mottos is contrary to the Christian god? She seems to think any sort of girl/women pride is automatically bad, but its ‘we’re not saying always feel somewhat ashamed of yourself.’

  • Having grown up attending a fundamentalist Christian school where girls had to wear skirts of a certain length (if the skirt was too short, the girl would be sent home to change or would have to sit in the office until a parent brought a different approved outfit), I am very averse to religious-based clothing rules that almost always give women less freedom to move around than men have. Try being in elemetary school and trying to play on the playground while wearing a dress/skirt. My mom would let me wear shorts under my skirts so I could hang from monkey bars, etc., until the teachers told me I couldn’t do that anymore even while wearing shorts. But it’s all part of the socialization of girls and boys – put the girls in clothes that restrict their movement so they learn to be quiet, sedentary, “little ladies”, well behaved, while the boys can run around freely. In our school handbook it actually said “girls should be as God made them – feminine” and then detailed all the rules for the dress code (length of skirt, length of short sleeves, etc). For boys, the dress code was to wear pants or jeans, shirt tucked in, belt, and hair cut so that it didn’t go over the ears or collar.

    “Shamefaced” is certainly a horrifying concept. It conveys the notion that one should be ashamed of oneself for whatever reason. That’s certainly not a concept that I would encourage in anyone! And the fact that they’re using it to describe how a woman should conduct herself is absolutely horrifying.

  • Saraquill

    “But it’s all part of the socialization…put the girls in clothes that restrict their movement so they learn to be…well behaved.”

    I have a minor disagreement with this point. Even when I was wearing boy-like clothes purported to give freedom of movement, I was still harassed for posture, means of sitting, etc. Given the stink Lori and company raise over things like yoga pants, the issue seems to be more “the crime is being female” than what to wear.

  • Julia Childress

    Interesting that Lori quotes someone who actually goes back to the Greek language. Gee, I wish that she or Debi would find a Hebrew scholar who would explain to them what “helpmeet” actually means.

  • Lucy

    Me too. I wasn’t in religious upbringings, but bus matrons still nagged me to close my legs while sitting even when I was wearing pants, giving no explanation other than “because you’re a girl”, which meant that I simply sat in autistic postures with open legs when the matrons weren’t looking, because I didn’t see any inherent reasons why girl=sit with legs closed.

  • elanoreirlys

    The Wonder Woman logo must put a serious bee in this woman’s bonnet.

  • persephone

    I’ve messed with some of them just by getting them to read ALL of Proverbs 31.

  • persephone

    There was a private, fundamentalist, elementary school right across the street from my younger son’s public middle school. I often wondered how the little girls felt watching the kids at my son’s school playing freely, while they were trapped in those long, denim skirts.

  • persephone

    Penis = Godly
    No Penis = Dirt

  • zizania

    I wasn’t raised with any religion, but I remember my Dad giving me hell for tying my jacket around my waist (not “ladylike”). I suppose it wasn’t, but then neither was I. 🙂