Nancy Campbell Orders You To Fake Smile

Nancy Campbell Orders You To Fake Smile December 2, 2017


There are few things in life that are certain. Death, taxes, you’ll get hungry if you don’t eat and it rains during rainy season. Not that many exciting things that happen routinely. But how you accept and deal with those things is purely up to you. There’s no right way, or right emotions when you’re talking about the day to day. Everyone is different.

But in Quiverfull there are a few other things that you can count on. Doug Wilson using big words badly on his blog. Tim Bayly throwing a cyber snit-fit over guys that do not fit his idea of masculinity. The Pearls advocating child abuse and poisonous marriage counseling. Larry Solomon describing the Biblical role of women as a cooking sex doll. Lori Alexander posting ideas complete devoid of compassion, love or mercy.  Someone moving the modesty standard. Female cultural enforcers grappling to be top of the heap while spreading fear and telling you what to do.

The other completely predictable happening in Quiverfull is Above Rubies Nancy Campbell ordering everyone to be joyful without reason and smile, smile, smile. Nancy advocated this very thing twice in one week. First in her post ‘Marriage Secret’ and later in the week in ‘Sour Grapes or Sweet’?


I am sorry to inflict this screen grab on you with a photo of Nancy and Colin making facial expressions at each other like the howler monkey that lives behind my house does when he’s hanging around. Do they look really happy or just really fakely bizarre to you?

Sorry, but a frowning or plain faced mother is not going to create grumpy children. Mandatory fake happiness of expression sounds much more miserable way to live than being authentic, experiencing your own emotions, and never showing your true emotions. It’s not even Biblical!

Whenever I read words from female cultural enforcers demanding you hide your emotions and smile I think of these words from the New Testament – “Jesus wept” John 11:35. When you read the story of Mary and Martha mourning for their deceased brother and Jesus joining in you notice that these are “Happy Happy Joy Joy” moments and no one is bothering to smile. They’re showing genuine human emotions. Unlike Nancy Campbell and her followers.

In another ‘Daily Encouragement’ with the title ‘Stir Up The Pot’ Nancy goes so far as to insist you confront people who are liars or unbelievers and says you must smile while you confront liars. Again, not always appropriate. I’d think it might be better to just smile and not confront people on their foibles.

In the last little bit Nancy simply rewrites her first piece on smiling by comparing women to grapes, sour grapes, sweet grapes before going into a ramble about vineyards in Israel making some of the sweetest wine.


Nancy seems to know about as much about growing grapes and the conditions that make grapes turn sour as she does about the real world of women in 2017.

It’s not healthy for anyone to fake a smile and suppress any of your emotions. If you repress it’s bound to pop out somewhere and wreak havoc. Better to acknowledge your feelings and deal with them as they happen.

moreJoin Nancy Campbell on her own personal Fantasy Island

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  • Mel

    *smiles sweetly*

    So, Nancy, why did you scrub your website of all mention of your adopted grandchildren who were taken from the only culture they had ever known and forced to become “American” – except that your daughter and son-in-law’s standard of living is truly like living in a rough part of a developing nation?


    Beating a toddler when she seeks comfort from her older sister – remind me how that fits in the Gospel?


    About those unpaid young female ‘interns’ you have – how do you justify being SO LAZY that you can’t run your own home when it consists of two people?


    Remember that garden you were raving about? Why did you stop talking about it at the exact time of year that gardening becomes physically demanding and a hot mess? Isn’t a garden “God’s Will”? You wrote a bunch of inane posts on it…..then stopped.


    I’m just taking your sage advice, Nancy.

  • Kathi

    “I feel very sad when I see wives and mothers with a sour face.”
    “Don’t live by your feelings.”

    Which one does Nancy do? Live by feelings or not?

    BTW – Lori’s post today talks about this same thing. Except, she says that women need to get out of their vicitmhood mindset and be thankful even if they have a difficult husband. Translation: Be thankful for your abusive husband.

  • SAO

    You need to understand your emotions, not just pretend you don’t have them. Are you cranky because you didn’t get enough sleep because your toddler was sick all night? If so, then, yes, the sick toddler needs your fake smile in the morning.

    Are you angry because your husband is routinely inconsiderate? If so, smiling will do nothing to change that — in fact, he might not even notice you think he could pick up his own damned socks.

    Do you have the winter blues? If so, a fake smile won’t do much. Figure out how to get out of the house and have some fun.

    Are you cranky because the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence? If so, own it, recognize its destructive power and work on appreciating why you (genuinely) have good things in your life. Or get therapy.

    Just pretending to be happy does zip except allow the causes of your unhappiness to fester.

  • bekabot

    The one-to-one comparison of women to grapevines here is somewhat creepy. It’s creepy because it’s not metaphorical but analogical, and it’s even creepier because the analogy it insists on (the one between a woman and a vine) also insists on the mistreatment of the woman. (I’d like to phrase that more gently but I can’t figure out how to do it.) Nancy Campbell is right about one thing: the way to get a grapevine to produce the best grapes in terms of human use is to subject it to stress: see that it doesn’t get quite enough water and grow it in a certain type of dry, rocky soil. Though the vine will produce fewer grapes than it otherwise might (the way a crab makes more apples than a cultivated apple tree) the grapes it produces will be bigger and sweeter and more suited to wine-making — as opposed to winding up as additional grapevines, which is what the plant wants out of them.

    When I was a kid I lived for about a year in a certain small town along the Pennsylvania/Indiana border which was overrun by native grapes. The climate, the soil, everything was just right so far as those grapes were concerned. It was a grapevine Goldilocks zone. They grew spontaneously and they grew everywhere and everybody’s yard was full of them…and while they were very good to eat (aside from being quite decorative) they were of absolutely no use to humans in any other way. You couldn’t make juice out of them, you couldn’t make wine out of them, you couldn’t even make raisins out of them, and why? Well, because the vines had settled down in a situation which was absolutely right for them and were having the time of their lives. They didn’t need humans to help them reproduce because the local birds and animals did an great job of that. They got enough water, they got enough sun, they got enough of everything they needed. They had to weather rather rigorous winters but they’d adapted to those. They had fences and houses and arbors to climb over (the one respect in which they were indebted to humans). In short, they were independent grapes and they didn’t need people to help them out. They produced quantities of fruit, which humans, for a few weeks out of every year, were free to gorge on — but during the rest of the time the grapes were intent on their own vinous affairs and were not working for the Man. IOW, they weren’t the kind of grapes Nancy Campbell is talking about here.

    I don’t feel the need to pursue this analogy further because I don’t feel the need to throw any more light on the analogy Nancy is making: I need only repeat that her analogy strikes me as creepy and add that I trust the canny reader to figure out why.

  • AFo

    The only person I can think of who smiles nonstop is the Joker. I keep thinking of the scene in The Dark Knight when he says-in the creepiest, most menacing voice- “Let’s put a smile on that face.” So basically, Nancy is no better than a psychotic comic book villain.

  • SAO

    But if you do want to continue Nancy’s analogy, then having fewer kids makes everyone happier. You aren’t running cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and buying food and clothes for a dozen kids. The kids are happier because you have more time and energy for them.

    Moral of the story, if you want a sweet life, use birth control and plan your (small) family.

  • bekabot

    Good idea, but not possible within this framework. Plants which are cultivated by humans for human use aren’t in charge of their own reproduction; people manage that on their behalf instead. Plausibly, a husband in the Nancy-Campbell setup could plan the size of his family, but a wife couldn’t, because she’s just the vine.

  • Samantha Vimes

    I actually think like they both look angry.

  • Nightshade

    Her smile in that pic looks like ‘I may be smiling, but I’m thinking about the ways I could kill you. Up to 17, and counting…’

  • smrnda

    I’m skeptical that any counselor with real credentials would offer such simplistic advice to a new patient. Real counselors try to get more details on relationship dynamics before making suggestions. This had to be some form of “Christian counseling.”

    On smiling, do people not get that the extent to which smiles are mandatory or expected is culturally variable? Certain regions of the USA seem very obsessed with SMILE but we know the real deal behind that – people are told to smile for the benefit of others, not themselves. Smiling is how people sell or convince people to spend more money, or make yourself seem submissive and compliant. People will smile on reflex when they really feel it. Forcing it is just wrong.

  • Saraquill

    Remember that Twilight Zone episode “It’s a GOOD Life?” Fake smiles did not make the adults any less at the mercy of a bratty super child.

  • Saraquill

    *Smiles* You’ve inspired me. Let’s have a rainbow flag draped dance party outside her house and blast “Born This Way” and other queer friendly music. We’ll have giant signs announcing the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood. Everyone will get party bags full of condoms, dental dams, lubricants etc., all printed with smiley faces.

    Won’t Nancy be grinning.

  • Anonyme

    I hope the story of the counselor is just made-up BS passed off as a “true story”. Any counselor who doesn’t address real issues and just says to smile and be cheerful is very unprofessional (as well as delusional).

    I’ll leave one of my favorite scenes from a very early episode ‘The Simpsons’. It perfectly sums up the toxicity of the messages touted by Nancy and her ilk.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Above is a bot (ironically mimicking becabot).

  • Iain Lovejoy

    “Woe to you, scribes and pharisees, you play-actors! You are like tombs which have been whitewashed, which outwardly appear beautiful but within are full of the bones of dead men and all kinds of unclean things.”
    Edit to add next bit as even more apposite:
    “So that you outwardly appear others righteous, but within are full of pretense and lawlessness.”

  • Nancy looks like she wants to eat hubby, and hubby seems to be thinking of poison. (And I was well into my thirties before I realized there was such a thing as “justified anger”, and that I might even be allowed to voice it. Nancy’s philosophy was my mother’s philosophy, too, and may well have contributed to the depression I suffered from for many years.)

  • Almost a chimp

    I know that if I were to be a jerk to my wife and her response was to smile, I’d spend the next hour hiding all the sharp things in the house and still sleep with one eye open!

  • Plain English

    Good entry, thanks!

    You point out that the advice to constantly smile is not Biblical but it really is because the Bible is designed to suit every preacher fed into its pages. Steve Anderson’s version of KJV allows him to preach the one true word of loving hatred from God the Erect Penis while another gentle United Church leader’s NIV preaches an entirely opposite message embracing inclusion. The Bible does not and never has had one true message for all but was written by many people for many needs in many times.

    What is consistent in the Word is that it is used to harm self and others while smiling/grimacing. (I am speaking particularly about the perverted version of evangelical faith I know best, the one spoken of most often on this blog.)

    Nancy Campbell is yet another ‘preacher’ making a dollar by doing her thing. She belongs in the company you list early on, the Pearls and other abusive believers. I used to send money to a Christian outfit that ran around the dry areas of the earth digging wells for heathens so they could have clean water. When I learned of their proselytizing, I withdrew my support, not because I am a creep wishing filthy water be given to poor folk but because I feared that those heathens, especially the children, might not be well enough to fight off the new virus being introduced into their lives, the black book one.

    My point is that the Bible cannot be sanitized and presented as a healthy, good offering to humankind. It is full of the worst of our delusions, countless vengeful bullies led by the big bully who knew I would write this blog entry for time evermore, who decided my fate for me before time even existed, before my mother and hers were born. It is one long and very convoluted story of mayhem and destruction, of untold love and a peace that passeth understanding.

    Finally, I agree with Nancy, that all of us should smile, just smile and smile and deny all other human expression. And I agree with Stevie Anderson that the government should be plucking out homosexuals and executing them. The Bible says! The ‘preachers’ are all correct and interpreting God’s Word in faith, having given their hearts to Jesus.

    Instead of using their human hearts and heads, believers agree with God that they are useless trash whose lives are nothing without sweet Jesus. After they make that blunder, all that happens after is just bootcamp and the bloody war for souls.
    -A Baptist preacher’s son, still shell-shocked…

  • pinkie

    Sign me up!

  • Atheisticus

    Like most such homilies, I’m pretty sure that the story of the counselling session was completely fabricated. This sort of story is repeated all over the internet as simple answers to complex problems.

    I wish I could remember who said it, but, “For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, obvious and wrong.”

  • Mimc

    When I read that line my first thought was “Maybe if someone is always frowning when you are around she just doesn’t like you Nancy”

  • Mimc

    What is with the echo bots here? I’ve never seen them anywhere else.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    The echo bots are Russians. This is something that the Russian trolls do to gain enough positive Disqus points to post unrestrained comments which are the same sort of nonsense they posted on Facebook before the election. I keep banning and blocking them and then more pop up. Quite frustrating

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    My understanding is that other sites are having issues too. Not just NLQ but anyone that uses Disqus and other commenting platforms. There was a huge hack this fall of user information at Disqus too.

  • Mimc

    I guess they must just be removed faster elsewhere.

  • Delilah Hart

    I’ve never read so much poisonous drivel! Not only is repressing emotions dishonest and unhealthy for the mother, but it also sets a poor example for the children. How is a child who’s going through a tough time supposed to receive emotional support or validation from a mother who has a fake smile plastered on her face?

  • AuntKaylea

    A couple of months into my marriage I came home from work upset.about a legal decision we received on behalf of a client where it seemed the client would be sent back to a part of the world where the client could be executed. That night, my husband kept telling me to smile, and I told him that I valued the life of this person too much to do so at that time; and that my husband should take great comfort in the thought that I only smile at him when I mean it and it is genuine. (his response: “but you smile at me all the time!”) He has never told me to smile since. I think I smile at him more for it.