The Essence of Quiverfull

The Essence of Quiverfull October 6, 2019

Smashed china is still broken china at the end of the day. You cannot rename it something like a mosaic unless it is one. Just like Quiverfull cannot claim that it does not exist. It is what it is.

Recently I have received messages, emails and comments here claiming that Quiverfull is not a real thing, that it does not exist. That it’s a buzz word made up for Vyckie Garrison and endlessly perpetuated by me. That this is all some enormous scam of some sort instead of a lifestyle.

I lived it for some years. So did Vyckie and many others. It has many names, not just Quiverfull. That’s the name we knew it by, but I’ve seen it called the Replenishment movement, and a handful of other names. If you attend a church, or believe that you are supposed to eschew birth control and have as many arrows as the Lord will provide no matter the health realities you face, even death, then guess what, you ARE Quiverfull.

The Duggar family denies they are Quiverfull, yet they line up with each and every one of it’s beliefs. They follow Bill Gothard of IBLP who teaches Quiverfull. They are Quiverfull no matter what name they call themselves.

It crosses denomination boundaries and seems to leave a pile of those harmed by it in its wake. It’s a movement that seems to be dying down some. But there are enough people still promoting it to provide plenty of fodder for NLQ. Like Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church and his wife Zsuzsanna, who, at times, has seemed to resent the constant childbearing.

Zsuzsanna Anderson wrote this recently on her Facebook page in honor of her eldest child Solomon’s 18th birthday. Notice it’s all about the hardships and wonders of Quiverfull more than it is about Solomon. Poor kid used again as a prop to promote their religious theology.

I have to wonder what happened to his recent courtship and engagement.

What happens if you don’t use birth control?

I got married at age 21. A little over a year later, our firstborn, Solomon, was born.

Tomorrow, he turns 18, while my youngest is 6 days old.

That means that in almost exactly 18 years, I have birthed 11 babies, which works out to an average 21.6 months age gap between each of the kids. This is due to extended and exclusive breastfeeding, which naturally spaces pregnancies at healthy intervals.

Of the 230 months I have been married, I have spent approximately 100 months pregnant. If you have any experience at all with pregnant women, I think that fact right there deserves a trophy, both for myself as well as my husband!

No, it isn’t always easy. In fact, every day has its challenges, and the more kids there are, the more directions I’m being stretched. But with that stretching comes growth, strength, and resilience. Parents grow as much as their kids, if not more. Life is not meant to be easy, but through God it can be blessed and prosperous nonetheless.

I am thankful for our oldest kids, who patiently put up with us when we parents were barely more than kids ourselves. Happy Birthday, Solomon! My youngest changes every couple of years, but you have always been my big guy.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Yes, God’s grace might be sufficient for Zsu, but so much of what she’s posted about the day to day reality of having enough children to staff a baseball team sounds like things not to aspire to.

Kids that horde food even as she writes up menus and cookbooks on providing meal plans for a large family. The food hording situation is possibly the most worrying thing about the Anderson family. Children horde food when they aren’t sure they’ll be fed. We see this particularly in unstable families where the parents have proven to be either too controlling, or unable to consistently feed the kids. They learn to avoid hunger they must take every advantage to hide food when it can be sneaked.

Children in a family that does not always put their safety first. Sure, anyone can have issues with their home, but the mold situation that took so long to resolve, and went unnoticed by Zsuzsanna risks their future health.

Denial of vaccinations and possibly even timely medical care. In nearly all of the Anderson family births the babies experience a tongue tie. To the point where several of her babies seemed to struggle to gain weight for quite some while before she has the tongue tie dealt with.

Living crammed together in a tiny home. It’s not quite as bad as when Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar lived in the three bedroom brick house before the tin mansion was built, but looking at the Anderson house it does not seem possible that it contains the recommended square footage per person. Many articles I have seen about this issue recommend anywhere from 400 to 700 square feet per person to make a home comfortable for everyone. Not to say you cannot live on less, but it’s not optimal.

And there are many more things that the Anderson’s fail to do to make sure their children have the best chance at a healthy adulthood. What else do you think they need?

This is the reality of Quiverfull and some of the problems that go along with it. It promotes some rather unhealthy scenarios and realities. It does exist!

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon

About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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