About a year ago, a very good friend “L” asked me if I was Quiverfull. I really wasn’t sure what that meant, but I answered that I thought so. With a smile and a sheepish grin. Of course, as soon as she left the house I just had to google what Quiverfull really was!!!
I found several websites criticizing the “Quiverfull Movement” but none that actually told me what that WAS!!!!! (Can you feel my frustration?) I found an article over on patheos that gave me exactly what I wanted! *Warning – DO NOT go over there unless you plan on being patient with the ads!* A real description of what this man believes the Quiverfull Movement is. And I wanted to see if I was Quiverfull. (Because it would be really funny if I was part of the movement and didn’t even know it!) I’m going to go through His basic tenets and let you know what I believe in reference to them. Got it? good. Because I’m not sure I do! 😉 😉
1. Quiverfull – the idea that God is in control of family planning. Hmmmmm. I have to be honest and say that until a few years ago I thought that I was in control of my fertility. I am woman, hear me roar. And then, with no outside influence at all, different Bible verses starting sticking out to me. And I started to believe that protecting against children was like telling a boss that you didn’t want a raise. Foolish, right? But if God says that children are a blessing, then by protecting against being pregnant is like telling God not to bless me. Ah. So, I guess I do believe that God is in control of family planning.
2. Not a Denomination – there is no particular denomination associated with being Quiverfull. Well, that’s good. Cuz I’m a tried and true Southern Baptist. 😉
3. Patriarchy – the belief that it is the father who is the head of the home, he serves as protector, provider and shepherd for his wife and children. Well, yes. I believe that too. I believe that Papi is the head of the household. He protects us as best he can, provides for us (he’s the only salary), and leads us in spiritual and other matters. He’s not a dictator, I definitely have a voice, but he has the final say. OK – that’s 3 for 3!
4. Courtship instead of Dating – the parents are very involved in the courtship process, and the fathers are ultimately in control of the entire thing. Well, yes, we practice courtship instead of dating. I don’t believe that Papi is in charge of everything though. We believe that it is an entire family thing. Our entire family gets to know the other family. We believe that by watching a family interact, it can speak volumes about how a young man will treat his wife or how a young woman will treat her husband.
5. Sheltering of the children – the parents isolate and control outside influences on the children. OK. This one is a little different. Do I isolate my children? NO. Please. There are days I wonder how we are going to get any schoolwork done with all of our outside activities. No one else in my church homeschools. 90% of my girls friends are public school children. And a good portion of those aren’t Christians. NOW, that being said….None of my children have cell phones. The girls text their friends using my phone and I monitor all texts. We’ve had boys before saying inappropriate things to Barbie…via text. So for her safety (emotionally and physically) we made that choice. Our children watch tv…though only Barbie gets to watch PG-13 without parental approval. And come to think of it, she needs parental approval as well…she just has a little more leeway in her choices. She’s a huge fan of gothic horror – so watching Vampire Diaries is not out of the question for her, as long as I’m watching with her. We also allow our children to read books from the library. And there was only one book (which the girls alerted me to) that we asked the library to switch into a different section. Turns out that the book was inappropriate from standards for the children’s section and they created an entire section of that sort of book in the teen section….it was a comic book dealing in more mature (though not horrible) subject matter. It was put with the Batman comics which my boys were reading prior to that – um,. NO!
6. Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – the men are the spiritual and emotional leaders of the home, the women are home makers whose job is to raise a family. Yeah. Totally agree. Though not all women want children – that’s cool it’s their choice. I really feel that when a man is not leading his home he feels emasculated. And when a woman is not being led in the home she is craving someone to lead her. It doesn’t mean that the woman has to do what the man says as soon as he says it. She has a voice and an opinion….and as long as she is not nagging him, she should use her voice. I find in our relationship that most of the giant choices have been my ideas. I vocalize them to hubby and then he takes FOREVER! to decide yes or no. 😉 When he says yes, I’ve already prepared and done a huge amount of research so that it can be implemented immediately. 🙂
7. Being debt-free and independent of government programs/subsidies – this leads to financial hardship and deprivation. OK. If you do this incorrectly it can lead to deprivation. But what exactly does that mean? In our state, we would be legally qualified for financial aid for food. SNAP I think the program is. But we don’t need it. Our kids eat – a TON! And we somehow make it work. None of our children are starving….we eat a ton of fresh fruit and veggies, chicken, fish, even steak! And our dogs eat some of the most expensive food out there too (they have special diets due to medical needs). We buy new clothes for the kids almost every month. Yes. The majority of that is from thrift stores….but we also give at least a garbage bag of stuff to thrift stores every week as well. We just don’t need everything we have. We are still working our way out of debt and hope to be debt free (except for the house) within the year….instead of hurting us financially, this has helped us. We have more cash to spend instead of huge credit card statements!
8. Home Church / Family-Integrated Church – this is so the parents can monitor more closely the children. I couldn’t disagree more. We don’t go to a home church or a family integrated church, though I sometimes wish we did. I think the parents should be intimately involved in their children’s spiritual training. For instance, there is a SS teacher in my church who has difficulty some days distinguishing between completely outlandish conspiracy theories and things that are actually happening in the world. I ask my children every time after church what they learned….and there are some instances that I have to explain to my children the truth. This leads to pretty good discussions about the false theory compared to what we believe.
and last but certainly not least….
9. Modesty – women must dress modestly so as to not “defraud” the men. We all know that men are visual. But some women are as well. I dress modestly, 90% of the time wearing longer skirts. But I don’t force this on my girls. I do adamantly stick to my guns as far as I don’t want to see underclothing at any time. Skirts and dresses must pass the “bend over” test as well. And no bikinis – full pieces period. We also insist that the boys are modest. No going without their shirts at any time. And no visible boxers or they are liable to get atomic wedgies. (from their sisters!) I’ve never been a clothing Nazi. Well, except when we recently went to a Bible conference, I made all of the kids stick to the dress code perfectly. 😉 But they used their individual style. Expressing themselves with bright and colorful tank tops, shoes, and accessories!
So, what do you think? Am I QUIVERFULL? I think I probably am. I belong to a few facebook pages that are Quiverfull minded. So I guess I am. What do you think? Am I?