My journey to becoming quiverfull is an interesting one, and probably not typical, so I thought I’d share it. I grew up in a Christian home where life was valued and the Bible taught. I knew the “be fruitful and multiply” verses were in the Bible and I thought how perfectly logical it was for God to command a few people on a large, unpopulated planet to multiply and fill the earth. I bought into the old agrarian society argument. Everyone knows when you live on a farm, the more hands there are to help out, the better. But, I also believed the zero population growth propaganda taught in public school. About how our planet was overpopulated and couldn’t sustain any more growth without inflicting catastrophic damage on the earth. (Why I never bothered to look out the car window on one of our innumerable road trips or out of the airplane on one of our many flights, I have no idea.) In this way of thinking children are almost lumped in with cigarettes as something enjoyable for the moment, but being that they’re so utterly unwholesome, they’re to be indulged in limited quantities only, if at all.
I approached parenthood like everything else in my life. I had a plan. My husband was the last of four kids and I was an only child, so we decided while we were dating that we would have four children. (Isn’t it funny how you think you can decide something like that?!)
Well, everything was going according to plan until I read the book America Alone by Mark Steyn. The interesting thing is that nowhere in this book is the word “quiverfull” mentioned. Mark Steyn is not, as far as I know, a Christian. He’s a witty writer, political commentator, and radio talk show host. His book America Alone was on the New York Times bestseller list and my parents read it first and then loaned it to me. Mark Steyn’s parents are European (from Belgium, I think) and immigrated to Canada when Mark was young. So he has a vested interest in both Europe and Canada, and speaks with authority on the cultural, economic, and demographic effects of rampant socialism on a nation. (He currently lives in New Hampshire.)
What America Alone did for me is caused me to think beyond myself. It caused me to take a good look beyond my desire for us to travel as a family, or afford college tuition for our kids, or fit comfortably into a restaurant booth or our SUV for that matter. America Alone made me think in a way like that famous JFK quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?” I started thinking about how our family affects our local community, state, country, and even planet. It also made me think beyond my time. Without ever using the term “legacy”, this book made me think about my legacy. I had always thought legacies were for the rich, the famous, the brilliant. After reading America Alone, I realized we all leave a legacy. And it left me wondering what mine would be.
Now surely there are many ways to leave a legacy. Teachers have a great amount of influence, as do pastors, writers (especially those in Hollywood), and sports heroes (sometimes regrettably). But the book America Alone is largely about numbers. Steyn talks about falling birth rates in the West and the many ramifications including problems funding retirement and healthcare of an aging population by a smaller workforce, as well as changing cultural identities such as the Islamification of Europe (birth rates remain high among Muslims worldwide).
I’m certainly not famous or brilliant. I am not a pastor or leader of any sort. I’m absolutely not a sports hero. And I teach only my children. But in this one area of birth rates maybe, I thought for the first time, just maybe my husband and I could make a difference.
Think about the Duggars, the now notoriously fecund couple expecting their 19th child. If they succeed in passing on their conservative Christian belief system to their 19 kids (which seems likely when considering the older ones have already embraced it) and their 19 kids also have large families, and so on, imagine the cultural impact of this one couple over the next 50 years. Think of the political consequences alone for a moment. The liberals are the ones who preach choice over children, feminism over femininity, gay rights over the sanctity of the family. Where will all the liberals be in 50 years? They aren’t reproducing themselves, but what of the quiverfull families? Their progeny will vastly outnumber any remnants of the suicidal marriage-, family-, and baby-hating liberals. So their only hope of survival as an ideology is to brainwash the nation’s children through the public school system and Hollywood. Add to this the tendency of quiverfull families to home school, and the liberals have a real problem. (It won’t take them long to realize this and then the days of home schooling will be numbered.)
It was out of this epiphany that the decline in birth rates in the western world is causing a global economic crisis that I began to think that perhaps the “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” verses in the Bible may be appropriate for our time after all. I began thinking about what it would be like if the church ignored the culture and abandoned birth control. I began to imagine how different our nation could be in just a couple of generations if Christians welcomed children and trained them up to love and serve the Lord. Now that’s change I can believe in!
We all leave a legacy. What will yours be? What will be our nation’s legacy? What about the church?
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.