Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Journey to becoming Quiverfull Part II: Unlikely Beginnings

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?


  1. Great post! What a challenging thought! I totally agree!

  2. Amen, and well said sister! Our neighbour was just telling my husband the other day that his generation failed in terms of being fruitful and multiplying (he has 3 children). He now wishes he'd had more as he can now SEE the cultural war that will be largely affected by numbers.

  3. Everything you wrote, was spot on for what is going on with a lot of people right now. As far as believing what the bible says about children, or being "Quiverfull", we are no where near a majority, as a matter of a fact we are a small minority, BUT, God is moving in the hearts of many Christians across this nation to go back to the Bible for the answers on ALL things. I love what you said and agree, however what you wrote saddens me too. You are completely right about the days of homeschooling being numbered. I realize homeschooling is growing every year, but I can't help but see the growing hostility towards it from liberals and humanists. Socialists do not like the freedom of thought that comes from families deciding what to teach their children as apposed to the government. Since our country is leaning strongly in the direction of favoring Socialism, I am afraid, we are in for some tough times in the future. My prayer today is that Christian families would open up their eyes, and see as God see's.

  4. Good comments, all. Thank you for interacting with me on this. It is true that qf families are a minority, but in general Christians (and Muslims and Mormons) tend to have more children than average, so I'm hopeful about the future of our country. We may not live to see our country turn towards God, but it seems like it may be coming within a couple of generations. Unless of course our government puts restrictions on the number of children we can have. Surely not...

  5. As a liberal who is a strong proponent of religious freedom and the right to homeschool, I find your post to be more than a little condescending, as well as more than a little paranoid. I have no interest in "brainwashing" your children via public school and Hollywood. My goodness, the egotism of the post is just shining. As a liberal, I support your right to believe in the religion you choose, per our basic right in America of freedom of religion. As a liberal, I defend your right to free speech and your right to homeschool your children. As an aside, you might be interested to learn that Christian, Quiverfull moms are *not* the only people interested in homeschooling. There are plenty of very liberal parents who are choosing to homeschool as well- and they have a movement of their own.

    It seems conservative Christians sometimes like to create a false persecution complex wherein the terrible liberals are out to "get them", and they create a false narrative about how we spend all of our time plotting against Christians. I'm actually a very liberal person, and I often read large family homeschooling blogs because I'm impressed by the commitment. I am active in politics and I can assure you, in all the years I have attended city halls and Democratic precinct meetings, not once did we sit around rubbing our sinister liberals hands together, bemoaning the Quiverfull movement and how we could "brainwash" your children and take away your right to homeschool.

    You're free to think as you wish, but please don't be so naive and self centered as to think that the liberal agenda directly involves attacking *you*. Have as many kids as you like for whatever reasons you choose, but you're fooling yourself if you think you're "sticking it to the liberals" because honestly we don't care how many kids you have or what religion you practice. And to reduce a complex political ideology down to "those liberals hate Christians, rabble rabble!" is pretty unfair and heavy handed.

  6. Cortney,

    I'm sorry to have offended you. I do not see all liberals out to get me personally, but I do see that liberals generally seem tolerant of most religions except Christianity. Also, I choose to homeschool not because I want to stick it to the liberals or anyone for that matter, but because I enjoy it and believe I'm investing in my children's future, as well as the future of their children.

    As for the brainwashing, are you saying there's not a concerted effort on the part of liberals to direct the content and method of public education from a non-Christian point of view? Are our children permitted to practice their religion in school? I believe the Bible is true, thus my faith. Two hundred years ago the children in this nation were taught to fear the Lord along with their A,B,Cs. Most liberals think that we've progressed beyond that as a nation. I believe we've regressed. If you're not in that number, then I apologize. If you are, then surely you understand why I don't want my children brainwashed by the public school agenda. You are the naive one if you think there is no agenda.

    Thank you for your interest in expressing an opinion on my blog.




Related Posts with Thumbnails
My photo
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.