Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Big Families

A friend recently introduced me to the quiverfull lifestyle. She's been researching religion and read about these families during her research. If you don't know, this is a Christian based philosophy for child-bearing and life. They believe that every child is a gift from God, hence any type of birth control or family planning is shunned and against the will of God.

According to wikipedia, the movement was sparked most fully after the 1985 publication of Mary Pride’s book The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality. In her book, Pride chronicled her journey away from what she stated were feminist and anti-natal ideas of happiness, within which she had lived as an activist before her conversion to conservative evangelical Christianity in 1977, toward her discovery of happiness surrounding what she said was the Biblically mandated role of wives and mothers as bearers of children and workers in the home under the authority of a husband. Pride wrote that such a lifestyle was generally Biblically required of all married Christian women but that most Christian women had been unknowingly duped by feminism, importantly in their acceptance of birth control.

As the basis for her arguments, Pride selected numerous Bible verses to lay out what she felt was the Biblical role of women. These included verses she saw as containing her ideas of childbearing and non-usage of birth control, which she argued were opposed to what she called "the feminist agenda" by which she had formerly lived. Pride's explanations became a spearheading basis of Quiverfull.

Families following these practices are inclined to practice homeschooling, homesteading in a rural area, and homechurching (or whatever it's called).

If you do some research on the internet you can find many historically transfixed large families. The smiling faces disregard the potential pitfalls and dangers to women in these families. What happens when you give birth to 8, 12, or 17 children? Andrea Yates, the mother who drowned her five children in the bathtub allegedly followed the quiverfull teachings.

However horrible the Yates story, there seems to be many happy quiverfull families. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have been featured multiple times on television. They have 17 children, the first born in 1988, the last this summer. The Crank family have six children and a magazine. They discuss important issues in each installment, like the importance of girls wearing long dresses and whether it's a parent's role to begin the courtship/marriage process for the child.

I think it's interesting reading, but I'm not going to start popping out babies like PEZ anytime soon.


Daddy-O said...

"I think it's interesting reading, but I'm not going to start popping out babies like PEZ anytime soon."

...says the pregnant lady! :-)

Anonymous said...

mommy, I'm scared...

Jen said...


The Landowski's said...

You're pregnant? When are you due? Hey, I know a couple that had this philosophy and without any protection at all they only had one son the whole time. It is up to God in the situation, really.