Let’s discuss the quiverful movement. It’s a pretty hot topic. If you don’t know what this is, click the links above.
I will be honest that I am really not supportive of the movement. This is not to say that I am unloving or hateful towards the PEOPLE of the movement as there is a difference! I understand why some Christians circles feel really strongly in favor of “go forth and multiply”. My big issue with the movement is that I feel that it disregards other instructions in the Bible in favor of “having as many children as the Lord allows”. What is a Christian mother to do when she knows good and well that she has neither the time nor the money nor the resources nor the physical or mental health in order to raise yet another child? How is continuing to have children, when they cannot be properly cared for, being a good parent? The movement fixates on the size of the family versus the individuals in the family. Mental and physical health concerns are REAL concerns! What about issues with the children themselves? It is appropriate to continue to add to the family when you have special needs children that demand a lot of time and attention and resources? Is it okay to forgo therapy and doctors for one that requires it in order to continue to add even more children to the family, who could possibly be special needs as well? Is it appropriate to have older children doing so much for the family? Do not kid yourself in thinking that one mother can appropriately raise 10 plus children on her own. Those older children are doing a lot of the parenting. There are so many concerns here and these questions are just the tip of the iceberg.
Once again, Fundamentalism has created a black and white standard with no wiggle room for an individual to decide what is best for THEIR family. You either Quiverful or you don’t. There is no middle ground. I don’t feel that any movement that allows for individual people to be forgotten/neglected/misused in favor of the movement as a whole is appropriate at all. I don’t think the verses used to base the movement on are specific enough to say “this is THE way”. Yes there are verses that instruct to multiply but does that mean to multiply as long as possible, with no regard for individual needs and preferences? Why is four or six or eight not multiplying? Why must a family continue to have as many children as possible until mom can’t physically carry another pregnancy? Yes there are versus that say that children are a blessing. I believe that to be true! This verse isn’t enough for me to build a whole movement around the idea that a mother should then have as many children as humanly possible. What about the fathers of the movement? The fathers that are busting their behinds to feed and house 12 kids. What is he to do when he feels overwhelmed and there is literally not a single thing more he can give and he is seeing his children suffer from lack of essentials? It happens! A lot more than you would think. Don’t be fooled by the Duggars that have the means to support a larger family and have shared that they are debt free. They are the exception, not the rule. There are many, many ex-Quiverful folks that will share their stories of severe neglect because there was just not enough to go around. Families going without heat in the winter, food, appropriate shelter and education.
The above is not to say that there are not families out there that make it work. Again, my main thought about the movement is that it is too black and white and I think very little in the Bible is that black and white. I am afraid that there are many well-intentioned parents out there that feel more social pressure than spiritual conviction to begin or continue this practice.