The Duggars, famous for their 19 children and counting, say that love does not divide, it multiplies. This is one of the foundations for their defense of the Quiverful movement. The idea that more children is always a blessing, because love grows as each child is added to the family.
Do I believe that love grows? Absolutely.
As a mother, I definitely have found my capacity and intensity to love grow as my family grew. I really don’t know of very many people that would argue that love does not grow.
The idea that love grows AND that’s all you need is another Fundamentalist fantasy as I like to call them. Sure love can increase but guess what often times doesn’t? Income, housing, time, patience, resources that a parent needs to do their job completely and well. Just because a person is physically able to bear and bring forth 20 children, does that mean that they are then suddenly able to provide everything that each child needs to grow in a healthy way to adulthood? Don’t be fooled by the Duggars, who are making a pretty penny off their show, speaking engagements and books in order to afford the lifestyle that they have. Does anyone else know of very many, or any families with 6 plus kids that are able to have a beautiful house, property, travel and the other parts of the lifestyle that the Duggars have? I don’t know of a single large family that is not struggling in some way, my own family included.
I am sad for the families that are misguided by the Duggars and the Quiverful movement. Families that think they are doing the right thing in having as many children as physically possible, trusting that God will provide and bless. It’s not like they can change their mind about the situation once they have 10 kids living in a two bedroom home. Is it a terrible thing to grow up in a large family and learn to do without the extras? Of course not. My worry is for the reality that many of these families cannot even provide the basics for all these small children, such as adequate food and clothing and shelter plus a good education. Another hot button issue would be the reality that some of these type of families end up on state assistance and other programs. It is very obvious that the parents cannot meet the needs of the family on their own. There is no shame in taking assistance if you need it . But I do think it is a moral dilemma to continue to add to a family when you know that you cannot provide for the ones you already have.
Love does grow but you can’t live on love.