The Quiverfull Word

I use the term "Quiverfull" very loosely. The word itself seems to have many different connotations, ranging from good to stigmatic, according to the person you are talking to. In the deepest sense, people may associate the word Quiverfull with the quiverfull movement. Again, this is dependent upon the person.
The quiverfull movement is also highly relative - but there are many associations worth clarifying.
Many people associate the quiverfull movement with various doctrine practices that may or may not be typical of each quiverfull family.

  • Quiverfull families are trying to "out-breed" other religions. 
Um, maybe there are some out there that are trying to fulfill this purpose. My family has no tendency to outnumber or out-breed any group. I hope that more families can come to hand over family planning to God because of the spiritual experience in itself, and I would welcome the increase in Christian numbers simply for the sake of Christianity becoming more mainstream again.
  • The quiverfull movement is a way to breed many soldiers for the Lord.
Yes and no. When you say it out loud, it just sounds creepy. That doesn't make it any less accurate though. It's kind of like "non-believers will be judged." That sounds radical and cultish. But it is still true. It just depends on what mindset you use to interpret it. When someone says "non-believers will be judged" I think "Everyone who believes in Christ will have everlasting life" as opposed to "homosexuals, liars and deviants will burn in hell," which, for the record, NOT what I believe - it was just an example of interpreting. So if someone says "The quiverfull movement is a way to breed many soldiers for the Lord" you can look at it in whichever way you wish. I think of it as "all the children that the Lord blesses me with will hopefully live for Christ and be a powerful vessel for Him to use and ultimately, win more souls to Christ." Or you can think "holy crap this person is a crazy nationalist." I guess the meaning really depends on whom is speaking.
  • Quiverfull families think birth control is a sin.
Most of them do, yes. I don't think that it is a sin in itself, and I am not condemning anyone who uses it. I do, however, think that Christians should let the Lord be the center of their lives - and if they are holding to the notion of trying to "control" things themselves, the Lord will eventually ask them to hand it over to him. In addition to this, I think few people are honest with themselves about hormonal birth control. Lots of people still conceive while using hormonal birth control. If you believe that life begins at conception, and  you understand that you can still conceive, you can't deny what you are causing for the life you have created. Before I stopped using the pill, I was in denial. Taking a pill is easy and I didn't want to have a baby at the time, so I told myself that the whole "Abortion-a-month" occurrence with the pill was just radical christian hearsay. Once I started praying and opening my heart to the Lord's word, I was more understanding.
  • Lots of QF women have a "goal" of having as many babies as possible, so they don't breastfeed, in hopes of getting pregnant immediately after giving birth.
Everyone knows I breastfeed. And I still have a cycle fairly soon after birth anyways. So that whole point is moot I guess. I personally do not have any "goal" for a number of children, and we don't do anything at all to try to get pregnant. We are just playing it the Beatles way and letting it be. Although I do hope that the Lord will bless us with a really large family, I will be thankful for the three I have even if they are all we get :)
  • Young girls in the quiverfull families are forced to work and take care of younger siblings.
Yes!! Seriously though, I make all of my children work. I am not a maid; I am a mother. It is not my job to wait on them and clean up all their unnecessary messes, but instead I feel obligated to instruct them how to clean up after themselves and positively enforce those habits. Does this mean that I sit around on my butt blogging and drinking homemade mochas while they clean? Yes. I mean no. I do that, but not while they are cleaning. In a typical day, we have two or three blocks of time for tidying up and chores - and while they are working very hard to clean up and take care of their own messes, I am doing the same. The exception is if they have been left to their own devices and have made a mess on my time, then they are expected to clean it up themselves while I am doing something else. As far as my daughter (I have only one so far!) taking care of younger siblings, she absolutely does. I have addressed this before; she loves being helpful with the younger kids. She feels like it is her job (oh, the lovely first-born temperament) and she takes pride in her crowd-control abilities. I think caring for babies is a valuable skill for children to learn. I didn't learn it, and it took me much longer to adjust to having my own baby. My sister is finally pregnant with her first (CONGRATULATIONS HOLLY!!!!) and I am willing to bet my mocha that she will be a natural from the moment the baby is born. Now, if any of my children seems to show major disdain for helping out with the younger ones, I will still positively encourage the learning of these skills, but I will never force anyone to take on extra responsibilities with them.
  • Quiverfull families are frequently impoverished because of their large families, and forced to buy everything second-hand, used, etc.
Again, yes and no.  For us, personally, we buy as much second-hand and used as possible and make whatever we can ourselves. For crying out loud, I just started making my own menstrual pads! But it's not because we can't afford what most people would consider "better." We just have our own ideas about the benefits of being frugal, our income keeping us humble, and how our needs and wants are discerned. Most large families have learned the benefits of frugality but not always out of necessity. On that note, however, most quiverfull families are probably not rich by any means. The bible says "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Maybe that has something to do with it?

These are the main assumptions I gather when talking about being quiverfull. When I say that our family is quiverfull, all I mean to say is that we are trusting the Lord with our family size. We don't try to get pregnant, and we don't prevent it. We just pray about it a lot. I don't think it's worthy of criticism, especially while we only have three kids. I don't think anyone is going to Hell for having less children than me, and I don't think that you earn brownie points for each pregnancy. But when people ask me how many children we are going to have, the only appropriate answer is "God only knows!"