Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Topic Never Broached...

Quiver full.

I don't tend to shy away from discussions. I am definitely interested in and love hearing about people's explanations of how they come to decisions. Especially decisions that could have only been influenced by the Lord. I want to know how things worked out and the end result.

I found a very nice discussion on the quiverful movement and thought I'd link to it here. It's a blog post written by a mother with 6 children and you might be surprised what she says. Her post has over 300 comments and commenting is now closed, but commenting is open here. I would love to hear what anyone stumbling around my blog thinks about this topic.

Let me place this disclaimer: Those who were around for the homeschooling discussion, be assured this discussion will not follow the negative turn of that one.

Thoughts on Contraception and The Quiverfull Movement.

Who's gonna start?


lana said...

Great topic and one that has been very close to my heart. We have struggled with the thought that we have been selfish for "limiting" God as to more children.

So we have put it totally in His hands and it is freeing to me. I am not worried.. I am hopeful and wait to see if he will indeed multiply our family of three.

I have been off contraception now for 7 months.

Molly Aley said...

I was formerly "QF." I had five babies in the space of six years. Despite nursing "round the clock," my fertility came back around 2 months post partum. I had two "female" surgeries and am now permanently damaged, physically, from the toll of forcing my body to do more than it should have.

I wrote this post in 2006, struggling my way out of the QF mentality:

Do I love my five kids? You'd better believe it!

But here come my ultra-strong opinions: :)

But if I had it to do over again, I would have used birth control to... space... my... kids.

Becayse back to back babies is a lose-lose for all involved. I was not able to be as good of a mommy as I could be, and the children missed out on the nurturing they could have/should have had. (Did I nurture? Yes! Did I work my butt off to be a good mommy? Yes! But there's simply a limit to what one exhausted human being can do with a room full of kids all wanting 100% of you all the time---ask anyone who works in an orphanage).

Sure, there are good things about having a bunch of kids back to back, but in the long run, it's just not the best way. The babies don't get the kind of nurturing they need because the mommy is busy tending to the next baby. Science and psychology all suggest that a 3 year spacing is ideal, physically, for a woman's body, and that a 3 year spacing is ideal, pyschologically and developmentally, for the baby to have mommy all to himself before introducing a new sibling.

Adding homeschooling (another thing I thought I *had* to do) to the insanity just made things even crazier (and made the babies and toddlers get even less attention).

Coming out of the QF movement was so hard. It truly had become a form of righteousness---finding righteousness in NOT using birth control, vs. finding my righteousness in Christ. In starting to use (non-abortificant) birth control, I truly wondered for a while if I would lose my salvation. I had no idea I'd gotten that legastic UNTIL trying to come out of it...

Babies are great. But, you know what? Our world is FULL of babies and toddlers and children who do not have homes, who have NO ONE to love and nurture them.

I had babies out of my own womb. If I could go back, I think I would do a lot less thinking of my own womb and a lot more thinking about adopting of the unlovely ones (the ones nobody wants) and a lot less thinking I'd bring in God's pleasure by wearing out my uterus.

Right now, I'm just trying to survive. If a surprise pregnancy comes along, I will welcome that baby with a happy heart and loving arms. But that said, I'm not planning on having ANY more kids via my uterus. If more children join our wacky home, it will be through the adoption or foster care system. The Bible talks over and over and over again about caring for the orphan...the QF camp latches onto a few verses and makes a huge doctrine about it. But the full sway of hte Bible doesn't really center much on wombs. God's heart seems to break for the down and out, for those who do not have, for the weak of a society (the ones that, if we choose to love them, doesn't really get us anything in return). Frequently the God of our Bible describes those who care for the widows and orphans as the people who are showing us what being "righteous" is all about. Not the ones who have baby after baby...anyone can have baby after baby. (That's not a measure of spirituality, just a measure of a well-working uterus).

Some families will be called to have a large brood. More power to 'em. I think a large happy family is GREAT. I also think that praying about family size is a good thing, something we should do as Christ-followers. But telling women that they HAVE to have an "open womb" or are in sin...? That's heaping heavy weights on the backs of God's people, and it's just plain not right.

Mom of Five Awesome Kids,
Former QF Member and Spreader of the QF Gospel, now repenting

Mary said...

Hello Georgia,

I just clicked on your blog via your comment on Amy's blog, and happened to see this post.

I feel so strongly about the FQ movement (believing it to be in real error), after struggling with it for 10 years and being under the bondage of it's legalism. I think it's wonderful if the Lord leads some women not to use forethought, if you will, as it relates to their family size. But the control that is used in this group is a bondage and the foundation is often extra-biblical. Mothering is made an idol rather than a role (this is why Amy's post was such a blessing for me to hear), and it's so easy for us to get that mixed up and make an idol out of large families...

Hope the Lord leads you by His Spirit into that which glorifies Him!


Anonymous said...

Molly - incredible words!!

Thank you for telling about your experience.


The Savage said...

Thoughts?? Amy's post was excellent! I made it through the first 170+ comments and than decided if I was actually going to comment here, I'd better do so before I fell asleep & off of my chair.

BTW, I'm here by way of a comment you left on Molly's blog (about 2 year-olds). She's another excellent blogger!! You've got good taste in reading. :-) I must say I love your Georgia peach profile pic in combo with the nod to GA's state motto "Georgia, you're on my mind". LOL the topic at hand. QF?! There's a topic! I'll have to come back to share our "story." For now though, I need sleep lest my two toddlers have an un-loving and un-gracious mother tomorrow... er..... later today.

Mother to the masses said...

I really want to comment to this post. However, I want to prayerfully consider what to write before responding. More later,

Georgia said...

Molly, I am interested in how you initially heard about this type of lifestyle and got involved with the patriarchy movement. You probably already discussed this in great detail on your own blog, and I just haven't found it yet because I've been wallowing around in your gentle parenting posts. I expect to post some things on that topic as well.

Mary and Lana, thank you for your input. Oh, what a fine line between trusting God for our blessings and going off the deep end into legalistic waters.

Cathy, I am definitely interested in your input. Please don't tarry...

The Savage said...

Back when we were dating, my dh and I used to say we wanted 12 kids. Now you must know, he's one of two, I'm an only, and neither of us knew anyone IRL who had more than 6; so we were mostly joking. I had at least two girlfriends who had reacted badly to b/c pills, and had reason to believe I'd never be a "Fertile Myrtle" anyway; so we figured we'd just wing it and see who/how many the Lord sent us, though we thought it would be nice to have about 2 or 3 years "just for ourselves" before the children started coming.

It was 6 1/2 years after we got married before we found out we were expecting our first. 19 months after #1's birth, #2 arrived. Now #3 is due 26 months post-#2. So.... no kids for 7 years, then 3 kids in 4 years. We're thinking God has a sense of humor. ;-) Especially since we're not doing anything any differently than before.

Thankfully--by the grace of God to me, I have very easy pregnancies and have made it through two deliveries intact (so far). But then, I firmly believe (especially in this area of "the womb") God's grace looks different to each of us--my situation is normative only for me. I would never consider telling another woman what she should or should not do based on my experiences. We all rise and fall before a Mighty God--who, not incidentally, knows our frames, and remembers that we are but dust.

Are we "QF"?? I guess that depends who you ask and how they define qf. *I* say we are qf--in that we don't use b/c of any kind, and we're planning to have how many ever kids the Lord decides to give us. However, the QF label is not one that I affix to myself or my blog. I've read too many professing believers' e-mail loops, mommies groups, and QF blogs (that sadly don't read as graciously as Amy's) to ever stick that label on my back.

Anonymous said...

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