In May I was in Canada doing research and vacation when I first heard of the QuiverFull movement and its association with the Duggar Family of TLC. I had heard of the Duggar Family on TLC but never watched the program.
Before we continue, the Duggar Family maintains that they are not part of the QuiverFull Movement. Their official stance as found in their book A Love That Multiplies
“Even though Wikipedia and some Internet blogs report that we are part of a QuiverFull movement, we are not. We are simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God’s Word and apply it to our lives“ (page 92).
QuiverFull is based on PSALM 127. Listed below is the Lexham English Bible (LEB) full text.
A Prayer for Protection and Prosperity
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
127 Unless Yahweh builds a house,
its builders labor at it in vain.
Unless Yahweh guards a city,
a guard watches in vain.
2 It is in vain for you who rise early and sit late,
eating the bread of anxious toil,
when thus he provides for his beloved in his sleep.
3 Look, children are the heritage of Yahweh;
the fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
so are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them.
They shall not be put to shame
when they speak with enemies at the gate.
Tehillim 127 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
127 (Shir HaMa’alot, of Shlomo). Except Hashem build the bais, they that build it labor in vain; except Hashem is shomer over the city, the shomair (watchman) stands guard in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the lechem ha’atzavim (bread of toils); for so He giveth his beloved sleep.
3 Hinei, banim are nachalat Hashem; and the p’ri habeten is a zachar (reward).
4 As khitzim (arrows) are in the yad of a gibbor; so are bnei haneurim (children born in one’s youth).
5 Ashrei hagever that hath his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the oyevim basha’ar (enemy at the gate).
In some way this ties in with Genesis 1:28—“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of heaven, and over every animal that moves upon the earth.” LEB
Listed below in the references is information about the QuiverFull Movement from both sides—the con and the pro. One has to weigh all the arguments and decide.
One thing I have found in my lifetime is if you want to know what a religious community is like you need to spend time with them. Reading about a group has its value, but the face-to-face daily interaction adds depth to one’s knowledge and understanding.
From a psychological and perhaps a spiritual perspective, one can understand the QuiverFull Movement. The world is a scary place, especially for children.
One of the primary responsibilities of parents is to nourish and protect their children. Of course there are extremes in how parents undertake this responsibility.
Traditional family values is a term tossed about in political circles and from pulpits. ‘Tis true if you compare 2015 to 1915—the family unit is very different.
With the migration from the agrarian environs to the industrialized cities a shift happened. A farmer who works his fields with his sons and spends time with his family around the supper table is in stark contrast to the factory laborer who is away from his family most of the day.
Over time the family as once defined for centuries encountered new definitions as time marched on. Today’s modern family would be alien to a 19th-century family if they were plucked from their time and stranded in 2015.
Is this good or bad? It depends on one’s view of family and society.
In my previous post A Conversation With Margaret Sanger, she touches on the role of women in the past, birth-control, and the need for population limitations because of earth’s limited resources. In many ways what she said in 1921 is what the QuiverFull Movement rejects in 2015. https://lochgarry.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/a-conversation-with-margaret-sanger/
When one views the world with unfiltered glasses the human suffering and misery is overwhelming. 21 children under the age of 5 die each minute on this planet traversing the cosmos. http://www.unicef.org/mdg/childmortality.html
The fresh water supply for a growing global community is viewed by many experts to be the next global crisis. “More than a billion individuals – one in seven people on the planet – now lack access to safe drinking water.” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/08/how-water-shortages-lead-food-crises-conflicts
Over 800 million people do not have ample food supply. “Hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined..” http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats
Children are the innocents of our world. If they are born into a loving family with ample resources for nourishment and development, they are the lucky ones.
Many children do not stand a chance for survival. Survival of the fittest is a harsh reality, but it is played out each day in different geopolitical regions.
Each individual has to decide what part they will play in society. It begins at the local community level and moves up in the strata of our current political structure.
One can isolate oneself from society. Many have over the millennia.
One can engage with society to improve it for all of its members. Humans share a common ancestry and blood. In the final analysis all of us, by our actions, will help society, especially women and children, to improve their status by having ample essentials for growth and development or shun those we may view as undeserving of our time and effort.
I am reminded of what the Nazarene Teacher said in Matthew 25. When all the people of earth are gathered before the judgment seat where the goats and sheep metaphorically are separated to the left and the right, the final question will be what did you do for those among who were thirsty, hungry, oppressed, homeless, etc.?
In the final analysis the legacy we leave behind is what we did to help those, especially women and children, who were in great need. You cannot help anyone if you isolate yourselves in your own self-contained pockets of religion or wealth.
G. D. Williams © 2015
What You Need To Know About The ‘Quiverfull’ Movement
Quiverfull of Sh**: a Guide to the Duggars’ Scary Brand of Christianity
In Quiverfull Movement, Birth Control Is Shunned
What Is Quiverfull?
‘Atheist of the year’ tells of exit from fundamentalist Quiverfull movement
The Original Duggar Family Blog
Quiver Full of Kids Blog
QuiverFull and Large Family Directory