In a recent article about former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s address to Southern Virginia University’s 2013 graduating class, award-winning journalist Kathryn Joyce introduced me to the “quiverfull” concept that is supported by thousands of Christians, primarily across the U.S. The parents featured in TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting are said to follow a quiverfull lifestyle.
In a review of Ms. Joyce’s book on the subject, Publishers Weekly offers this definition:
Quiverfull is “a little-known movement among Christian evangelicals that rejects birth control and encourages couples to have as many children as possible. The movement, which takes its name from a verse in Psalm 127, advocates a retreat from society and a rejection of government policies that encourage equal rights for women, pregnancy prevention and an individualistic ethic.”
And, the pertinent section of Psalm 127:
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
Are children the only ammunition available? Why are they equated with weaponry? While the female followers of the quiverfull philosophy deliver child after child, this Old Testament passage leaves women without children “unarmed” and alone with empty quivers.
btw, here’s another reason why TheNotMom.com is eager to find faith leaders to provide guest posts on topics directly related to God, the Bible, religion, etc. I didn’t study this stuff! I only know that the God of my home teaching loves the daughters who procreate and those who don’t.
A friend of TheNotMom.com‘s Facebook page told of meeting an infertile Quiverfull woman who was released from her group because she “didn’t pray hard enough” to conceive. Fascinating. The same people who believe in a God who gives purpose and free will to every human may have no use for women who cannot, or will not, give birth.
What to put in one’s quiver if children aren’t around? Kindness. Empathy. Intellect. Three powerful arrows I thought of off the top of my head. Let me dig down into my NotMom quiver and find some more.
(Image Credit: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games