What is Quiverful?
Nothing I say here is in condemnation of those that are infertile through no fault of their own. Some infertility is the result of living in a fallen world. Some is due to God having plans for your life that would not be possible to achieve if you had children. Sometimes God keeps someone from having children the "normal" way so they will consider adopting some of those beautiful children that are already here who are so in need of Godly parents.
Quiverful is the practice of giving full control of the womb to God. It is welcoming all the children God wants to give us with open arms and accepting however many or few that are His will for us.
Children are a gift of God and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Psalms 127:4-5.
Children of ones youth are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. Blessed is the man with a QUIVER FULL of them. Psalms 127:3
And God blessed them (Adam and Eve), and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen 1:28
Bring forth with thee (Noah) every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. Gen 8:17
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. Gen 9:1
And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein Gen 9:7
Question: Was this mandate, "Be fruitful and multiply," ever rescinded? Does it still apply today?
And did not He make one (See Gen 2:24)? Yet had He the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That He might seek a Godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. Malachi 2:15
God seeks Godly children. Godly children are produced in a Godly marriage. There is no other place Godly children can be produced. More Godly children mean more Godly adults. The more Godly adults, the more people to witness to the lost. Let's say we have ten families and only one is Christian. If each family has two children then when they are all grown we have eighteen new adults raised in un-Christian homes and two adults to witness to them and lead them to Christ. If the Christian home, however, has the Historical average of seven children, that is seven new Christian adults to witness to the eighteen sinners. Which group do you think will have the better chance of leading the unsaved to the Lord? This is in fact the method the Muslim and Mormon churches are using to grow their religions.
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16
The Bible is clear from cover to cover that God thinks of children as blessings and controls the womb (Read the stories of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachael, Leah, and Hanna just for starters). He opens and closes it. Get your Strong's out and look up the words womb, children, fruit, blessings, and curses. It is clear that God considers children a blessing.
Many have said "Children were a blessing in those days because everyone lived on farms. Things are different today." In other words they think the scripture should have read "Children are a gift from God until the Industrial Revolution. Then they are a curse." Does this sound right to anyone? It sure doesn't sound right to me.
Many say God can't be controlling the babies born because single moms and abusive parents have children and God wouldn't allow that. Hmmm. "God wouldn't allow that," huh? Then He has no control? He puts people into and out of political offices, He causes entire countries to flourish or fail. He controls the weather. He can raise the dead. But He can't control who does and doesn't have babies? The problem is that we in our arrogance have decided that babies are curses except in the best of circumstances (only middle class America is good enough to have children). We assume that because we can't see any good coming from a thirteen year old unwed mother giving birth that there couldn't possibly be any good. The problem is that we can't see the future. That very baby starting off with the "worst of circumstances" might grow to be the only man with enough grit to stand up to evil in some time or place. He might be the next John Wesley (17th out of 19 children in a poor pastor's house) or the man that stops the mugger from killing the little old lady. She might be the woman that grows up determined to provide the best love in the world for her five children and raising them and her grandchildren to be mighty warriors for God. We don't know. In fact, what would you tell a woman living in extreme poverty whose husband didn't provide sufficient income for the family, who had given birth fifteen times, half of whom died in infancy? Would you tell her to stop? Get those tubes tied? Yank the whole works out? If she had followed this advice we would not have the Methodist church, Sunday School, nor over a thousand of the hymns in our hymnals. You see, Susanna Wesley's seventeenth and nineteenth children were the above mentioned John and Charles Wesley. How do you know that your fifth or eighth child or that baby born on welfare won't be the one to lead a massive revival in the Middle East? You don't.
In Deuteronomy God told Israel that if they served Him they would have fertile orchards, vineyards, cattle, fields and wives. If they did not serve Him their orchards, vineyards, cattle, fields and wives would be infertile. Do you really think the epidemic infertility sweeping this country is just an accident? Babies are a blessing from God even today.
There is no place in the Bible where a child born to committed parents of the same faith are anything but a blessing. If God wanted to give you $50,000.00 every other year or so, would you refuse it? Babies are just as much of a blessing as mere money. Actually more so. Money has a way of disappearing while children are forever. Bringing children into this world brings something into eternity too; the only thing you can take into eternity with you.
But how will we afford them?
Blessed is he that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly...Psalms 1:1
“We can’t afford it” Is worldly thinking. Babies wouldn't be much of a blessing if God didn't provide for them. But our God does not do that. He does not give us assignments and not give us what we need to accomplish them. Picture this conversation: "God, use our womb for your glory. Give us the number of children You want us to have." God: "Hee, Hee, hee. Now I've got them! I am going to make their lives miserable!" I sure don't serve a God like that! Do you?
I have heard many stories of families that decided to be Quiverful, and shortly afterwards God gave the husband a better job, often with more money, less hours and less commute.
What happens more often, however, is that God gives us the creativity and grace to live with what we have. Many people think they need much more money than they do to survive. Having many children makes us form priorities and stick to them. We don't get caught up in the materialism that our society is plagued with. This is often God's way of getting our eyes on the eternal and away from the carnal. This is a matter of faith, that you are doing God's will and really letting Him decide how you live.
Let me put this in a global perspective. If you are living in a one room studio apartment, over a convenience store, with seven children, and walk to work because you do not have a car, but do have running water, flush toilets, heat of some kind, clothes on your backs and food in your mouths, then you are still way ahead of most of the planet. You are still very blessed materially. If you have more than that, you are RICH. You do not need a three bedroom house in the suburbs with three cars, computer, fashionable clothes and fast food on the corner. These are wants, not needs.(Just a note-these things are not wrong in and of themselves. I live in a three bedroom house in the suburbs with five cars myself. The point is, these mere THINGS should not be our priority. We can't take our cars to heaven with us and God is building us a new house so we won't need the one here. Our children are the only things we can take into heaven with us. They should be our priority.)
I can't handle more than two children.
How do you know that? You may have been over stressed once while baby sitting more children, but baby sitting in no way resembles caring for your own.
Many people feel too stressed at two or three children to consider having more. I will reveal the best kept secret of large families: It gets easier after the fourth. Yes, that's what I said. It is easier after four. When my first child was born I had to entertain her, care for all of her physical needs, do all the house work, and cook all the meals. I was alone (at least until my husband got home from work). Stressville. Though I adored my second, third and fourth, it was even more stressful carrying for all those babies at once.
When my seventh was born I had a twelve year old that could cook breakfast, clean the kitchen, clean rooms, and supervise little ones while I napped; a nine year old that could do dishes, clean rooms, make lunch, and supervise little ones: a six year old that could do laundry, make the veggies for supper and clean rooms: a five year old that could gather up dirty laundry, clean the van, and generally help the others: even a three year old that could gather up the trash. And I never have to worry about entertaining the other little ones. I had time to really enjoy my baby! This is not saying I make my children slave all day. Yes, there is a lot of work to make this house run, but we have so many people working I have trouble giving them enough to do in order to teach proper work ethic! (About an hour of chores and a total of an hour of cleaning up spread out over the whole day per person working, total.)
Babies seem to be a curse to us because we make them to be. ANY blessing can be turned into a curse if you try hard enough. We have all heard of people winning the lottery and being broke and declaring bankruptcy within five years. Humans are quite good at this.
11 ways to turn God's blessings into a curse.
1. Get mommy a career so she can resent any time her kids distract her from the "real" world.
2. Deliver your babies in a hospital (http://homeschoolwwh.com/family/homebirth.html). Just the atmosphere is so sterile and unnatural that it makes you want to avoid going there at all costs.
3. Stick your kid in daycare (http://homeschoolwwh.com/family/daycare.html) as soon as possible so they can't possibly bond with anyone and learn trust and security.
4. Send your kids to government school (http://homeschoolwwh.com/homeschool/whyhomeschool.html) so they can't learn your values or become more attached to you than to their peers.
5. Buy your children every latest do-dad, (http://homeschoolwwh.blogspot.com/2008/07/needs-wants-and-desires.html) beginning before they are born. You want to make sure they think they have to have what everyone else does. And the fastest way to make something into a curse is to hit your pocket book.
6. Dress your children in fashionable clothing. Looking like everyone else makes them think like everyone else, encourages rebellion against you and will cost you thousands of dollars to boot.
7. Set them in front of the TV every waking moment. This warps the brain and molds attitudes into the image of the Hollywood snobs.
8. Never teach them to obey, use manners, or control themselves. Then you won't be able to stand being in the same room.
9. Don't teach them to work so you can be their slave.
10. Make sure you tell everyone you meet what awful kids you have and how awful parenthood is. This will reinforce the sentiment in your brain.
11. Don't love your mate. You must make sure your children have no examples of love to confuse them.
12 ways to turn a curse into a blessing.
1. Mommy determines that caring for her children IS her career, and strives to do the best job possible at it.
2. Deliver your babies at home (http://homeschoolwwh.com/family/homebirth.html ) (if health permits). Pregnancy is not an illness. The normal atmosphere of the home reduces stress (and exposure to deadly germs!) and makes the whole event more enjoyable and far less dangerous.
3. Keep your children at home (http://homeschoolwwh.com/family/daycare.html) with you. This promotes bonding and security in little minds.
4. Teach your children yourself. (http://homeschoolwwh.com/homeschool/whyhomeschool.html) This gives you the opportunity to teach them your values as well as the added bonus of learning all the neat things you have always wanted to learn and never had the chance before.
5. Give them very little time with their peers. You want them dependent on their family not other little kids.
6. Provide them with plenty of siblings. Far more entertaining than toys and better for them.
7. Teach them to be discerning of what things are needs, what are wants and what are desires. Supply all their needs, some of their wants and few of their desires. (http://homeschoolwwh.blogspot.com/2008/07/needs-wants-and-desires.html)
8. Buy second hand or low cost clothes. Actively teach them not to follow the crowd.
9. Do not let them watch much TV. (http://homeschoolwwh.com/polotics/brainwash.html) Teach them to serve others and entertain themselves instead.
10. Teach them to obey, use manners, and control themselves. Then everyone will love being in the same room with them. (The best advise on child training is http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/and http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/)
11. Give them chores to do, gradually teaching them to run a household. This gives them a work ethic they will need in adulthood and relieves your work burden. In addition, it teaches them that they are worthwhile, important members of society. (Studies show that those who do chores as children are happier and richer as adults.)
12. Make sure you tell everyone you meet what wonderful, beautiful, brilliant kids you have and how wonderful parenthood is. This will reinforce it in your brain.
13. Love your mate. If you do nothing else, this will make a vast difference in their lives.
I think a major cause of the rise in child abuse in the last couple of decades is that so many of us were raised in two child homes, then squirreled away into classrooms filled with people our own age. We have never really been around small children and have no idea how to treat them or what to expect. Many parents don't know you can expect to tell a two year old to do something and they will do it if you have taught them how.
I can see the difference between my daughter and me, already, even though she is only thirteen. When they first handed her to me in the hospital, I said "Hey! I'm a mommy. Now what?" I didn't have a clue what to do with this new little person. Subsequently I made many mistakes due entirely to the fact that I didn't know anything about little kids.
My oldest, however, already knows how to hold a baby, play with a toddler, and comfort a preschooler. She knows what to expect from different children of different ages. She is going to be a far better mommy than I ever was.
Is the World over populated?
In short, no. The idea that it is stems from, first of all, the idea that there is no God (and has been around since the time of Plato, who called for severe limits on famly size due to the “obvious” overpopulation of 500 bc Grece!). If there is a God, and He is all knowing and loves human beings, why would He create a world without all the resources necessary to support all the lives that will be here in the course of history? Claiming we can not trust God to control our wombs in order to keep from running out of resources is a pretty big condemnation of God's wisdom and power.
Second, we know that in any over-populated environment natural resources would become more expensive. Research the prices of natural resources (wood, gold, silver, even fuel), in inflation adjusted dollars, for the last fifty years. I would even check out the last hundred years. The fact is, natural resources are far, far cheaper today than they were then! How could this be? Technology is increasing FASTER than the population. In fact, it may be that all those new minds that have entered the world in the last hundred years are responsible for that increase. More people mean more workers, more division of labor, more prosperity for everyone!
Third, we are really more in danger of under- population. The average birth-rate in developed countries is 1.8 children per woman for her lifetime. This is well below the 2.1 needed to keep the population even. Yes, undeveloped countries are still birthing plenty of babies to keep the overall planetary population growing, but how long will that last? It is a well known fact that the richer a country becomes the fewer babies its women have. All countries are growing richer. How long before even China, India, Africa and South America slow down enough to cause some real problems? From the numbers I have seen, I would guess before this century is over unless there are some drastic changes.
Isn't it unhealthy to have so many babies?
No. God designed our bodies to have many babies. In fact, science is beginning to prove that the natural break from monthly cycles provided to our bodies by pregnancy and nursing is very healthy and possibly a cancer preventative! One doctor observed (about fifty years ago when large families were more common) that all of his patients that had large families were strong healthy women. Those with small families were weak and sickly. He didn't know which came first, the strength or the children, but he leaned towards children causing mothers to be stronger. There may now be proof of this. It seems when a woman is pregnant, the baby leaves some of its cells behind (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5195551) after birth. These cells go to different places in her body and aid healing.
Besides, big families are FUN. There is always someone to play with and you are never lonely. I don't know what my hubby and I ever did for entertainment before children. Now we just enjoy sitting around and watching them play.:-) This is far healthier than the average American family atmosphere.
Is birth control a sin?
This is actually a difficult question. Technically, "Birth control" means anything from Natural Family Planning to abortion. Abortion is a sin. It is the murdering of a human being. (http://homeschoolwwh.com/family/abortion.html) Most of the Christian community agrees on this. Most will also at least hesitate to endorse the IUD. The IUD functions by creating a hostile environment in the uterus so a fertilized egg can not implant. If you believe life begins at conception, then the IUD is actually an ongoing abortion. It does not prevent conception, just implantation. But if we are going to put the IUD in the class of sin, we must also put all hormonal birth controls (http://www.quiverfull.com/birth_control/fact_sheet_on_pill_side_effect.html) in the same category. Why? Hormonal birth controls, such as the pill, function by preventing ovulation, thus conception...60% of the time. No problem there. 20-35% of the time they make the woman's body inhospitable to sperm, thus also preventing conception. But 5-20% of the time they function by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting. (http://www.quiverfull.com/birth_control/pill_abortifacient.html) Does life begin at conception? Then hormonal controls are murder. Does life begin at some later point? Then they are not (Doctors are taught that abortion is the ending of a pregnancy and pregnancy begins at IMPLANTATION, not conception. So if you ask your doctor if the pill causes abortions, he will tell you “no”.) This would be a matter to discuss with your spouse and minister, read your Bible and do some serious praying.
Now, Natural Family Planning (http://homeschoolwwh.com/family/nfp.html), sterilization (http://homeschoolwwh.com/family/sterilization.html), and all barrier methods we must approach from a different direction. The Bible does not call birth control sin. In fact, it is only mentioned in one place. The practitioner (Onan) was killed by God, but I believe the evidence says he was killed for being disobedient, greedy and cruel. God never condemned the act of birth control. However, Paul says to
Let this mind be in you which was in Christ.
Whatsoever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord.
And Christ said
Let the little children come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
We are to strive to be Christ like and Christ loved children. I think we must change our attitude from the current worldly one of children being some disease we must fight tooth and nail to prevent, to an attitude of rejoicing at each and every one of them.
God loves people. The devil hates them. Which would be most likely to want you to artificially limit your family's size?
I grew up in evangelical churches. I have heard sermons on seeking God's will for your job and ministry, spouse and house, car and hobbies, even on redecorating ideas (God knows what would last the longest and bring the greatest pleasure to our family and glory to Him). Yet in forty years I don't think I have ever heard anyone preach about or ask prayer for God's will in how many children we should have. Which curtains we should buy for the living room, yes. How many precious, eternal souls we should bring into this world, no. I believe we should each seek God's will in this very important area.
What it all boils down to is whether or not you are going to choose to view children the way God does or the way the world does. Are they blessings or curses? Do you trust God to know what you can handle and what you need or do you trust your own judgment?
The Bible says children are blessings and debt is a curse, yet we take medicines and have surgeries to avoid the blessings and apply for the curses. Something is not right here. Momy board
Birth-control is the only area where we intentionally try to break something that is working perfectly well.
Why is it ok to ask a couple with lots of children if they “know what causes that” plan to have more, “don’t have a TV” etc, but it isn’t ok to ask someone who is childless the same questions? I’m always tempted to answer “No, what causes that?” or “Yes and we like it, too.”
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