Allow me a moment to apologize to any QuiverFull followers who may be reading this. I admittedly don’t know much about it, except that the idea behind it is to (a) not use any method of birth control (natural or otherwise) and (b) welcome as many children into your family as God allows.
That said, I’m absolutely amazed that there are people who follow this.
I was awakened this morning (as I generally am at 3 o’clock) by some gentle stirrings in my belly, only to be followed by more urgent, forceful tapping when I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep. It seems my son needed me to eat – yes, this has become a pattern. At any rate, there was a news story on the television talking about the QuiverFull Movement, this Evangelical Christian counter-culture movement that is all about having kids. It’s based on a passage in the Book of Psalms.
Now, I like kids. I’m even enjoying this pregnancy. But, for me, I’d like to offer my children the best possible life they could have. This means a comfortable home, a solid education, and a great deal of unconditional love. Given our household income and projected future income, this translates to no more than two – maybe three – children. I think it would be really unfair to the children if we were to have more.
But the man they interviewed in this piece didn’t seem as concerned about a solid education for his kids, especially not the girls (he just wants them to be mothers – he indicated that careers should be secondary to them). He said he doesn’t plan to send the kids off to college, except maybe the boys if they have a “calling that requires them to have college degrees”.
More intriguing to me was the man’s wife, this mother of eight, who was completely content in this lifestyle. I, personally, don’t get it. I realize that my life will change dramatically in a few months, and that my primary role will be that of “Mother” for the rest of my life. But I enjoy my career immensely, too, and I strongly doubt I would be content solely with raising children and keeping house. I don’t even want to think about health issues this poor woman may face in the coming years, either.
So, in a nutshell, no, the QuiverFull Movement definitely isn’t for me. Maybe if the infant mortality rate was still as high as it was in Biblical times, or if we lived on a farm and needed all the hands we could get to help tend to the livestock and crops, I would feel different. In fact, I’m sure I would. After all, I like kids – and my pregnancy has actually been quite enjoyable most of the time. But the world is severely overpopulated (except in Germany, where the government is actually paying people to have kids), the public education system in (the vast majority of) the United States is terrible, and technology has made it possible for us to do more with fewer people. I want to offer my children the very best life they can have without becoming burdens ourselves to an already failing system, just as my parents did for me. I think planning anything less than that for them is unfair.
But then again, I don’t really have high hopes that my son will become an Evangelical Christian minister, either, so…