militant fecundity vs children as a blessing ~ understanding the quiverfull movement, part one

There has been much recent discussion regarding the quiverfull movement and its relationship to dominionism since the Duggar family announced the impending birth of their 20th child.  Last week I reintroduced this analysis of the militant fecundity teachings and since then I have had several people request podcast notes from the series I offered on this topic.  This is part one and I pray you will find it helpful.

 

A few years ago Clay and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a three day trip to Chicago, part of which was admiring the amazing architecture for which the city is noted.  Towering above every building in the city, except the Sears Tower, the 100 story John Hancock building stands as an impressive symbol of creativity and commerce in the very heart of Chicago.  One afternoon we rode the elevator to the 94th floor observation deck where we enjoyed a panoramic view of the city and Lake Michigan’s shore line dozens of miles to both the north and south.  We marveled at how far across the lake we could see ships coming in to port and were mesmerized by the endless stream of traffic in all directions.

Later that evening after dinner, we thought it would be fun to return to the Hancock observation deck and take in the city at night, a site that proved to be even more spectacular as entire buildings became jeweled boxes and the streets below were transformed into sparkling snakes as cars and trains meandered in all directions.  As we stood looking out at the vast expanse of light and darkness, we were amazed at how different the city seemed in the darkness.  Lake Michigan that had spread out before us commanding its presence be known in the middle of the day was now nonexistent, replaced by the gaudy trappings of Navy Pier’s carnival atmosphere.  The tiny parks and grassy places of respite from the concrete city could no longer be seen and were now filled with thousands of small twinkle lights in the trees, little stars in the vastness of a black hole.  It was stunning to see the same place from two such different and unique perspectives and it was almost too much to take in, to process what we were seeing.

This week as I share with you some of my thoughts on the concept of militant fecundity and as I contrast and compare it to the Biblical concept of seeing children as a blessing, I am reminded of that experience in the Hancock Observatory, two views that are very much the same thing and yet, they are so very different, depending on the perspective one has. And since this is such a large and multi faceted topic, I will not be examining every aspect but rather have chosen ones that I believe will be helpful for homeschooling mothers as they sort through the various issues regarding bearing children and family size.

I was not familiar with the phrase “militant fecundity” until about a year ago when I read a piece written by Pastor Scott Brown who is a leader at the National Center for Integrated Churches as well as one of the leaders within the patriocentric movement.  He used the phrase in discussing the reasons couples ought to purposefully have large families and specifically addressed the problem of under population in the United States with its birth rate of 1.8 children per family.  Not long after that I began to research this topic because I was seeing this phrase being embraced and widely promoted in many blog articles written by homeschooling mothers and being discussed in online forums and in support groups for homeschoolers.  In fact, what really got my attention was stumbling across a Café Press site where you could purchase t-shirts, totebags, coffee mugs, onesies for babies, and boxer shorts for their dads emblazoned with the phrase “militant fecundity.”  It was obvious that the concept and phrase, as well as a general attitude, was now considered mainstream by some homeschoolers.

So what does militant fecundity actually mean?  If we take the two words and define them we end up with some interesting insights that, I believe, help us understand the attitudes behind this phrase and the motivations for using it as well.

The word fecundity is pretty straight forward.  According to the 1828 edition of Noah Webster’s Dictionary, fecundity is “fruitfulness, the quality of producing fruit, fertility, the power of bringing forth in abundance, impregnated.  It implies, and some people in this movement even define it, as a young woman who is capable of producing off-spring having as many babies as possible starting as early as possible to do so.  In some circles, 20 by 40 is the goal, that is, having 20 children by the time you are 40 years of age.

I can remember one of my sons relaying an interesting story about an acquaintance of his who had the goal of meeting just such a fecundant woman.  He was in a group with several friends, many of whom were young ladies in their early twenties, and they weren’t all that impressed, feeling like breeding stock being sized up for purchase.  To add icing on his cake, he concluded his soliloquy by saying “did you know it is true that you can have one a year?”  Needless to say, that young man is still single while most of those young women have since married more intelligent and thoughtful young men and are now having their own babies.

The word militant, also according to Webster’s 1828, means fighting, combating, and serving as a soldier and is associated with warfare and defeating enemies, all of the things we would picture related to that word.  But here is an interesting insight from Noah Webster under the word militant that I think gives clarity to its use among some evangelical homeschoolers:  The church militant, which is a phrase that historically means the church on earth today, is supposed to be engaged in a constant warfare against its enemies, thus distinguished from the church triumphant or the church in heaven. So when we bring the two words, militant and fecundity together, we get one of the key reasons for the phrase, that of having a large family on earth so as to wage warfare here on earth against the enemies of God.

One of the key passages of Scripture that is often cited by those who profess militant fecundity is Psalm 127 that says  “ Unless the LORD builds the house,  its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city,  the watchmen stand guard in vain.  In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.  Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”

I have always loved this passage of Scripture, the rich imagery of a man who is ready to do battle with the enemy and I can imagine sharpening the arrows, preparing them for battle, which, I believe that we are called to do, that is, prepare our children for defeating God’s enemy.  But, the imagery I see in the New Testament and under the new covenant that we now have because of Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, is one of seeing our children, not as the weapons themselves needed to defeat anyone or anything that comes against God, but rather, as our brothers and sisters in Christ who stand beside us in battle using the weapons of warfare that we are all now commanded to use: Listen to this instruction from the Lord in Ephesians 6:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord……Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

What I see Paul saying, what I believe the Holy Spirit is teaching us in this passage, is that we are to see our children as warriors who fight alongside of us using the weapons God has given all of us and that we are to train them to use those weapons, to embrace truth, righteousness through Jesus blood, faith, salvation, the power of God’s word, and to always be prepared to present the message of the Gospel to others, being always alert and in prayer. And, being sure that we do not exasperate our children in the process, making sure they are prepared as believers and that they understand and embrace their tremendous value to the Lord and their purpose as bringing glory to Him.

Another aspect of militant fecundity that is also related to this is the notion that we are building an earthly Kingdom for God rather than filling heaven with the souls who have been evangelized by preaching the Gospel.  In John 18:36, Jesus warned his disciples saying: “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”  What he said was beyond comprehension to the natural man and even to those who had witnessed his miracles; it must have made little sense.  How could Jesus build his kingdom, even if it were from another place?   But later, Jesus appeared to the 11 remaining disciples after the resurrection and explained it to them:  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus’ plan for building his kingdom is by presenting the Gospel message far and wide, even telling them how to do it as he did in Acts 1, to proclaim it “ in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  You see, His plan is to build His heavenly kingdom by saving those who are lost in their sins and bringing them into the light of salvation.  And he told his disciples to begin first with those closest to them and then spreading out to proclaim the Gospel to all nations.

I see militant fecundity standing in stark contrast to Jesus’ words, as having a different agenda, that of building earthly kingdoms by militantly and combatively having as many children as possible.  As I was trying to piece this puzzle together, wondering where this notion of militant fecundity was coming from, I came across two interesting articles that helped me gain understanding.  The first was one written by Stephan Beck who is making a case for militant fecundity for those who are concerned about the downward spiral of morality in this nation.  First he quotes author David B. Hart who offers this solution:

“Probably the most subversive and effective strategy we might undertake would be one of militant fecundity: abundant, relentless, exuberant, and defiant childbearing. Given the reluctance of modern men and women to be fruitful and multiply, it would not be difficult, surely, for the devout to accomplish in no more than a generation or two a demographic revolution. Such a course is quite radical, admittedly, and contrary to the spirit of the age, but that is rather the point, after all. It would mean often forgoing certain material advantages, and forfeiting a great deal of our leisure; it would often prove difficult to sustain a two-career family or to be certain of a lavish retirement. But if it is a war we want, we should not recoil from sacrifice.”

Mr. Beck then goes on to quote a New York Times article written by David Brooks who informs us that this is already happening.  “All across the industrialized world, birthrates are falling – in Western Europe, in Canada and in many regions of the United States. People are marrying later and having fewer kids. But spread around this country, and concentrated in certain areas, the natalists defy these trends. They are having three, four or more kids. Their personal identity is defined by parenthood. They are more spiritually, emotionally and physically invested in their homes than in any other sphere of life, having concluded that parenthood is the most enriching and elevating thing they can do. Very often they have sacrificed pleasures like sophisticated movies, restaurant dining and foreign travel, let alone competitive careers and disposable income, for the sake of their parental calling.

Then Mr. Beck concludes with this statement “And it must be said, there are worse ways to go about the business of saving civilization.”  He is painting a picture that the solution for immorality and the fall of this nation is having more children, thus building a new culture.

I then came across what I believe is one of the missing puzzle pieces to understanding the push for militant fecundity within the modern evangelical homeschooling movement when I discovered a series of articles from 1999 and 2000 quoting the founder of the Heritage Foundation, Paul Weyrich.  Mr. Weirich had declared that “politics itself had failed” saying that the people who had once called themselves the moral majority should drop out of this culture and find places where we can live godly, righteous and sober lives.”  His message set off a firestorm and caused many evangelicals who had spent decades trying to have political influence to publicly renounce him, the Family Research Council to run ads on 200 radio stations to counteract Weirich’s statement, and Gary Bauer who was running for president, to call his views silly.  But, weighing in in support of Paul Weirich was Howard Phillips, the head of the Conservative Caucus, the US Taxpayers party candidate for president in 1996 and the father of Vision Forum president Doug Phillips.  In essence, Doug Phillips’ father was calling for the creation of a new culture, perhaps a culture that has its own family integrated churches, its own film festival, its own radio personalities and is populated with homeschoolers who embrace the Old Testament law, a culture where there would need to be many children in order to exert dominion. It was at that point that I remembered a quote by Doug Phillips’ mentor, Pastor Scott Brown, the one whom I first heard use the phrase militant fecundity, that “the goal of a man should be to bring glory to his earthly father” and all of this began to make more sense to me.

Christian author Cal Thomas who was one of the founders of the Moral Majority and has since renounced his own involvement with the group, states that the core focus of any ministry ought to be “preaching the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ, unencumbered by the allures of the political kingdoms of this world, because that is where the greatest power lies to transform lives and ultimately nations.”  And then of those who have worked to build their earthly kingdoms, Thomas says this “the reconciling message they used to preach has been obscured by the crass pursuit of the golden ring of political power.  In the end, they got neither the power, nor the kingdom, only the glory and even that is now fading.”

The second puzzle piece in understanding the goals and influence of the militant fecundity mindset is to realize that to these people, bearing and raising children has a salvitic nature itself and that women, in order to be saved, either eternally or in this life, must bear children. The text that is referred to is 1 Timothy 2:15 that states:  “But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”  While the main focus of this podcast is not on exegeting thus passage of Scripture I think it is important to note that the majority of those who promote militant fecundity would hold to the interpretation that this Scripture is teaching that women will be saved not only by the bearing of children but also by focusing all their attentions on domestic life.  Both Martin Luther and John Calvin held to this view and though Luther was the great advocate for salvation by faith alone as taught in Scripture, he still held to a perspective of this passage that seemed to imply favor with God only for women whose lives centered around motherhood, teaching: “Women, it is held, will be spiritually saved by adhering to their God-ordained role in the domestic sphere.”

There is also the belief that according to Andreas J. Köstenberger from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, “woman, a weak, gullible creature, should find her natural vocation in a life of domesticity in subordination of her husband.”  In other words, women must have many children and make their lives central to the raising of those children because they are more prone to deception and the busyness of domestic life will keep them out of trouble.

In her book Be Fruitful and Multiply, a book that, in fact, contains many true biblical concepts that I heartily agree with and will be discussing next week, author Nancy Campbell makes this amazing statement:  “ The context of 1 Timothy 2:15 denotes that this is not talking about salvation from sin, but salvation from deception.  Women will be saved from getting into deception and from being lured away from their divine destiny if they continue to walk in the role of motherhood which God planned for them.”  In essence what Mrs. Campbell is saying echoes Mr. Kosteberger’s quote. Sadly, militant fecundity shames women into childbearing by telling them that they will not be acceptable to God if they aren’t fecundant or that they are so weak and gullible that they are a threat to their husbands and children.  Dear sisters, neither of these things are true.  The Bible makes it very clear that the only way to salvation is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, trusting Him alone for salvation. In his letter to Titus, Paul reminded us “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

In part two of this series,  we will continue this discussion as I compare militant fecundity with what the Bible really tells us regarding the blessing of children and motherhood.

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Comments

  1. Heather says

    thank you thank you thank you. As a homeschooling mother with one biological child and two adopted toddlers, I am inundated with this in our group. It is not talked about, but inferred that we should have large families, and raise them to love the Lord. I love many of the women who propose this, but have really struggled with the issue as I grapple with Scripture over it, and because my husband and I struggle with infertility. I await eagerly your next article.

  2. Pressing On says

    Well said. We are first and foremost to be servants of the Lord Jesus, seeking to spread His word and disciple others. There are many callings under that umbrella, and to say that a woman who is not “fecund” is not serving the Lord is unscriptural.

  3. says

    Amen, Thatmom!

    Our church is currently doing Bible studies about the gifts of the Spirit, and discovering your gift.

    None of the gift passages say women’s gifts are childbearing and housekeeping and that, instead of church work, is what she should do. All (not just men)have gifts to build up the congregation. And fecundity is not listed in any of the passages on gifts.

  4. Stephanie says

    I believe the main issue is that these people have the same misunderstanding as the first disciples of Jesus. They thought Jesus was going to save them politically from an oppressive Roman rule. Today so many Christians, and especially those of this “militant fecundity” persuasion, think that we are supposed to save the nation (and world) politically. Nothing could be further from the truth: Jesus came to save us from our own sin and made the final and complete sacrifice that keeps us from being eternally separated from God. What is a political system compared to this? Those in this movement have political views that are not unlike those that the founding fathers of this country fought against. Just as England had a state religion, and if you were not a professing believer in that state religion, you would be discriminated against and even persecuted, this group wants to control people’s actions and legislate what should be personal standards of behaviour. Politically, they do not want freedom, but embrace control. They are no different than those with a more “liberal” political belief; they just differ on what areas of people’s lives should be ruled.

  5. says

    Excellent post. I had never heard the phrase before, but it is not surprising that some Christians have taken it up as their mantra. People can be deceived into believing almost anything, can’t they?

  6. Kelley says

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful article. I just received a VF catalog in the mail yesterday–just in time for Christmas shopping! My first exposure to VF was at this time last year when I–you guessed it–received their catalog in the mail. Since then I have been amazed by their presence in the blogosphere and the crowds around their booth at our state homeschool conference. I’m glad I looked through the new catalog because now VF is selling Lamplighter. I was interested in Lamplighter’s audio dramas for my children for Christmas, but now I’m not so sure. Can you tell me anything about the connection between the two organizations? Thanks again for the information you’re sharing.

  7. says

    Thank you for writing this article! A godly woman needs to help us all out and, once again, your the one (;
    People are so easily deceived and always have been as we’re told and warned from the very beginnings of the church. I think a good bit of this is just another way for people to prove to themselves and others that THEY are the “true”, marrow from joint, Christians. People are so afraid in these times and it takes a strong faith in the trueness of Grace Alone and God’s Sovereignty to not get swept up in the subcultures of Christianity like the quiverfull movement.
    Thank you again.
    Mama

    Dear sisters, neither of these things are true. The Bible makes it very clear that the only way to salvation is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, trusting Him alone for salvation. In his letter to Titus, Paul reminded us “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

  8. says

    I just was introduced to the concept of “militant fecundity” by a friend – when i first heard her utter those words i laughed out loud – then she explained what it was – my first reaction was that it sounded like some skit from SNL – but reality is truly stranger than fiction – i find it terribly sad that there are Christians focused on this as a vehicle for grace.

  9. says

    It’s sad how the only type of woman valued by these groups is the Martha-like character who never stops running around taking care of domestic duties and making sure everyone has enough food.

  10. Red says

    When you do your next post, you might consider talking about fatherhood too.

    Many Christians (and not just those in the Quiverfull movement!) see motherhood as being more intrinsic to a woman’s nature than fatherhood is to a man’s nature. There is a big push to believe in mothers as the “natural” primary caretakers, while fathers get a pat on the back just for chipping in an hour or so of their time to play with the kids in the evening.

    This is far from the Biblical reality. The Bible has just as much to say about fathers as it does about mothers. Sadly, many Christians live as though Mom is the main parent, and Dad is just a part-time helper. This is especially true of the Quiverfull movement, where women are valued only for their fertility and parenting ability, while men are valued for their entire range of personality and skills.

    I hope you’ll have some room in your post to address it. 🙂 I feel it is one of the more unhealthy elements of QF.

    Red

  11. Adam says

    Karen,

    The concept of militant fecundity in my mind is the most tragic element of the radical Christian Patriarchy movement. Faith in God is replaced with faith in the womb, The hope of the gospel is replaced with the hope of the womb. Even in classic postmillenialism, it is the proclamation of the gospel that will bring about the Christianization of the world, but militant fecundity perverts that into the idea that the fruit of the womb will bring about the Christianization of society.

    I would go even stronger and say that militant fecundity is, in essence, a false gospel. Simply being the offspring of a Christian is not enough for the transformation of the heart to occur. Only the God working through his word, the gospel can change the heart, and thus, relying upon the womb rather than the gospel to do this work will always end up in failure or worse, because it places the parent in the position of God to supposedly be able to change the heart of their children simply because they are their children. I have read stories online of just horrible abuse that people had to endure all because of this notion. Many of them are not even Christians anymore. These folks sought conformity to outward standards, but not a transformation of the heart. When what you work for is not an inner transformation of the heart through the gospel, you will do terrible damage.

    This is a hard thing for many parents to hear, but only God can determine whether or not your child will be a believer. You cannot. You can be a faithful follower of God, and teach your children his precepts, but nothing you do can transform the heart of your child; that is up to God. God does not play favorites simply because of the fact that this child or that child is the offspring of a believer. Rightly understood, we all deserve God’s wrath, and while it is hard to see a child live in rebellion to God, we have to remember that, even if your child never knows God, God will use that for his glory, and that is what is most important. It is so hard to think that way, because we love our children and want what is best for them and especially that they believe in Christ, but there are times when you simply have to put them in God’s hands to do what he wants with them, and trust that, although you may be in tears for a season, God’s glory will come out of it.

    Also, I would point out that these folks always abuse Psalm 127 in this regard. The difficulty is that Psalm 127 is imagery. Children are *like* arrows in the hands of a warrior. Even though the term “like” is not found in the next verse, I don’t know of anyone who believes that men have a literal quiver that they put children in like arrows. It is, again, imagery. The verse they try to go to is 5b where it says that they will not be ashamed when they speak to enemies at the gate, and thus, they say that the blessing is that a man who has children will never be ideologically defeated. Aside from the fact that ideology is not under discussion, the important historical point needs to be made that *legal* battles were fought at the gate. Hence, we are dealing here, not with military or ideological battles, but with legal battles. And why would a person with many sons not be ashamed in legal battles? Because he has many people in his family who can vouch for his character, and to take care of the family interests. Lest you think my interpretation of the “gate” as a legal arena is simply a “modernist” “feminized” interpretation of the passage, here is what one very well known sixteenth century reformation commentator had to say:

    5. They shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate. Here Solomon describes such children as, distinguished by uprightness and integrity, have no hesitation in rendering an account of their life, that they may shut the mouths of the malevolent and of calumniators. In ancient times, as is well known, judicial assemblies. were held at the gates of cities. He therefore here speaks of the gate, as if in the present day one should speak of the bench, or the courts, or the senate. Let it be observed that what is chiefly praised in children is innocence, that fathers may estimate this grace at its true value. In the preceding clause he had compared children endued with virtue and excellence of nature to arrows. Now, that no man may put a violent construction upon this comparison, as if it were intended to give children leave, like robbers, to rush upon doing mischief to such as come in their way, reckless of right and wrong, he expressly represents virtue and moral integrity as constituting the protection which they ought to afford to their fathers. He teaches us, then, that the children which we ought to wish for, are not such as may violently oppress the wretched and suffering, or overreach others by craft and deceit, or accumulate great riches by unlawful means, or acquire for themselves tyrannical authority, but such as will practice uprightness, and be willing to live in obedience to the laws, and prepared to render an account of their life. Farther, although fathers ought diligently to form their children under a system of holy discipline, yet let them remember that they will never succeed in attaining the object aimed at, save by the pure and special grace of God. Solomon also tacitly intimates that however zealously we may be devoted to the practice of integrity, we shall never be without detractors and slanderers; for if integrity of life were exempt from all calumny, we would have no quarrel with our enemies. [Calvin, John. Commentary on the Psalms. Volume 5.]

    While I don’t agree with Calvin that the antecedent of “they” in 5b are the “sons,” I especially appreciated Calvin’s statement that “…although fathers ought diligently to form their children under a system of holy discipline, yet let them remember that they will never succeed in attaining the object aimed at, save by the pure and special grace of God.” It is like Calvin is speaking to the militant fecunditists from the grave! They should listen.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  12. Adam says

    I should add one clarification.

    While I believe militant fecundity is a false gospel, I do not think all of the people who believe this are unsaved because many people believe it simply because that is what they have been taught, and haven’t yet seen the contradiction between the view of the gospel that they hold from the Bible, and the view that they have gotten from people who hold this position.

    To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t think that most people see the contradiction. Hence, I believe that some people are just simply inconsistent in trying to hold to militant fecundity and the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

    However, yes, a person who takes militant fecundity to the point where they are manipulating their children, and engaging in some of the abuse that I have read about online then, yes, the people who do these things are holding to a false gospel, and the abuse is simply the out-workings of that false gospel.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  13. HoppyTheToad says

    I agree with Red about dads being considered great for doing the bare minimum, while homeschooling moms in the QF movement have to sacrifice sleep, their health, time alone, exercise, mental stimulation, adult conversation, and their hobbies. I don’t want to be another “zombie” homeschooling mom who’s entire existence seems to revolve around her kids. The men get to continue their hobbies, and if they like their careers, even their passions. Why should the women be expected to give up everything and then left completely depend upon their husbands?

  14. says

    Red,I didn’t touch on that in the original series but will add some thoughts in this one….you are absolutely correct in your observations!

  15. says

    Red said:

    “This is especially true of the Quiverfull movement, where women are valued only for their fertility and parenting ability, while men are valued for their entire range of personality and skills.”

    This x1000. Well said!

  16. says

    I don’t know what to say about militant fecundity other than it repulses me. I simply do not understand how you can reduce children into pawns in a game.

  17. says

    Elin,

    You said:
    “I don’t know what to say about militant fecundity other than it repulses me. I simply do not understand how you can reduce children into pawns in a game.”

    It has a lot to do with how they view “God.” There is a reason the fundamentalism/reformed faith can’t pass their beliefs on to the next generation. Idol’s don’t last very long in God’s Kingdom.

  18. says

    Mr. Jordan,

    Well, it certainly is an honor to have you here! Thank you for the article.

    I wrote a paper explaining a very similar approach to the other side (desire your husband but he shall rule over you) of the curse on the woman. I would love to send it to you for your review.

    I also had one question. If Paul is putting the “pain in childbirth” in a covenantal context, does that mean that curse is completely removed? Or do you believe that physical pain in childbirth is a part of the curse as well.

    Thanks,
    Micah Martin

    BTW, are you going to make it to Ardmore, OK for the debate between Don Preston and Joel McDurmon? I would love to meet you in person.

  19. James Jordan says

    There is no actual “curse” on the woman. Gen. 3:16 says that God will multiply her “grief/vexation/sorrow” in childbearing. I don’t think there would have been physical pain on the wedding night, or in childbirth, apart from sin; so these things are still with the human race until we get new bodies at the resurrection. And, women still die in childbirth. The symbolic aspects of the uncleanness of menstruation and childbirth (Lev. 12, 15), however, are gone in Christ now. Also, the vexation of barrenness (Sarah, Rachel, Hannah) is alleviated now in that the kingdom of God now grows by the genealogy of adoption (baptism), not by a genealogy of blood.

  20. says

    Mr. Jordan,

    But doesn’t procreation and sex stop at the Resurrection? That would mean that the physical aspect of the effects of sin are never reversed in history. Satan succeeds in thwarting God’s plan in that area?

    I am always amazed at how much unquestioned young earth creationist dogma causes people to pick and choose. You clearly see how the curse is reversed because of your non-biological hermeneutic but then you have to add the precepts of Dispensational young earth creationism without any exegesis.

    I totally agree with your last line though. Do you see that as pertaining to the fulfillment of Luke 20:27-40 and the passing away of the Levirate marriage laws?

    Thanks for your time.

    Blessings,
    Micah

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