Tuesday, January 26, 2010

49 Character Qualities of Ruth - Part 3


This entry is part 3 of 2 in the series The 49 Character Qualities of Ruth
Discernment vs. Judgment – The God-given ability to understand why things happen (I Samuel 16:7)

by RazingRuth

Two babies in ten months. Samuel came three weeks early. That was my mother’s introduction to parenting. I’m sure she must’ve been over-whelmed. With my father starting to travel on occasion, I’m sure she was lonely. But she had her church friends and they were quick to prop her up when she needed it. They assured her that feeling lonely was normal, but that she should commit herself to prayer and supporting God’s will. Still, when Samuel was six months old, mom admits that she cried when her doctor called to tell her she was expecting again. This next baby would be the third in as many calender years. How would she tell her mother, my grandmother, that she was pregnant again so soon?

The call was made by my father. My grandfather picked up the extension line at my grandmother’s command. What transpired between my father and my grandparents would begin a decade of bad blood. My grandparents did not approve of their daughter being a brood mare. They’d raised her to be more than that. Three babies, so quickly, was ‘asking for trouble’. Little did they know that this was just the beginning.

They pleaded with my father to “see reason” and maybe “take care of the situation” and give my mother a rest. My grandfather suggested a vasectomy. My father made him aware that that was an unacceptable option. My grandmother asked if they could hire a nanny for my mother. My father said he would pray about it. It turns out a nanny wasn’t part of God’s plan and mom was starting to think she might be able to handle three – especially if the third was a girl.

Mom wanted that girl and she made her wishes known. She prayed for it. She began sewing a layette for a little girl. Pretty pick bows and ruffles, with white eyelet flounces. As the due date came nearer, she made the mistake of telling a friend how desperately she wanted a little girl. That friend chastized her for such a “selfish desire”. This “friend” told my mother that she should give it to God and appreciate any blessing he gave her. When she told my father about this friend’s reaction, she was shocked to find out that my father agreed. This was the first “big fight” of their marriage and it became an ATI mission story. My mother couldn’t believe that her husband thought she was selfish. She couldn’t believe that God would be offended by her desire to have a girl. My father accused her of being petty and not trusting in the Lord.

The story goes that my mother said that she the sex of the child would be the answer. If God gave her a son, she’d know that she’d been ’selfish’. If she had a girl, it would be a sign that God had heard her prayers and honored her. In the story, the husband counsels his wife and carefully admonishes her for not trusting the Lord by giving him a challenge to answer. In reality, my father told my mother that a boy would be proof of his “rightness” and her sign to submit to his judgement. When my brother, the third boy, was born, he looked at my mother and said, “See. God knew what was best for you.”


  1. I have mixed feelings about individuals hoping for certain genders. Given my short life experience, I believe that a healthy child, no matter what sex, is what a couple expecting should hope for. Realistically we live in a gendered world, where male children are often valued more highly than female children.

    Historically women have been blamed for the birth of girl babies when in reality it is the male that determines a child's sex, and female offspring have been deemed "not good enough" or "less than" male babies. I know this logic was not your Mother's, who no doubt loved her 3rd child just as much as the first two and did not few her 3rd son as "less than" because he lacked ovaries.

    Despite my mixed feelings on people who wish for a certain sex, if you have two of one sex, hoping your 3rd child is of the sex not represented seems reasonable.

    I do think it was cruel for your father to use the sex of baby 3 as an example of his "rightness"- it was a 50% chance either way! Something tells me if your Mother had desired another SON your father would not have made such a challenge.......

    Thank you for sharing with us Ruth.

  2. Ruth, my heart really goes out to your grandparents. It must be heartbreaking to see your daughter get sucked in to a cultish movement where she is epected to pop out a new baby every year.
    You are a very talented story teller and I really enjoy your blog!

  3. I think it's amazing how strong a mental influence this group exerts on people. I can't imagine what your grandparents must think. They raised and educated a daughter only to see her fall under such different views. The mind control exhibited is so close to a cult that it's hard to see it as a religion. I'm not very religious, so it's hard for me to understand a force so great I'd stop talking to my mom.

    I think you have a great gift for story telling, Ruth. I hope you continue to write things and that you explore writing in school. You are VERY talented.

  4. Ugh. The worst part of the REAL story is that your father was openly championing himself; he didn't even try to hide it behind God.

    I love this series, btw. It's painful and wrenching but necessary.

  5. Your posts are amazing. Bless you for being who you are now.

    Ruth, there is a new Duggar Forum you might like http://duggarsanonymous.netboards.org/admin/index.php?sid=f225c9a27aa72ccb602eda1b07afb4e5
    I think what you posted on the TWoP forums was so useful to understanding Gothardism. Love the tip jar. I'll be helping out next month.

  6. I have been following you for a while. I give you huge kudos for being where you are today. It takes a lot of courage. I just can't understand the fundie way of thinking probably because I was raised to be an independant woman who should "take care of herself" because you never know. I have a wonderful husband and twin daughters and a great life. That being said, I so wanted boys. I wanted 2 boys and cried when I found out I was having girls. I adore my girls and wouldn't trade them for anything, but have no problems stating how I wanted boys. Oh, and the tip jar is great. Good for you.

  7. Reading about your father makes me sick. If there was a god, I think he'd be the one to be punished in the end.

    Are your grandparents still alive? If so, what do they think of your extricating yourself from that lifestyle?

  8. Your dad is quite the narcissist, eh?


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