Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Part 7 - Boys Room

Resourcefulness vs. Wastefulness – Wise use of that which others would normally overlook or discard (Luke 16:10) – Bill Gothard

by RazingRuth

Six boys in one room and me, sitting like a princess, in my canopy bed. If that’s not a recipe for jealousy, then I don’t know what is.

My parents would often go to little “retreats” put on by the QF/ATI crowd wherein they’d discuss the practical issues of living QF. How do you fit seven children in a house built for five people max? How do you feed your quiver? How do you clothe your brood? In the beginning, the answer usually involved the patriarch finding a way to make more money or the matriarch finding a way to start a home-based craft business.

For my mom, it was sewing up respectable and “delicately modest” nightgowns for “delicately modest” women. This was before the internet days, so it was all word of mouth and internal referrals. This was before the Jim Sammons seminars, so while we lived frugal by necessity, it hadn’t become the mantra that would keep us all in worn out hand-me-downs and ratty shoes,…yet. So, mother also made our clothes. This income provided the reconstruction of the boys room.

Until this point, the five “older” (non-infant) boys shared two double beds that were shoved into the room. They barely fit, which meant that there was essentially one, room-sized bed. Mom appealed to my father to change it because, as it was, she and the boys couldn’t ‘use’ the bedroom to move around in or store anything (like clothes).

To enhance her chances of getting him to do something about the boys’ room, mom offered to fund the endeavor by dedicating one month of her earnings to it. She made $135 (this was back in the day when $135 would go pretty far). Father prayed about it and sought advice from his council of fathers and agreed.


A few of my father’s friends came by and they got to work. They built triple bunks out of pine. The lowest bunk was just low enough to fit a milk crate under. Then the question arose: how can we afford mattresses for these boys? Someone suggested my mother buy egg crate foam rolls and cut them to size. The only egg crate foam mom could find was smaller in width than a twin bed, so the men cut the bunks to fit the egg crate. The result was, really, a series of stacked stretchers on either wall of the room, with a window in the middle.

Mom did her best to make that room look cheery, but it always reminded me of an army barracks. She consulted my father on colors and he chose khaki and green – so that didn’t help. Mom made removable covers for the egg crate and pillow cases to match. The boys didn’t use sheets, just sleeping bags or blankets.

Until the infant (at that point, it was Luke) was old enough to use the bunks, he slept in a very small, portable crib (not a pack-and-play) that they used in hotels. The crib was shoved under the window. The men also bolted milk crates to the end slats of the bed, where the boys were to store their socks and underwear, so that there was room in the closet for the clothes and precious few toys they owned.

This is what quiverful is about. Have as many kids as you can and accomodate them in the sparsest means possible! Because, unless you are independently wealthy, or have a television show, you can’t keep up with the exspense of so many children. Creativity is a bonus, but not entirely necessary.

38 comments:

  1. I'm sorry, but that is just so bleak. I'm not saying that children need huge rooms all to themselves or designer clothes, but if you have no place to put more children, and no money to clothe them and give them at least a few toys, you have no business having more children. Period.

    Personal Failure (who keeps getting kicked out of her login for some reason.)

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  2. My parents were frugal before frugal was cool (I spent EVERY summer working like a field hand in our acre plus size garden) but my parents felt that every child should have their own space. I had a pretty pink room with a canopy room. One year mom let me pick out my favorite color for the walls and I got this awesome green color. My room looked like a Delta zeta sorority house for years.

    It's sad that the personality striping begins at birth for these families. You don't own anything, your room is a bunk and there is no personal expression in clothes and style. I guess that helps with the brainwashing.

    There simply is no joy in this lifestyle. My college dorm room sounds much nicer. I guess you eventually had to share with all the little girls that eventually came.

    What did you think of the Frugal one who shall not be named's design a room contest for the closet/utility room?

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  3. wow that does sound bleak

    www.mommyoffaith19.blogspot.com

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  4. that's just insanity.......it would have made more sense to convert the garage (if you had one) or at least let the boys have the master bedroom and your parents take their room.

    One thing that always bugged me about the QF families I knew (long b4 I ever read your blog) is that 95% of the time the dads did not have lucrative careers, did not make very good $, were somewhat lazy, and did not help out a lot at home. I personally, always thought that if a family was going to be QF the dad had better be willing to work hard to earn a decent living for the family...and be willing to be involved with his kids (I do know one QF family with a good hard working involved dad)...

    it also stinks that your mom had to supplement the income....as if having baby after baby and homeschooling and caring for the house weren't enough work in and of itself.

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  5. Amen to everyone you posted, Rebekah! My mum grew up in the Depression, one of 8, PLUS boarders to supplement income. The difference - no choice! The men and women,my grandparents, simply astound me with their work ethic and perserverance. They did the best they could.
    Your poor mother must have been exhausted but your father allowed no choices...ugh.

    Jean

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  6. oops! that should have been everything not everyone. Get your glasses on, Jean

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  7. Ruth
    Does the ATI/Gothard movement strongly encourage (require?) financial donations to the movement? To support ATI? I have never read about members being coerced to send in funds or face threat of "support." I'm wondering if this was your experience with it. If all of ATI's families are so poor, who is supporting all this? Or are the richest families at the top of the foodchain, in positions of authority, keeping it going?

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  8. Both of my parents grew up during hard times in the 1920's and 30's. Both grew up Catholic, as did I. My father came from a family of 7 children, and my mother is one of 9. Their homes were small compared to those of today. They ate simply with what was available and wore hand-me-down until they were thread-bare. They both have fond memories of this growing up, but had no desire to repeat the same lifestyle with their own children if they didn't have to.

    I remember asking my mother when I was around 13 why I didn't have more brothers and sisters (I am one of three) since the Catholic church says no birth control. My mother said if the Catholic church wants to pay to clothe, feed, house, and send nine children to college, she would be happy to have them. She told me that no matter what the church said, God gave us a brain and we have to use it to do what is best for our families.

    Things were different when my parents were growing up than they are today. You are at a disadvantage with out proper education compared to your peers. I don't think my parents were treated as objects by their parents, but the impression I get from many QF families is that children are used to keep up with the QF-Joneses.

    Thanks for sharing your story! I really enjoy your blog.

    Signed,

    pam

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  9. What an utterly depressing childhood. Actually, "childhood" isn't appropriate for what you've described; your brothers appear to have come into existence and been given the opportunity to continue that existence. Childhood means growing and learning and hopefully doing so in a loving, warm environment. Obviously that environment is never going to be "perfect," but it sure as hell ought to be less sparse and clinical than barracks with egg crates. How hideous...

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  10. Pam,
    Your mom is a smart lady.

    Cynthia, I never really thought about it that way before:

    "It's sad that the personality striping begins at birth for these families. You don't own anything, your room is a bunk and there is no personal expression in clothes and style. I guess that helps with the brainwashing."

    Indeed.

    My husband is going through a really hard time coming to terms with the issues of his fundamentalist upbringing. I guess that is opening my eyes to how hard it is on little boys as well as little girls. So sad.

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  11. This is off-topic for this post- and maybe you have previously answered this- but do you have a good relationship with your grandparents? I know that they weren't very happy about your mom having so many children.

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  12. Tee, her grandparents are not living.

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  13. What stuck out to me was that your mom, whose job it is to take care of the kids and home, did not even feel comfortable making a decision on a paint color. And, that your dad had to pray over the decision with other men and elders about if he should redo the boys room or not.

    What happened to the wife and husband praying together and making a decision? If your mom was in charge of the house, why didn't she decorate the room like she wanted? Did she even have a say?

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  14. Your poor brothers. Yes there are children in this country and all over the world living in worst conditions, but that does not make crowding your children into too small quarters any less wrong.

    I am reminded of the Bates Remodel on TLC (as well as the Duggars before they moved into the big house). The Bates had their children cramped in those TINY rooms that would not have passed an inspection from the fire department.

    I agree with sj339sta- if the home was your Mother's domain, why could she not paint/redecorate as she saw fit? Or why did your parents not give the boys their master bedroom and take the smaller one?

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  15. Ruth, I recently found your blog and have read the whole thing. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's been very eye-opening for me to read how something that seems like what is merely one interpretation of the Bible can really be twisted so, so far the wrong way. Anyway I just wanted to tell you I am praying for you as you learn to stand on your own. I hope you are able to know Jesus as he really is and not be turned off from Christianity altogether.
    I also hope you are finally feeling better after all your illness and surgery!

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  16. Hi Ruth,

    I just found your blog tonight. I have been doing research on the Gothard and Vision Forum organizations to see if they were a good fit for my family for several months now. I am an christian, African American, homeschooling mom. I have been very interested in this movement but have been hesitant because of the "love the confederacy" feel of the vision forum website. While looking at the ATI website, there are several African Americans pictured (past conferences) and I was hopeful that that was a sign that my concerns were over the top. I even located a black woman who had been involved in the Detroit meetings (about 20 years ago) and knew Mr. Gothard personally to get her perspective on IBLP. Through your story, I know see that racism is the least of the concerns I should be worried about with IBLP, QF, or Vision Forum. I do admire the Godly principles set forth by all of these organizations and see that used in the way they are advertised they would be a good thing for a family. This is probably what attracts many christians to these organizations. I can see now how easy it would be to fall into a performance based mind set and for fear of embarrassment and shunning be afraid to get out. I do want to thank you for your candidness in explaining your story. I would have never gained access to this very much needed information without you and others who have gained freedom in Christ, shining the light so that well meaning parents, like myself, wouldn't walk into bondange. So, I have a question for you. In your opinion, now that you are able to explore on your own, What ministries that advertise this way of life as their goal (conservative christian), minister to families without trying to place them in bondage? Maybe other bloggers have some suggestions as well!

    Thanks,
    Mrs. H

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  17. What a harrowing story. It's nearly impossible for me, having grown up middle class with just one brother, to imagine anyone taking on this lifestyle of their own free will. But I guess that's part of fundamentalism: trying to eradicate free will.

    Very brave of you to tell your story. All the best to you and yours.

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  18. Wow. Just...wow. Ruth, I do thank you for sharing so much with us. I have learned from you. You are an amazing woman. Please continue to share your life, we can all benefit from your experiences.

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  19. I'm curious when I read these stories of kids not having mattresses, did they complain? I guess they weren't allowed to. Because my children are getting older and they whined and moaned about their 11 year old mattresses to the point where we finally replaced them. Not with anything fancy (149 at Costco), but something new. I can see where small children would be content with basically a foam pad, but older kids are heavier and will be more uncomfortable.

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  20. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have to wonder if at any point your mother considered not having more kids in her own head. I just know that it is easy to become in tune with your body and to know when it is a fertile time. She just seems like she was so overwhelmed. I guess even if she did have these feelings, she would never act on them.

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  21. I wish that you would not generalize everyone that claims 'quiverfull' like this. Many MANY families that 'accept God's blessings as He gives them' do not live this way. I don't know ANY families that live like that! Every 'quiverfull' family I know would be horrified at such thoughts.

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  22. Anonymous,

    I don't think Ruth ever implied that EVERY QF family lives like that. She is relating HER QF experiences as SHE knew them. And it IS HER BLOG. If YOU don't know any QF families that lived like hers. Through most of my teen and young adult years, I was an AVID babysitter. I babysat for ALL KINDS of families (christian, mormon, secular, rich, poor.....etc. etc)..including some QF families. The ones I PERSONALLY had experience with lived pretty much like Ruth describes.

    I do know some QF families from a messageboard I'm on, though, that nurture their children very well and wouldn't dream of acting as Ruth's family did.

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  23. Meant to say,

    "If you don't know any QF families that lived like hers, that's great."

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  24. I understand that this is her blog. I think her father sounds like a control freak jerk, to be quite honest. Sadly, there are men out there that are just like that. :( They are in every religion, belief system, etc.

    A true Christian(meaning someone who truly follows the teachings of Jesus Christ) would not act in such a despicable manner.

    The reason that I said I wished she would not generalize was that she specifically stated "This is what quiverful is about. Have as many kids as you can and accomodate them in the sparsest means possible!"

    I was simply saying 'Please don't lump all people that believe in accepting all the blessings (children) that God wants to give in one group. We aren't all like that!' b/c her statement made it seem that we all are like that.

    Incidentally, my dh and I do NOT claim the 'quiverfull' title b/c of people like Ruth's father, and b/c we think that it is a decision between each couple and God, and what others do is none of our business.

    We have 6 children, and God willing will have several more. I do think a family can be happy in a small home. A small home can be beautifully decorated and nicely organized. It doesn't have to be the way she described. I sincerely wish you could be around some of the lovely families I've met who are nothing like the way you've grown up Ruth. :(

    Love Mrs P

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  25. Oh, meant to add:

    We do not have a lot of money, but we also have very little debt (no credit cards, only vehicle and mortgage debt). Because of this, we were able to purchase a nice home that is over 3000 sq ft. this last year, in preparation for having more children. However, before this, we lived in two small homes.

    A 900 sq ft home with 3 and then 4 children. It was hard, but doable.
    and then a 1200 sq ft home with 4, then 5, then briefly with 6 children. That home was laid out nicely and had lots of storage, so it did not seem cramped.

    Mrs P

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  26. Hello Ruth,
    I just wanted to say that I have been reading this blog for a while and it has made me really want to get some things of my own out. I wish that my shrink had suggested something like this to me! I just wanted to thank you for being brave enough to do this and spreading the courage around to some of us.

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  27. At anonymous- if you're not quiverful, how can you say that you know it's NOT the way Ruth says it is. You're looking at it from the outside in (as you're not IN it, by your own admission). Ruth's looked at it from the inside. Furthermore, anonymous, go back and read this journal from beginning to end. Ruth makes it very clear that she's not speaking for all quiverful families.

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  28. To the anonymous mom of six:

    This is an honest question and not an attack. Do you think you can really provide all the attention that a child needs when you have so many of them? I ask as one of three children.

    I think what Ruth is trying to say is that her parents pushed out a lot of puppies, and then dropped the responsibility of taking care of them on her, at a very young age.

    If you feel god wants you to have as many kids as you can, do you plan on taking care of all of them, or subjugating your daughters into the nanny/fake mom role?

    The sad thing about QF families is that the kids get lost in the crowd and the parents don't really provide material or emotional needs. How can you realistically expect to intimately know all those kids?


    That's my main gripe with these large families. It denies kids attentive parenting and strips away any individuality they might acquire.

    How far along are you into the QF movement? Are you recent converts? Did you start out using ATI, which I think is the way they hook unsuspecting sheep into the cult. Do you follow Gothard's brainwashing?

    I don't know if you were one of the 100 or so charter families, but Ruth appears to have parents deeply involved in the movement. You might not have the same experiences if you are new to the herd or if you aren't deeply involved.

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  29. Cynthia,

    We are not ATI. Many 'quiverfullers' are not ATI and abhor the way so many people have turned it into a cult type movement.

    My husband and I do not want to join ATI because we do not agree with all their beliefs, and we do not want to join an organization that takes so much authority over our family.

    However I do know several ATI families, and they do not live as Ruth has described, and no quiverfull family I know livew that way. I have no doubt that there *are* such families in the ATI movement and the quiverfull movement though.

    We do believe in accepting God's blessings. For us, it's more about asking God what His will is, and wanting to know whether *He* wants us to have more children or not. If I were to have serious health issues, we would pray about that and make a decision with God's help.

    My oldest three(girls, ages 12, 9, and 7) go to a very small private school at our church (there are only 7 children in the school), so I am home with the three youngest children (boys, ages 5, 3 and 1) alone all day.

    I would call us an 'old fashioned' large family. Think early 1930s-1950s type large farm family. (like both my parents grew up in--with 6 children in my mom's family and 7 in my father's) Children back then were absolutely required to work harder than most children are now. My children do not work all day and usually have several hours of play time daily. We play board games, listen to books on tape/cd, sing songs, read aloud, play outside together, etc. We dont' watch tv, play video games etc. We have fun the 'old fashioned' way. I do watch the Duggars' show when I get the chance. Hubby enjoys a ball game here and there on tv. Kids enjoy watching those two things as well, plus the *occasional* old cartoon or movie(parent approved)



    My children are always anxious for us to have more children. I've already been asked 'when can we have another one, and can it be a girl next time?' several times since the baby (who is nearly 1) was 6 months old.

    Incidentally, my boys will be expected to wash dishes, mop, vaccum, scrub toilets, wash clothes, learn to cook(their dad is a better cook than I am any way! LOL), etc. just like the girls do.

    Really, I think our children get ample attention and have lots of fun. Our family is together much of the time (all evening after school and all day Fri-Sundays), we just enjoy one another so much.

    The odds of us having as many children as the Duggars are not high. I do not get 'fertile' again as quickly as Michlle Duggar does. We've been married nearly 13 yrs, and have 6 children. We have not used birth control in that time. We generally have a baby every 2 to 2 and a half years. Given my age, if we were to continue to have a baby every 2 yrs til I was say, 44, we'd have 6 or 7 more. Several of our children would be grown at that point,a nd likely either in Bible college or married. (yes we do Bible college for our girls too if they desire to go)

    Remember not every large family is alike. Many people had large families for hundreds of years and it was the 'norm'. There's nothing wrong with someone having a small family if that is God's will, and nothing wrong with a large one if that is what He desires. We firmly believe *no child* is an 'accident' and that He plans each and every one.

    Mrs P

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  30. Thank you for answering that Mrs P. My question was a bit more brusque than I had intended, as I tend to type quickly at work.

    I do appreciate that you and your family and following your own plan and not that of a larger organization. If you and your hubby want a large family and can support and nurture them, rock on! I do believe everyone has a calling in life, which is why I'm a big fan of Ruth's. I realized at a young age that my calling did not involve children, and I'm lucky that my family supports that and my many four legged friends as "grandpuppies". I would not like anyone to suggest that I have children any more than you'd like to be told to not have children.

    My family is fairly old fashion. My grandmother was one of 9 children and my parents would have had several more if my mom hadn't had such a hard time getting pregnant. It would have been a travesty if my mom couldn't have kids, because she's the best mom in the world.

    It's good that all your children are sharing household responsibilities equally. I could probably handle the duggars better if the boys ever did anything around the house. I detest the gender roles they promote because all kids should grow up knowing how to cook or clean. And of course, the lack of education kills me. I'm not totally against homeschooling but I worry that there's going to be a generation of kids who were taught by parents who weren't very good students. I also believe that interacting with people with different beliefs help kids gain appreciation for their core values.

    I didn't mean to offend you with my pointed dislike of some of the extreme QF families. I'm glad that you and your husband have the family you desire. Thank you for sharing so much information!

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  31. Just FYI: my kids were homeschooled until the last year. My younger ones are still doing preschool and Kindergarten at home. Homeschooling can be wonderful. Any parent with a decent high school education, a good library and some teacher's manuals to help out on the tough stuff can do a great job if they work hard at it. There are many online curriculums (like Switched On Schoolhouse, which the Duggars use for their 3rd grade and up children) as well, which takes the burden of teachign off the parents, and makes them simply supervisors.

    I really think that the Duggars do a lot more than most people think they do. My own inlaws had similar thoughts about us, b/c we were very chaotic and not doing our normal daily routine while we had guests in our house. My husband had to explain that the children were going wild because of the company, all the extra sugar, and outings, etc and could not manage to settle down and do work with my neice interrupting them, with trying to show 'Grandma and Papa' what we had learned, and 'see how we do this' etc.

    I do agree that Ruth's household as she has described it sounds like a little bit of h*ll on earth for her :( and that makes me sad for her and for her parents and siblings who are missing the joyfulness of a happy home and happy children.

    I do pray for Ruth(her safety and peace with God) and also for her parents (that they would follow GOD not man made rules and regulations, and be reconciled to their daughter whom they have hurt so much.) You'd think they would realize with several of their children having left ATI as Ruth states in her latest post, something is not working.

    I'm not saying ALL ATI families are bad. I think some of them 'eat the meat and spit out the bones' so to speak, and take what is good for their family and leave the rest.

    And I wasn't offended. :) I don't mind talking about our lifestyle at all. I love our life! I love having lots of children and love being a stay at home mom and working hard to be a great wife to my wonderful, hard working husband. I know that I could do nothing without Jesus, and He is my strength and my joy. He is the reason I am happy to do what I do. Jesus is not the problem in these families. The problem is when they take their focus OFF Him and begin worrying about following man made rules.

    Not that rules are not good things. Standards are good, and we have some for our family that we believe God has led us to have. That does not mean that we look down on others who do not share our convictions. Perhaps God led them a different way. My job is simply to obey what God tells me to do, and share my faith with others as He leads me to.
    Mrs P

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  32. Good post, Ruth. I think you really summed up the lack of identity that QFing thrusts on the kids.

    Well done. :)

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  33. Apparently poverty is next to Godliness.

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  34. I'm glad Mrs. P posted.

    Ruth, I feel such deep sympathy for you, and I think I have a little ability to relate as my family spent some time in a religious cult. Your childhood sounds horrendous and your dad sounds like a terrifying, mentally ill (or evil) man. :( I've always thought Bill Gothard was just...weird. I'm iffy on Vision Forum. Having married an African (there I go, not conforming to stereotype!) I have a very hard time with people who pine for "the good old days" when my marriage would have been illegal!

    I don't know when "Quiverfull" was co-opted by ATI. :( When I first heard of it, it was just a simple way to relate a person's view that children are a blessing and their rejection of cultural standards that "2 is enough" etc. A reference to a Bible verse, not a manual of stringent lifestyle rules. Both my husband and I had individually reached this point in our youth, long before we met, and were thrilled to finally meet someone who didn't think we were nuts. Over the years we've met many families who agree with us on this one point of belief but who differ with us on many others. They range from Old Order Mennonites to theologically progressive Christians, even a few "green" non-Christians who think birth control is anti-nature. :D They are vibrant, interesting, loving, peaceful families and their children are not suppressed or beaten into dull submission. The women are not depressed or incapable of independent thought, and the men are not lazy "macho" jerks. They have not looked down on our smaller family as "less blessed" because they are serious (and so are we) when they say it's up to God, and not us, to determine the size of our families.

    There is no denying that there are families in existance like Ruth's. I've met some of them too. But just like big families vary greatly on other beliefs, so do abusive families. QF is a tiny minority and cannot possibly account for all the abuse in the world, even if all QF families were abusive, which they aren't. There are people in every religion, and some with no religion, who light upon some point of belief or theory and use it to serve themselves and pump up their ego to the detriment of others.

    I think this blog is great and should continue. Evil should be exposed and confronted. It makes me cringe, though, to find myself and others I know to be wonderful people being painted over as the broad brush of generalization passes by.

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  35. Not all QF/Ezzo/Gothard/Pearl/Dobson/Botkin/Above Rubies/Complemtarian et al families are abusive ... but these legalistic doctrines ARE abusive and they take people who would otherwise be reasonably flawed, normal, run of the mill people who would otherwise muddle through life (and if they hit abuse or dysfunction, would call for outside help) and turn them into systematic emotional, spiritual and physical abusers. In all these circles, the work of grace and simple human kindness is at work to mitigate the effects of a doctrine mired in the hatred of women and the devaluing of children, and a suspicious, accusatory and defensive attitude towards them which only a 'chain of command' authority hierarchy can protect against. The other danger is that when kindly, rational, reasonable, balanced people are influenced by these toxic doctrines, they look pretty decent and balanced compared to utter psychos like darth vater and the staunch patriarchs who reek misogyny from every pore. So, because we look pretty good compared to the Pearls or the folk who beat their kid to death following this doctinre, we don't fully appreciate how much this 'yeast of the Pharisees' is actually affecting our thought processes, interactions, dynamics, relationships, attitudes - we look pretty moderate compared to the extremists. So we don't see that subtle whiffs of self-righteousness or legalism or judgement might be seeping into the dough of our Daily Bread ...
    You should see what happens when this erroneous religious counterfeit is exported to the mission field - take all that Ruth is describing, through in some missionary-style poverty and a missional zeal to convert ALL other women into Righteous Godly Women a la Darth Vater and Kay ... and you have an very ugly mess, some deeply wounded and broken women and a fair few nervous breakdowns and marriage breakdowns. Not to mention battered kids.

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  36. Maybe tml i will go g2k at tamp mall to walk around, and and im so going to uniqlo to look for uniqlo all stars t-shirt!! american homeschooling | online high school

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  37. "Anonymous said...

    Not all QF/Ezzo/Gothard/Pearl/Dobson/Botkin/Above Rubies/Complemtarian et al families are abusive ... but these legalistic doctrines ARE abusive and they take people who would otherwise be reasonably flawed, normal, run of the mill people who would otherwise muddle through life (and if they hit abuse or dysfunction, would call for outside help) and turn them into systematic emotional, spiritual and physical abusers."

    THIS POSTER IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. I have heard so many complimentarians and conservatives try to explain to me that the abuse I experienced in my family was "not what God intended in his perfect plan of submission." They try to tell me that these people like Ruth's parents and like my father somehow "got it wrong" or didn't love enough or weren't reading the Bible correctly about the hierarchical patterns. They try to tell me that if I could just see a truly loving family and marriage rooted in the complimentarian plan I would see how wonderful it is and how perfectly it solves all problems.

    But they don't see. They don't see what I see. They don't see the rot and hate and oppression and lack of grace and equality and freedom (which we all hold in the eyes of our Creator) which lies at the root of these beliefs. Yes, they may be able to be staved off with a lot of love and common sense (so many of these compliementarians are in name only and actually practice a very robust egalitarian lifestyle); a tree can live a long time with its roots and heartwood being, but eventually it will succumb. Perhaps not in that generation, but in another where a small-minded, insecure, power-hungery abuser is seeking the justification for his desire to control his surroundings. If we lay the groundwork for the weak and lowly to have no voice except what their supposedly beneficent superior gives them, we sentence them to bondage and destruction when that superior is corrupt. Let us rather give all a voice and all the safety to speak their truth. For it is only in the speaking of the truth and the refusal to hide it under any cover despite protests of ruined reputations and the shaming of a religious group or system or Christ himself, that the Truth shall set all free.

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  38. Correction:

    ...a tree can live a long time with its roots and heartwood being [eaten by worms and disease], but eventually it will succumb.

    ReplyDelete

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