Show & Tell: A"Quiverfull" of Great Finds

First off, we've been buying fresh produce and organic cheeses at the Dallas Farmers' Market, and lo and behold, I looked down, and check out the label on our organic mozzerella (sorry it's a blurry picture!). It strikes me as funny that I've been reading about and considering the issues surrounding birth control, and then come to find out I'm buying my cheese from "Full Quiver Farms" (this is GREAT FIND #1 in today's show & tell extravaganza).

(For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about regarding my own struggle through the birth control issue, you may want to read some of my previous posts about Christians & birth control:
Who You Calling a Liar?, Birth Controlled, and The High Stakes of Determining God's Will Regarding Birth Control. And FYI, I'm still not solidly in one "camp" or another, but I'm definitely searching the scriptures and the counsel of wise and godly people on this important family issue.)

GREAT FIND #2: Here is a VERY insightful and well-thought-out dialogue about Christians and birth control, written by one of my favorite authors & teachers, Randy Alcorn. Written as though it's a conversation between two friends, one of whom is very open to any birth control, and the other who is (basically) a quiverfuller, I believe you'll find it interesting to examine this issue from many different angles as Alcorn does in this article.

GREAT FIND #3: If you don't know what the quiverfull movement is, here is a video of a fairly balanced ABCNews segment specifically focused on this growing movement (incidentally, it's hosted by Martin Bashir, the man who did the infamous Michael Jackson interview).

GREAT FIND #4: A journalist peers into the lives of quiverfull moms, particularly in light of the Andrea Yates tragedy, in order to see the real day-to-day issues that come up as a mom of a large family. Her interviews of many different moms reveals perspectives and misperceptions that people have about the quiverfull movement.

GREAT FIND #5: One quiverfull mom writes a thoughtful response to a letter written to her husband which reprimanded him, saying, "Mr Phillips, Stop Having Children!"

GREAT FIND #6: This well-written thought-provoking article, called "Imagine," will challenge you to see children and family in a much more eternal perspective.

GREAT FIND #7: Another favorite author, Elizabeth Elliot, writes a great letter addressed to young moms who may not understand their mother's hesitancy to rejoice in each additional pregnancy. It begins, "When I learned that my daughter Valerie was expecting number five, my insides tied themselves in knots."

Where do I find my own conviction in the midst of all these opinions?, you may be asking. Here's what I've come to, thus far: the Bible certainly puts children in positive terms (as a blessing, an inheritance, and a gift), and so if we ever find ourselves viewing children in a negative way, we are not having a biblical perspective. It could be that a worldly "lie" has snuck into our worldview, or it could be that we are not operating our family and home according to biblical principles. But whenever we start seeing children as burdens rather than blessings (even in our day-to-day interactions with our kiddos), we can be sure that "somethin ain't right!"

Additionally, one of the primary biblical purposes for marriage IS having children, so if you are considering marriage, being open to children is a part of that. If you say, "well, I'm ready for marriage but not for children," then you are not seeing it from a realistic (nor a biblical) viewpoint. Though you may think you can "prevent" against children, there are way too many people I know that have conceived while actively using contraception of various kinds.

I do think that if you compare the church's views on these things today with what the church believed 100 years ago, it is evident that we have taken on more of the world's perspective on this issue than we would like to admit. It was not until the Planned Parenthood mentality (that children are to be prevented and it's *right* to do so) became pervasive that Christians began openly and unapologetically using birth control. It is not coincidental that the rise of a society that devalues children has happened alongside the rise of the church's devaluing of children.

Generally speaking, these are the things I've learned on this issue so far. I have so much more I could share, but so many things I'm considering and thinking of fall under the realm of "personal conviction and thoughts." I hope you if you haven't already clicked on some of them, you'll scroll back up and pick out one of these "Show & Tell" finds to read!


The Humble Housewife said...

What a great post! I believe that birth control makes no difference, as I was on it when both my children were conceived! God has a plan and sees the bigger picture I think, and that's why I have two beautiful little girls to thank him for! :-)

Kim said...

This is such an interesting topic. I was discussing it with a friend after her second baby was born (incidentally, she just had her third, and already talks about the "next one." I know at one point they "wanted" five, but she was also really researching the quiver-full movement. Anyway). Her sister was very much convicted of this - and actually referencing the 1 Corinthians 7 verses (mentioned in the Randy Alcorn article), said that she didn't feel that abstaining, even for the ovulation part of her cycle, was biblical - that if she and her husband wanted to have sex, birth control was not a biblical reason to abstain.


All that to say that in the discussion with my friend, she said (something to the effect of), "Obviously the birth control issue is not black and white. But when people who are pro-birth control look at me, they have no grounds to say I am wrong. I can point out flaws in their argument, but they will be hard pressed to find flaws in mine." And that has stuck with me. Taking God at His Word means that you never have to worry about finding flaws in your argument.

Just thought I'd share. I hope this makes sense! Thanks for sharing these articles.

Bobbie Diaz said...

Hi Jess
I also love Full Quiver Farms cheese. I know the owners personally, Mike and Debbie Sams. I also love drinking their raw milk, so much better for you. A few ladies from our church drive out to their farm in Kemp to get milk, cheese, eggs, chicken and pork sausage. All without the use of hormones.


Jess said...

Bobbie, what are you doing up so late? :)

Jess said...

And Kim, Thanks for sharing! I love to hear from other women that are thinking about this, even if it's second-hand! :) And you're right... to me, so far, in my reading of Scripture, I'd be hard-pressed to find even one example where limiting family size is acceptable or held up as good. But there are countless examples in Scripture that show that the fruit of the womb (not to be confused with Fruit of the Loom)is a blessing, that children are a gift, and that it is a good thing to have innumerable children (think of the examples of stars, grains of sand, fruit on a vine).

So, yeah. I don't think the Scripture spells it out, but I'm beginning to think that it's not so that we can find justification to weasle our way OUT of having children, but because there are Christians in the world today who are socially unable to have as many as they would like (think of politically-persecuted Christians around the world). That's something I've been tossing around lately. What do you think?

Jess said...

Hi Humble Housewife!
Glad to see you around here again! You are so right about God having a bigger plan. And while I do hold a high view of God's sovereignty (that He is in control and governing all things at all times), I also believe that He chooses to work through natural, ordered laws that He put into place.

Someone put it this way: if I put my children in front of a car, God *is powerful enough* to undo the laws of gravity and enable them to float up just long enough to be out of the way of the car and save their lives. Of course He is. But it is not likely that He will choose to. There are miraculous events, and times that He is willing to work outside of natural laws. But those are the exception.

The truth is, He may from time to time cause someone to be pregnant even while they are avoiding it (like you on b.c., or my friends who last year got pregnant about 7 months after having a vasectomy), but most of the time, He works within the natural parameters He put into place.
Have you ever seen that lists of how many geniuses and world-renown VIPs (composers, authors, heads of state, etc) were born 4th or after in their families? People like Mozart and the like. It's very fascinating. It makes me wonder how many incredible people we're missing out on these days.

Sorry to ramble, just thinking through all these things right alongside you. Any additional thoughts?

Bobbie Diaz said...

Hi Jess
When the kids are asleep, is the only time I have to myself. Since they are little nightowls, It's always late.

I forgot to mention in my last post, the Sams, have 9 kids, a real quiverfull.


Danielle said...

Hi Jess,

I just wanted to say thanks for posting the link on the Elizabeth Elliot post. We just told my parents about our upcoming 7th baby last night, and it wasn't easy. It was nice to hear the mother's perspective a little.


Rebekah said...

I've just recently discovered your blog, and I must say it is so nice to find another woman who is studying this issue. Within my own circle of family and friends I never felt brave enough to mention my thoughts on it for fear that they would think I was crazy. Like you I've not determined I'm on one side or the other, although if I had to choose one I'd be on the "quiverfull" side of the fence. My husband and I had 3 children, and we had both decided we were "done" (although we didn't use any prescribed form of birth control). I suddenly found myself desiring another child, but I didn't mention this growing desire to my husband at first. I also starting reading about the quiverfull movement and finding great joy in the fact that yes, it is o.k. and biblical to think of more than 2 children as a blessing! I've been amazed to find that even among christians it's not as easy as one would think to find likeminded people. Anyway, I decided to pray and give my desire to the Lord, trusting that if this desire was from Him he would take care of the details(detail #1- changing my husbands mind). I specifically remember being on my knees and giving God my desire to carry life inside of me again. I prayed for His will and kept it to myself for quite a while, and then one day I decided to tell my husband what I was feeling. Amazingly, he said he would like to try to have another baby! God had taken care of detail #1!! The life of my 4th child began the very week that we could attempt to get pregnant. God is so good!! And sometimes, he does move rather quickly! I was thrilled. She is now 14 months old and a wonderful little blessing from God.
Thanks for posting about this topic and giving me the opportunity to praise God for His goodness.
God bless,

Sheila said...

Hi, all. Thanks for another thought-provoking post! The "birth control" issue is something that I'm very passionate about - God is in control, always was, should still be! I don't think it should have ever been an issue to even discuss. If we completely and fully trust God, having sex with our husbands would never have to be with any agenda, fruitful or not. How we view God's sovereignty and HOW WE VIEW CHILDREN play the key roles in how we're going to view this BC issue, as has already pretty much been stated. (BTW, I have five children, the youngest being five months old now, and I'm getting the itch already. God has actually given me a desire for more, when I didn't have it with just one or two!)