Be Fruitful and Multiply-Mantra of the Quiverfull Movement

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them."
Psalm 127:3-5 



There's a movement afoot in certain Christian circles, and it's GROWING right before our very eyes!  It's called the QUIVERFULL MOVEMENT, and those who are a part of it take Psalm 127:3-5 LITERALLY.  What is a "quiver" anyway?   It's a case for carrying or holding arrows. 


We only became aware of this movement last fall; however, Nightline investigated the Quiverfull Movement over two years ago.  Here's their informative video clip — "Be Fruitful and Multiply:  Should religion be a guideline in family planning” — which we encourage you to watch.


The transcript from the broadcast is provided at this link:


Newsweek was on top of the Quiverfull Movement way back in 2006 when it published a web exclusive entitled:  How Full Is Your Quiver?"  You can read this interesting article at the following link:


The article begins as follows:

"It's hardly a typical scene from the suburbs. The Bortel home outside San Antonio, Tex., counts 12 members—parents David and Suzanne and their 10 children, ranging from 13 months to 15 (the 20-year-old married and moved away)—all crammed into a four-bedroom house that trembles constantly with activity. Everything revolves around the home: Dad works there, the kids are schooled there, the youngest three were born there. The family uses a 15-passenger van to get around, and at night, the kids climb into multiple sets of bunk beds.

David and Suzanne hear the same questions repeatedly. So for the record: No, they're not Catholic. Yes, they've heard of birth control. And no, they're not crazy. In fact, they'd happily welcome a twelfth child. 'It's about obedience to God,' says David, 38. 'The Bible says that God is the only opener and closer of the womb.'  The Bortels form part of the 'quiverfull' movement, a small but growing conservative Protestant group that eschews all forms of birth control and believes that family planning is exclusively God's domain." 



The Quiverfull Movement, which most likely began when homeschooling was legalized several decades ago, has been relatively obscure until recent years.  The Duggars, at 18 children and counting, have their own reality show and serve as the poster family for the movement. 


Here's an interesting excerpt from the above Newsweek article:

"Beyond such purists, the anti-birth control message appears to be gaining ground among some evangelicals. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has become one of its most prominent advocates. "If a couple sees children as an imposition, as something to be vaccinated against, like an illness, that betrays a deeply erroneous understanding of marriage and children," says Mohler. "Children should be seen as good by default."

His stance isn't as extreme as that of quiverfull followers; for instance, he condones the use of condoms for married couples in extreme circumstances, like illness. Still, Mohler's views are considered "an oddity" in mainstream Baptist circles, according to Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Land admits, however, that Mohler has certainly expanded his following. "He is seen as the popularizer of a position that is still very marginal, but 15 years ago, it wouldn't have even been discussed," says Land, adding that he knows of at least two former students who had reverse vasectomies after hearing Mohler's arguments." 


Kathryn Joyce, who conducted extensive research on the quiverfull movement and published her findings in a newly released book, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, wrote a web exclusive for Newsweek just last March entitled "Extreme Motherhood", which can be found at this link:


Here's an excerpt from the article:

“Since 1985, Quiverfull has been thriving in the Southern and Sunbelt states.  Although the conviction of “letting God plan your family” is not an official doctrine in many churches, there are signs of acceptance in high places; the Rev. Albert Mohler, Theological Seminary president of the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention, argued, for example, that deliberate childlessness was “moral rebellion” against God.


While researching my book, “Quiverfull:  Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement,” I spoke with dozens of women who follow the Quiverfull conviction.  I also met a handful who had left the movement and now denounce the lifestyle as one of unceasing labor and exhaustion – a near-constant cycle of pregnancy, childbirth and the care of small children – for the women at its center.”

Here’s a broadcast on National Public Radio that reflects how the secular world looks at the Quiverfull Movement:

We are also providing a link to the transcript of the NPR audio broadcast:

We plan to do an exhaustive analysis of the Quiverfull Movement over the next week or so, and as background for what we will be discussing, please be sure to check out each of the sources we have provided so that you will be well-informed.

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