Quivering Daughters – Hillary McFarland Warns Against Quiverfull


We build fences to keep ourselves from committing certain sins. Soon these fences – instead of the sins they were designed to guard against- become the issue. We elevate our rules to the level of God’s commandments. “ Jerry Bridges





Vyckie Garrison, an escapee from the Quiverfull Movement (QF), has created a website which she describes as “a gathering place for women escaping and recovering from spiritual abuse”. She appropriately calls it No Longer Quivering.

If you have not yet read Vyckie’s testimony posted on exChristians.net and here at TWW, we hope you will take the time to read how Vyckie renounced her faith. It will give you a glimpse into the dark side of the Quiverfull Movement.

Shortly after we began blogging, Dee and I wrote a number of posts about the Quiverfull Movement. Several times we have focused on the Duggars, who are the QF poster family. For background reading, we highly recommend our article entitled “Quiverfull Daughters Versus Quivering Daughters” 


In this article we introduced our readers to Hillary McFarland who, like Vyckie, escaped from QF. Hillary began her Quivering Daughters blog shortly before we wrote about her. At the time she was beginning a book about her experience in the QF Movement, and it has now been published.

At the conclusion of her November 21, 2010 post, Vyckie Garrison recommends Hillary’s book which is aptly titled Quivering Daughters: Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy. It is being offered on Amazon 

Brenda King wrote this thoughtful review of Hillary’s book on Amazon


“Quivering Daughters–Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy is a sobering work born from deep emotional and spiritual wounds. Despite her own patriarchy-inflicted scars, Hillary McFarland presents the subject with remarkable clarity and grace.

The author explains what today's Christian patriarchy movement is and how it came about. There are numerous first hand accounts–including her own–of living a lifestyle of shame, spiritual manipulation, and emotional abuse. But the overall tone of the book is hopeful and compassionate, focusing on helping girls and women damaged by such a lifestyle discover Truth, find their voice, and follow their Lord.

Quivering Daughters was intensely thought provoking, prompting a re-examination of ideas I had accepted as fact about Christian womanhood. I highly recommend this book.”


Those families involved in the Quiverfull Movement (like the Duggars) attempt to portray a lifestyle of love and obedience to God and to each other; however, there is mounting evidence that not all QF offspring are content with their circumstances. Here is another book review posted on Amazon that deeply concerns us.

From a heart of Grace, August 29, 2010

A Kid's Review
This review is from: Quivering Daughters (Paperback)

“I began reading Hillary's blog early in 2010 after my older sister ran away from home (literally). My dad had always threatened to drag us back home by the hair (if necessary) and I considered that "normal."

After reading a couple articles, I was crying so hard I had to wait until the next day to read more. Everything she said was like an arrow into my heart. Her real and direct way of talking. The grace and love that exudes from every word– it was like I was waking up from 19 years of drugged sleep.

I could not read the book straight through, I had to put it down for a couple of days because it was so overwhelming for me. Almost everything she said…it was like she had been living alongside me. I rate it as one of the most influential books I have ever read.

For all the low-raters out there– I know what it means to have the 7th (and 8th) child laid in my arms and feeling so upset, even though I was more of a mother to them than my mom sometimes. I remember crying for hours because my mom told me I was not being a good caretaker for #8. I wrote in my diary (and later repented for being so angry) about how he was MY baby, and she had no right to tell me I was not being a good mother to him.
I remember being given the nickname "huffy" because I would sigh when I was asked to do (another) chore, or cook dinner, or fold everyone's laundry.

I still have trouble with a guy washing dishes. I feel guilty and have to restrain myself from getting up and telling him that I will do it and he can go sit down. I feel guilty initiating a conversation. I feel guilty when I read a version of the Bible that is not the NKJV. When people talk about family, I draw a blank. It means almost nothing to me. 

Hillary's book was the first step of my healing. I pray that many, many other girls who have been wounded will find it just as amazing and helpful.”


Hillary McFarland includes the following statements in a disclaimer on her blog:

“I talk about the "daughters of patriarchy." "Quiverfull" daughters. Homeschoolers. Stay-at-home daughters. Biblical patriarchy and patriocentricity. Authoritarianism. Spiritual and emotional abuse. Even though I address these demographics, nowhere do I state, nor do I believe, that ALL Quiverfull, patriarchal, or homeschooling families feature these issues of abuse. If you are a daughter from a Quiverfull, patriarchal, homeschooling family that does not feature these serious issues, please, please pray for our sisters in the Faith who are ~ for even if you don't see or know them, there are many, and I believe the numbers are rising.”


As most of our readers know, Dee and I have focused much attention on various kinds of abuse in Christendom, particularly spiritual abuse. We, too, are concerned that some of our sisters in Christ caught up in Patriarchy and the Quiverfull Movement may be victims of abuse. 


Lydia's Corner: Exodus 8:1-9:35 Matthew 19:13-30 Psalm 24:1-10 Proverbs 6:1-5



Quivering Daughters – Hillary McFarland Warns Against Quiverfull — 2 Comments

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    My dear friend, Cindy, sent me this book to read. I must admit I was shocked. It was NOT what I expected. Hillary is not out to destroy anyone with this book. She loves and honors her parents more than most would having been raised in such legalism. Hillary has risen above all of this and her book is chocked full of LOVE, GRACE and MERCY. I am honored to call her a sister in Christ.

    In fact, I believe this book is a real threat to the patriarches because Hillary’s message is grounded in love and truth.

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    I am so grateful for Cindy because her Patriarchy presentation that drew the ire of the modern day patriarchs is one of the important resources that opened my eyes to this destructive movement. Please thank her for me the next time you talk with her.

    I agree that Hillary speaks out against the Quiverfull Movement in a respectful way. That speaks volumes about her godly character.