Nov 13th 2009 By Susan Johnston
These days it's practically trendy to have lots of kids. Look at Brangelina. Or the Duggars. But a recent episode of WEtv's "Secret Lives of Women" focuses on the Quiverfull movement and shows the darker side of big, Quiverfull families.
As Kathryn Joyce, author of Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, reveals in the episode, the movement began in the 1980s as a reaction to feminism. "Good" Christian women, many of them in the home-schooling community, embraced homemaking as their highest calling and left family planning in God's hands.
Says Rachel Scott, a mother of eight and grandmother of one who was featured in the episode, "I believe conceiving children and giving birth is an act of worship. You're submitting to God's goal for the planet and God's goal for you as a woman." She adds that women should submit to men, in her opinion.
But not all Quiverfull mothers are happy being submissive to God and their husbands. Although Vyckie Garrison was involved in the movement for 14 years, she divorced her husband and left the Quiverfull movement after her daughter attempted suicide.
"That was not part of what we had signed up for when we got into the whole Quiverfull belief," she explains in the episode. "We were a godly family. We were doing things God's way."
Garrison says that after that wake-up call, she apologized to her kids for putting God, her husband and the Quiverfull movement ahead of herself and her children. "Now I'm gonna put you guys first," she promised.
So who's right? Well, perhaps Garrison puts it best when she says, "there is no one-size-fits-all model" for families.