Now of course, not everyone who holds these beliefs actually claims the term “Christian Patriarchy” or “Quiverfull.” My parents certainly didn’t. What matters is not the name that is claimed, but the beliefs – the beliefs outlined above.My parents were originally fairly ordinary evangelicals.
They began homeschooling for secular reasons, and then, through homeschool friends, homeschool conferences, and homeschool publications, they were drawn into the world of Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull. For those who are already fundamentalists or evangelicals, like my parents, the transition is smooth and almost natural.I learned that a woman is always under male authority, first her father, then her husband, and perhaps, someday, her son.I was told that children are always a blessing, and that it was imperative to raise up quivers full of warriors for Christ, equipped to take back the culture and restore it to its Christian foundations.Christian Patriarchy involves the patriarchal gender roles and heirarchical family structure, while Quiverfull refers to the belief that children are always a blessing and that big families are mandatory for those following God’s will (some eschew birth control altogether).While these two belief sets are generally held in common, they can technically exist separately.Deep within America, beyond your typical evangelicals and run of the mill fundamentalists, nurtured within the homeschool movement and growing by the day, are the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements. I learned that women are to be homemakers while men are to be protectors and providers.
I was taught that a woman should not have a career, but should rather keep the home and raise the children and submit to her husband, who was her god-given head and authority.
I learned that homeschooling is the only godly way to raise children, because to send them to public school is to turn a child over to the government and the secular humanists.
I was taught that children must be trained up in the way they should go every minute of every day.
Suddenly, almost without realizing it, they are birthing their eight or ninth child and pushing their daughters toward homemaking and away from any thought of a career.
Why are these movements so enticing to evangelical and fundamentalist homeschoolers? Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull offer the enticing image of the perfect family and the promise that you can make a difference and change the world, raising up an army for Christ, without ever leaving your home.
Organizations like Vision Forum and No Greater Joy promise parents perfect families in very explicit terms.