A Christian movement advocating for large families, viewing children as blessings from God, and promoting traditional gender roles.
Founded: Late 20th century
Location: Primarily in the United States
Other Names: Christian Patriarchy Movement, Full Quiver Movement
Introduction and Ideology
The Quiverfull movement is a contemporary Christian ideology that emerged in the United States during the late 20th century. It derives its name from Psalm 127:3-5 in the Bible, where children are compared to “arrows in the hand of a warrior.” Followers of this movement view procreation as a central role for married couples, rejecting birth control and advocating for large families as an expression of their faith.
Core Beliefs and Practices
Key beliefs of the Quiverfull movement include the sovereignty of God over family planning, the sanctity of human life, and the importance of raising children in a Christian environment. Adherents believe that God will provide the necessary resources for all the children He gives them and that these children will play a part in advancing Christianity.
The movement places a strong emphasis on traditional gender roles. Men are generally seen as the heads of the household and primary breadwinners, while women are encouraged to embrace homemaking and child-rearing as their divine calling.
The Quiverfull movement is grounded in a conservative interpretation of Christianity. It draws inspiration from evangelical and fundamentalist teachings, emphasizing the literal interpretation of the Bible. The movement is not tied to a specific denomination, but it intersects with various conservative Protestant groups.
Social and Cultural Context
The Quiverfull movement can be seen as a reaction to modern secular trends, including feminism, the sexual revolution, and the widespread acceptance of birth control. Adherents often advocate for a return to what they view as biblical principles governing family and society.
Criticism and Controversy
The Quiverfull movement has faced criticism from both secular and religious communities. Critics argue that the movement’s strict views on procreation and gender roles can lead to a devaluation of women’s autonomy and can put physical and financial strain on families. There are also concerns about the potential for isolation and lack of proper education for children in large Quiverfull families, as homeschooling is common among adherents.
Influence and Demographics
While the exact number of individuals or families involved in the Quiverfull movement is difficult to determine, it has had a noticeable presence within certain Christian communities. The movement’s ideas have been disseminated through Christian media, books, and conferences, influencing a broader audience within conservative Christian circles.