September 21, 2009 by Stacy McDonald

Which “Quiverfull” Christian Are You?

Print Friendly

“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; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5)

Recently, I was intrigued by a couple of snarky anonymous (unapproved) comments on the quiverfull topic. While such sniper style nastiness is not uncommon on the Internet, it made me think how often we Christians try to “sanitize” similar behavior when someone disagrees with us.

We Christians, especially those of us with strong opinions, seem to have a habit of grabbing onto a truth with the tenacity of a pit bull and forgetting to step back and examine the heart behind it. When we do this, we lose a precious part of the truth we hold so dear, and we fail to communicate anything but our own zeal. I believe, in some ways, this has happened in what has been termed “The Quiverfull Movement.”

Another thing to remember is that conviction is sometimes painful; and people often react to pain in anger. We should be prepared for this with an attitude of mercy and longsuffering. We must respond biblically—with a soft answer (Prov. 15:1).

I’d like to remind us all that if our true desire is to communicate what God has done in our lives, then we need to prove that it is a work of His by the way we respond to one another. If we communicate with arrogance, then our actions are inconsistent with godliness and no matter how “right” we are, we become “wrong.”

And since I would like to do more than “preach to the choir,” I want to be very careful to speak frankly without assuming everyone knows what I mean…know what I mean? Terms are important because they can either communicate or miscommunicate our meaning.

In a few days I’ll be discussing the growing number of “definitions” that have arisen for the word “quiverfull” and why I am becoming more and more inclined to not use the term. Not because I don’t think it’s a valid term; but, since there are a lot of misconceptions out there, I want to be sure I’m communicating what I mean.

So, for starters, I’d like to do an experiment by hosting a poll. In this poll, I have included the names of five fictional women. Each woman claims to view children as a blessing from God. Let’s see how many different perspectives are represented here on this blog.

Please click on the name in the sidebar poll that best reflects your own personal belief regarding Psalm 127:5. The poll wouldn’t allow me to include all the text; so read the choices below, and simply click the “name” in the poll in the sidebar.

Once you click your choice, come back to this post, share your answer, and tell us whether or not you would consider yourself “quiverfull” (by your own definition). Please feel free to share this post/poll with others.

1. Lisa: Lisa believes that the size of one’s family should be surrendered to God—that children are a blessing to be embraced by Christian parents. She trusts that God will equip and provide for her as He blesses her with children, sometimes not before. She understands that it is not simply a matter of giving birth to children (since in reality, that’s the easy part), but it is all about training them up in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6), and relying on Him to provide the measure of strength, wisdom, and provision we will need. It is neither striving to limit pregnancy, nor is it obsessing over conceiving. Lisa has a quiet resolve to trust God completely, and will rely on prayer, wisdom, and discernment as special circumstances arise.

2. Donna: Donne believes that children are a blessing, but that Christians who refuse to ever use birth control are often being reckless. She doesn’t think it’s fair to the children and can’t imagine how a family with more than a few children could possibly nurture each child properly. She believes couples should use wisdom and only have the number of children they can clearly afford.

3. Carolyn: Carolyn agrees with Lisa, but believes that birth control is a good way to take a nice break in between having children.

4. Diane: Diane believes most everything that Lisa believes about the term, but she is adamant that birth control for any reason, in any form is always sinful. She also believes that Christians should attempt to have as many children as they can, either by adoption or by manipulating their bodies in ways that make fertility most likely (early weaning, fertility drugs etc.). While her efforts may wear her out at times, she views this as a mark of godliness and is happy to sacrifice for the Lord.

5. Angela: Angela believes that we should view children as gifts, but that it is up to each couple how many “gifts” they would like to receive, if any at all.

Also, be sure to read Just Another Mouth to Feed

Poll Results:

Lisa
517 (78%)

Donna
24 (3%)

Carolyn
49 (7%)

Diane
1 (0%)

Angela
68 (10%)

Total Votes: 659

A new post is up: “Jesus-full”



Similar Posts:

152 Responses to “Which “Quiverfull” Christian Are You?”

  1. Martha A. says:

    I voted, but I think too there is another one that is similar to "Lisa" It is the Quiverfull christian that 1) would love to have more children but because of serious illness or medication they have to take, it would be dangerous and so they have to prevent having children in a way that does not harm potential children. Or there is the wife who would love more children, but her husband says "no more, if we have more…….." and he has told her they have to do something. It is something that causes her nightmares as she does not feel right about it, yet being disobedient to her husband and having children that are resented by her husband she can't do as well…..and I know some of these women….

    Also, there is the one who is so tired out by pregnancy, nursing, lack of sleep that she is borderline crazy that after awhile, you start to question anything and wonder when you have had 5 pregnancies in 5 years if something is wrong with what you are believing…..

  2. Johanna says:

    I voted for Lisa but I do believe that birth control in any form is sinful. Although I do NOT believe that we should manipulate our bodies to try to have as many children as possible. Nor do I believe that if you don't have "enough" you should adopt! (Unless God is calling you to adopt I think that would be a very bad idea.)
    I believe in following God and trusting in His wisdom in every area of our lives even when it does not make "sense" to do so.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the post.
    Now that our family has increased past the "acceptable" 2.2 children stage, I'm finding it more and more difficult to tell my family whenever we have wonderful "news."
    Of course, they do eventually find out (my mom is very supportive), but when they call to confirm, I find myself having to find respectful ways of keeping the conversation short before they have the chance to say something hurtful.
    This happened about a week ago. I'm very close to term with our latest blessing. An aunt who happens to live a good distance away "called to say 'hi'." Finally she asked, "Now this is what number for you??" I could tell from the tone of her voice what was going to come next. I changed the topic of conversation as quickly and politely as I could and managed to end the call not long after that.
    I just want to respect the older members of my family. But it hurts when people who should be rejoicing are just critical. I mean it's their legacy too!
    But I do feel a little convicted. Does this approach of mine mean that I'm ashamed of God's blessings? I expect my children to respect their elders, but the elders make it so hard when they don't respect (i.e. cherish) the children.

  4. Johanna says:

    (I forgot to answer whether I would consider myself "qiverful" by my own definition in my previous comment.)

    I believe we are quiverful by our definition (similar to Lisa in the examples). We have 2 children on earth and one waiting in heaven. We would be overjoyed if God chose to bless us with another little one (either here or in heaven)but we are content if He chooses not to as well.

  5. madgebaby says:

    I'm wondering if another category, regarding women who have health issues that preclude a larger family. I am of the belief that it is foolhearty for a woman to endanger her health for more pregnancies or closely spaced pregnancies, and that this is a decision that she can only make with her physician and her husband. Some women can have many children with no ill effects, but others have complications or other issues that make this perilous.

  6. mosey says:

    I voted Lisa, but also must explain that I am no longer physically able to have children. We have been blessed with four sons.

    In the grief of giving up the hope of having more children the Lord made His will clear to us that He wished for us to adopt. Had the ability to have our own not been taken away my husband and I truly believe that we would never have made the step forward into the adoption journey, This has been another perspective of placing the size of our family into the Lord's hands as the journey has been long, hard and painful.

    But yet I know that one day we will hold more children in our arms and be equipped moment by moment to raise them up in the Lord which is our deepest desire in having many children!

    We must be so careful those of us who have been blessed with many children to be tender to the hearts of those who have yet to be blessed, to never judge a family by their size with understanding that there may be the deep desire to raise children unto the Lord but yet the womb is closed. The pain that comes in hand with it is unspeakable.

    Thank you Stacy for addressing this issue. It is one that I have studied and wrestled with in great depth… I'm excited to see what you will have to share!

  7. Stacy McDonald says:

    Martha,

    In regards to serious illness or medication:

    "Lisa has a quiet resolve to trust God completely, and will rely on prayer, wisdom, and discernment as special circumstances arise."

  8. Dollie says:

    I didn't see Rebecca on your list, I identify with her the most: Waiting, and waiting, and waiting for blessings to come, never knowing if they will ever happen at all!

    As someone who has done nothing but wish for children and not having any, I would have voted for Lisa, but as a non-mom, I chose to not vote so I wouldn't sway the results!

  9. stephanie says:

    I was not always "quiverfull" minded. This is a new conviction for me that started maybe, 2 or 3 years ago. I had a miscarriage that that caused me to study the topic exhaustively. I am 1 of 2 children and my husband the same. At first I was fixed on having a big family. Now, I realize that it is in God's hands and if He wanted to He could close my womb right now, and I would have to accept and respect that. But if it is His will for us to have more, I want that to be my and my husbands will as well. This goes for all areas of our lives, not just children. Striving to want what God wants and NOT want what God doesn't want.

  10. Stacy McDonald says:

    But Dollie, you are STILL a Lisa if you agree with her beliefs. The point isn't how many children you have (if any), it's your attitude toward having them!!!!

    Is your position an attitude of welcoming what God has for you ("Lord, I'm a willing vessel!")?

  11. Stacy McDonald says:

    “Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord." (Isaiah 54:1)

    While God uses the obedience of Christian couples to train up Covenant children for His glory, He also uses the obedience of single Christians and widows to draw others to Christ by their own powerful testimony of godliness and service.

    Pray: "Lord, make me a willing vessel for your service – whatever You have for me. And give me ears to hear and eyes to see, so that my life might bear fruit for Your glory!"

  12. Gina says:

    I would love to hear how you would address the option that says that you really should only have as many children as you can nurture and afford. I am sure there are moms who would love to have more, but feel they're failing just with the ones they have and feel completely worn out each day, not being able to even think about adding another child to the mix. Also, if one does not have the means to even pay for the birth of another child, how is it responsible or fair to the rest of the children to add to the already taxed financial situation?

  13. shancar says:

    I agree with Lisa, but did not see an option for natural family Planning(NFP) I do not consider this birth control as The Father can easly work around this as he sees fit, but also this allows you to know when a pregnancy occurred. Also man made chemical birth control could be causing many spontaneous abortions and should never be used by any believer!

  14. Angie says:

    I most closely assoiated with Lisa. My problem is that I really feel that there are always rare exceptions. For instnace, I have 3children, and my husband and I are trying to have more by charting my ovulation cycle. Also, I have a friend who has had 6miscarriages/still births and has been told by the doctor that she has a medical issue that keeps her from carrying a baby to term. She charts her ovulation cycle to prevent pregnancy. I don't feel like I can say she is sinful for doing that. Especially since I have seen her greive her lost babies, and I know she deeply wishes she could have a healthy, live baby. I do believe that our attitudes should be that children are a blessing and we should raise them for the Lord.

  15. Anita says:

    This is a tough one for me. I would like to say that I am a Lisa, but we haven't lived that out. We have seven children and except for our first and seventh, planned each pregnancy. I realize, though, that the Lord could have given us more children, even in our disobedience, had he so desired. On the outside, I'm sure we look like a quiverful…with seven children. But our hearts were weak and we prevented pregnancy at times. Does this make sense?

  16. Tammy says:

    I agreed with Lisa. I do believe that I am quiverfull. I have ten children. My youngest is six, almost seven years old. When he was born, I almost bled to death. My midwife suggested that we might not want to have any more children. Since I believe that God is sovereign and no children arrive in this world by accident and choose to act like it by leaving it in his hands, I prayed to him about it. I asked him to close my womb if it was HIS WILL. Nothing else was done to prevent children over the last almost seven years. He has chosen not to send us any more children. I am 49 and have not gone through menopause yet. All of my children are about 2 – 3 years apart. God has obviously granted my request. I have not needed to do anything else. If He chooses to send us another little one, I will accept joyfully even though I have gotten used to being past that season of my life. I would not be fearful because my womb has also had almost seven years to completely heal.

  17. Quinn says:

    I voted for Lisa because I felt her beliefs are what truly exemplifies a "quiverful" mindset. In my opinion, Diane would better be described as practicing militant fecundity than quiverful and as for the others, they seem to be simply acknowledging God as Creator of their children and seem to lack a trust in His Sovereignty in one way or another.

    I have chosen not to dissociate my beliefs from the term quiverful simply because of misconceptions that others have developed about it. I simply find it to be an easy descriptive term for our beliefs. Similarly, I wouldn't dissociate myself from being called a Christian simply because my specific beliefs were at variance with another denomination/ branch of Christianity.

    I think that the single biggest misconception about quiverful is that you have to have a supersized family and that it is entirely possible to have no children at all and still be quiverful. Maybe is truly isn't an issue of QF/or not QF, but the Sovereignty of God.

  18. Ganeida says:

    Hi. I read here sometimes from Tomato Soup. I too voted for Lisa as being closest to the ideal attitude. *Quiverfull* is a heart attitude first & foremost & nothing to do with the actual number of children! We have 5 ~ would have loved more but God certainly knew what he was doing as our youngest is very gifted & our limited resources [time wise as well as financially] are stained to accomodate her training as it is. Our attitude towards children is simply symptomatic of other areas in our walk where we remain unsurrendered.

  19. Kathy says:

    I voted for Lisa. I do consider us quiverful, even when our family was small. Now the Lord has graciously given us adopted children also. I think that sometimes it is just as hard to be quiverful minded when you can't have children, as when the Lord gives you a bunch. You want to jump in and run things your way and try to make it happen rather than giving it up to Him. And even in adoption, sometimes the Lord brings you a situation that you wonder if you can handle, but He has very obviously set this child before you. The choices are in trusting Him with his choice of blessings, or closing that blessing off purposefully. So, quiverful, to me, is not just action, but mindset. It is not at all dependent on numbers of children either, but on how you view God's sovereign actions over your having children and raising them for Him. Giving it up.

  20. Dusty says:

    I voted that I agree the most with Lisa. I do believe that "quiverfull" means allowing God to choose your family size, whether that be no children or many. However, I do agree with certain points elsewhere. I would love to have as many children as God would give me, but my husband believes we shouldn't have any more than one more. To make it even more confusing, he also believes that we should leave it up to God. I also utilize NFP as well, but disagree with the use of chemical birth controls.

  21. Dr. Paleo Ph.D. says:

    For the first time, I wouldn't be mind being called a ladies' name–Lisa, that is. ;-)

    Spencer

  22. Lisa Metzger (A 2nd Generation of Homeschooling) says:

    I am a "real" Lisa who is most closely related to the fictional "Lisa", however I believe that adoption is VITALLY important in the Church. As a mother to 5 biological children and 3 adopted children and a wife to an adoptee, I believe that adoption IS a way to add to your quiver, whether you are able to physically have children or not.

    If God does NOT call you to adopt, He is most definitely calling you to take care of the fatherless (James 1:27). Be open to God's leading to taking in a child who has no one, or at the very least enable someone who is called to do just that (there are so many ways to help adoptive parents and families). And remember, the children who are adopted are not be the only ones benefitting from the "generosity" of open hearts and homes! It is most often that the people opening their hearts and homes who find they are the ones who are most blessed!

    Lisa Metzger
    Helpmeet to Mark, Keeper of Our Home, 2nd Generation Homeschool Mommy to 8 Blessings (5 biological and 3 adopted) and 6 babies in Heaven! Come meet our crew on the web….
    A 2nd Generation of Homeschooling http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/carolinametzgers or
    God's Plan for Families http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/GodsPlanForFamilies

  23. Anonymous says:

    I voted Donna. I wish I could get to the point of Lisa. We use NFP inbetween babies to keep them about two years apart. We want a large family and want to bear children until the Lord says no more.

  24. Ronnie says:

    I voted Lisa, but it is a very hard walk of faith. I must admit that this topic is one that my husband and I talk about often. When the family gets busy – and momma gets older, tired can really set in… so our health and organization has to be a priority. A large family will necessitate living differently than a small family. Most people, even those w/a growing family, don't understand that life will be worked out differently with multiple children – even our house might look different.

    So, the level of faith granted by God is a large determining factor in the ability to handle the changes. There isn't a part of life that isn't affected by a "Quiverfull" decision.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I meant I voted Carolyn! Whoops.

  26. Mom of 2 treasures from the LORD says:

    I will anxiously wait to read the results in the next days and your posts following the poll.

    Stacey, I think the thing that gets me as a Momma with only 2 children is the "apparent judgment" of those whom the LORD blesses with large families! I have found myself gravitating away from quiver full circles b/c of a kind of ostracizing of those that do not have a large family within these camps and certain reformed circles. An almost unspoken extra-biblical precept permeates the atmosphere that large families=holiness or large families=super parenting.

    I know the LORD truly knows the heart of HIS own. I celebrate "for" these large families, but I cannot celebrate "with" them due to the unspoken condemnation and false assumptions.

    Please note, I do not place you in this kind of camp, Stacy. You had an excellent post some time ago on this very issue that I thought was well written.

    My vote is for Lisa, but I place it with a bit pain.

  27. Anonymous says:

    For me I am more like Donna, the only thing I don't agree with is that Christians who don't use birth control are reckless. I would like to be like Lisa but worry about the everyday stuff like having enough time to spend with all of my children and having enough money to raise them. For me it is about overcoming my own shortcomings and having faith in God that he will help me with my shortcomings.

  28. Jenni says:

    I voted for Lisa, because that was the choice that lined up best with my belief system. I do, in fact, believe that using any birth control is sinful. I think that we can trust the Lord completely in this area of our life. He opens and closes the womb. On the other side of the coin, I do not believe in doing things to our bodies that are unnatural in order to have more children. (I.E. in-vitro fertilization). I think that we should show respect to the bodies that the Lord has blessed us with, by being as healthy as possible, and welcoming any and all children that He has for us.

  29. Ronnie says:

    (Stacy, you can add this to the previous post, if you want)

    I would also like to add that when a family has many young children it is hard to keep up with all the craziness – it can tend to make them re-think their convictions and start questioning the reasons why they are letting God control their family size.

    Since our society – and churches – do not have this conviction, many times these mommas desperate for some help are looked on as lazy, uneducated, even stupid and since they've decided to have all those kids, they need to take care of them… instead of searching out ways to minister to the young mom. We don't have extended families living close most of the time, either.

    We need to reach out to these moms and minister to them in practical ways – helping w/housework or babysitting when an appointment comes up. At least giving a smile and encouraging word – much better than shock or disapproval in someone's eyes.

    I'm in a place where I now have older children to help w/some of this load with the younger children. I wish I would have had more support when the older kids were little – we probably wouldn't have had a V and then a reversal.

    God doesn't usually bless us with extra money or a bigger vehicle or a roomy home until we need it – therefore, not before we outgrow what we have – children first. It's in the growing times that we need other Christian's support – the growing pangs can be painful and a definite stretching of our faith.

  30. Martha A. says:

    Thanks, Stacy…..I thought that is what it meant, which is why I voted that I was most like Lisa.

  31. Beth says:

    I voted "Lisa." That is the closest to where my heart is. This is one very important issue to my husband and I as we try to live out our faith and beliefs. It is one area that the Lord has been gently dealing with us over the past 10 years, or so. It isn't always easy, and He is teaching me to take my eyes off of everyone else and live in obedience to Him. I'm one of those ladies who is blessed with many, and I'm blessed often. My fertility will soon come to an end, though, and it will be quite interesting to see what the Lord has in store.

  32. Melissa says:

    What the Lord has taught us over the last several years is that is a fairly complicated issue. Of course it is mostly complicated by the human nature.

    I am beginning to abhor the term "quiverfull." Simply because the ideas behind it seem to have been blemished by some on both sides of the argument.

    Truly I feel this boils down to just a couple of questions.

    What does God's word say about children?

    What does the world say about children?

    What view do I believe to be true?

    Am I personally living out what I believe?

    Followed by a deep look into our own hearts, do determine the following:

    Am I doing this as a means to earn favor with God?

    Am I doing this because I believe it will make me or appear to make me more holy?

    Am I doing this out of love and trust for a Savior that I love, and whom I know loves me beyond all imagination?

    Am I against this because of idols I don't want to lay down? A job, worldly comforts, an image, vacations, ect.

    I don't know, perhaps I am much too simple minded. Once we asked the questions the answers were obvious.

    Ultimately, this is not a question of how many children I have or do not have. It is a question of trusting God, and His wisdom.

    Is He really good all the time?
    Is He really sovereign?
    Do I really trust him?

    Of course, some might say that this is easy for me to say, as one whose eyes were opened too late. The Lord was gracious to me, to show me His vision, bring me to repentance, and restore a right thinking. Were it not for His grace…. He even provided for surgery for physical restoration. However, for this "Lisa" it doesn't mean a house overflowing with children who came to us back to back. It means trusting God with the possibility of not having more children…and being OK with that. It also means trusting God that He might move, and give us more…and being OK with that. Either way, I have learned that I serve an amazing God whose acceptance for me has never nor will it ever be based on my merit, but only on that of His son.

  33. Terry @ Breathing Grace says:

    As the daughter of a woman who died giving birth to me and as a woman who has had 3 c-sections myself (I have 6 children), I have a very difficult time believing that any use of birth control is sin. I recognize that my feelings are just that- my feelings.

    I know that my experiences of motherlessness, being in my early years raised by a single father, being abused by one who was supposed to care for me while my father worked, having the first (step)mother I have ever known abandon me, and the subsequent dysfuntion that characterized the blended family I was eventually raised in are the primary reasons why we refuse to disregard medical opinion with regard to what will happen to these children who are here, now, if we should continue to risk my health on the basis of a conviction that we are not thoroughly convinced is the only way that God would have us view the issue. Obviously, given the size of our family in this day and age, we view children as a blessing.

    I have grown extremely uncomfortable with the mentatlity among some in the church that equates any type of child spacing or NFP with unfaithfulness to the word. It's as if we forget that there was a time when mothers dying in childbirth was quite common. Thank God for what He has permitted us to know medically in this day and age.

    For the record- we are against hormonal birth control.

  34. Christine says:

    I agree with Lisa's point of view. At times, I have thought that my children have come too close together, and at other times I have felt that my children were too spread apart. (We have left the when to the Lord.) But the older I get, the more I realize that it is all about Him. It really is a walk of faith. I should be neither discontent about wanting to be pregnant, nor should I be fearful if I feel that my pregnancies are too close together. I am thankful that the Lord has shown me that it is all about His Sovereign plan, rather than my selfish desires. Even though my husband and I were already open to receiving His blessings, I feel so thankful that He has changed my attitude (which is still quite imperfect at times) into one of joyfully waiting upon Him. I am currently expecting my fourth blessing and am so thankful! Many blessings!

  35. Brandy says:

    I am curious to see you define "Quiverfull." One of the reasons my husband and I have NOT considered ourselves to be is that we were once told that to be Quiverfull, you weren't allowed any fertility treatments of any kind ever, ever, ever. (Ever. He he.) Having had friends do basic things, like taking Clomid, or having a minor surgery done that cleared a blockage, seemed so different from pursuing something more ethically questionable like IVF, which usually results in the disposing of fetuses. We wanted to maintain grace for women who could bear children with simple "fixes" and were told that this wasn't allowed in QF.

    Of course, I always wondered if those people were really speaking for QF.

    We, ourselves, grew into not using birth control (used NFP between our first two, used it one other time due to dangerous meds I was on for 6 weeks) until my most recent pregnancy, which went awry at the end, resulting in a fourth C-section, and we can no longer have children. The past year has been a grief as we accept that we are "done." :( But, again, QF folks questioned my using NFP when I was on meds, when I considered this an affirmation that children were a blessing, and I felt that I was protecting them from something that was dangerous to them.

    All of this is to say that it seemed to my husband and I that QF was more about legalism (no BC, no fertility treatments, no matter what) than really embracing the concept of children as blessings. Perhaps this was a degeneration which happened over time, and not really true of the movement itself? I don't really know. All I know is that when people asked us about having so many children in such a short period of time (4 in 6 years), we always replied that God had blessed us, and that having them was the most natural thing in the world.

  36. Paula D says:

    I voted for Lisa as well. My husband and I had 3children before we decided to turn everything over to the Lord. Even now as we are expecting number 8 – I too have a hard time sharing with family and even church friends (my husband is a pastor) We have been hurt so much everytime we have another blessing on the way. It almost takes the joy out of the excitement! Even now at 9 weeks pregnant, we have not told anyone ( I guess I am telling you all lol!) I have never condemned anyone who does not have a large family. Children are a blessing from the Lord. How many children you have, how they are conceived, what type of birth control you use or don't use – that is a private matter between you and your spouse and God. Only God can change our attitudes toward others whether they have a large family or small family. I have had younger women come to me and ask what I do for birth control and such. Based upon who is asking and why I may or may not tell them specifics. I lead them to scripture. If they really want an answer God will guide them in His will for their marriage whether a large family, small family or being infertile and content. I look at each family as precious – our children are the only things we can try to take with us to heaven, by leading them to saving grace.

  37. Amy Lu says:

    I voted "Lisa".

    I wish I had more time to elaborate, but I'll give the basics now and hopefully will come back to explain more later…

    We have two babies here and two in heaven. Of my two babies here, one God brought us through adoption, one through birth.

    I have struggled with infertility for about 12 of the fourteen years we've been married (I've subtracted a year for adoption and one for my pregnancy.)

    I do believe in seeking medical help if someone is struggling with fertility issues. It requires us to tread with caution, but I do believe that God can bless through modern medicine (most of us seek these blessing when any other organ is having issues).

    The line that we've drawn in the sand (with help of much study of scripture, prayer, and wise counsel) is that we have used medical means to restore health and fertility but never to aid in conception.

    I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Treating that increases my fertility (and helps to prevent cancer, heart disease, and diabetes), but does not attempt to increase conception. Everything I've done medically is to attempt to cycle regularly and have the hormone base to support a pregnancy.

    I look forward to reading through more comments tonight. I appreciate this discussion!

  38. Natalie says:

    I voted for Lisa. I would not refer to myself as a "quiverful" Christian (sounds VERY corny to me…I think God's children, as ambassadors to this world, should try to avoid corniness…which can come about even when we use Biblical terminology in a way that it was not intended to be used.) …or any other current "trendy" type of title. I'm a Bible believing Christian who seeks, by the grace of God, to be obedient to the truth He reveals to me in His Word alone. I try to expose other women to what God has shown me…but understand that He may be working on something completely different in their life at the moment. I know women that represent all the types that others have cited in the above comments…and while I do not apologize for what God has shown to me, and my desire to be obedient to that calling on my life, I also do not believe it is my responsibility to act as anyone's Holy Spirit…or think that I can fathom exactly what the Sovereign God of the Universe is doing in their lives currently. I have seven children on earth, five in heaven, and desire more, but am in my early 40s. Sometimes being "quiverful" means allowing God His choice to end fertility and take us to a new season in life. : ) May I suggest a different word in place of quiverful?? How about "surrendered". May His grace pour out on us daily as we seek Him and His Word with all our hearts and as we reach out to one another with the meekness and humility of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

  39. mjkt says:

    We are quiverfull. But I want to say this our quiver is only 2 boys. I lost one to a miscarriage. Now at 32 I have been in full menopause for about a year. So God has chosen our family to be a small one. So please do not judge that small family at church as not being a quiverfull one (I have had this experience). As they maybe but God has said thats all the children He wants for them. So please remember a small family might be as much a quiverfull family as a large family.

  40. Sara says:

    Like mjkt, we have a full quiver at 2. A large softball sized fibroid tumor overtook my uterus on my 2nd pregnancy (which we were told wasn't medically possible to have a 2nd pregnancy anyway). I had it taken care of with a very non-invasive technique to try to preserve fertility. We learned last week it is back and growing rapidly.

    I appreciate those who understand. However, more often than not at church we get comments about "you ONLY have 2?" or "JUST 2" or "you should have more, like 4 or 5 or 6". I truly wish people would understand how hurtful those comments are. Just because they can have 4 or 6 or 8 or 10…or feel called to adoption, it doesn't mean the same is true for our family. People also make comments assuming we "ONLY" have 2 so that we can spend more money on ourselves, cars, vacations, etc. I have a good friend who couldn't have any…and finally adopted at 45. Their quiver is full as they cannot even qualify for another adoption due to their combined ages.

    So, while a large number might make one family a quiverfull, 0 or 1 or 2 doesn't mean someone else's quiver is empty.

  41. Elizabeth says:

    I think I would mostly describe myself as a "Lisa." When my husband and I were married we discovered that I was not able to have children unless by c-section. I have 4 children with my oldest being six. In order to allow time to heal, we have had to space our our pregnancies. However, we believe birth control pills to be dangerous and use more natural forms of birth control.

    Although the doctor has told me no more c-sections, and therefore no more children, we are leaving it up to God. We plan to continue to have children as long as we feel that my body can safely recover from the surgery.

    Hope this sort of explains our view, although none of these ladies exactly fit our situation.

  42. Jennifer says:

    Interesting, explorative, discerning, and revelatory-excellent post, Stacy!

    I am an Angela. I believe that the subject of birth control is one very much open and should therefore not be treated as being solid as Christ's Resurrection, for example. I think the fact that children are blessings really does not serve as an argument at all, since every couple and every marriage is different. I also believe that reproduction issues are very personal and that each couple's individual case should not be broached by anyone outside the marriage.

  43. Jacque Dixon says:

    I voted as Lisa. I just wrote a post out about our 'being quiverfull'. I can remember being called QF before I even knew what it meant. The fact is that the Father changed our hearts about how we viewed having children before we knew there was a "movement".
    My post, if you don't mind my linking it, is here: http://jacquedixon.com/?p=5210

    I absolutely agree with you that QF has many definitions, and I don't think that we necessarily subscribe to what most would say it is.
    I love the way you spoke about conviction and how we often speak about our own convictions. I am still learning!
    May you be blessed as you address this topic.

  44. Green Thumb Mama says:

    Honestly, I cannot vote. And I'll tell you why. I was told at 17 I would never conceive. God instead, blessed me with 3 precious children. At the time, I did believe in birth control because I was not a Christian. I listened to the world. However, I must say that once I had my first child, I wanted a LARGE family. But each birth contained problems and my body could not handle pregnancy and shut down after #3. My feminine parts were diseased and had to be removed. Since becoming a Christian, I have mourned what I cannot have any longer. I am teaching my children that birth control is unBiblical and I can only hope that they will trust God with the blessings He wishes to bestow upon them. I wish dearly I could have had more children…but I cannot. You don't have a category for that to vote on. But if I was going to, I would say ideally, Martha A's suggestions would match my situation somewhat. I will say that God is calling us to adopt and perhaps this is how He will give us our Quiverful. I don't know. This is such a big subject to cover!

  45. LivingByDailyGrace says:

    I also voted as an Angela. My dh and I have 6 children. In January we prayed for direction with this part of our lives because we both feel a bit overwhelmed by the number and ages of our children (now 10 to almost 1 years.) Nonetheless, we felt God was leading us at that point to give this to Him for a while. I have prayed and prayed for God to close my womb until at least next summer. He told me NO!!! I found out two weeks ago that I am expecting my 7th baby. I am fearful at times of disappointing God or doing something wrong (still stuck at times in the works mentality. . .God is working to free me though.)

    I also struggle intensely to see my children as blessings sometimes. It's hard at times to see the 4 yod screaming "I hate you" because I have asked him to do a chore he knows how to do. We certainly discipline that. But it's the story of my life right now. When I finally got to the bottom of his "issues" (besides depravity) I have discovered that he feels most loved when I spend quality time with him. He's going to be the middle. . .the one often lost in the middle. I am concerned for him. I am concerned that I won't have the time to disciple my 3 daughters (possibly 4 since we don't know what this baby will be yet.) The most important aspect of all this is being unified with my dh. He's always come around to understanding my struggle with using birth control and even taking permanent measures. He's been so kind and patient with me. But I want to stand with him now. I want to trust God to lead him where we need to be. I haven't necessarily been contentious. But I haven't been submissive. I want to stand in unity with him. If he believes we need to be done then I must trust his decision in the Father's hands.

    Sorry this is long. Sometimes writing helps me working through things I am struggling with.

  46. A says:

    This is an area where I just don't know. I believe God when He says children are a blessing, and something about the "good stewardship" argument for not having children makes me cringe. I see lots of Christian couples putting off having children for several years and then facing fertility issues. Something about that attitude toward parenting seems out of step with God's plan. It seems more entitlement oriented than service oriented. But some of the most wonderful Christian women I know waited a while, had 2 children, and are done. Is this a situation where we are under grace, not the law? God has promised that children are a blessing, but is He displeased when we choose to limit the size of our families? Certainly the church has started to accept a more worldly perspective on having children, but is it a legalistic issue of all (Quiverfull) or nothing (world)? I don't know! This is one of those areas where I am exceedingly glad that I am not the leader of our home, because I can rest under the authority of my husband. I do want to know God's will on this, though. I greatly respect those who err on the side of completely trusting God with their family planning, and yet I see God working mightily in small families. I'm rambling… Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  47. Anita says:

    I failed to mention that after the birth of our fifth child we decided to let God have control of our family size. Within 19 months I had 3 miscarriages! We then decided that my body needed time to heal completely after having a D and C to stop my uncontrolled bleeding which was making me faint every time I stood up. Before this time we had never had a problem during pregnancy and I successfully carried two baby boys after the miscarriages. My younger boys were born when I was 40 and 44! My last baby, just last year, was my easiest delivery of all.

  48. Janet says:

    Stacy, I voted "Lisa"; I am certainly a person who believes in the Sovereignty of God, and His control over the conception, the making, and the birth of each person on this earth.

    I'm thankful that God gave us the faith and the courage and the means to have 12 children. I love each one. I am truly thankful for each of them.

    I appreciated this:

    "Lisa has a quiet resolve to trust God completely, and will rely on prayer, wisdom, and discernment as special circumstances arise."

    We experienced "special circumstances" that drove us to decide to take measures to prevent more children. My husband chose life (my life).

    As you know, some people who are "quiverful-minded" were taken aback by our decision. Their reaction to me was one of condemnation. They didn't treat me as a sister who had gone through some terrible trials and had made a difficult choice. I felt like I had failed greatly, and had lost all credibility with some folks – specifically the "Dianes" of this world.

    Children ARE a heritage from the Lord. We are happy with our full quiver. We are aware that this world is tainted, and that all is not as it should be… so it saddens us that we were forced to limit our family in our older years. Yet we rejoice in God's blessings to us (12 children, 18 grandchildren, and more to come, I'm sure).

  49. Anonymous says:

    Lisa best fits what I consider to be "quiverfull". By this definition, we did not practice "quiverful" family planning. I do not believe contraception to be sinful unless it is an abortifacient. I am looking forward to your posts regarding this issue even though I am past the stage of being able to bear children.

  50. Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe says:

    I voted "Angela". That is my belief, maybe because that's what I've always been taught, and lived out of that. I have two children and am happy with that. I believe that is our freedom in Christ. However, if somebody wants to have 20 children or to just totally leave it up to the Lord, that is wonderful. Those people should not be condemned or made fun of.

  51. Hannah says:

    Here's another scenario that I know of. A newly married couple is choosing not too have biological children (safe contraception) but are instead pursuing adoption to build their family and as an answer to the orphan crisis.

  52. 6HartsforHim says:

    Thank you so much for posting this.I was just sharing with my husband last week how heavy my heart was concerning this subject.I voted as a Lisa.But most of my friends/family are not of the same thinking.We have four chilren ages 5 and under.And though we can not have anymore due to my health issues,we are ever so thankful for the four blessings in our lives.And,we are trusting God with the future.It seems as though in the Christian community their are two extreames when it comes to "family planning".Thank you for bringing this normally unspoken subject up.(well it's not so unspoken to me,as I hear all the time that either a)I'm crazy for having four children in five years.or b)that my health difficulities are no good reason to stop having children.)
    We are at peace,I feel as though I am blessed by God with our four children.

  53. NYLass says:

    I voted "Lisa", but with hesitation.

    My husband has a vasectomy because of what would happen (post partum depression) for a year after each birth. After embracing the sovereignty of God, we both grieved over our 'choice', but the awful (physical) complications that came with it made even the thought of a reversal a mute point. Would "Lisa" have agreed with or chosen this; sadly, I don't think so (just MHO), hence my hesitation.

    I am grateful for this discussion and look forward to your other posts on it.

  54. Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife says:

    I love all of these precious women who have posted. I have six children and thought myself "quiverfull" until my pubic bone has become so inflammed that I can hardly walk sometimes. My husband and I have been in prayer and are trusting that God provides our doctor wisdom when he says that this problem will only get worse. My husband is a firefighter and is gone a lot. I am at home running the homefront and NEED to be a good helmeet to my husband, this includes being able to walk so I can take care of the six that I have.

    I have been accused of not having enough faith by QF people because we have chosen to naturally prevent children (I do not believe in taking the Pill and my husband and I do not wish to alter our bodies to prevent children).

    I am trusting that when I stand in front of my Savior, he will not reprimand me for not opening his other "gifts", but instead will hopefully say that I did a good job raising the gifts I did choose to "open".

    One QF lady even went as far as to question my salvation. It hurt a lot, but I do know one thing. QF is NOT a salvation issue. It is between you, your husband and the Lord. I thought I was convicted to be QF. I think now looking back, I was "surrendered" and still am if God wants me to have more. But I finally feel a peace after I have agonized in prayer over this issue. I felt condemnation from others, but not from Him.

    We just can't put God in a box. He always will get out! I tend to think it easier to follow rules, instead of seeking that relationship with Him that he so wants me to have.

    Children ARE a blessing! I am so glad that I listened to His voice and had more than two just because that was the way I was raised and was expected. I am living a life that I would have never even dreamed of having. It is an exciting adventure!

  55. Kristi says:

    I voted for Lisa because that is what I want to be like. However, my husband had said that he didn't really want to have more children and I ended up having a "long term removable" birth control put in. At first I thought I'd be okay with it; I already had two kids and I was sure that was enough. It helped that all of my family and friends are either in the Donna or Angela camp and encouraged our decision to limit pregnancy

    Things have changed now and my heart's cry is for more blessings and grieved over lost time. My husband has begun to change his mind, but it is more along the lines of Donna or Angela, by using his head (and pocketbook) to determine our "readiness".

    However, if what quiverfull really means (as I indicated by marking for Lisa) that the person completely rely on God, can I not also rely on God to change my husband's mind? If I am submitting to my husband (by not going behind his back to remove my birth control even though I am no longer ethically comfortable with it) am I not also submitting to God? In addition, part of the quiverfull mindset includes a parenting philosophy that none of the other choices included. I have two children, but I know that my parenting is, at best, weak, and that I have a long way to go to submitting to God's plan for motherhood. Even though I do the "right" things- I stay at home with my children and have begun to homeschool, I can still neglect them, still give them orders without pointing to the real authority, still treat them like they are burdens to be tolerated so long as it suits my purposes, instead of blessings designed by God to try me and to grow me. Perhaps God has closed my husband's mind to more children purely because He knows we need to grow as parents, right where we are.

    So, I am a Lisa in my mind, however, I act much more like I don't believe in the quiverfull term at all- in any of it's variations. Motherhood is difficult-I wish I'd been prepared!

  56. Cheryl says:

    I was expecting my 5th child when my husband & I received new life through Jesus Christ. The 1st commitment the Lord asked of us was in trusting him with our fertility. I'd had 4 c-sections up to that point. We surrendered all and then watched as the Lord turned our situation around and used an unsaved OB to plant the idea of my giving birth naturally. I just recently gave birth to my 10th child, my 6th Vbac, born at home and weighing 11 lbs 2 oz.

    I agreed with Lisa, and though we don't force the issue, we do actively pray as a family for more children. I also believe that it is my responsibility to protect my womb from harmful drugs/chemicals and unnecessary surgeries. I think it is important to understand that it isn't just about "having all the children I can get", but rather surrendering my body to the Lord to be used as a chosen vessel. If I become pregnant and the Lord chooses to take that child, I must be willing to let Him have His perfect will (in addition to our 10 children, we've lost 4 babies through miscarriage). I must also be content when our quiver is full according to the Lord's will.

  57. memoriesmama says:

    I voted for "Lisa" as that is where I am now, but have only been there for about four years. Before that, we tried to limit the size of our family because we thought we knew best. I came to the "quiverfull" mindset a couple of years before my husband, but followed his wishes in still using birth control until God changed his heart.

    Although it is difficult when we encounter those who completely disagree with us (especially family), there is no way they can deny God's special provisions for our family. He has proved over and over in mighty ways that He will provide for the blessings He has given us! As my husband says, if he made 6 figures, then our testimony wouldn't be as great. Because we are below the poverty line (according to the world's standards), our testimony speaks louder of God's provisions!

    Mama to 7 beautiful girls and baby on the way!

  58. Martha says:

    I think it is a good idea to define terms, but I believe you poll is slanted toward Lisa. I found the terms used to descibe the other women rather biased. If you truly wanted to know if what people believe, the terms should be more neutral.

  59. Dani says:

    Hello Stacy,

    I've followed your blog and read your books:) but have never commented. I suppose I don't fall into any of the catagories, but here's why:

    I wasn't raised a Christian, but committed my life to God in my early twenties. By then I was already married with two children, and my husband had a vasectomy. The church we went to wasn't a "quiver full" church by any means in the beginning. However, God lead us to adoption. We now have 13 children (11 adopted). Hubby and I took all of the children the Lord sent our way.

    Now we are in a Fundamental Baptist Church (and the preaching has been quiver full). About six months ago, we were convicted that hubby's surgery was against the Bible. It tore at our hearts, until one day Hubby decided to have it reversed.

    We are a family that is competely committed to raising our children for the Lord; pointing them into His direction. AND now having (or adopting) whatever children God gives to us. No stress, no pills; just a whole lot of prayer.

    You have a beautiful ministry. Thank you for sharing and inspiring so many lives.

    Blessings,
    Danielle

  60. Sheila says:

    Hi, Stacy. I'm definitely with "Lisa". That pretty much describes how we live out our "quiverfull" convictions. And, no, I don't generally use the term, either, because of the often vague definition of the term.
    I don't have a blog or FB account or anything (gasp!) :), so I don't necessarily have reason to label our beliefs. But, if people ask, "Are you having more?" (I'm 38, and #6 is due in early November), we usually answer, "We'll take them as they come. We're open to whomever the Lord sends our way." (That's our Christian answer.) To those who aren't biblically-minded, I sometimes answer, "Oh, this is only the middle child!" or something like that. All in fun. That being said, the "convictions" we hope to pass to our children (and, that we hope to convey by how we live our lives) are that children are ALWAYS and ONLY a blessing – God's word says so.
    (FWIW, I didn't even want to read through the comments until I had left mine, so I wouldn't inadvertantly be skewed in how I answered! I did, however, see Martha's comment, and I'd have to admit, I thought the same thing! :))
    Thanks for this post. I look forward to reading the previous comments and your upcoming post(s), Stacy!
    Blessings!

  61. Heidi says:

    My husband and I read this post together. He put it nicely in that he believes I (we) are a Lisa who used to be a Carolyn.

    I completely agree with him. I would consider us to be quiverfull, although I don't ever use that term to describe myself because of the many misconceptions out there! I am nothing if not fearful of criticism, although the Lord is working on being more bold in my convictions!

  62. Anonymous says:

    I want to post anonymously on this one as there is some personal information I want to talk about.

    I'm really glad you put this thread up. I have in my personal experience seen QF used to browbeat Christians who haven't come to the same convictions.

    It is also very hard to be infertile when fertility is held up as the central blessing of God. I even had someone tell me that obviously since several members of my immediate family struggled with infertility, some woman in our family in the past must not have been submissive enough, so we were being generationally cursed. With infertility, as with cancer or other diseases, something in the body is broken because of the fall. You can't know the mind of God on why a woman has to struggle with this issue, please be kind.

    Please, if you are of the QF mindset, don't judge those of us who have small families, you don't know what pain you can cause, or what private matters may lay behind why our families are small.

    I believe that aspects of the fall impact our bearing of children, and just as we are to use wisdom in dealing with other aspects of the fall, so we also should use wisdom in this area. If one woman's body is broken through childbirth, does that mean she must continue bearing children? One document I was given by a QF woman said that if a woman was told she would die if she were to become pregnant again, her husband was mandated to impregnate her even if he knew that meant her death. Please, if you're QF, also take into account clear commands of God, such as protecting life. And I have seen QF blogs that recommend ignoring medical advice as far as pregnancy goes, please be careful here, too, don't bind the conscience of another Christian in this area.

    On the other hand, I have also had real-life QF friends who have prayed with me and for me, and when our children were born, rejoiced with me. They showed grace to me, even as I made decisions they might not have made in addressing my fertility issues. Even though they know that I've made some decisions they wouldn't have made in these areas, they supported us in prayerfully seeking the right course for our family.

  63. shancar says:

    wow it has been awesome to read every ones heart on this post . I feel it has also opened a lot of pain with infertility and loss. I feel that pain with you guys that have experienced that. I am so blessed to read all these post from you incredible women who truly have your hearts open to the Fathers plan!

  64. Sarah Mae says:

    Hi Stacy,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my article today, I really appreciate your insight and wisdom. Perhaps I should write a follow up with your comment…do you have the time/interest in writing an article for my Grace & Truth series? I am always open to correction!

  65. Anonymous says:

    I voted for Carolyn, qualifying that the birth control method used is Natural Family Planning. I believe that this view can be Biblically supported. The Bible allows for a husband and wife to agree to not come together for a season. This view also upholds the pripciple of stewardship of time, resources, etc. with a reliance upon God and His sovereignty.
    The wording of some of the views insinuate that the person does not have total reliance upon God. I fear that this is leading to an increased pressure to have a very large family, as most Christians won't want to be placed in this category. Are we neglecting the principles of stewardship in a desire to be approved of by men? Children are the most precious gift we receive from God, but they also come with the greatest responsibility. How can we pushed aside the command to rear children in godliness and all that is required of parents in achieving that?
    Many Christians have not left the size of there family up to God but have followed the politically correct view of purposely limiting the number of children they have. However, I don't believe that we should let the pendulumn swing to the opposite extreme and conceive children just to fulfill a number and/or promote our own "godliness." We should plan every day–both daily activites and for the future–but with the attitude of "if God wills it."
    I think that we can all agree that the ultimate goal is to rear children that will impact the world for Christ and I hope that this discussion will help us gain a balanced view that lines up with the principles of scripture. I look forward to reading future postings.

    Nikki

  66. Penny from Tenny says:

    Thank you for covering this topic so "fairly". I am a mom of 5 children: twins that are 24, ds 11, ds, 9, dd 4. You can see by the ages that we are really spread apart. I was almost 42 when our last was born. This was not by our design. Our twins were very premature and both miraculously survived but not without complications. One of our twins is severely physically and mentally disabled. There was a miscarriage inbetween the twins and our next child. I didn't think I would be blessed with more children and yet the Lord allowed 3 more children after. My first children and last child were both emergency c-sections due to complications. At this point, we felt our "quiver" was full. It was not a flippant decision we came to. And yet, I often feel the disdain of those who think we should NOT have had more children after our disabled son as well as the disdain of those who think we were wrong to prevent having more. We can look back with no regrets at the choices we have made. We chose by God's grace to have more children and live with the temporary difficulties rather than live a lifetime of regret for not having more. I am thankful everyday that the Lord granted me the desire of my heart to have more children. We are truly blessed!

  67. Brandi says:

    I felt like the issue of submission was not really expressed. Both parents, not just the mother, need to feel the conviction of welcoming children to the family. It seems a mother could feel strongly about the issue but her husband may not "catch up" right away. For this reason I think that "Lisa's" convictions are closest to my own but something about "Angela's" comes into play due to, at least the allusion to, the submission issue. Although welcoming children into a family is a Biblical doctrine I believe in, loving submission to one's husband is also an essential Biblical doctrine in creating a godly home life so….it made it a difficult choice for me to vote. This issue (as with many) is not as black and white as it seems when first presented. Thank God for His grace!

  68. Anonymous says:

    Stacy,
    This is such a difficult area for me. I was raised that 2 children were plenty and birth control was mandatory. Since I am older now, I have learned what the Bible really says. Thank you for sharing your convictions. Thank you for knowing your Bible. I was an Angela, who is now a Lisa, but it is too late for me.

  69. Jennifer says:

    Nikki, superbly said. Thank you

  70. Anonymous says:

    I voted as feeling most similarly to Lisa, although I identify in some ways with Angela, as well. While I have always desired to have as many children as God would naturally give me, I also feel that the particulars of what each couple is deciding is between them and the Lord, provided no termination of an existing life is involved. I look at other areas of my life and how the Lord sometimes uses actual physical limitations on me in order to direct my paths, and other times I must depend upon praying and earnestly seeking what His will is in the situation. I am STRONGLY in opposition to use of ANY product which allows conception, but interferes with implantation, because life begins at conception. Other decisions, that do not take a conceived life, are not something I feel comfortable making a decision upon for others. Perhaps they ARE opposing God's will–He will take care of it, as surely as He tends to all the sin in my own life. Perhaps they are being lead by Him through prayer. I don't know–only He does.

    I believe what is VERY clear in Scripture is that, as believers, we should not be disparaging of children, focusing upon how much "trouble" they are to raise or how "expensive" they are to care for–we are to trust the Lord for our needs and realize that life is not meant to be free of work and toil. I don't believe we should ask people if they've figured out "what causes that" or imply that they must just have won the lottery. These attitudes are hurtful and do not reflect God's heart in the matter. As I am now expecting our third, I have been questioned as to why we'd want another when we already have a boy and a girl, whether or not we realize how difficult three is going to be, and I have been told by a family member that they will not babysit our children since we have chosen to have more than two, which is their limit. (Seriously!) It has been very hurtful, especially in the face of the great joy we feel in expecting again.

    It is also clear from Scripture that we are not to measure our spirituality or obedience by the number of children we have or how closely spaced they may or may not be. I must say that I have been equally hurt by some comments about "Big families being better" and "Big families being best!" I suspect some of this stems from a reaction to negative comments about having many children and I appreciate that. Is is, however, very hurtful to someone who is also trusting God with their family size, but His plan is NOT to give them a large family. For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a Momma and have many children. My journey has been in learning that the number is not the point, but in my willingness to embrace the plans He has for me and lay aside my desires. Whether I have a large family or these wonderful three that is just the quiverful God has ordained, I am to raise them for Him and do so JOYFULLY, contented in the plans He has ordained for me. He looks upon the heart and knows it.

    Stacy, I have read here for quite some time, without ever having commented. I have often been blessed and encouraged by your posts and have benefited from the comment discussions. I greatly appreciate your willingness to address this topic and to remind us all to let our actions be led by the Lord and His Word in love and gentleness. The discussion among all these other sisters in Christ has a sharpening and humbling effect–we so need each other!

    Blessings!

    Mrs. Rebekah S.

  71. Step says:

    I voted for Lisa as well and I belive that she is a very good match to my views on quiverfull.

    Hubby and I married at age 26 (both of us) and we had our children when we were 29, 30 and 33. It took nearly 2 years for me to conceive my first baby, but once I figured out my luteal phase properly, we conceived immidately the next month. That is my only difference to the Lisa example. After our first baby, my husband and I decided to put our full faith in the Lord and that we would not chart cycles to conceive any more children. As it turns out, we didn't need to, two more blessings followed.

    Before our marriage, we both knew that we wanted children, viewed them as blessings, and left the number up to God. We're both 41 now and our number seems to be 3 blessings. We still do nothing to prevent pregnancy, nor do we seek any type of fertility treatments. We'd happily welcome additonal blessings if the Lord sees fit, but are completely content with the 3 children we do have.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I do look forward to seeing your next posts in response to this one. I voted for Lisa, because I know in my heart that this is God's will for our family. I have to admit though that at times my heart is not where it should be. I waver between wanting a baby so bad that I'm tempted to use my knowledge to make a pregnancy occur to wondering if we've made the right choice when I have difficult times in my pregnancy. Although I have an easy 1st trimester (usually very little to no sickness) I have some major issues with my hips from about the beginning of the 2nd trimester to the end. With my first pregnancy I even got to the point of not being able to walk right away when I got out of bed. Fortunately, I was referred to a chiropractor and the problem got better. With each pregnancy I've had similar situations, but I learned with this last pregnancy that chiropractor care throughout the whole pregnancy minimized my discomfort and pain drastically. Anyway, where I am going with this is that my mindset seems to be a constant learning experience in how to trust God in this area.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Hi Stacey,
    I have enjoyed your website since I was referred to it by a friend, and have read with interest the comments on this topic.
    However, I think if you want honest opinions, it would be helpful to be a little less biased in the way you present the options. The bold writing on Lisa's profile clearly indicate the "Correct" response.
    By the way, I agree with the reader who said that a couple's reproductive decisions are between them and the Lord. I can't help observing that in many cases, the QF mentality leads to pride and judgement of others. I am concerned that the QF movement idolises the family.
    We would not be defined as QF by anyone's standards. We have four beautiful children who we love so much, and we are doing our very best to raise them to know and love their Saviour, and serve Him with their lives.
    The day after our twins turned one, I had a tubal ligation.
    We have clearly been blessed by the Lord, and have absolutely no reason to feel that we have displeased him in this decision. Our lives revolve around serving the Lord and his people.
    This is not a salvation issue. It is a personal issue between married couples and the Lord.
    I am aware that my views are at odds with most of those posted here. I am not trying to be disagreeable – I really enjoy the website – but I think it's fair to represent another point of view.

  74. gloria says:

    Hello, Stacey. What a wonderful & thought provoking post.

    As I read thru the various "positions" on child bearing and the lovely comments left by the ladies here, I was reminded that children are 1. a blessing 2. God desires to bless us 3. It is IN HIS hands, not ours
    4. It's up to us how we view those blessings

    With that said, as a mom to 10 children, I can say I am not "quiverfull"… I guess I just have a distaste for that word in general. There is no such thing as a "quiverfull" Christian. ( at least I have not read of such in the bible! :) I believe too many have taken that verse from Psalms and created an entire doctrine around it. That is troubling to me.

    My concern lies in this, ladies Biblically speaking NOT all women will have children. We read of many instances where God in His sovereign will closes the womb. We may not understand "why" He does so, but we know He does. We also know God may lead women to serve Him and not lead them to be married.Paul speaks about the life of the single Christian — some women will be led by God to lead a life of singleness to Him.

    My concern with the focus of quiverfull movement, is that the focus can become on children and not on the Lord.

    I say that with love & sincerity as the mother of 10 children.

    Who am I to judge?

    I believe Judgement is best left to the Lord Jesus.
    I am concerned that this 'movement' of sorts can create divisions in the body of Christ, instead of unity.

    If we are convicted that God has led us to have many children – then praise the Lord! But what about the woman who is convicted she should only have 1 child or 2 children?

    The bible is clear we are to extend grace.

    The issue of how many children to have is not a "doctrinal" or "salvation" issue. I want to extend grace to my sisters in Christ who have chosen to limit their families for whatever reasons they deem.

    I choose to allow the Lord to judge their hearts.

    My husband & I chose to have 10 children. I have raised my children to seek God's will in their family planning. I do not teach them to have 10 children or to have 1 child. I teach them to heed what God will lead them to do. Whose to tell? Perhaps my daughter will become an Amy Charmichael and devote her life to orphans? Or perhaps my son will be an evangelist, who marries late in life and is blessed with 1 child?

    Who is to say what amazing plans God has in store for my family?

    I choose to let God lead my children's hearts in this area.

    I hope what I have shared here is not offensive. I mean to share in a spirit of love and concern.

    As a mother of 10 children — I do not believe 'quiverfull' to be a doctrine of the christian faith. It is a personal ministry that the Lord leads some to embark upon and others not to.

    I am also an adoptive mother.

    God led me to adopt 5 of our 10 children. I believe there is a biblical mandate to care for the orphan. Do I think everyone should adopt? No. Not everyone will be called to adopt. But I do believe we should care for the orphan and fatherless and widow in their affliction, for that is pure religion.

    I hope I make sense.

    Stacy — I didn't vote in the above poll because I don't think I fit in with any of them.

    My honest to gosh beliefs are that the ministry of raising a large family is just that a "ministry". Some will be called to do so and some not.

    I prefer to not judge my fellow brothers & sisters in Christ in their family planning, and hope they extend grace to me.

    God bless,
    Gloria

  75. The Park family says:

    I read you last post about "Just another mouth to feed" and agreed with most everything that you said, however reading the comments was very sad to me. Quite honestly, on this post, I would have hesitated to vote that I really 'belonged' to ANY of the categories above as none of them totally suited my situation until you clarified Martha A.'s statements. I am a Lisa and thank you for clarifying. My hubby and I used NFP and I never felt as that was sinful since some medications for epilepsy are not 'pregnancy friendly'. With that said, my hubby did have a vascectomy after our third child. After watching me go through several high risk pregnancies which resulted in an uncontrollable seizure disorders (no medications worked anymore), my DH was desperate to "fix" the problem. Pregnancy & the resulting hormonal surges worsened my formerly MILD seizures to un-responsive grand mals with no warning. After the delivery of my third child I had to have brain surgery JUST to make the seizures controllable by medications. Being a witness to these taumatic events, bringing me to the ER all the time to make the seizures stop before I slipped into a comma, DH wanted to make sure I would be alive to raise our 3 children. After MANY tearful conversations with the Lord, I surrendered. The Lord told me to submit to my hubby's decision. The Lord promised me that HE would fill my quiver with children that desperately needed a home. I have been accused from many in th QF movement of just not having "enough faith" to surrender my health over to the Lord. He chose not to take away my infirmity and I am good with HIS sovereignty for me. I find this belief system of "not having enough faith" to be very similar to the mindset of the "health, wealth and wellness" doctrine. What a shame to compare an infirmity as a punishment because I couldn't muster up enough faith to EARN, healing from God. This saddens me because those accusers were not in the room when the Lord shared some pretty humbling news with me. If I DIDN'T submit to my husband, I would die trying to have more children while taking the one in-utero with me. To obey was better than sacrifice. It was indeed a permanent surrender. I do view my children here and the ones that God has planned to join our family, as a blessing! I pray for God's provision to adopt as many as He will allow us to!
    For many who see adoption as not an option I would ask you to PLEASE pray about this. If money is your reason for not adopting PLEASE consider 2 things. Fostering to adopt IS FREE! Second, your daddy in Heaven has the ability to provide you with WHATEVER it takes to give an orphan a forever family. Prayerfully seek Him to ask how He will 'move mountains' in order for you live out James 1:27. I have seen it over and over that middle to low income parents are able to raise adoption moneys, get governement grants, ect to bring home children! God always shows himself faithful when we seek to do His will in making children a blessing!

  76. Sharon says:

    Oops, I voted, but forgot to add my comment. I voted for Lisa; though I am a single mom, so my quiver is complete with two, unless my circumstances change at some point. I do believe that if a husband is opposed to having more children, or wants to space them out, a woman would not be wrong to use non-abortion-causing means of birth control, in submission to his wishes, while praying for his heart to change (been there, done that).

  77. Anonymous says:

    For myself, I fit best with Lisa in my mindset. I also struggle daily with the fact that I am overweight (not due to slothfullness, but to health issues that developed in my last pregnancy, and age) I keep trying to put myself in a place where we can recieve more blessings, but cannot knowingly "allow" myself to get pregnant while in such poor health. So we use NFP, and it tears me up. But I cannot bear the thought of becoming pregnant knowing without a doubt I would be on bedrest, and causing further damage to my organs and hormones.
    As for adoption, I believe all Christians are "called" to adopt, but unfortunately in this world, it's easier said than done. When it costs $10,000+, and the agencies won't approve you because you already have exceeded the maximum limit in the space you have in your home, it's not always possible. I look forward to the time when the children are going out on thier own, and we are older, might be a better time to pursue that?

  78. gloria says:

    P.S.

    I also want to add that another concern I have is that we ladies who do have large families do not become prideful in that fact. Righteousness is not based upon how many children a woman has — it is based upon the merits of our Lord Jesus.

    I would never wish for my sister in Christ who has a smaller family to think she is "less" than those of us who have a large family.

    I get concerned that in this "quiverfull" movement families become an "idol".

    This is coming from a mama of 10 children. :)

    I apologize to my sisters in Christ who have expierenced shunning or persecution from other Christians because they chose or because God chose to limit their families. This saddens me.

    Oh, how we need to extend grace to one another in these non salvation issues.

    In Christ,
    Gloria

  79. Anonymous says:

    I am a Lisa, but am in a period of having to use birth control because I must have a 2 to 3-year course of medication that would kill any child I would conceive while on it. I had a choice- I could continue to live and take this medication, or I could die from an illness that had almost killed me once we finally got a diagnosis. We consider having a mother to raise the children to be more important than having all of the children you possibly can. And my illness has already shortened my lifespan considerably.

    While I have two children here, I have five that I have lost. Once my body is back to 'normal' we will have more children.

  80. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Lisa and Angela, but if you can't have children, why not adopt 4-6 kids (or maybe more) and raise them for God? The world would be a better place if we adopted more children if you aren't destined to have little to no children.

  81. LynAC says:

    I picked Lisa. I'm sort of like Gloria tho in that there has been such a judgmental attitude from the QF movement that I like to distance myself from it.

    I have had HG (extreme nausea and vomiting) with 7 pregnancies. I miscarried once and no HG that time. There are people who seem to refuse to acknowledge HG (hyperemesis gravidarum) as a real condition. I think I have now reached a place where I can not face it again. I am holding a precious 3 month old girl whom I love so very much but the pregnancy with her left me unable to mother my other gifts for nearly 4 months this past year (usually it's not gone so very long). The strain on our marriage and family was such that my dear husband can't imagine seeing me suffer thru it again.

    I have found I have to be careful who I bring this subject up with. They either can't or won't try to understand what it is like. My husband has heard men say things about pregnant ladies needing to 'buck up.' I'd like to see those men try a week of it.

  82. Alecia Baptiste--Instrument of Grace says:

    Wow! What an interesting discussion. I would say I am a Lisa, yet my husband decided to have a vesectomy(sp?). We decided many years ago to trust the Lord to plan our family, and after 5 pregnancies and 4 live births, my sweet husband said, "No more!" Though I didn't agree with his decision, I submitted. It was an area of trust again. I know that I can trust God even in this. People ask me if we're going to have more. I really don't know. The God of this Universe can bypass any birth control measures without blinking an eye! I must admit that a part of me was a bit relieved that I would be getting pregnant again in the next 2 years.

    Now, I see that God has me in another stage of life and I am grateful to be here. I am thankful for all 5 of my children (1 is in heaven) and who knows, there may be more to come. I have decided that I will surrender to God in every area of life–family planning and all. Of course, the Spirit gently reveals new areas that I have not yet submitted. That too, I seek to lay before Him. Yes, my flesh resists, and yet I choose by His Spirit to surrender. Praise God that He loves us so much, and He desires that we know Him and therefore trust Him.

    Seek Him. He promised we would find Him. Obey Him. His ways are ALWAYS perfect and good. Trust Him. He is trustworthy in ALL of his ways!!! His grace is sufficient!!

    May our great and Awesome God be praised for ever and ever. Amen.

  83. Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe says:

    Yes, the "just have enough faith" sounds EXACTLY like the Word of Faith health/prosperity "gospels." You don't hear as much as you used to about people letting their children die because they would not give them medicine, since that would be showing that they did not have faith. I don't like to see that type of thing in the quiverfull movement. Scary. If people want to do that to themselves, that is ok, but to do that to others, or to condemn others for "not having faith" is wrong.

  84. Betty says:

    I am most like Lisa, however, due to my pregnancies being very close and having some health issues that nearly cost our last baby her life, my dh has requested that we give my body time to heal and recover. I am bfing two dear little ones now, a 22 mo and an 8 mo. We would accept with open arms any child that God would choose to give us at ANY time. Up until 8 mos ago we were so very much like Lisa. Our 8 mo has come through a lot and by God's grace appears to not have any debilitating long term affects.

    I have had 4 babies in under 4 years, bfing on demand, co-sleeping and all. Four separate pregnancies. A total of 6 babies in 9 yrs. So, I agree with Martha A.'s comment. I am living the turmoil that health, close pregnancies, and a sick baby can cause in your faith. Do I believe that God is in control, yes, and I believe that if he chooses to bless us with another child, He will override our method of BC, that is not hormonal or possibly harmful to a fetus.

  85. Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife says:

    Mary, I agree with you. What is the difference? The Lord showed me that when I was on my face agonizing whether it was a "sin" or not to try not to concieve due to health reasons. Some women just don't do pregnancy well. I was told by one QF lady that I am not "taking up my cross" and following Him. What the heck? I have had 6 children, the taking up the cross part to me is raising them to be God-fearing adults. I am totally out of my comfort zone! I rely on God for every minute of the day to thrive in this life-style that He has asked me to have. I finally feel free for the first time in a long time. Free of condemnation from man and God. He loves me, he just plain loves me and he is glad that I view children as blessings and not a hindrence. I pray that our family would glorify Him in all that we say and do.

  86. Jennifer says:

    Mary and Gloria, you are truly gracious and empathetic ladies! All the women here have been awesome. Hearing so many women on one subject is very new to me, and you've made the experience well worth the time and reflection. Thank you!

  87. autumn says:

    I would say that I am quiverful, but I struggle with my health…I had breast cancer during my fourth pregnancy. I had chemotherapy during my pregnancy and had a premie so I could have more chemo… the chemo left me with congestive heart failure. We were told we wouldn't have more children. Four years later I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. However, her birth was stressful…I wasn't able to push due to my heart.

    Then, the baby's heart rate dropped, my blood pressure bottomed out. They delivered our daughter at 5cm…we both almost didn't make it.

    I would love to have more babies but my husband is scared of losing me. I'm only 29 and hate to think that I won't hold another newborn of my own. We have five blessing on earth and two in heaven.

    Many people are judgementive of those who stop for medical reasons. Is it right? Or a sin?

  88. gloria says:

    LynAC,

    I just wanted to say after reading your comment with your struggles with HG, that I completely understand!!! I was sick as a dog w/ all five of my birth children from conception to delivery ( each one via c-section!) I know what you mean about people not "getting it"… they think it's morning sickness, where you feel a little queezy and it's ok.

    Many do not understand that HG is a serious health issue, which involves intraveneous feeding of IV at home or at the Dr's weekly or bi-weekly.

    HG seriously impacted my life, as a mother to my other kiddos and as a wife.

    I just wanted to pipe in and say, I do understand and do "get it"!

    My 16 yr old son who was sick with the flu this past weekend, looked at me a few days back and said "mom, how did you do this for 9 months each time with each one of us 5 kids?"…. I looked at him, laughed and said I feel better now at 40 than I did at 25 when I was pg with him! :)

    God bless,
    gloria

  89. Seasons of Life says:

    I voted 'Lisa' as I believe she best fits the biblical picture of Psalm 127:5. It is the quiet resolve of trusting the Lord completely…and in special circumstances which can individually define each family. God does allow special circumstances in which we must seek His wisdom and discernment on how He desires us to handle them. This requires carefully not becoming 'legalistic' on saying that my circumstances are biblical and someone else's are not. (I hope that makes sense.)

    As for our house, we are currently serving the Lord with the soon to be seven children He has providentially placed in our "quiver". As to if this is our quiverful…as of now, yes, but He will determine when to finish 'growing' our family size…no one knows what tomorrow holds, so it would be foolish of me to say we are done – be it via natural bearing of children or potential future adoption of any. :-)

    Blessings ~

  90. Alecia Baptiste--Instrument of Grace says:

    I just wanted to add one more comment. The Spirit convicts us of sin, but it doesn't bring guilt or condemnation.

    For those of you who have felt shame or guilt for not having more children (whatever the reason), that isn't from God!!!! There is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. However, we do have an enemy who accuses us.

    Walk in the freedom that Christ purchased for us at Calvary! Listen to His voice, not the voices of other folks and their personal convictions. He will speak to you, just be still and quiet before him. Not only that, he gives wisdom freely to those who ask for it.

    The "quiverfull" movement, which I was once a part of, is one of many movements in the church that the enemy has used to cause division. The first movement in the early church was the "follow Jewish customs" movement. Paul passionately spoke against this false doctrines throughout his letters. Three of the things he emphasized are these: love one another, live in the freedom that Jesus purchased and strive for unity.

    So, every time someone judges you for something you do or don't do. Pray for them. Ask God to show you how to love them. Make every effort to live in peace with them. Why can't we ALL get along? Don't we all have the same Spirit? If we do, we should all have the same mind of Christ? Right?

    May you rest in His sufficient grace beautiful daughters of the Most High,

    Alecia

  91. Mrs. Lindblom says:

    Hi Stacey! Your blog is great- thanks so much for your articles. :)

    I voted for Lisa.
    My husband and I just recently came to this conclusion and I actually blogged about it not too long ago: http://generationfour.blogspot.com/2009/09/whos-in-control.html

    We have found great liberation and peace since abandoning our birth control "mindset". Our children are great blessings to us, and we would welcome any more the Lord gives us!
    We realized that there was no scriptural backing for the use of birth control and even NFP flies in the face of 1 Cor. 7:5.
    For us, we were convicted of our idea of "spacing" our children and have left this matter up to God.

  92. gloria says:

    Alecia ~~

    I just wanted to write and say "Amen" to what you wrote.

    Beautifully said.

    Blessings,
    gloria

  93. Ruth, PA says:

    We adopted our beautiful boys at 7. They are now 17. I was unable to conceive, but knew that God had called me to be a mother. I began to pray as Hannah and God blessed us!

    Due to malnutrition prior and after birth along with drug use by the birth mother, my children are mentally disabled. The adoption agency workers were shocked that we wanted our sons because 3 other families had changed their minds when learning of the disabilities. The statement was made, "They are not perfect." My reply was, "They are to me!" My goodness, I would have never given them away if I had physically birthed them! God knew that our home was the home they were to be raised! My twins, through being home schooled, have grown physically and mentally and God has blessed in such a great way. My husband and I wish that more loving families would adopt US children in foster care. They need a Godly loving home, and this might be the way God provides gifts of children to your union!

    Stacy. Thank you for your blog and today's post!

  94. cortney says:

    I am new to the concept of "Quiverfull" with a capital Q. I loved this verse we are discussing because it fit my Lisa-ish dream, but I had never had any discussions with anyone who had thought of it before. Everyone I spoke with, after deciding to always be birthcontrol-less looked at me as though I had just announced my decision to live on the moon.

    Being a single young lady at 20 years old, I have no experience, but knew this was an important topic to decide upon. But I just have to say, reading comments from ladies who were basically not allowed into the QF clique because they didn't meet the "requirements"?! I've never read any scripture that outlines the term "quiverfull" as meaning no birth control or artificial fertilization. In fact, pretty sure those topics aren't covered in the Bible in any capacity! So why do we put restrictions on who can be Quiverfull and who can't?

    *sigh* Oh, humans…

  95. Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife says:

    Alecia,

    Amen and Amen! Wonderful post!

  96. April Ann says:

    Thank you for this little piece….while I find myself in agreement with "Lisa" I know I struggle with being gracious. I am thankful for the reminder. It is important to note that God does not deal with us all on the same issue at the same time. I was not where I am even 5 years ago…in all things grace should be out cry!

  97. Marcia Wilwerding says:

    I must confess I used to believe like Diane. I felt that birth control of any kind was sinful. I still believe it is sinful to use it to limit family size, but when it comes to life and death situations, I'm just not sure. I've never been faced with that decision and do not know what I would do. Yet, even when I say that, I fear that I am compromising somehow. I'm just not as strong about it as I was when I was young.

  98. Anonymous says:

    I voted for Lisa, because I believe, in a perfect world, that she exemplifies the correct stance. That being said, I have not always felt this way. I used birth control pills for many years. My husband wasn't ready to start a family until I was 33. We had been church-goers, but we didn't trust God in our family planning. I feel certain that God would have caused a pregnancy earlier if it had been His will. I've had 3 children, my last at age 41, and my husband doesn't want to have more. He has concerns about my health, my age, increased risks of chromosomal disorders, finances, and the fact that, since we started so late and our children are still quite young, our energy level. I know that the Lord doesn't give you more than you can handle, but I already feel like my quiver is full with just three children. If I were in my 20's or even 30's or had older children who could help, things might be different for us. I don't use birth control now, so it's always a possibility, but I think my body is done. I haven't had a period since my 2-year-old was born. It was very irregular before he was conceived, and we were quite stunned that it was pregnancy and not perimenopause when I found out I was pregnant.

  99. Laura says:

    This was a good exercise. i voted with 'Lisa'. It is important as Dr Knepley, a Christian vet said in a comment in a post a few months back that the husband cares for the wife and makes sure she is physically ready for another child. That may mean that her body needs time to heal. I could not vote 'Carolyn' because the wording of a 'nice break' is not the same as a time of healing and preparation.
    Thank you.
    Laura
    lmaemutt@gmail.com

  100. gumby87 says:

    I voted for Lisa, however, I am not your usual "quiverfull" mom. I only have 4 children and I am 40. I've been married for 21 years to my dh and have not been on birth control except for my first year of marriage.

    After my first son was born when I was 20, I prayed and prayed for more children. However, that was not in God's plan. I can remember getting down on my knees and begging God to bless me again! The heartbreak was unreal as so many of my friends were getting pregnant with their 3rd and 4th babies. We were involved with a church where there were several families who had 10 or 11 children. We homeschooled and I was the only one in our group who only had one child. It was here where my heart's desire gave over to God's desire to be in control of our family's size. I had not heard the word quiverfull at that time and wouldn't for many, many years, but at that time I had no other choice than to lay down my desire for children at God's feet and let Him bless me as He chose!

    Then my husband's schooling took us across the country, away from family and within 6 months I became pregnant. Again after that I still prayed that God would bless me again but it didn't happen. Then we moved again back across the country to another place where we knew no one and I found out I was pregnant again! After that one I conceived fairly quickly and finally had two children only 23 months apart!

    Since the birth of my last child 2 years ago I have had a miscarriage and no more pregnancies. I have a feeling in my soul that this is it for me and I am ok with that! I am truly open to whatever God has planned and will take however many or FEW He chooses to bless me with!

  101. Anonymous says:

    I do believe I (and many more mainstream Christians) would fall under #3 (although I don't use hormonal BC).
    (I'm an occasional lurker, not quiverful).

  102. MamaOlive says:

    I voted Carolyn. I think Lisa is closest to the definition of quiverfull, but I'm just not there. I have used "conception control" to space my children. It seems to me that I can be more fruitful by doing a little pruning, if you know what I mean. If I space things out a little, I believe my body will be able to handle more total pregnancies than if I had them very close together. As it is, my closest are 14 months apart, and my farthest (since the Lord helped me out in this area) will be 25 months. Once this baby is born, I hope to take another year or so in order to regain physical strength.
    I do consider myself to be in the quiverfull category because I truly want a full quiver of children.

  103. Lisa @ Me and My House says:

    I'm a real Lisa, voting for Lisa. I could have wrote it about our own beliefs and walk.

  104. Cheesemakin' Mamma says:

    I voted for Angela with reservation. I believe being "Quiverful" if not a salvation issue. I believe we have the freedom in Christ to determine the size of our families. However, that does not mean that we shouldn't always few children as blessings, whether a family has 1 child or 20. This is a matter of the Holy Spirit's conviction on each of our lives. We can't resort to legalism on any matter to save us. If we miss out on his blessings by not having more children, than it is our loss of blessing but NOT our salvation.

    Personally, I'd love to have more children. However, I feel very blessed to have the two I've got, considering my husband didn't want any (I learned of this after we'd been married for awhile). He relented for my sake, is happy with the two we have. We've decided not to alter our bodies to prevent pregnacy or take the pill after learning that it can cause abortions. We were using the FPM for awhile, but God has been working on my husband and he isn't asking about my cycles anymore and doesn't seem terrified that I might get pregnant again.

    The core issue here is contentment. I have to choose to be content with whatever children God allows us to have and also my husband's decision. He is the head of our house, not me. I continue to trust God for our family size and enjoy the two I've got whether he chooses to bless us with more or not.

    I've watched some extreme QF women accuse my sister (who has 6 children and an inflammed pelvis) of not having enough faith and even questioning if she is really saved because she and her husband have decided to use ways of naturally preventing more pregnancies. My sister is one of the godliest women I know. Her salvation is NOT in danger.

    BTW, one other concern I have with extreme QF mentalities is when they are having more children and are chronically on welfare. Their montra is to trust God for provision for their families, but are they really trusting in God or the government? I think it is a valid question and one people need to seriously think about.

  105. amy says:

    I would never attempt to push my convictions on others, and to me trusting God about my children is a conviction. Once using birth control, I was struck with the thought why am I doing this? Who is the author, creator, giver of life? It is God. He will create life where He sees fit. Who am I to try and stop Him? Not that it would…of course He can and does work around birth control. Then I thought well, use birth control just in case. In case what? In case God makes a mistake? How absurd birth control suddenly seemed to me. If I believe God creates life then my attempt at preventing that is merely a lack of faith. God will give us children when we are to have them and not give us children when it is not time. Anything I do to prevent that (even though it cannot be prevented) is, in my opinion, a lack of trust in God. But, as I said, this was my conviction. I will share it if asked by people, but would never put it on others.

  106. kozimom says:

    I voted Lisa, but I also think that there should have been another option for when her husband, after much prayer, decides that their quiver is full.

  107. Anonymous says:

    I voted as Lisa. Yes, I would consider our family a "Quiverfull" family. I am a young mother of 4, and look forward to more blessings from God in the future. At times I do lose focus, and my fire needs to be rekindled, but in those times God always sends someone or something to bring me back into focus. I recently completed Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, and I want to say thank you so much for giving me a new appreciation for the word of God and for opening my eyes to the blessing that serving is!
    I don't always know how our finances will be met or if I can handle my load, but when we are wise with what we have and seek the council of His word it always falls into place. I do not have ANY Titus 2 women in my life, and very little support from both sides of our family, but I am continuing to pray that God will open the eyes of the blind, and make me into a woman that has the opportunity to encourage and influence young women that God sends my way.

  108. GM Bacon says:

    I hope to not cause offense, but I think there's another type of Christian who doesn't use birth control. I'm an Anglican Christian who has returned to the Catholic belief/reasons behind not using contraception. Children are a blessing, and the norm should be not to prevent conception, but there may be sufficiently serious reasons to not conceive, in which case NFP can be used. The reasons can vary for each couple, as a situation that might be serious for one might be fine for another family, but they should be serious.

    I think one of my problems with the quiverfull movement are the political leanings that are often associated with it. I'm not a dominion Christian. Christ's kingdom is his New Jerusalem, His Heavenly Bride, and while I think American will be represented on that glorious day as every nation bows down, I don't think that means we need to take over America for Jesus. The idea of children as arrows in the spiritual battle against Satan seems biblical, but the idea of children as political arrows makes my stomach churn. Because of these extreme political leanings, I refuse to call myself quiverful.

    I also don't believe in the extreme patriarchy that is often present. I don't think all daughters are meant to be homemakers, and while I hope they have those skills, I believe they could be called to the life of a single religious, whether in a convent or as a lay person. I think the center of the home is Jesus, with the husband as a leader who is the team captain, and consults and works with his team to serve Jesus.

    Because of the political/patriarchal connotations, I tell people I hold a Catholic view of family planning, instead of the Quiverfull one.

  109. CappuccinoLife says:

    I voted "Lisa".

    I do find it interesting that one of the misconceptions has shown up in many of the comments. Unless I missed something, "Lisa" doesn't have a particular number of children, nor must one have a very large family to be a "Lisa" (to be QF, really). One can be QF and have no natural born children. And one can be not QF and have 6 or 7.

    It is not the number of children one has, but one's heart attitude that defines who is QF or not. Because there are some people who are most definitely not QF, and who will say outright that children are more of a burden than blessing, and they have *more* children than I do currently.

    We are somewhere in between those who have large families and those who are longing for children. In 7 years I have had three children, and lost one, and am expecting another (but too early to feel "safe" that this one will stay with us). When we started out, we were so, so looking forward to having a huge family. We thought it would be great–it was our mutual dream. We learned the hard way that we have no right to demand children from God, nor feel put out because he does not give them on our timing. And I must say that I have only once been put down by someone who was QF (who insinuated that we weren't doing "our part" because I wasn't pregnant every year like his wife). Otherwise, the only people who have a problem with the size of my family have been on the nonQF side of things, incredulous that we didn't get "fixed" the day my third son was born. :(

  110. Laura says:

    I have not read all the comments ,but read again what you said in your post and it is so very well written. As i went about my duties yesterday, i was in much prayer for you , for wisdom and strength to not become weary in well doing. I read again Psalm 127 and Treasury of David on the psalm. i did some soul searching and asked myself if i am holding on to truth and failing to communicate anything but my own zeal as you said in your post? I responded in my comment to only those who are not being concerned about the health of the mom-to-be and to those who have been made to feel guilty for not having more children. The two great themes of the Word of God are God's sovereignty and God's responsibility. As i examine my own heart , i thank the Lord for His mercy and for giving me each of our 4 daughters (two children in heaven) and each grandchild, remembering that they are His and His gift. We sometimes take the word lightly ,but , each one is a miracle –it is of God , from God, for God. Certainly, our 13th grandchild due at Thanksgiving is evident that we serve a God who 'specializes in things thought impossible' –joy comes in the morning for a mom who had many miscarriages and probably not completely healed from the last one. I will "delight in blessing"(Psalm 109:17 ) this day.
    Thank you for your service to the Lord.
    Laura for the gang

  111. Brandy Lynn says:

    I voted Lisa. I have five living children ages 7 and under-four who are special needs children (rare genetic syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Autism Spectrum) and also await to meet two stillborn children and 7 other miscarried babies when we go to Glory. My husband and I deal with pressure to not have any more ALL of the time. For my husband and I though, we feel the Lord has always taken care of our needs, and will continue to do so- whether our children have special needs or not. We feel ALMOST ALL forms of birth control are wrong, but not necessarily EVERY SINGLE ONE (I'm thinking of NFP, LAM, etc.) Natural things our bodies do that we can learn to recognize. Or for abstaining for short seasons of prayer. We do not encourage these forms as birth control, however we believe and understand that there are times when a mother may need a break due to illness, etc. In our house, that means prayerfully seeking the Lord's will and asking for HIS working in our lives to open or close the womb. Yet, for another family it may include the use of non-abortificient birth control, but we do not judge another's heart on this matter. (It is the Holy Spirit's job to convict the heart and to judge, not ours.)

    We believe we have opened our hearts to the Lord on allowing him to fill our quiver to the amount He deems fit for our family- HOWEVER, my husband and I do not use the term QF or quiverful. Most around us don't even know what that means!

  112. the cottage child says:

    Very thought provoking (I found you via Generation Cedar).

    Our hearts are heavy with an ill-conceived (npi, sorry) decision of permanent conception control. It's interesting though, it's not that I feel like less of a Christian or less of a mother, and I certainly don't view my husband as less of a man (he had the procedure), but I feel that I failed him as a wife, spiritually and intellectually. Like any regret, I don't think it's Biblical to squander or diminish the blessings I have looking back – we have three terrific kids, and I would never want them to think my sadness lies in their not being enough – I wasn't being enough! – but I absolutely would do things differently, without question, knowing what I know now. While I support NFP (like one wise commenter wrote, God bypasses that all the time), I would discourage anyone, male or female, from using chemical or surgical forms of birth control.

    I think I am Carolyn, perhaps on her path to becoming Lisa. Hopefully, honoring to Christ, whichever.

    Peace

  113. Anonymous says:

    I am another NFP user. I have the Catholic view described in GM Bacon's comment. In terms of your survey, I think that makes me closest to Carolyn, but using NFP rather than artificial birth control. I tried to join a quiverfull mailing list once, but was turned down so I figured that I did not meet the definition.

  114. Michelle says:

    A very thought provoking blog.I have 4 children. They are 16,14 3,and 1.
    The difference in their ages is because after the first 2, my husband got a vasectomy. We had a change of heart and got a reversal. We were blessed with a baby 1 1/2 years after the reversal. We were trusting the Lord with our desire for more children. I had a miscarriage in between the last 2 children. Now we are trying to decide what to do for birth control. We are really feeling that the Lord has blessed us with more children but I am feeling how many more can we handle? With 2 teenagers along with 2 toddlers and my aging self (41).

  115. mamazee says:

    I voted Lisa :)
    i would have liked it if there was a more explicitly "me" version – i know a lot of QF moms who came to this independantly – i.e. we thought we were the only Christian girls who felt this way, and were discouraged by spiritual leaders when we asked questions… And we are still discouraged week after week and year after year and demeaned by pastors etc… for holding to our "strange" beliefs. I found it telling that nobody (as of my vote) had self identified as 'Diane", which is the caricature i find most often in the "anti QF" blogs…

    There is also the factor of the husband's convictions. Many women feel like Lisa but have husbands who don't share their convictions yet (or ever?) and out of respect and obedience for their husbands, use alternate forms of contraception. How hard to not be in agreement over something so huge and life changing!

  116. Dawne says:

    I voted for Lisa. I am not always there. On days that I'm extra tired or frustrated with the day to day demands, I may fall back to a Carolyn, but it's then, I have to "take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ". What I mean is that I need to place my trust and hope in the Lord and on the challenging days, that's hard! We have 6 children, ages 10, 9, 6, 3, 2, and 10 months with another on the way. For the first 5 years of our marriage, my husband was in the Navy and gone for many months at a time. We never heard anyone encourage us that it was "okay" to have children then. We actually heard the opposite and many times from Christians. As I look back, I wonder if God is blessing us now with so many children so close together to make up for the time we lost. Whatever the reason, we are trusting that God will supply all of our needs. Even if that means ridicule from the world, our families and other Christians. Even if I'm worn out or our house seems to be shrinking. God will give us what we need. He knows us better than we do. If we say we trust Him for salvation, then, we have to trust Him in every area. Oh, and I didn't get much sleep last night and accidentally clicked the dislike button for this post when I really like it! :) Thank you, Stacy. This has been very encouraging to me. May God continue to bless you.

  117. Laurel says:

    I found myself wishing for an "almost Lisa" button. :-) My caveat is this… I believe the Biblical instruction to submit to our husband's leadership is more clear than the principles "against" birth control. Sadly, I know of many women who are not honoring/respecting their husbands because their husbands' views on child-bearing do not line up with their own. Or they engage in nagging, begging, bitterness, etc. I believe this is an example of what you mentioned about "no matter how 'right' we are, we become 'wrong.' "
    I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on definitions and why you find yourself moving away from using the word "quiverfull."

  118. Kerry Shealy says:

    I can certainly identify with "Lisa." It wasn't until we heard a sermon by Voddie Baucham that God convicted us about leaving the size of our famiy to Him. We did not use birth control, but thought we would just decide when we were done. We now have 5 children that we have had in 7 years, and grieved the loss of 4 babies through three miscarriages during that time, as well. I can say, without a doubt, that our quiver is not full. We have not prevented pregnancy, our baby is almost 8 months, and I am suprised that I am not pregnant again. My babies always seem to come close together! :-) It has been comforting to leave it in God's hands!
    I was reading a few of the comments from women who felt judged because they did not have a "large" family. I would say the opposite is true for me. I always put it "out there" that we plan to have more children, so it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone anymore. Now that people know we would be happy to have more children they don't share as many negative comments with us when we tell them we are adding to our "tribe." I know I will never get around the glares at Walmart!lol
    I have to admit that my body has been damaged because of pregnancy. My doctor has told me I will need a partial hysterectomy when I am done having children. We are now facing a dilema…is God showing us we are done? Is this the way He is closing my womb? The problem has become much worse in the past 6 months. My husband and I are fervently seeking God. It is such a difficult decision. It makes me so sad to think about not having one more, but we also feel called to adopt, so we know God will continue growing our family. I have mixed feelings, but I am blessed to have a wonderful godly husband who seeks God's will, and whose decisions I trust.

  119. Mary says:

    I loved your post. I am definitely a Lisa. My husband and I felt very early into our marriage to let the Lord work in the area of children. We have one little blessing so far. Many friends and family are astounded that we are not "spacing our children out". So far God has not blessed us with another yet, but we are enjoying the one we have. I feel a peace about letting the Lord work in this area of our lives. It is also nice to see the surprised looks on others faces when they find out that we are ready any day for another blessing.

  120. sarah says:

    I didn't find myself in any of the choices……you're right to point out how many different points of view there are.

    I agree mostly with Lisa, but I do not find anything wrong with using birth control in certain situations. Natural family planning has always worked well for us.

    I think large families are great, but I think small families are great too. I think….every family is different and called by God to walk in a unique way.

  121. sarah says:

    I don't think it's the size of your family….but the QUALITY of your family. We all know large families that are just beautiful. We have seen small three person families that are filled with so much warmth and love and joy. Yet….we have all seen somewhere a large or small family that is NOT filled with love and joy and Christ.

  122. Mummy :) says:

    I voted for Lisa but this doesn't mean that her type of lifestyle is plainly obvious in my life. I am 28, have been married 6 years and I have a 3 year old son. For me it has been similar to Kristi, obedience to my husband comes first. I live outside the US where devoted Christians, let alone Quiver-full Christians, are few and far between. Despite this, the few that I have come across take great haughty pride in the fact that they have it all worked out. In their looks and their passing comments they communicate to me that I most certainly need to repent and start having more babies. What would you have me do, Quiver-full mother with hordes of children? Usurp my husbands authority and get pregnant despite his wishes? (Not that I could anyway, as we use a form of contraception that he is in control of – withdrawal). Just as the Pharisee lorded it over the tax collector, "look at how holy I am", so can we think ourselves better than we ought. Please think about this before dismissing a sister in Christ as "living outside of God's will" and instead pray that God would give her and her husband a conviction to trust Him in everything.

  123. Anonymous says:

    I also called myself a "Lisa", but I only recently arrived at this position. I "changed my tune" in part due to reading the opinions and experiences of bloggers, like yourself, who have decided to trust God with the number of children they have. God brought this concept to my attention a number of years ago, but I dismissed those who thought that way as crazy; especially as we didn't have to have so many children any more.

    However, I would like to explain a little more about my situation. My husband doesn't think this way. I had my tubes tied after my fourth child. I was afraid to have more children because I had some difficulty carrying the last child and because I had a miscarriage that was emotionally devastating to me and I was afraid of facing that possibility again. When my youngest was delivered, the doctor said that I had a very thin spot on my uterus and he thought that labor could have been life-threatening for me. He thought having a tubal was a wise choice for my health. A couple of years after that, I had a hysterectomy. I have often wondered if I made the right choices. There was something about knowing that I couldn't have another child, that made me want to have another. I know that sounds strange, especially since I said I didn't want to "risk" another pregnancy before. I guess that is just the contrariness of our human nature.

    Anyway, I agree with other commenters who see wisdom and value in NFP, and with submitting to your husband's wishes, if he doesn't agree with having many children. I also feel that, unfortunately, many people seem to see having children as a contest. Perhaps it is more a matter of bragging. If children are a blessing of God, look how much more blessed I am than you. Obviously, that is not a right attitude.

    I wish I had started my family earlier, I wish I had more children, but I cannot change the past. My goal is to treasure the precious gifts I have and to encourage others to be open to the blessing of children. I hope my children will have many children and will truly cherish them as they are cherished and loved.

  124. Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe says:

    I've noticed a common occurrence among the women who have decided to "allow God to be sovereign over their wombs" and not practice any family spacing: many miscarriages. How devastating. And yet they feel they must carry on this way, allowing themselves to become pregnant over and over again closely together with no rest, only to have more miscarriages. I would be devastated if I had a miscarriage and am thankful that I never had one. I can't see not giving your body a rest from time to time in order to get strong again and possibly prevent this, especially if a doctor recommends this. I'm just sayin'. "Just have faith" reminds me of the name it and claim it "gospels." Extremists in this movement would tell people to stop taking medicine and stop giving medicine to their children. There were some devastating results. (I'm not against large families, btw.)

  125. Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe says:

    I'm still trying to understand the concept of "God opens and closes the womb" as it is presented by some commenters here, and on a lot of blogs. If God really decides, not us, then it doesn't matter if we use birth control or what kind — we will become pregnant. Right? And, why does He open the wombs of the unmarried who are practicing fornication? Just trying to understand. Don't you think having a large family or limiting your family (either one) is part of our freedom in Christ?

  126. Brandy Lynn says:

    In relation to what Mary at CyberCafe said…

    "I've noticed a common occurrence among the women who have decided to "allow God to be sovereign over their wombs" and not practice any family spacing: many miscarriages. How devastating. And yet they feel they must carry on this way, allowing themselves to become pregnant over and over again closely together with no rest, only to have more miscarriages."

    I am one of those you are referring to who has had many miscarriages plus two stillbirths. I would just like to let you know that my body does not miscarry because it is tired. I do not miscarry one after the other. Nor have my very experienced OB's and Perinatologists ever said I needed a rest. There is no "name it and claim it" type of "gospel" practiced by my husband and I in the area of our childbearing. And, I do not feel as though I just must "carry on". Although I often hear these kinds of assumptions from those who misunderstand.

    (I am okay with that, though, as my Lord was often misunderstood during his earthly ministry as well. *wink*)

    My husband and I are overjoyed every time we find that the Lord has blessed us again. We have experienced horrible heartache over those children who have sat at Jesus' feet long before we were ready to let them go. However, I serve a wonderful God who blesses and who takes away. My husband and I do not "plod on" because we have to. We dance and rejoice in sharing in God's creation of new life because we get to. Who am I to think I am wiser than my Creator just because I don't like the sorrow that is often mingled with rejoicing? I am so grateful to the Lord for giving me the children He has entrusted to my husband and me, and will continue in that thankfulness if He so chooses to bless us with others.

    Blessings,

  127. Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe says:

    Thanks, Brandy Lynn. I appreciate you sharing your reasons and thoughts. Glad to know the doctors you have think it is ok. Wishing you many more live births and no more sadness.

  128. Jules says:

    I think there are probably more types of women than just those represented in this poll, although I realise the poll is to do with which 'quiverfull' Christian you are. However I cannot comfortably fit myself into any of the 'women' listed here.

    I think God has given us minds that can seek His wisdom and make wise and intelligent decisions. (Of course, our own sinfulness often gets in the way too which shows how important it is that we're prayerful and open when we make these decisions.)

    God has also given us incredible bodies that tell the times of our fertility. I truly do not believe that there is anything wrong with using these natural rhythms to space our families. I know too that for many women that nursing can also be a natural way of spacing their families.

    I believe with all my heart that children are a gift from the Lord and that they are a blessing. I also believe that there are many in the world – and even in the church – that don't see children this way. But I do think we need to be careful not to label those that chose to limit the size of their families as 'sinful'. Instead we all need to realise that God takes each of us on a different journey and that what is 'right' for me may not necessarily be 'right' for someone else.

    Blessings, Jules

  129. evy says:

    Looking forward to seeing what else you write on the topic, Stacy!

    Never having heard of (sheltered life that I lived….laugh!) the word quiverful until a few years ago, something that has often stuck out to me since is the lack of peace, joy and contentment with what God offers individual families…too many children, not enough children, no children….one of the biggest lessons I've learned from exposure to "qiverful" is that glorifying God in the here and now is not evidenced by a discontented life and not wanting that which God has not ordained for each unique family-more chidren, less children or no children.

    :)

    evy

  130. Sarah says:

    I've really enjoyed reading through the comments here. So many precious women who are seeking after God. As a young mother of 2 small children who is still healing from a recent miscarriage, this topic has been heavy on my heart and mind in recent weeks. But like Jules who posted above, I don't feel that I fit comfortably into any of the choices given.

    I think the one thing that makes me pause and stand back a bit is the tendency for this "quiverfull" issue to cause division. (Hurt, pride, etc.)

    The whole issue boils down to what is in our hearts. We can claim to be "quiverfull" and completely trust God with the size of our family, yet not trust Him with other (not so outward) areas of our lives.

    (And PRAISE GOD that our salvation is not dependant on our works…it's the grace of God alone!!!)

    Something that came to my mind is this quote (which, yes I know, is not from the Bible) but I think it can apply to issues just like the one being discussed so graciously here.

    "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity."

    Sarah

  131. The Henderson Family says:

    Hi Stacy,

    You know I rarely comment on your blog but this time I really felt led to speak.

    I am not going to say which "woman" I am according to the quiz but I would like to comment on this topic if I may.

    The Bible does indeed say that children are a blessing and indeed they are. They are a blessing not just in our individual families but in our churches and society in general.

    The Bible also says MANY other things are a blessing,but for some reason in some circles this blessing seem to be held up much higher than the others.

    This is concerning because this blessing is made out to be a doctrine in itself by certain groups/sects of Christianity. This along with homeschooling and in some cases homebirthing.

    Families begin to "wear" their children as a badge of honor, and even holiness in some cases. Great pain is taken to dress all alike and take pictures lined up in rows according to ages.

    Please understand I am not saying these things (dressing alike) are wrong in and of themselves but a certain prideful and boastful spirit has begun to permeate in some of these circles.

    Blogs that if one looks at them objectively, speak more about children, babies, pregnancy and homeschooling than the Lord and the grace he has extended to us all.

    Eventually this all begins to seem much like a prideful, works-based theology even if it was not originally intended to be. As humans we must constantly be on guard. It is easy for us, sinful that we are, to take what the Lord intended to be a blessing and turn it into an idol.

    When I hear families going on and on about the "attention" they get, either postive or negative because of their large families the hair on the back of my neck begins to rise.

    Some seem to relish in this attention, even if it is negative, almost as if they pridefully feel they are being "persecuted" for the sake of the Lord.

    It begs the question, how much of this child bearing is because of the love of children and how much of it is a prideful attempt to prove ones holiness or worse still a desire to "earn" the approval of God or man?

    Please understand that I know many large families that are sold out to the Lord and just happen to love children and have many. I am not speaking of all large families in this comment. This is a heart issue and I think many who like to give themselves the label of "quiverful" as an adjective to Christian need to closely examine their hearts and make sure they have not elevated something higher than it should be.

    Also I would encourage all self-labeled "quiverful Christians" to do a study on EVERYTHING the Bible labels a blessing and see if they give half as much thought to the all of these blessings as they do this one.

    Sorry for the long comment Stacy! I hope my words are taken in love.

  132. Marci says:

    I am definitely with Lisa and I come from a really different place to say that. I wanted at least 12. God chose to give me one and he is through adoption. You can read my story on my blog.

  133. Anna says:

    I would have to say I am a Lisa, however, I can not consider myself "quiverfull" for lack of a better term, because my husband is not quiverfull minded. I am currently pregnant with blessing #6. My hubby says he thinks this should be the last baby. Though I do not agree I need to follow his leadership. I pray that if we are to have more children God will be the one to change his mind. If not then I will enjoy the blessings that I have and be grateful.

  134. J & A says:

    What about Christians that believe children are blessings but not necessarily for them? Not everyone is called to be a parent, I don't believe, and if one can discern that honestly and unselfishly, I have to accept that as well.

  135. The Dischers says:

    Weighing in late in the game here, but I wanted to comment.

    I voted as Lisa, with the caveat that we use natural family planning.

    We have 8 children, with the older 4 having been born in barely 4 years.

    If the physical is a picture (clearly seen) of the spiritual, and children are the "fruit" of the womb, then to treat a woman's body as one would a garden plot, etc. would make sense.

    When we want a good "crop" we make sure we take care of the ground and give it resting time to build it up, etc.

    This may occur naturally, but we may need to watch the God-given signs our body gives off and use our God-given intellect to figure it out :)

    Just our opinion!

    Great topic! It has been precious to see all of the sweet heartfelt responses!

    Looking forward to your post!
    Beth Discher

  136. Kerry Shealy says:

    The Henderson Family–
    It cracked me up when you wrote "Great pain is taken to dress all alike and take pictures lined up in rows according to ages."
    I never wanted to be one of "those" families…BUT, I have to admit that I do color coordinate my children when we go out in public! The main reason is that it helps me keep track of everybody. Another reason is that my boys actually like to dress alike, which is cute, and I know that won't last. Still, I "get" your comment!
    I want us to be a godly family and I want us to dress modestly, too. I also enjoy looking fashionable and believe that our appearance will make us more approachable to the world. I like the Duggars, and I think they are a great family, but I do not believe they are very approachable.

  137. Laura says:

    Discher's illustrations of the garden was excellent. Be assured of our continued prayer.
    Laura

  138. Janelle says:

    Hi Stacy,
    I have really enjoyed reading this post and all the comments. My husband and I are in the midst of prayerfully deciding where we stand on this issue. I am really looking forward to your follow up post but until then, are there some resources you would recommend? We have been studying scripture but could really use some other resources to help us process all this. Books? Websites?
    Thanks again!
    Janelle

    Oh, and I was blessed beyond measure by Passionate Housewives Desperate for God! Thanks for co-writing such an amazing book!

  139. Rach says:

    I know I am late to the party on this one but I have been re-researching our family’s stance on children.

    I grew up in a “Lisa” home and there are eight of us. I highly respect those who sincerely believe that this is what God has called them to do and who have children in the way “Lisa” does, with trust in God and His will.

    My husband and I also believe that children are a blessing and we trust that God will give them to us as He wills. That is just lived out differently in our practical, every day life. We used BC for the first few years of marriage with a daily prayer that when God would want to bless us with children He would show us. He did – we got off BC and were pregnant the next cycle. We were just four months into our parenting journey when we learned we were pregnant again – and with TWINS. :) Turns out I am a hyper-ovulator. :P

    The amazing thing about the twins is that once we had our first I discovered that pregnancy and everything is physically mentally and spiritually next to impossible for our family. I prayed that God would just send us one more boy (I love boys!) and my DH was praying for a girl… when we found out that with one pregnancy we received all we had wished for we were ecstatic!

    Right now I am back on BC and we are again praying that if God sees fit to give us more children He will again let us know or just circumvent the BC, which is totally within His capabilities. :)

    My question is (after all that preamble) would a family like ours be considered quiverfull? Or some “kind” of quiverfull? Or would you say we really aren’t trusting God? We would agree completely with Lisa, but the practical aspects of HOW we are applying the “trusting God” looks different than the “quiverfull” norm…

  140. JulieBeth says:

    I believe with Lisa, but my husband does not, so he chose to limit our family to four children. Praise God that He gave me one more gift before my husband stopped it permanently.

    I have seen time and again God bless those families who embrace whatever children He provides, often in miraculous ways to show His hand.

    The most interesting thing to me is that of the many families I know who let God plan their family size, most have less than six children, many have only one or two, and a few have none.

    Great article. I only recently began to meet people who say that they have a quiver full, and they mean they have however many they want, interesting interpretation of that Scripture.

  141. Colleen G. says:

    Wow! What a lot of responses. There if one who isn’t on the list. I guess that would be me. In my study(both bible & human authors) I see quiverfull- Lisa as a calling not a set mandate. It would be too long of a story but I can’t imagine God demanding that I be quiverfull it would be too cruel. My Father is just not that mean. My body is hyper fertile. I also have a chronic illness that is made extra debilitating by the drains of pregnancy and infancy. My children needed me to be an active mother(think normal dailyliving) not a couch/bedridden sick person. I cannot train up my children when I am physically unavailable. After careful study(yes the bible) and seeking God we felt it was allowable to cease bearing. We did try natural child spacing with no effect. Extreme circustances, yes. I always wanted a large family but I never dreamed the pain and agony it would take to have one.
    One reason I see quiverfull as a calling is that for the called ones God works wonders in thier capabilities. For the not called they are a wiped out, drained mess that give fodder to the feminist lies.

  142. NeciaJo says:

    I am a “Lisa”; the Lord has blessed me with 11 beautiful children here on earth and 5 in heaven. When I first encountered the Biblical concept that children are a blessing, it was confirmed immediately in my heart. As the years passed and I struggled with severe morning sickness, very painful labors and deliveries, intense marital conflict, and unrelenting financial struggles, I found myself remembering that “God said unto them…” but had forgotten that that “God blessed them and said unto them…” I found myself living under a “blessingless command”, and much of my original joy was lost. When my husband said, “no more” after our ninth child was born, I was heartbroken, and prayed fervently for the Lord to change his heart and mind. He did, and I joyously received five more more children (two on earth, three in heaven)… I was once more living under a “blessingfilled command”.

    When my oldest daughter was entering her second trimester, she developed grand mal seizures. The first seizure was so severe and lasted so long, she was unable to walk correctly for about two weeks afterwards. Words cannot describe how our hearts were gripped when my daughter turned blue during seizures; words cannot describe the fervency of the cries that were silently breathed to the Lord on her behalf and that of her unborn child. A scan later showed scarring of my daughter’s brain (due to damage from the first seizure). While I had been through many trials with my pregnancies and deliveries, the realization that my daughter and my unborn grandchild could lose their lives if a seizure caused placenta abruptio, and the knowledge that the anti-seizure medication that she was given could cause birth defects if taken within the first trimester of subsequent pregnancies prompted me to re-examine my beliefs.. would my daughter be sinning if she and her husband decided to use some form of birth control? After much searching of my heart and of the Scriptures, I came to this conclusion:

    Rom 14:23b KJV – for whatsoever [is] not of faith is sin.

    I counseled my son-in-law and daughter to prayerfully make the decision according to the dictates of the their own consciences, according to the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that the Lord had given them; and told them that either way, their decision would take a step of faith.

    My daughter just entered her third trimester with her second child. She has had no seizures since the birth of her first child – praise the Lord! She has learned to literally walk by faith, knowing that she could experience a breakthrough seizure at any time. The faith that she and her husband have demonstrated fills me with joy, but if they had chosen differently, I would not have presumed to judge the Lord’s work in their hearts…

    We cannot walk by faith for others… this they must do for themselves. ; )

  143. Michelle says:

    Hi! Thanks for this article. I just have a quick comment. I have 5 kids and we would like more. However, being pregnant 4 times in 4 years takes a toll on ones body. We are currently using “control” for the next year do I can have a break. But I firmly believe that biblically I can never use and form of control that would cause harm or death to a fetus should I conceive. So for us, that means no pills, iud’s or potions or hormones of any kind. We are basically limited to condoms or NPF. (nursing biblically doesn’t stop me from conceiving. ) I believe that the Bible says we are not to harm a fetus. I don’t believe it says I don’t have the option of controlling some of the timing of a fetus. But in the end, it is all as God wills if to be. Thank you for reading this.

  144. Jeannie says:

    Wow, I can relate to some of these comments…. I always get a twinge of guilt when I hear the word Quiverfull.. at times I felt the word being used and from certain sects in the Christian faith made it sound as if something was wrong if we didnt have X amount of children… I realize now how much of that thinking was not based on Trusting Jesus for my answer… Husband and I have a daughter we bore while still teens in High School… for about 4.5 years we did the rythmn method to prevent pregnancy because every thing else I seemed to have problems with… then in the summer of 99 I went on Birth Control Pills… January of 2000 I became pregnant with our son….(go figure).. a year after son was born hubby had a vasectimy… (big mistake.. we were still in our early 20′s and who would have thought years later we would have second thoughts)… Fast Forward to 2010 we become liscensed Foster Caregivers and we raise a newborn and her older sister for 7 months before they were placed with family… Little did we know how much we missed them and having little ones in the house( our two are now 15 and 10)… Hubby and I begin to contemplate on having a reversal and allowing it to be handed over to God… as soon as we were leaving that idea up to HIM.. we received the call to ask if we could take the girls back… that alone we believe was Gods answer to saying no more from my womb.. but the raising and caring of others that are the least of thee..

    So my point.. is no matter how big or how small the family size is GOD should be in control whether they come from YOUR WOMB or the WOMB of others… CHILDREN ARE STILL A BLESSING FROM THE LORD…. So I vote for Lisa

    Besides the way I see it.. if we are following GODS plan there is no Wrong Or Right Size.. He knows what we can handle and cannot handle… believe me going from 2 of my own to currently caring for 5 children which include my two… gives me a whole other appreciation for my momma who RAISED 5 children ( and that says alot considering she had 3 boys myself and my sister.. ha ha)

  145. Esbee says:

    I am Italian. I have a sense of humor. I have been married to the same man for 37 years. I wear pants all the time (don’t like dresses or any girly stuff) I love horses (ride and show them) have 11 cats, 2 dogs and am an artist. I have a teaching degree and work outside the home. My house is not the neatest and right now, I do not go to church but we have in the past until it split. My husband loves Star Trek and other sci-fi. I did not want and never had children. We believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins and it is through His grace, unearned that we live our life and by faith, follow Him.

    O.K. Be honest…how many could not get past the fact I wear pants, or work outside the home. Or you were considering I was ok until that part where I said I did not want children. How many think sci-fi is of the devil? Did you make mental notes of your favorite scriptures that found me lacking in some area as you read about my personality, likes and dislikes? Or did you read all the way through to find out if I said who my savior was and decided that was the important thing?

  146. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Esbee,

    I’m trying to figure out where you’re coming from here. Your speculations on the thoughts and motives of others is interesting, and a little disturbing. You lump together being Italian, having a sense of humor and owning dogs and cats with not “ever wanting children” and forsaking the assembling together (not going to church). And I’m not sure what you meant about not getting “past the fact that you wear pants” or thinking “sci-fi is of the devil! You sound very confused.

    You said: “We believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins and it is through His grace, unearned that we live our life and by faith, follow Him.”

    That is very good. However, though someone may have a basic understanding of salvation, it does not mean that they are walking as Scripture calls them to walk or thinking as God would have them to think. There are plenty of people who have “prayed the prayer” or “walked an aisle” and are as lost as ever.

    Trusting Jesus as your Savior is the most important thing. But, I’m sure you would agree that it’s only the beginning; if we mean it when we say that we will “live our life by faith and follow Him,” then there will be action behind our words. We won’t live for ourselves and our own pleasures, but we will take up our cross and follow Him. We will live out the Gospel each day. And that includes obeying His Commandments (even the one about keeping the Sabbath).

  147. Cindi says:

    I think that people have different views about what it means to be “quiverfull.” The majority of people I know view it as “having your quiver full” of many children… literally having many children. The other view I seem to hear of is being “quiverfull-minded”…as in allowing God to build your family size, but you are not yet at a number that “qualifies” you as quiverfull.

    (Frankly, I think we should stop using the term quiverfull as we have misused it for pride and perhaps even idolatry.)

    Let me ask this–If quiverfull is in the heart (about obedience and submission to God which is what this should only be about), then which one of these ladies is “quiverfull?”:
    a)the mom of 6 children who decides she does not want any more children and convinces her husband to practice birth control with her.
    b)the mom of 1 child who is praying for more children, but whose body has not been able to conceive more and God has not opened the door to adoption.

    I think most of us would say “a” but I can tell you that when you see those 2 moms at church and don’t know their heart, you automatically view the one with more children as the quiverfull one.

    Shouldn’t we trust God whether He gives us a house full of children or whether He gives us one?

    Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1Sam16:7

  148. Sarah Jane says:

    I must confess to being a combination of all of these women, with the exception of Diane. I don’t believe that using birth control is necessarily sinful, and I have been hurt by those who tell me that my husband and I are sinning against God.

    They don’t know our finances or have seen our struggle from living from paycheck to paycheck. They haven’t seen that we have had to borrow money from our parents, but thankfully been able to pay it back. Or have had to ask the deacons at church for money. Thankfully, our church has been blessed financially with willing and able servants, but on the flip side, people see that our first is turning three and think and say, “You need to hurry up and have another one.”

    We believe that we would be putting God to the test if we purposefully decide to have another child, but at the same time, we know that God is able to provide for us, just as He has in many marvelous ways.

    Ultimately, it is God ALONE who knows our hearts and why a couple isn’t having more children. I believe we need to be very careful when we don’t know the whole story.

  149. GMC3MOM says:

    I chose #5 Angela… and here is why.

    Not all quivers are designed the same. If you look up information about the various types of hunters and their arrows which fill the quivers…. you will learn quite a bit! Some hunters have a large quiver, that holds countless small disposable arrows. They don’t worry about retrieving the arrows they send out because they have many more to choose from. They are also usually close to home. If they run out, they can return and get more. If you look at the hunter who has to travel a long distance, he will carry a smaller quiver with a smaller number of arrows in it. He will shot them, and then recover them to reuse. This is because his pack must be light for the journey, and he is too far from home to return back for more. His few arrows are precious, and he will do his best to hunt down every missing arrow. Then you have the small game hunter. He is out shooting birds, or small monkeys. He will have small arrows because he needs to be cautious to obliterate the meat. He will also have many arrows because he is helping feed his village. They will need to bring home as many birds or monkeys or other small game as possible. However the big game hunter will have a fewer number of larger arrows. They are meant to bring the beast down, but it usually doesn’t kill the game. Once it is brought down, they retrieve their few arrows and finish the beast off with a spear or knife. They are usually carrying just a few arrows because they only need 1 or a few big game animals to feed their village.

    The # of arrows required to fill your quiver will depend on the type of hunter you are.

  150. Stacy McDonald says:

    That’s great, but Psalm 127:4 refers to a mighty warrior or champion, rather than a hunter.

  151. alexandra says:

    I guess I could use prayer and encouragement and advice. I didn’t vote. I dont think we would call ourselves quiverfull, but we love children and we had 3 in three years and two weeks. My third was a c-section. We do use natural family planning, mostly because we have aquired medical debt. I also am trying to not get pregnant because I dont want another c-section. Once my son is a year we are going to stop trying to abstain during ovulation, which is hard to even know because I haven’t gotten a period yet. My husband works close to 70 hours a week, he is a bi-vocational pastor and we live frugally. So our debt isnt because of unwise choices. I dont know if anyone has any advice to speak into this. I am totally up for letting God decide our family size, I am not sure my husband is there, so I follow his leadership, especially we aren’t using a form of birth control that can abort a fertilized egg.. Also wondering the earliest anyone was able to have a vbac

Leave a Reply

Please note: Comment moderation is currently enabled so there will be a delay between when you post your comment and when it shows up. Patience is a virtue; there is no need to re-submit your comment.