Jul
22
2009

What We Mean by Quiverfull

A version of this article made it in our book, Love Another Child. Originally published July 22, 2009.


Photo by Rick Wilking, Copyright (c) Reuters, Inc.

Photo by Rick Wilking. Copyright (c) 2009 Reuters. Used with permission.

Some words come loaded with connotation. I think of deep words like Christian or love: the words themselves seldom do the meanings justice. They are better understood by observing–by showing, not telling. “Quiverfull” is one of these words.

It is no surprise that shows like TLC’s John & Kate Plus 8 and the Dugger Family Show have done so well. Viewers are allowed a glimpse into the quiverfull life, to observe the claims in action.

We finished our Reuters and CBS interviews last week. The picture above was taken by Rick Wilking who will also be doing the article on what it means to be “quiverfull” (view slideshow here) CBS plans to have a show (maybe even a few shows), the Jeubs being one of the families featured.

These two media opportunities attempt to answer the question: What does “quiverfull” mean? I suppose a show is much better than an essay, but the question still deserves a rhetorical answer. This article will attempt to explain the quiverfull idea, at least what it means for the Jeubs.

Where the Term Comes From

The term comes from one of the most poetic books of the Bible, the Psalms (or “songs of God”). The subtitle in the header of this Web site is taken from the same Psalm and is a reference to the quiverfull idea. Here are the verses in full (New International Version):

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.

2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.

4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.

5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

One of the shortest chapters in the Bible, but one of the most poetic. Poetry, as defined by one of my college professors, is “condensed thoughts.” Wendy and I have found these verses to be incredibly encouraging as we walk in faith in what God is calling us to do. These verses validate our risks, they galvanize our trust. We’ve applied these verses to the actions in our life, and I can honestly attest that it has led to a most adventurous one.

One small side note on that: the more profound verses from Scripture are misunderstood and often avoided. This is too bad, really. If you are not a Christian, or if you don’t believe the Bible to be genuinely from God, you may end up struggling with these “condensed thoughts.” Sure, you may find this article interesting, but the real depth and understanding comes in applying the principles. These are verses of faith, of walking the walk. We are people of faith, and, truthfully, I can’t imagine applying these verses without a solid faith.

Anyway, back to Psalm 127 and the principles of our quiverfull lifestyle.

Letting God Have Control (versus 1-2)

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

The metaphors of the first two verses illustrate that Psalm 127 wants us to put God in control of our home building. Our home is our heritage, our family, the things that matter most. I could have likely built my family without God in my life, but I would have most likely done a lousy job. The picture you see above is awesome, and I have to say it is because God has been with us every step of the way.

Surrendering your life to God isn’t the easiest thing to do–it may appear to some as a bit foolish–but it is most daring. I have seen miracles happen in areas of my life that I would have otherwise thought hopeless. Here are just three examples: finances, employment and relationships. When I surrender my financial life to God you’d expect poverty, but I am blessed with much more than monetary wealth. I trust God with my employment, and I receive the joy of self-employment. I have given my relationships up to God, and I have discovered profound love. These were steps of faith where the results would have logically led to harmful consequences, like a blind man walking into a wall. Instead, the consequences have been beautiful. I’ve found this to be the way God works with me: he wants my faith, then he takes care of the results.

The same goes for our reproductive life. Wendy and I believe God wants us to trust Him in our family planning. The results are his to deal out. We’re more than just fine by that. We are amazed at how incredible the blessings have been. I almost have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. I look at the picture above and think, “Can life be so good?”

I suppose that picture could be seen as a bit scary. The remaining verses challenge us to rethink how we see children.

Children Are Blessings (verse 3)

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.

How have modern couples gotten into their minds that children aren’t a blessing? Oh, I know, few would come right out and say that, but their actions sure show it. I’ve witnessed parents in earshot of their children rant and rave on how difficult parenting is. In our book Love in the House, I tell of a mom who tried to convince a couple of snow-boarders how awful parenting is:

I recall sitting with three of our kids on a shuttle bus at a ski resort in Colorado when a mother sitting with two children struck up a conversation with a couple of college-aged men. This mother (within earshot of her kids) proclaimed: “Enjoy your life while you can! Once you have children, everything gets so difficult. What I would give to be young again!”
I remember this so well because the two students–whom you might expect to chime right in and complain about children–brushed off this mother’s advice. One long-haired snowboarder said, “I believe children are a blessing.” His friend agreed, “Yeah, I look forward to having a family.” So much for stereotypes.

This gets a little dicey when I challenge parents to rethink what they’ve been told all their lives: “Have perhaps one or two children, but then stop.” Having more than these token children are seen as selfish or irresponsible. Like the mother on the bus, the joys of youth were much more enjoyable than the agony of parenting. Why prolong the pain?

Truth is that these same parents would never admit that there one or two children aren’t blessings. Even this mother on the bus–if pressed–would have admitted she loved her children. Why, then, would you predetermine the next child as some sort of curse?

Imagine for a moment you and God having a conversation. God says, “I want to bless you with $15 million.” You return, “No thanks, God. Sounds like agony to me. I’ll just put up with the few bucks I can manage on my own.”

Take another look at Rick’s photograph above. You know what? My life is really, really good. Granted, it hasn’t all been so peachy, but who can claim a life that is? I can’t imagine life without any one of those blessings–and two adult children not pictured, plus a grandson. God had a fantastic plan in store for Chris and Wendy Jeub when he laid on our hearts to let Him have control of our blessings. The idea that any of these children pictured are not blessings is a ridiculous idea. Actually, it’s kind of sinister, and only a demented parent would claim such a thing.

We take that a step further. We have 15 children, but why would we say that #16 wasn’t a blessing? Or #17? Or #18?

Let me rewind time and put some names to this quiverfull idea. When we had Isaiah 13 years ago (my first son, 5th child), the conventional logic was to stop having children. I had four daughters and now a son, why go on? If I would have followed this course, I wouldn’t have Micah, Noah, Tabitha, Keilah, Hannah, Josiah, Havilah, Joshua, Priscilla or Zechariah.

God convicted Wendy and me to continue having children. Perhaps God convicts couples to restrict pregnancy, but truth be known, I haven’t met any. Most people give me all sorts of reasons why they stopped having children, none of which include, “God told me to stop.” Instead, reasons include “I can’t handle anymore children,” “What would my neighbors think?”, “I can’t afford it,” etc., etc. In other words, “Another child would not be a blessing.”

Verse 3 nips this fallacy in the bud, and the remaining verses blossom the “quiverfull” metaphor.

Blessed Is the Man Who Has His Quiver Full (verses 4-5)

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

These two verses are written with military terms (e.g. arrows, warrior, quiver, enemies). I don’t read this literally. I read this as a metaphor, representative of our walk through life. Whatever life throws at you, a solid family brings strength, stability, preparedness. Paraphrase: “As a warrior entering a battle with a quiver full of arrows, so is a father with a houseful of children.” Whatever the enemy throws at you, you can withstand.

People err in thinking “quiverfull” as some contest to have as many children as possible. I know quiverfull-minded people with just a couple kids; they are content with their two and they are fine if God gives them more. Likewise, I have corrected people who cry out to God for as many children as the Jeubs (I guess you can call them quiverfull wannabes. Believe it or not, they’re out there!). Such is not the quiverfull mindset. We’re not on a racetrack; we are merely letting God have control of our family numbers. This is a walk of faith, not a race to a finish line.

You see, having a “full” quiver is a relative term. That could be 15 children for Chris and Wendy Jeub. I’m not going to manipulate that number. This area of our life–that of so-called family planning–is in God’s hands. We’re refusing to manipulate that.

I can’t begin to tell you how freeing this walk is. It really is! We have been so blessed by our children, our extended family has been blessed, our children bless each other…there is so much blessing going around that I can barely stand it! This is freedom, a good life, an abundant life.

The Quiverfull “Movement”

I’d be fooling you if I were to say this is just my personal conviction. While Wendy and I have acted on faith, I believe God is working on a lot of couples’ hearts. Vasectomies may be #1 unneeded surgery in the world, but do you know what is #2? Reversals. I believe that the quiverfull mindset is moving through the hearts and minds of young couples.

This is more than a hunch. Encyclopedia.com refers to the quiverfull movement taking popularity around 2004 in international media. It references an article from The Nation (hardly sympathetic to quiverfull people) that claims the movement is in the thousands to tens-of-thousands. I find these low numbers hard to believe, but no worries. The multiplying factor make these numbers seem huge (10,000 to the 10th degree equals a lot of people).

Every movement that pushes against the tide of the status quo will have its failures. Most viewers, I gather, are saddened at John and Kate’s separation, and more saddened for their children. Life would have been grand for their beautiful–now broken–family. For me, this doesn’t hinder what God has laid on my heart, nor should it hinder you. Move forward with faith, and let God handle the results.

Word count: 2,017 words. Quite an attempt to define the loaded word “quiverfull.” It falls short of the true quiverfull experience, the idea and what it truly means. For the Jeubs, we are who we are, we confidently apply Psalm 127 to our lives, and we open our home to media like CBS and Reuters as means of explaining ourselves.

——————-

Rick Wilking works for Reuters as a photo journalist. He was there with CBS during the shooting of the “Born to Breed” episode. You’ll see a lot of the same shots that was on the show, but Rick captured the moment to a tee. Check out this video, posted in July…

Quiverfull from Rick Wilking on Vimeo.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado, with 14 of their 16 children. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • cyndi eikenberg

    I am reading you post. Rick Wilking is a member of my church. He is a great photographer.

    I am really glad in the midst of the John and Kate plus 8 trouble, that there are Christian families that are committed to one another through the hard times, unselfishly giving and loving their families.

    CE

  • Sarah M. in MI

    Amen!
    To many people view the QF lifestyle as a race to have the most children. For many of us who came to the belief late, or for those who have never been anything but QF and only have a handful, it really is NOT about numbers.
    It truly is about allowing God to be the sovreign ruler of every aspect of your life.

    PS – from the earliest interviews I saw of the J & K + 8 family, they made it clear they were done having children, and not interested in having more after the 6. I do not belief they can or should be identified with the QF lifestyle. Allow people may lump all big families together, not all big families are truly QF. : )

    PSS – LOVE the picture!!!!!

    Sarah M. in MI, wife to John, mom to 7 + one on the way.

  • Beth

    Thanks for this post! You did such a nice job of explaining the scripture and what it means to you. There is one thing you said that I don’t completely agree with. I believe that God speaks to people in very different ways and could very well lead a persons heart to know if they should have more children or not. I also believe that all children are a blessing but some families are more capable of raising many children then others.

    Thanks for your example and witness! God Bless!

    I will also continue to pray for the Gosselin family!

  • http://stephsoundoff.blogspot.com Steph

    What a great reminder! Mitch & I surrendered control of our family size to God almost 3 years ago. I admit that sometimes (difficult days do come) I have a nagging thought in the back of my head that says, “Why did we make this choice? Is it mandated by Scripture?” As I follow that thought to propose *how* I would go about restricting pregnancy, well, there just aren’t any good options! Then the Lord sees fit to bring encouragement to me once again through testimonies like yours. Yes, I do trust Him. We are enjoying loving on baby #7, born this past spring. :)

  • http://thepinkslippers.blogspot.com/ Wendy

    I am a Mommy to 7 children, 9 and under. I love this post. And guess what is funny? Me and my husband names are Chris & Wendy. Too funny. You two are doing a great thing!
    Wendy

  • http://thepinkslippers.blogspot.com/ Wendy

    By the way, we let God control all are family ‘planning’. We think He knows when the best time to bring a child into the world not us. We always tell negative commentors in our own family–which one would you have us get rid of?
    wendy

  • BJ

    I love following your family and the way that God has been using you in the media to promote the family. I live just down the street from you and love that we have such a godly family in our neighborhood!
    I just wanted to ask what you think a family should do who has decided that they are “done” having kids and the husband had a vascectomy. We both continue to have baby fever, but I have difficult pregnancies with bedrest. We have an unsettled feeling about wanting more children, but also realize that being on bedrest for the end of pregnancy and having babies born 5 weeks early isn’t the best either. What would be your advice?
    Thank you!

  • Sandra

    How true,and remember,God knew what was going to happen when He planned the universe,and none of us are just arbitrarily here.None of us are a mistake,including the Suleman octuplets:

    I knew you even before you were conceived.
    Jeremiah 1:4-5

    I chose you when I planned creation.
    Ephesians 1:11-12

    You were not a mistake,
    for all your days are written in my book.
    Psalm 139:15-16

    I determined the exact time of your birth
    and where you would live.
    Acts 17:26

    You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Psalm 139:14

    I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
    Psalm 139:13

    And brought you forth on the day you were born.
    Psalm 71:6

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

    Great question, BJ. You aren’t alone in your question. Like I said in the article, reversals are 2nd only to vasectomies in unneeded surgeries. If you feel God is leading you in this direction, go for it. We have never faced serious complication in pregnancies, so I can’t speak to that, but I know of several couples who have. I will email you some more information.

  • Peter

    Having 13 children is a very selfish thing to do knowing that we are overpopulated and short on resources. My father had 11 siblings but this was 60 years ago. I did enjoy reading your blog…. and wish you all well. But hope that other people will not follow your example by having an unreasonable amount of children.

    P.S. God does not exist and mother nature is having a hard enough time coping with 6 billion people as it is.

  • http://highcountry12.blogspot.com/ Annette

    I LOVE the family picture!!!

    I often wonder how God will use this quiverfull movement in the future of our nation…

    We are expecting our 12th in January :-)

  • Monica Daniels

    Thank you Chris and Wendy for opening up your home to everyone – you are a light in a dark city a beacon on a hill. Thank you for explaining the term quiverfull. Children truly are a blessing. It amazes me how Christians wouldn’t deny themselves the blessings of health, money, or wisdom but when it comes to children they don’t want to be blessed “too much”. The idea that those who allow God to plan their families will end up with Jeub or Duggar size families is another misconception of many. My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have been blessed with three children so far – we are open to more blessings but are also content if God says you’re done for now. It is all in His hands. Thank you again – you have a beautiful family.

    Monica

  • Neysha

    Thank you you did a wonderful job going through verse by verse. I also love this picture as well. Sandra I like the scriptures you added as well. Peter I am very sorry you feel this way it is a big misconseption that the earth is overpopulated. I am glad you posted though as you will be in our prayers.

  • http://jorge-aprendiendo.blogspot.com/ Family Argañaraz Ponessa

    Hi we are from Argentina,we are christians too!
    we are so glad to see your family,
    God bless you
    Psalm 127:3-5

  • Sheila

    Very well put, Jeubs. And, great verses, Sandra.
    Sadly, I, too, have Christian friends who believe God has given them peace or led them to be “done” having children – to focus on ministry, or the children they already have, etc. I’m sure you’ve heard it all.
    I don’t expect Peter or other unbelievers to ever understand the Bible or the things of God. I am surprised, though, that people (believers and unbelievers alike) are ignorant about the whole overpopulation theory, and follow whatever they hear on the liberal media news. But, that’s another topic…
    Thank you for the blessing and encouragement you are!
    Sheila in MI
    Mom to 5 on earth, 2 in Heaven, and a 6th blessing due in November! PTL!

    *Didn’t feel convicted about being “quiverfull” ourselves until I was expecting our second (at age 29), whose name is also Zechariah. :) I’d love to have eleven children, but we completely trust God to do His thing!

  • amy

    hey family jeub! i just know your family because of this note of a diary in argentina, i wanted to share with you! http://www.minutouno.com/1/hoy/article/113177-Una-familia-tiene-13-hijos-pero-quiere-ir-por-m%C3%A1s/

  • http://www.theyoungpages.com/jodis_blog/ Jodi

    Thanks for such a clear, loving definition of this term. We are just at the beginning of our journey with this, and I am hesitant to wear any other label than “Christian” right now. I think we are QF at heart, but I hesitate to call myself that if it means suggesting that all Christinas in every circumstance should hold the same convictions. But there was absolutely no judgment in the way this article was written, and I applaud you for that.
    We have two of your books (Love in the House and Love in a Diet) and loved them both. My husband commented as we watched all the TLC large family shows that he thinks you guys are the most like us (and that’s a compliment – LOL!)
    You cannot possibly know how your boldness to share a glimpse of your family with the media has worked in the lives of many. God has been laying these things on our hearts for a while anyway (we have 4 girls under 5!) but seeing how beautifully a large family like yours can function has really helped us to see that it’s not such a crazy idea after all :) (Now if you could just convince our families!)
    Thank you so much and God bless your beautiful family!

  • heather

    I have truly been a fan of your family since I’ve seen you on “Kids by the Dozen”. I am recently a born again christian who did not believe in God when I got married. However, I have been trying to explain to my husband about the whole quiverfull movement. I really feel as if God wants to bless us with more children but I cant seem to convince my husband to put his complete faith in the Lord. He is one who believes you should wait until things are “going good” to decide to have more. We have three beautiful children but everytime I look at them I cant help but think that I could be chosing to turn away a gift that we are being given. I think showing him this article will help him see that God would not give us any more blessings unless he would see us fit.
    I do have a queston about being quiverfull that I cannot seem to find an answer to. Is there a certain denomination that quiverfull families belong to or is it any religion that bases your beliefs?

  • Sarah

    Very well said! My husband & I gave that part of our lives to God about 5 years ago & just had #8 5 months ago she made 4 babies in just 4 years & we love it. I can’t wait for God to bless us with #9 & more!
    We love your family!!

  • Kathy

    Thank you Jeub family for all your posts and your “out loud, everyday” testimony to Jesus Christ. HE should determine everyone’s quiverfull. Slowly my husband has allowed this. We have been married 27 1/2 years and neither one Christians at the time. I became a Christian 4 1/2 years later and he much later. Our oldest son is from his first marriage and I’ve had two babies myself. I never felt my quiver was full, but tried to be the Christian wife HE wanted me to be. All these years later HE has blessed us with 3 more through foster care. Our oldest 9 year old we adopted 6 1/2 years ago and our youngest 9 year old and her 3 year old brother were just adopted 3 weeks ago. I can’t imagine life without any of them (including our two granddaughters!). I still don’t feel like my quiver is full but if the Lord agrees, HE will put that on my husband’s heart. By the way, I am a young 52 and my husband is 61!

  • Tisha

    I love the Jeub family and believe your lives are a testament to the goodness of God and His bountiful provision! You are wonderful people who are truly free. Our family has been greatly inspired by yours.

    I believe that God does at times convict a couple to restrict pregnancy so that they may welcome children through adoption. This also is an endeavor in trusting the Lord, in sacrificial service, and in obedience to a scriptural command-a process to yield sanctificaion and holiness.

    There are rougly 143 million orphans in the world and we, as Christian families can have huge impact as we take the responsibility to care for them seriously. For that purpose, sometimes God may actually call a couple away from biological child bearing.

    He has done so with us and we rejoice in another form of abundant blessing!

    Lovingly,
    Tisha

  • Emily

    Beautifully said. Your family is a true encouragement! Thank you for being a light to others and for walking in faith. What a testimony to the goodness and faithfulness of our Creator!

  • Janelle

    I love the new picture! You guys are a great testimony to Christ’s great LOVE! Good job setting the example and with being real about your past failures too. I have read all your books and have gleaned so much from you.

    I am QF, my husband understands but is not QF. He had a vasectomy and does not want to pursue a reversal. It saddens me but I know God is in control, and has soften my dh’s heart enough over the last 5 years to pursue adoption. My opinion will never change but God has given me peace that my dh and I are not on the same page with the QF issue.

    In any regard, I am looking forward to welcoming an adoptive child into our home sometime soon!

    Keep up your good work and may God continue to bless your family.

  • http://simplelivingak.wordpress.com/category/quiverfull/ Jason and Anna Wilkinson

    Very well put. Thanks for your blog. We hope to see this show when it comes out, being out in the bush of Alaska and no Tv it can be hard to stay in tune… :)
    Quiverful in Alaska
    ~Blessings~
    The Wilkinson Tribe

  • Sarah

    Thanks for the post, Your family is very encouraging to me. Before my husband and I were married we decided we would let God give us children as he sees fit. Ten years later and we had #4 in april. If QF is more in the mind then the numbers, I’m not sure if I’m QF. I’m at a place where I have four seven and under. I’m trying to HS the oldest, my second is mentally disabled (mildly) and life feels completely out of control. Praying for early menopause. Families like yours amaze me!

    God Bless

    PS. I have three in diaper, any tips?

  • Deanna

    No offense Peter, but if the non-believer does not want to have more children,..then well, fine. That means that when your generation dies off, there will be (by God’s grace) many God fearing Christian men and women to take their place!! This world after the fall of man and his turning from God, will never be perfect no matter how dedicated to “saving” it anyone may be. I do not feel that we are running out of resources,only God can truly destroy that which He has created.. but do need to use what we have responsibly. I have 8 children, 9 and under. They are NOT an extra burden on society either. Many people over the years have said..”wow, you could get on WIC and get free food”. God,..yes, God..not mother nature, has saw to it that we are abundantely provided for so that we may help others in need..without the so called “assistance” of government aid. That isn’t to point out that we are better and more righteous, but that large families don’t just “take from others”, but are able to “give to others” as well. I will also pray that God will convict your heart to understand and know Him as Lord. The real problem isn’t the size of families, the earth’s resorces, economics, and a zillion other topics. The real problem is putting ourselves in God’s place of authority and Kingship over our lives.

    Job:38….
    Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.”

  • Sandra

    right on,God made earth FOR us.
    wouldn’t that make a great bumper sticker?

    Earth: It’s for us!
    :)

  • A.Roddy

    This whole concept is just plain wrong. QF is a man made idea that twists the Bible. All the ‘leaving it up to God’ drives me nuts. You tempt fate each time you leave it up to him. Some women are told not to have past one or two kids.It wont make them less of a christian if they stopped. Its no sin to remain childless. You got a brain that He gave you so use it.Furher more, some can not physically have kids. No one thinks of this while promoing such a lifestyle. To the poster Sheila,I see nothing wrong with limiting family size. To heather, teph,monica,jodi and others u should really think twice before continuing this movement. There is more to woman hood than giving birth. More kids does not mean more Christian.

  • LR

    Jon and Kate should not be described as “Quiverfull”. All of their children were conceived with medical intervention. Also, they have stated many times that they did ot intend to have, nor did they want to have sextuplets.

    Also, you mention that you and Wendy have never faced serious pregnancy complications, which is wonderful. If Wendy were to experience serious complications, would you view that as a sign from God that your family is complete? Would you continue to conceive despite the risks?

  • Sunny

    By the same arguement, if God knew us all before we were conceived (and as a Christian I believe He does) than those who choose birth control or natural family planning are not really messing up God’s plan! God knew that was going to happen…none of us or our choices are a surprise to him.

    I do believe this is such a mis-interpretation of these verses, but I’m sure there is nothing that I could say to convince anyone.

    Sandra, God expects us to use all of the resources He gives us responsibly–including this planet He created.

    PS: I choose no birth control, however since DH and I are both infertile (I’m sure many would say due to sin–I’ve heard it all from very “helpful” Christians) I doubt I can claim to be QF.

  • me

    Oke, I understand you love all your children. I am a Christian too but have no children, never married. Does that mean I am not a good enough Christian, does that mean God doesn’t love me enough to have granted me my wish to have children and to be married? It just never happened to me due to many things that happened in my life. I am now too old to have children so does that mean a punishment from God??
    I applaud everyone who can do this, but that doesn’t mean I am any less of a Christian. What about the Christian families who can “only” conceive 2 or 3 babies and then never again, what about the Christian families who are so in debt they really can’t afford 13 plus children. Ever think about that??

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  • http://www.ourfruitfulharvest.blogspot.com Fruitful Harvest

    Not to stand in judgement but John and Kate plus 8
    don’t seem to have God in their lifes….they did not let God plan there family size. They planned it themselves with a doctors help!
    Being Quiverfull is giving your family planning to God…his plan,his timing!
    I hope that through her hard time right now she will draw close to God again!
    I saw the interview last week and she was asked if she attended church and she said “NO”!

    Blessings
    Georgiann QF momma of 6 so far!

  • jaime

    Hi Jeubs! I think that your family was beautiful on the Secret Lives of Women show. You presented the quiverfull movement wonderfully. Dont listen to these people who are saying you are crazy or selfish. Selfishness goes out the door when you put yourself last and your children first. Which any mother with a few kids knows all about. Any time you have to question if you had a shower that day because you were so busy that you cant remember, just reminds us that we are not selfish. Selfish would be having 2.5 kids so that you can buy a new car every 3 years and take lavish vacations. You are doing the right thing and I applaud you.

  • Amanda

    I have loved reading the information and stories on your website. My husband and I have been Christians for about 5 years. However, even before I was saved, I wondered if we weren’t trying to play “God” when we used birth control. Once I accepted Him as my Savior, I felt even more convicted. We have continued to use birth control since coming the Lord, but I am convinced that it not the way God intended. My husband has always adamantly said we would have two or possibly three. In the past several months, he has begun to want a larger family but only as many “as we can afford.”

    We both decided to trust the Lord this past summer when we went off of birth control and conceived our little girl, due in a few months. My husband was laid off last year and is currently back in school. Since trusting Him we have been amazed by his provision for our family with this pregnancy. I firmly believe that God wanted us to have this child and that all children are a blessing from him.

    I am praying that after she is born he will not want to continue with birth control. We have trouble with most methods in the past. I am trusting the Lord to soften his heart. I have already seen such a big change in his opinion of large families over the past several months. I would certainly appreciate your prayers.

    Please continue to share your story!

  • Gerald

    My wife and I live in Knoxville, Tennessee. We are in our 50s and back the quiverfull movement wholeheartedly. We would love to contribute financially through a quiverfull church in our area (tax reasons, etc). Can someone help us with this? Can someone give us addresses or contacts? I’m sure some of these families could use some help or financial encouragement of some sort.

  • Margaret

    “Oke, I understand you love all your children. I am a Christian too but have no children, never married. Does that mean I am not a good enough Christian, does that mean God doesn’t love me enough to have granted me my wish to have children and to be married? It just never happened to me due to many things that happened in my life. I am now too old to have children so does that mean a punishment from God??”

    I know this is an old comment, but I wanted to address it, if that’s OK with you Chris and Wendy. :)

    In answer to the questions, NO! Singleness and natural childlessness is not “punishment from God.” We have only three living children, and have had many months of infertility, as well as two miscarriages. None of that was punishment and we are not “less blessed” or less Christian than the Jeubs. I am confident that the Jeubs, in fact, would completely agree with me. :D

    A QF heart is wholly open to children as blessings and gifts from God. Having that attitude does not guarantee having many children, it doesn’t even guarantee getting married. There is a place in God’s plan for all of us, those with many children, those with few, those with none, and those who are single. There are many kinds of blessing, children are not the only one, and God does not choose to bless us all with the exact same blessing in the exact same amount. The Bible has much to say about the value of a single life lived for God, as much as the value of marriage and children.

    No, dear sister, you are not less loved by God.

  • Nyssa

    I know that this is an old post, but I have been looking for a place to pose a question. So bear with me if you will.
    I am a 21 year old student and I have been married for almost 1 year now. My husband is also 21 and is also a student. We both have 2 years left of school. When we got married we both decided to use birth control and I got on the pill. I am still on the pill in fact. But recently I believe God has been telling me not to be on birth control and to trust Him with our family. I told my husband this and he freaked out! We are both Christian and so is his family. We also have a big Christian family on our campus. But nobody in that group has the same feelings I do about this. I went online to try and see if I was the only one who felt like this and I came across your blog, and found out about the quiver full movement!! I had NO idea! I still don’t know what to do though because my husband is firm in his belief to stay on birth control. He says God tells husbands to be wise and make wise decisions for their families and he doesn’t see it as wise to have a child right now. I don’t really know how we could have a child either, because we are both in school and we don’t make that much money. But I really want to trust God with this, because He tells us to trust Him in all things.
    I don’t know if I will hear back from you, or even if you will have an answer to my question. But I am just glad to know that I am not alone in my conviction. Please pray that we will work this out!!!!! Your sister in Christ!

  • Janet Kiessling

    AMEN – let God be in Control!!!

  • Emily

    Nyssa–My husband and I both are getting through school with our ninth child on the way (becoming a doctor takes a long time!). It absolutely can be done. We aren’t on welfare either. We simply trust in the abundance of God and the universe and let our needs be provided for. So far it’s worked. We aren’t in poverty, in fact we have an almost new van, live on the ‘good side’ of town, and take nice vacations every year or so.

  • THE QUEEN OF SWITZERLAND

    I DON’T BELIEVE IN THE QUIVERFULL LIFESTYLE, I THINK IT IS WRONG TO BRING TONS OF KIDS INTO THIS WORLD WHEN YOU CAN’T AFFORD THEM. JUST BECAUSE YOU LOVE KIDS DON’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TON OF THEM.
    BESIDES, LOOK AT HOW EXPENSIVE KIDS ARE TO FEED AND CLOTHE. NO RELIGION CAN DICTATE A PERSONS SEX LIFE AND FORBID THEM TO USE BIRTH CONTROL, THAT’S JUST AS BAD AS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

  • Hannah

    I wish Wendy would edit this article for errors. “John” from “Jon and Kate plus 8″ does not spell his name with an “h”, and in no way are they quiverfull nor supportive of the quiverfull lifestyle. They had 2 sets of multiples because they used intrauterine insemination. I just think it’s hard to explain your viewpoint when your writing has errors. I am fully supportive of the Jeubs and think they are amazing people. We are currently pregnant with our third and could never imagine turning down one of God’s blessings like a beautiful new baby.
    God bless.

  • Hannah

    In my post above, I should have said that I wish Chris would edit the article since I’m assuming it is his writing, not Wendy’s. Sorry about that.

  • Mary

    I still prefer the “If it was good enough for Jesus, then it is good enough for me” and He didn’t have kids

  • Shelly

    I clicked over to this post yesterday from the comments on the newer one with Anon. After reading your blog/books over years I feel like we are friends! :) I’m a fellow MOMYS and agree wholeheartedly with the message of this post.

    We are “quiverfull”, although we rarely call ourselves that, and *only* have six children. We would love more! We desire more because we love children, not because we are competing with any other family. This has become the new question for large families: it used to be “Do you know what causes that?”, now it’s “Are you trying to keep up with the Duggars?”

    As much as I agree with you on this one, I agree with commenter Hannah–this post could use some serious editing. Beside the Jon (not John) spelling error, you also spelled Dugger wrong (it’s Duggar). Maybe you have never seen their show… Jon and Kate were never “quiverfull”, even before their separation/divorce they were not open to more or letting God control the number of their children. I hope you edit this because frankly their problems are/were “bad press” for large families and many of us don’t want to be compared to them!

  • Heather

    I just wanted to say that this was a very well written post! I have always felt that God put a calling on my heart to be a mother and that I would have a “quiverfull”. I wandered away from my faith and God a few years ago and am just about to finish with my bachelor’s degree. I have been starting to get back in touch with God and am feeling that being a mother is still my calling (I have a 6 year old and a 16 month old son currently) and feel “trapped” now because of my decision to walk away from my calling. Now I will have to go to work to pay off my loans and I have been praying for a way to be able to work from home. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I love seeing Godly families on TV and it gives me hope for the future! (BTW, I am 25, so I still have time to get my “quiverfull” I am just trying to give God control of my life-it is a struggle for me!)

  • http://becomingmorewithless.wordpress.com Frances

    I realize this was written a long time ago but if you are still checking, mind if I ask a few questions? How many rooms do the kids have? How many times did you have to move to have more space? Here, there is a law about sharing bedrooms. I would love to have as many children as the Lord sees fit to give me but I worry about being able to house them all. We don’t have a lot of money and those 4 and 5 bedroom houses are beyond our reach.

  • Darrell Wolfed

    I believe that the use of children here is spiritual – not literal. Just like in book of Revelation; there is no red dragn nor a river of blood, nor frogs, colorful horses, or a woman clothed with the Sun. Neither is there a small stone that became a great mountain or a 7 headed beast… All that language given in God’s Word is symbolic. It was given that way to “keep from the unbelievers” of the times. Only true & faithful men of God inspired by his spirit can tell the whole truth about it. Although God does love children literally, he loves everybody everywhere… all colors, shapes, sizes, tounges, nationalities, etc… But the meaning “quiverful” is about having a church attitude that desires to bring in the lost (unsaved) to the Church. To grow in great numbers for the purpose of propogating his Word. This is a spiritual birth that fills the quiver with reborn christians who in the spiritual sense are “little childern”. The apostle John called it being born again. Who else is born but a child? May God help us to realize he want us all working urgently to travail as Revelation says so many can be born into his kingdom.

  • Jasmine Unknown

    Hi Jeubs, (I thought it would be alittle bit formal if I called you guys by your last names, P.S. I like being formal LOL) I’m fifteen (15) years old and I just recently watched a show called Secret Lives of Women: Born to Breed, and became alittle interested, therefore I search one of the guests name that I remember (that’ll be you) and Lo and Behold your website appears, anyway, the main reason why I wanted to comment on your site is because for one, I am a Christian, a Generous Free-thinking Christian at that, and I love to be around children, so I thought it would be neat to check-out a married couple whose some-what of the same way. Well, as I said before, I am a Christian and I do love kids but I feel kind of quilty because I have no desire of having kids of my own, I tell people (friends and adults) that and they seem to be surpised that I, a fifteen (15) year old girl would already make that decision, So again, out of guilt, I go to my uncle and ask him about Christians not having kids and he told he that it’s “completely fine”, that sometimes God even uses people who don’t have kids to spread his word and go to missionary, since having kids are very expensive, so therefore it would be almost impossible to be a plane ticket to go outside the country. But, I read one of your articles and it said that you don’t truly believe that God restricts a couple from having kids, however, my uncle told me different, as a matter of fact, I believe in my heart that (I’m not saying that I’ll have kids right away, I’m just contemplating the future) I am almost destined to not have kids or even get married at the most, I feel as if God has told me that, probably you’re not familiar with what I am saying but I’m being honest. I just wonder in your family’s eyes am I right?  Do you agree that if I believe so that maybe it is my calling to not have kids? Do you support my decision of me not wanting children? If not, why? **Sorry for the long paragraph, obviously, I have alot to say LOL, write me back when you can**

    God bless U with much Love,
    Jasmine <3

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com/ Chris Jeub

      Hi Jasmine. Thanks for posting! Here’s what is interesting: you find us interesting. If you are decided on not having children or even get married, yet find our testimony and story intriguing, I’d say that God may be trying to tell you something. Pray about it and continue following what is so intriguing on your heart. You’ll figure out your answers in due time, and you have a lot of years ahead of you.

      • Jasmine Unknown

        Hahaha, Thank-you so much for commenting! Honestly I didn’t think you would, I figured your family was sooo busy. About me finding your story appealing, I find alot of stories apealling to be honest,
        (I’m kind of weird like) from all genres, from Forensic to religion and Lifestyle choices and many more! But like I said thanks for writing back, YOU ARE APPRECIATED!,
        -God Bless U with much Love
        Jasmine <3

  • susan blanton

    You act as though God didn’t give us choices!  It is not God’s choice to give you 15 kids, he gave you free will to chose that many.  It also is not God’s will to overpopulate the planet to the point of diminishing resources due to soil depletion, and encroachment on previously farmed land by large populations of people.  If you want that many kids, what is wrong with adopting children that are already here who need homes.  Isn’t charity the true Christian thing to do.  This movement seems extremely selfish to me.  The current world population is 6,840,507,003.  Do the math, If every person in the world decided they wanted 15-19 children, there would not be enough resources to sustain the planet.  This is not a question of whether you can afford to take care of your children, it is a question of whether the world can afford to take care of that many children.  I am appalled at the selfishness of the Quiverful movement!!!

  • susan blanton

    You act as though God didn’t give us choices!  It is not God’s choice to give you 15 kids, he gave you free will to chose that many.  It also is not God’s will to overpopulate the planet to the point of diminishing resources due to soil depletion, and encroachment on previously farmed land by large populations of people.  If you want that many kids, what is wrong with adopting children that are already here who need homes.  Isn’t charity the true Christian thing to do.  This movement seems extremely selfish to me.  The current world population is 6,840,507,003.  Do the math, If every person in the world decided they wanted 15-19 children, there would not be enough resources to sustain the planet.  This is not a question of whether you can afford to take care of your children, it is a question of whether the world can afford to take care of that many children.  I am appalled at the selfishness of the Quiverful movement!!!

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com/ Chris Jeub

      You should subscribe to our blog and read up on this so-called “movement.” Reading our articles may enlighten you to our worldview a bit (it appears like you didn’t even read this one). Your comments are ignorant of the facts, many of which we like to discuss here.

      • John Childs

        Interesting answer and typical of those who choose to ignore those who challenge their belief systems. Ignore and don’t answer the persons question then change the subject. arcticoon posses an excellent question in a stressed world in which overpopulation continues to be the greatest threat to the future of the planet. There are already many quivers full of children in third world countries that resemble more true arrows than yours. They are thin from hunger, or dead with flies gathering in their empty sockets. Where is the God of those quiverfull parents who watch their children perish from lack of resources. Will your arrows be the warriors who feed the dying.

  • imani1962

    From what i understand the “blessing” is in having male children not female children. “Like arrows in the hands of warrior are SON’S brought in one’s youth – blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” That is confusing as is the reference to a “man’s quiver.” Last i checked women carried the children. So did God get it wrong? And for Chris to change the words around to fit his way of life doesn’t follow scripture. These people in the Quiverful movement make up there own rules and interpretation of the Bible. According to the very passage they follow; girls are not a blessing because girls are not “warriors.” So the premise of their religion makes no sense. And these women make children way beyond the time of their youth. That is in contradiction to “son’s brought in one’s youth.” These discrepancies is what happens in a cult… and that is what these families are:Cults.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com/ Chris Jeub

      You seem to be trying hard to rhetorically paint us into a corner. Two quick responses:

      1. Older diction assumes the masculine anticedent is multi-gender. There is nothing wrong with assuming “sons” as “children.” In fact, many modern translations made this change.

      2. You really aren’t responding to anything Wendy and I said in this post. You are instead attempting to marginalize us. Calling families who “make children way beyond the time of their youth” cults is unfair. “These people in the Quiverful movement” — good greif, did you even read our last point?

  • Amy Wingfield

    Chris & Wendy, thanks for re-posting this. I am going to share it on my blog as well
    http://calledtobemomma.blogspot.com/2012/09/what-we-mean-by-quiverfull-by-chris.html

  • Cheryl Adair

    Well, that settles it then…we are quiver full, and delighted to be so!

    • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

      Guess so! =)

  • TroySavary

    We have four boys. We stopped at four because my wife had almost died from hemorrhaging during delivery and the doctor told her any more would be dangerous. So while she really wanted a daughter as well, it just was not meant to be. What I find funny is many people outside the church look at us as if we are crazy for having four. My wife has gotten angry remarks directed at her by other women because of having four. I can’t imagine what people say about people who feel led to have more.

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