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Michelle Duggar and the Quiverfull Movement

Updated on October 1, 2014
Michelle and Jim Bob Diggar with their Duaghter Josie. Josie weighed 2 pound 3 ounces when she arrived in to the world 14 weeks early. Michelle nearly died from preeclampsia.
Michelle and Jim Bob Diggar with their Duaghter Josie. Josie weighed 2 pound 3 ounces when she arrived in to the world 14 weeks early. Michelle nearly died from preeclampsia.

I previously wrote a hub, "Why the Duggars Are Not Quiverfull", but I wanted to expand on exactly what the Quiverfull movement is, and why the Duggars are not part of that movement. The term "Quiverfull" was coined from the Bible from Psalm 127:5, "Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court". The Quiverfull movement is also called "The Patriarchy Movement".

For ease of writing, I will use the initials "Q.F." for "Quiverfull". Q.F. adherents believe that all children are a blessing, and that God intends all children for that specific person. They believe that a woman does not fall pregnant out of a chance of nature, but that child is chosen by God to that woman. Q.F. spouses trust God with their marriage bed, and let God choose the amount of children that they will have during their marriage. They believe that chemical birth control is equated to murder. Chemical birth control prevents a fertilized egg from implanting on the lining of the uterus, and therefore prevents pregnancy. Q.F. adherents believe that a fertilized egg, even seconds old, is considered a full-blown child with a soul.

The Duggars do believe that chemical birth control is a sin, and is equated to murder and genocide. Jim Bob Duggar, the patriarch of the Duggar family has stated (speaking of abortion and chemical birth control), "“Back a few years ago, I heard Governor Huckabee speak and he was sharing about how he had taken his daughter Sarah over to one of the concentration camps where a lot of Jewish people were killed. And he said, as they were walking out of that concentration camp, she looked up at him and she said, ‘Daddy, why didn’t somebody do something?’And, you know what?” That’s where we’re at in our nation. Do we want our children, when we’re going to tell them about how great America was, to look at you and say, ‘Why didn’t somebody do something?’”.

In the Duggar's book "A Love That Multiplies", the Duggars state that they are not in fact Q.F., but rather fundamental Baptists. However, the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive; Q.F. is not a denomination in the Christian faith, but rather, it is a doctoral belief. Any branch of the Christian faith, or any religion for that matter, could be Q.F.

The Duggars claim that someone wrote a Wikipedia entry which stated that the Duggars were Q.F. which led to many falsely believing that they were QF. However, the Duggars do believe in a majority (but not all) of the QF doctrine. Perhaps the Duggars do not like being labeled, which is understandable.

Q.F. families usually home-school their children, just like the Duggars do. They do not want worldly teachers (and influences) teaching their children an education which goes against their religious beliefs. For example, the Duggars believe that the dinosaurs were created when God created all the animals, and that Dinosaurs lived with man.

Duggars and the Dinosaurs

Other "19 Kids and Counting" Episodes

Q.F. families are run by the patriarch of the home, and his word was law (replacing the word law with gospel would also be just as fitting). All his children are under his authority, including his as well. The Duggars taught a marriage seminar once, and listed the 7 basic needs of a wife and husband. I wrote a hub about this list, and it is available in my hub library. By reading both the list for the wife and husband, you can see how skewed the privileges for the husband as opposed to the wife.

Wives under Q.F. are not allowed to order their husband to do anything, because to borrow the older term, he is her lord and master. She can go up to her husband and give a "Wise Appeal" as Michelle Duggar explains. A "Wise Appeal" is actually found in the Bible in Esther chapters 5-9. Michelle states that a wife is supposed to appeal to his conscience if he is about to make an ethical wrongdoing. She goes on to say that a wife needs to back off and let him make the mistake so he can learn from it. The same is not true in reverse. A husband is supposed to point our her weaknesses, and she should be joyful that her husband cares about her enough to help her overcome her weaknesses.

Most of the Q.F. principles the Duggars actually agree with, such as:

1. Absolute Patriarchy

The father is the head of the household, and he has the last say on all things that go on in his household. All adherents of the family can make a wise appeal to the patriarch if they disagree with a deciision, and that includes the wife. The patriarch is the head of the household, spiritual and logistical leader, and the ultimate authority given to him by God.

2. Strict Courtship

QF members believe in no kissing until they reach the altar. The couple is not allowed to be left alone unsupervised, and must have a proper chaperone. For the most part, chaperones are traditionally from the woman's side of the family, in order to ensure her virtue and virginity.

3. Shelter Children From the Sinful World

Many Q.F. families don't have a television, and they won't read teen romance novels, fashion magazines (because they show skin above the knees, and low scoop neck top). The movies and shows the Duggars do watch, none of them include boyfriends and girlfriends hugging and kissing, except one show, where the guy gave the girl a peck. They stated in "It's All About the Relationships". that they disagree with this peck of a kiss.

4. Upholding Biblical Genders

This covers a lot of ground, anywhere from women not being allowed to wear pants, to preaching that all gay people go to hell. It should be noted, the Duggar girls are allowed to wear pants, they just choose not to. This is another reason in fact the Duggars are not QF.

5. Debt-Free

Many of the Q.F. families are debt-free, the rest are trying to achieve that goal. The Duggars say they want to be good stewards with their money, and they teach their kids on how to stay in the red. Perhaps they could adopt me.

6. Home Church

The Duggars, like most Q.F. believers go to (or hold) the church ceremonies at many different families. Plus, the Duggars have a bible-study each day, with Jim Bob as the pastor.

7. Modesty.

While the Duggars have advocated that they should never show their skin above the knees (and that includes bathing suits), this rule is more for the girls. Their clothes cannot be too tight, or to revealing. The older Duggar girls have stated that after a girl achieves adolescence, they can choose if they want to continue to keep wearing skirts. The 5 older girls have all decided that they want to keep wearing only skirts.

The Older Duggar Girls Book

​The reason why the Duggars are not Q.F. is because the following:

1. The Duggars believe that not getting married is not a sin.

When one of Jim Bob's younger children said she did not want to get married he stated that if that was what she wanted for her life, fine, but that he believes she will likely change her mind as she ages. Plus, Jana Duggar is 25 and not married; if the Duggars were Q.F., they would have pressured her to be wedded and bedded, and have offspring.

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

2. The Duggars believe that using family planning, vasectomy, withdrawal, etc, is not a sin if used for the right reasons.

The reasons why a family may use these birth control methods include health, financial, etc. As long as it is not chemical birth control where a fertilized egg would be prevented from implanting on to the side of the uterus, which they consider a child.

3. Q.F. adherents believe that sex should be at least possibly fruitful, and that a child should be a possibility.

If you have followed the Duggars at all, you most likely heard Michelle Duggar saying that a wife should be available for her husband sexually when he calls. Within their marriage, the Duggar parents have sex for the joy of sex. If a child should be born, great, but they would have marital relations even if a child was not possible.

4. The Duggar parents do have limits when they have sex.

It is not always happy sex-time with the Duggars, even though they have 19 alive children, and 2 children in heaven, so this may seem surprising. Michelle stated that she and her husband do not have sex while she is on period, and for seven days following it. Q.F. believers would not lay such restrictive rules on themselves, because it may prevent additional children. If the Duggars were indeed Q.F., they could have had sex month-long throughout their marriage, and they most likely would have had 30+ children.

The Duggars follow Old Testament's Leviticus chapter 12, which reads:

Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. 3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. 4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. 5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

6 “‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering.[a] 7 He shall offer them before the Lord to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.

The Duggars with-then Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum.
The Duggars with-then Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum.


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    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Really interesting, Alli.

    • Alli Rose profile image

      Alli Rose Smith 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for reading the article Gilbert, I always enjoy reading your comments.

    • Alli Rose profile image

      Alli Rose Smith 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, Janice.

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 3 years ago

      Interesting and informative hub. Thanks for sharing!

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 3 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Birth control has it's positives and negative effects. I don't think it's good for people to use it as a crutch for covering up irresponsible behavior, but financial and health problems are acceptable reasons for using it.