ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is The Quiverfull Movement?: A Religious Conviction or Creepy Cult?

Updated on June 23, 2018
katleigh profile image

Dani is a college student and loves time management, personal finance, video games, and writing about their college experiences.

What Is The Quiverfull Movement?

The Quiverfull Movement is a controversial group of ultra-Conservative Christians that some argue border on cultist.

The central principle of the Quiverfull Movement is to have as many children as God will bless you with. At face value, this doesn't seem too radical, but many followers of this movement adhere to strange, extreme, and even abusive behaviors to keep their children and spouses in line.

It is not a denomination of Christianity, nor are their any organized churches under the name of Quiverfull. However, many practitioners of the Quiverfull Movement identify as Independent Baptist, like the Duggars from the hit TV show 19 Kids and Counting and later Counting On.

What Do Quiverfull Believe?

  • Biblical patriarchy: One of the most important concepts to Quiverfull practitioners is Biblical patriarchy. In this idea, a man runs as the head of the household, and his wife is under him. The children are dictated their duties by the mother. The husband is in charge of all things, making all the major decisions, and sometimes even planning out a daily schedule for his wife to follow.

Who Started The Quiverfull Movement?

There is no one established leader of the Quiverfull Movement.

Some theorize that this ultra-Orthodox acceptance of Christianity came as a response to the counter-culture movements of the 70's.

The Duggars and 19 Kids and Counting

The Quiverfull Movement came into mainstream America from TLC's hit reality show, 19 Kids and Counting. It followed the lives of the Duggar family and their many children.

The Duggars will not officially recognize themselves as being part of the Quiverfull movement (like most of it's proponents) and instead insist that they are just Bible-believing conservative Christians. They do, however publically affiliate themselves with organizations like Bill Gothard's Institute of Basic Life Principles.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,

offspring a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior

are children 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 opponents in court.

— Psalm 127: 3-5
The secrecy and unyielding obedience to husbands and fathers can often leave women and girls in the Quiverfull Movement battered and abused.
The secrecy and unyielding obedience to husbands and fathers can often leave women and girls in the Quiverfull Movement battered and abused. | Source

Common Quiverfull Practies

Exact rules may vary according to household, but there are many common practices.

  • Restricting clothing, especially for women and girls
  • Avoiding pop, rock, and rap, even if it the Christian versions
  • Large families and a religious refusal of birth control and other basic female healthcare
  • Corporal punishment, often going beyond standard spanking to whippings and out-and-out beatings
  • Homeschooling children, often with the mother as the sole educator and childcare provider

Have you heard of the Quiverfull Movement?

See results

Bill Gothard and The Institute of Basic Life Principles

Bill Gothard is a prominent Evangelical Christian author, instructor, and promoter of the Quiverfull movement. He founded the Institute of Basic Life Principles but quietly stepped down from his position in 2014 due to allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

Gothard offers seminars at several levels that span up to a week and focus primarily on his "Basic Life Principles" that establish the importance of authority and unabashed acceptance of God's will.

Some of his teachings include:

  • Promoting courtship over dating
  • Biblical patriarchy, or the idea that the man is the head of the household as ordained by God
  • Having a large family and not using birth control to show your acceptance to God's will
  • Restricting female clothing with patterns because they have "eyetraps" and are a temptation to men

Michael and Debi Pearl tell parents to continue spanking their children, even after they cry or show signs of physical pain.
Michael and Debi Pearl tell parents to continue spanking their children, even after they cry or show signs of physical pain. | Source

How To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl

How to Train Up A Child is a common childcare manual utilized by those in the Quiverfull Movement. It is not an exaggeration to say that this book directly advocates child abuse. A few examples of these poor parenting techniques include:

  • Blanket training: Once a child is old enough to crawl, a parent is instructed to place a child on a small blanket or towel. Next, they entice the child to crawl off the blanket with toys, treats, and encouragement. If the child does crawl off the blanket, they are slapped or spanked. This is intended to teach the baby the importance of boundaries.
  • Corporal punishment: "For a child under one year old, a willowy branch or a 1ft (30cm) ruler is recommended. For older children, a larger branch or a belt." These implements are designed not only to inflict great pain, but also to stop bruises and welts from appearing on a child's skin.

The idea behind all these practices is simply to break the will of your child, to demand unquestionable obedience no matter the cost to their mental or physical health.

Do you believe in corporal punishment for children?

See results

Works Cited

  • Lewis, Aidan. “Child 'Training' Book Triggers Backlash.” BBC News, BBC, 11 Dec. 2013,

© 2018 Dani Merrier


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • JC Scull profile image

      JC Scull 

      16 months ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Dani...Very good article. I enjoy reading about the craziness of religious cults and very conservative religious sects. They remind me why I believe in trees, animals, rivers, lakes and oceans. They make a lot more sense.

      Thank you for sharing.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)