Fantastic post by Amy on why NOT to be QF
99% of you out there probably have no idea what “QF” is. I didn’t, until a few years ago. I kept seeing the acronym pop up on a homeschool forum I (now only occasionally) visit. Upon investigation, much to my surprise, I learned that there is a movement afoot, rather like a Protestant take on the official Catholic stance on contraceptives — that is, that there shouldn’t be any. (“QF” stands for “quiverfull” as in the Bible verses Psalm 127:4-5 “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.” In other words, as far as children go, more is better.)
Now, I had actually given this some thought, prior to hearing about QF’ers. I have opinions regarding contraceptives, and from day 1, have used a “blocking” method (or two) that I won’t expound upon here, but suffice it to say that I was (am) not comfortable using any birth control method that allows me to conceive, but makes an unfavorable (or impossible) environment for the newly-formed embryo, causing me to, essentially, abort a day- or two- or three- or whatever-old baby.
Still, seeing how each child of mine has been such an exact, tailored fit to our family, and how valuable each of them are, I find myself wondering who we’ve missed out on meeting by the fact that we’ve blocked their creation. I still wonder that. I still think about how my dad was the 5th of 12, and how I wouldn’t be here if my grandparents had your standard, Western view of families and contraception.
I have also been on the listening end of postulations that “we simply can’t afford a baby” — yet observe the RV, the quads, the huge house, etc., of the speaker. From my perspective, it’s always some sort of sacrifice to willingly have a baby — time, energy, money, focus, priorities — and I have had to rely on the faithfulness of God, many times, to provide when a baby upsets the balance, and I find myself lacking in one or more of those categories. I think that, likely, a huge percentage of us need to fix our hope upon God’s faithful provision more, and on our circumstances less.
HOWEVER, when the achingly tragic news came out of Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children on my birthday in 2001, there was a part of me that deeply understood her plight. Reading her history, I have never come close to the disturbed religious, marital, and mental history that she’s had. But, I could relate to her feeling (being) completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising children. At the time, I thought (and still do), “There are some families whose desire to have as many children as possible is a detriment to themselves and to their very children they are desperately seeking to create.” IOW, I just don’t think a one-size-fits-all anti-contraception dogma is right for all families.
Speaking of dogma, I have also observed some QF families be so completely dogmatic about the QF lifestyle that it appears to be a greater burden to them than it would be wise to bear. But… my observations on that were anecdotal at best — just impressions from reading of and meeting those who subscribe to that ideology.
BUT, reading this absolutely smashing post from Amy, a former QF’er, and mother to seven children, solidifies that for me — that being “quiverfull” just isn’t right for everyone.
This was supposed to be a short introduction in order to pique your interest, compelling you to read Amy’s post. It’s ended up longer than I intended, but please, do read about Amy’s decision to no longer be QF, to get a tubal ligation, and the responses (both pro and con) that she’s received from the QF community for her decision.