They are the huckster traveling salesmen of the homeschool world, but this time they sell dreams.
The actual experience for children growing up in the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements varies dramatically because every set of parents is different.
I learned that a woman is always under male authority, first her father, then her husband, and perhaps, someday, her son.
Like so many others (it’s a very common story), it was homeschooling that brought them to Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull.
They began homeschooling for secular reasons, and then, through homeschool friends, homeschool conferences, and homeschool publications, they were drawn into the world of Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull. For those who are already fundamentalists or evangelicals, like my parents, the transition is smooth and almost natural.
Sex before marriage is held to be sin, and sex before marriage also damages a daughter’s marriage prospects.
Girls are told that the best gift they can give their future husbands is their virginity.
While my upbringing was fairly happy, it was anything but normal. For another thing, I grew up with a dozen younger siblings.
Other families commonly have seven, eight, or nine children. While there are some very fun things about growing up with so many siblings, the sheer size of the family means that daughters of Christian Patriarchy have little privacy and many chores.I happened to have a mother with never-ending energy and a father who was naturally fairly laid back.That meant that my home life was pleasant and my childhood happy.Suddenly, almost without realizing it, they are birthing their eight or ninth child and pushing their daughters toward homemaking and away from any thought of a career.Why are these movements so enticing to evangelical and fundamentalist homeschoolers? Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull offer the enticing image of the perfect family and the promise that you can make a difference and change the world, raising up an army for Christ, without ever leaving your home.Christian Patriarchy involves the patriarchal gender roles and heirarchical family structure, while Quiverfull refers to the belief that children are always a blessing and that big families are mandatory for those following God’s will (some eschew birth control altogether).