Monday, September 22, 2014

Escape from Duggarville: How playing the good Christian housewife almost killed me

I'm not sure about the headline with the word "Duggarville," but this article by Vyckie Garrison of No Longer Quivering is pure excellence. She quite succinctly describes the ins and outs of spiritual abuse. I highly recommend taking the time to read this if you have any curiosity at all regarding spiritual abuse or the Quiverful movement. 
This was my life, folks.

A few points:
Based on a literalist interpretation of Psalm 127, Quiverfull families eschew all forms of birth control. They have a high regard for the patriarchal family structure found in the Old Testament which emphasizes hierarchy, authority, and strict gender roles for men, women, boys, and girls.
 The reason you can find Quiverfull families in nearly every type of Christian congregation is because Quiverfull beliefs are not actually a radical departure from traditional Christian teachings regarding marriage and family. It is my contention that Quiverfull IS regular Christianity writ large … lived out to its logical conclusion.
For instance: the signs of emotional abuse include put downs, shaming, and guilt-tripping. Well, this is something my husband would never do … there really was no need since I was already fully aware of my inherently sinful nature, my “desperately wicked heart,” … He didn’t need to remind me that even my very best efforts were like filthy rags in comparison to God’s holiness.
 Plus, I knew that as a woman, I was particularly susceptible to deception by Satan. How many times, when we were discussing an important decision, had my husband said to me, “What you are suggesting SOUNDS reasonable, but how do I know that Satan isn’t using you to deceive me?”
My husband didn’t intentionally isolate me and the children … it just kind of happened as a logical progression of our decision to live radically for Jesus.
Sure there were times when submitting to my husband’s decisions was a hassle, and yes, the pregnancies nearly killed me every time, BUT … who was I to complain, considering everything that Jesus had done for me? 
I wouldn’t say that my husband used male privilege to control and dominate me and the kids. Male privilege was his rightful position. As Paul says in the book of 1 Corinthians, “For man did not come from woman, but woman from man. And man was not created for woman, but woman for man.
Economic abuse? Well sure, money was always tight, but hey, finances were no picnic for my husband either, and besides, we had these promises …My God will supply all my needs,” and “I have never seen a righteous man forsaken or his children begging for bread” … It was really just a matter of trust, plus careful money management.
 “No, he never threatened me.” I *willingly* went along with all the harsh demands of the Quiverfull lifestyle and, in many instances, I was the one who pushed patriarchy and headship ON HIM. Why would I do that?

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