How I became involved in Christian Patriarchy
This is definitely not the typical type of post that you usually find here at My Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor.
I invite you to please bear with me as I temporarily depart from the norm!
Some of you will no doubt be offended by what you are about to read!
I became saved as a young single mom of two boys in a church that placed a heavy emphasis on wives submitting to their husbands and the women of the church submitting to the male leadership.
Having led a very disastrous life up until that point, I was very drawn to this new way of thinking, hoping that living my life according to these rules-God’s rules- would make life better!
Many of you may not know that I had two children from my first marriage which ended in divorce.
Shortly after the divorce, my first husband died.
In 1984 I met and married my current husband Malcolm, at this church.
He had also been divorced.
We also began homeschooling in 1984 solely because the church school that my kids were attending at the time did not approve of divorce and remarriage.
We were sort of kicked out!
It was in my search for information about homeschooling that I first became acquainted with the Quiverfull Movement also known as Christian Patriarchy.
The two seemed to go together back then!
For those of you who may not know it, Mary Pride and Cheryl Lindsey of Gentle Spirit Magazine, were the biggest Christian homeschooling “Gurus” back in the 80’s and early 90’s.
They both preached that birth control was a sin, wives should submit to their husbands and Christians should homeschool their kids.
Cheryl even went so far as to teach that women should wear head coverings and not wear pants .
Even her teen girls dressed like they were on “Little House on the Prairie” for cryin’ out loud!
For whatever crazy reason I bought into the whole “quiverfull” way of thinking, hook, line, and sinker!
I even traded in my jeans for the official homeschooling mom’s uniform- the infamous blue denim jumper!
Now lest you assume that my husband forced me into this submission thing, I assure you he did not!
It was all my idea!
He just sort of went along for the ride!
Subsequently, with my not believing in birth control any more and my husband willing to go along with that, we went on to have six more children over the next fourteen years.
My whole identity became swallowed up in being the mom of eight kids.
I would feel lost if I didn’t have all of my children with me when out in public because then people wouldn’t see that I was the mother of eight children!
I became prideful.
I thought I was spiritually superior to women who didn’t have enough “Faith” to trust God to plan their families or to homeschool their children.
Then one very horrible day, our daughter Bethany was diagnosed with brain cancer.
I became so terrified that I would get pregnant while she was going through treatments or that she would be dying in the hospital and I would have to choose between spending time with her or leaving a newborn that I just about had a nervous break down!
To preserve my sanity my husband made the decision that he should begin using birth control.
It didn’t work.
My precious Jeremiah was the result of that!
When Jeremiah was about 6 months old my husband decided to have a vasectomy because my spinal issues and arthritis were becoming debilitating.
There was no way that I would have physically been able to carry or care for one more baby.
Also, although we did manage to keep Jeremiah safe while an infant, it was becoming painfully evident with the onset of Bethany’s aggressive behavior that our home was really not a safe environment for another baby.
Looking back, I now realize that in my sincere, yet misguided desire to please God and be super spiritual plus immersing myself in all that “quiverfull” propaganda, I actually brainwashed myself into adopting the whole Christian Patriarchal mindset.
Today I am still a follower of Jesus, but I’m a Jesus Feminist.
I believe that a husband and wife should be mutually submissive to each other.
I believe that women’s voices should not be silenced and our ideas should not be squelched!
I still believe that homeschooling is the best method of education for Christian families who are not purposely isolating their children from society or physically, spiritually, or emotionally abusing them in any way.
I definitely believe that girls should be encouraged to go to college and earn their own incomes.
They most certainly should know that submissively waiting for some prince charming to come along, marrying them, and giving birth to nineteen children is not the only way to live a life that is pleasing to God!
More on my family’s experience with discipline in a Christian Patriarchy environment on my page, No Spanking Please.