Hello! Welcome to the Quivering Daughters website. Please note that this site is no longer being updated with new material but I hope you find the archives helpful. God bless you.

This Week at the Quivering Daughters Blog...

F ollowing the release of my book, I've been praying about the direction to take this blog and my writing. The ways God has blessed this work humbles me daily, and my heart's desire to to bring Him glory and honor through it and through other things He brings into my life. For me, part of this entails seeking balance in both the public and the private operations of my ministry ~ between writing articles, blog maintenance, nurturing the relationships I've made through it, creating thoughtful and personal followups to email and messages, and hands-on service in other ways to the body of Christ . . . and especially to the daughters of patriarchy.

I'm so excited for what's ahead! :-)

New Contributor

I'm thrilled to announce that beginning this Thursday, writer and composer Eric Pazdziora will be a weekly contributor to Quivering Daughters. Eric's love for the Lord, his passion for truth, and his grace in writing about difficult topics has blessed me tremendously and I am honored to welcome him to my blog. I hope that you, too, will be blessed by his heart and devotion to God. For a sneak peak, please view his guest post at The Cult Next Door.

Other Contributors

As the Lord leads, Lewis Wells from Commandments of Men, Darcy from Darcy's Heart-Stirrings, and a few others will become familiar faces here as well. Guest posts will run on Tuesdays.

100 Ways of Grace

I am super excited about this next feature. :-) On facebook, a dear friend noted, 
 "Please write about grace. I still don't always get it. Give examples. Say it in 100 ways. :P (if you can) :) Maybe it will continue to sink in eventually."
So, I'm going to try. :-) And yet I want to hear from you, too! Grace is  an essential element of our faith and healing . . . and yet so hard for many of us to grasp. Let's come together and share what we've learned; let's say it in a hundred ways or a thousand ways! I invite you to join me on Fridays for my new series, where I will provide a way for you to link to your own articles and thoughts about grace. I look forward to gleaning from what you have learned in your walk with the Lord. Please grab a cup of coffee and consider participating in this journey ~ and if you like, grab this button code, add it to the html portion of your website or blog, and invite your friends to join, too . . .

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The Rest of the Week...

I will be posting on Mondays (articles) and Wednesdays (articles, links, other guest posts, announcements, or off-topic) as the Lord leads. It's crucial to me to write as He brings inspiration because these issues are excruciatingly serious and I don't want to write out of obligation but, as with my book, out of obedience to His leading. As time goes by I remain firmly convinced that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12 KJV)

I really hope and pray that these blog changes will bless you as you continue to seek understanding and knowledge of God, healing from authoritarianism, spiritual and emotional abuse, and awareness of the serious issues facing many women raised within a patriocentric subculture of conservative Christianity. God bless you!

Legacy

I was blessed this weekend to read a very tender, touching review of my book by Dr. Jay Wile. To read a father's perspective of Quivering Daughters, please visit here.

M y parents are some of the most creative people I know when it comes to gift-giving. Sometimes when we kids finished a grade in our homeschool curriculum, my mom would buy us a plush little African Violet for our windowsill. Mine never seemed to live very long, but even today, seeing those rich colors and the velvety textures of this delicate flower makes me smile. This gesture helped mark an accomplishment for us and while we should have given her flowers at the end of our grades, my mother's thoughtfulness brought sweet encouragement and even joy at owning a plant that was for the purposes of beauty only...and that felt like a luxury! We couldn't eat it or grow it for seed; it wasn't for the goats or cultivated for fall canning. It was an indulgence, a commemoration, and so felt extra special.

Zelophehad's Daughters | Guest Post by Cynthia Kunsman

A n acquaintance of mine asked me what I knew of some of the ideas that neo-patriarchy had about unmarried women living alone. I explained that some sectors within patriarchy maintain that Numbers 30 requires unmarried adult women to have an assigned male overseer who is accountable for her and her affairs. Others in these circles maintain that all woman require a male as her a protector at all times to remain both spiritually and physically safe. Some actually extend this concept to support their idea that a woman who works outside the home (for a man other than father or husband) commits a form of adultery by serving the vision and efforts of another man.

My friend pointed out the account of the Daughters of Zelophehad in Numbers 27:1-11. They asked me why I had never cited this example in the past as evidence against patriarchy’s overtly paternalistic take on Numbers 30, and I did not have a good answer! Perhaps because it takes me a while to process the dramatic events of the previous chapter where the sons of Korah are swallowed up alive into hell for rebelling against Moses’ leadership, I glossed over the significance of this account. I did not remember anything about these daughters, and I didn’t recall their father’s name. I certainly know them now! (That’s the cool thing about Bible Study: I expect to discover a new thing that I’d passed over before or understood only marginally, and I expect that this will happen for the rest of my life.)

Numbers 27 introduces the Daughters of Zelophehad to us: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah, also tracing their lineage. Zelophehad was the great, great grandson of Manasseh, one of Joseph’s two sons. These daughters went to the Tent of Meeting and spoke directly to Moses, Eleazar (the priest), the leaders of the tribes and the congregation. They explained to Moses that their father who had borne only daughters died in the wilderness, but that he did not participate in the rebellion of the Sons of Korah. The daughters asked if their father’s name must die out because he had borne no sons and requested to be granted their father's portion of the inheritance that was set aside for Manasseh’s heirs. Verse 5 tells us that Moses brought the case of Zelophehad’s daughters directly before God.

God ruled that Zelophehad’s daughters were entitled to receive their father’s inheritance and established that if a man dies and leaves no son, that man’s inheritance should be passed to the father’s surviving daughters. If he had no daughters, the inheritance should be given to the man’s brothers or the nearest relative to keep the inheritance within the family.

If unmarried women must be assigned to a male governor who oversees their process of sanctification and protection, how is it that these daughters who were the offspring one of the house of Joseph who remained faithful to God were treated so favorably? God tells Moses to give their father’s inheritance directly to them. God doesn’t use this as an opportunity to spell out the rule that women must be assigned to a man for decision making, bestowing the inheritance upon an elected man whom God assigns to them. God doesn’t instruct Moses to find a “male covering” for these unmarried women.

Consider that these daughters also had recourse to approach Moses directly. They did not need a man or other representative to speak to Moses for them. Many women who follow strict patriarchy are denied status to even read Scripture or pray in church sanctuaries, addressing the congregation. Some churches don’t even let a woman speak to remind everyone about the “pot providence” (in place of what most people refer to as a “pot luck” meal) in the basement after the conclusion of a worship service! Yet the Daughters of Zelophehad spoke confidently and directly to Moses who took their plea directly to God. God rewarded them and established these standards for all of Israel.

In full context within close proximity to the Numbers 30 passage, does Numbers 27 support the model for women taught by many within neo-patriarchy? I think not. The account of the Daughters of Zelophehad discounts the claim that all women require male oversight and protection. Property and inheritance require good stewardship, and stewardship requires a certain degree of authority and personal autonomy. God Himself rewarded the faithful daughters with their father’s inheritance, and He did not discriminate against them because of their gender.
___________

Cynthia Mullen Kunsman, RN, BSN, MMin , ND

(Discussing the phenomenon of
Spiritual Abuse in Evangelical Churches)
The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it,
ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.
                                                      Winston Churchill 

"For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth."
                                                        Paul to the Corinthians

Counterfeit Patriarchy

Is patriarchy God's plan for believers?

I received the following message yesterday and the author, Rachel Ramer, gave me permission to share it. She writes,
T hought you might like this quote. In rereading some of the material from the Ministries of Pastoral Care, written by Leanne Payne, I came across this quote that describes one of the problems of patriarchy. When she refers to the "bent position" she connects that with [C.S.] Lewis' reference to earth as the "bent" planet in his space trilogy as a metaphor for sin.

She refers to the verse in Gen. 3:16 "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing...your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." She sees this as part of the curse, of being bent towards another person in an unhealthy way. She states:
    "Woman is bent toward man by reason of the Fall, and wants to find her identity
in him. I saw also that while the secular world pushes woman towards finding her identity in herself as sex object, the popular teachings in the Church, equally mistaken, encourage woman to find her identity in her roles as wife and mother rather than in her status as a person in Christ, a daughter complete in Him...I also saw that in woman's redemption there is healing of this bent position. 
"Women often have difficulty coming into the freedom of the vertical position in  Christ because they've either been miss-taught the Scriptures on submission of
women or have misunderstood them. The gender drive in women, that of the strong natural need and desire to respond to the male, can lead her into the bondage of the 'bent' position toward him. She may be expecting the man she loves to tell her who she is, to give to her a sense of wholeness and identity. This, of course, he cannot do." (from The Healing Presence pp. 64-66)
The main problem of the type of patriarchy we have been discussing is that it does the very thing it should not do. It reinforces the "bent" destructive tendency and attempts to replace God with man. Instead men should model for women how to not be bent towards others, to hear direct from God, and to have a strong sense of self. Instead of promoting a "biblical" view, patriarchy reinforces the curse for women and hinders freedom in Christ and healthy relationships.
end message
___________

But what is patriarchy?

Traditional marriage vows proclaim, "What God has joined together..." This implies a coupling, a side by side serving of God and sharing of life. "Yoke" means to "couple or join together." Many apply Paul's words in 2 Corinthians ("do not be unequally yoked") to marriage between believers and unbelievers. Yet to use this analogy further, consider the basis for this illustration which is the yoking of oxen: to have two separate beings working in unity, side by side for one purpose, with combined strength for greater effectiveness. If one were to pull ahead or lag behind consistently they would be unequally yoked and their work hampered.

When Christians are unequally yoked in marriage through hierarchal relationships we see the fruits of the Fall as shown in Genesis 3 and  the inevitable establishment of what I call a "counterfeit patriarchy."

patriarchy Date: 1632 1 : social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power
2 : a society or institution organized according to the principles or practices of patriarchy
This "large share of power" is what Jesus decried in Matthew 23: "But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." John the Baptist wrote, "He must increase, but I must decrease." And this attitude of exalting God and pursuing humility is diametrically opposed to modern biblical patriarchy, which is a growing movement within reformed Christianity that looks and sounds biblically correct but induces serious ramifications. It is a system that can't help but to "biblically" sanction the behaviors of those prone to authoritarian tendencies. It protects those who would abuse their authority while leaving those under care defenseless, stripping them even of biblical appeal.

True Biblical Patriarchy

This doesn't mean that there isn't an actual, truly bible-based patriarchy. While we can make a case for others, only these are specifically listed as patriarchs in the Bible: Abraham, the twelve sons of Jacob, and  David. Genesis 17 suggests what a patriarch is, and Who grants this privilege:
“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you." Genesis 17:4-6
These words are from God to Abraham ~ not a promise for every man for all of time. But we do have a clear word that applies to all of us! In a beautiful fulfilling of Almighty's word, the last patriarch mentioned in Scripture, King David, became the forefather of another King who said,

Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 
With this, Jesus proclaims the One who is our Patriarch! He is our Source, our Head; furthermore, after this saying, there are no new patriarchs in the Bible. On the contrary, we see Jesus' call to abandon titles and to take up the cross! We are called to be humble servants. And called to be like children. Jesus proclaimed that unless one becomes “converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven...Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, Jesus preached...
...but counterfeit patriarchy seeks to establish kingdoms of the earth.

Neo-patriarchy

Other than the Fathership of God, I believe that modern biblical patriarchy is not God's plan for believers and is a worldly institution. It is came as a result of the Fall, and yet, instead of reaching through Christ's redemption for what God originally designed, this neo-patriarchy works very hard to sew up the veil ripped by God on the day Jesus was crucified. Remember ~ the biblical patriarchs of old were made so by God for His purposes. What happens when individuals seek to be patriarchs on their own?
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.  But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.  This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3 (emphasis added)
The fruits of neo-patriarchy have left scars on the hearts of many seeking to know God, to hear His voice,  to walk in obedience to His calling. Yet there is healing both for those who endure the sin and for those who commit the sins of partiality and lack of mercy and authoritarianism! Micah reminds us,

      He has shown you, O man, what is good;
      And what does the LORD require of you
      But to do justly,
      To love mercy,
      And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

If true biblical patriarchy is found in the Fathership of God, what does that make those who seek it for themselves?

It's Saturday Evening Blog Post Time!




Want to meet a bunch of new friends and read some thought-provoking, inspiring, challenging, and altogether memorable blogposts? Visit Elizabeth Esther and leave your favorite July post from your blog in her Mr. Linky box, then compose a note at your own site sharing with your readers.

Have a lovely weekend!

Feminism or Faith?

While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)
C an you imagine how Mary might have felt to hear this? I can't answer for everyone who reads this website, but virtually every woman I hear from who has found this blog testifies that she is seeking to obey the will of God as it relates to her life. Because we are blessed to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, within that personal relationship, God will communicate, guide, and direct personally. I realize this might seem elementary, but many well-meaning people continue to teach that when a woman listens to or seeks God herself, or when she is given a calling by Him for her life, that she is being influenced by feminism's alleged focus on independence instead of listening to her parents' interpretation of God's will for her.

However, I contest that instead of promoting independence, when we encourage all others, women included, to seek the voice and will of God, we promote something far greater...God-dependence. This certainly isn't an objective of feminism! And it requires faith. It might seem simpler to rely on those who lay out specific guidelines of belief and behavior, or tell us what we should or shouldn't do, because then we have our lives in black and white. We know exactly what we are to do and what's expected of us. Having someone "hear God for us" makes our spiritual walk easy and broad! When our path is wide, we don't have to worry about falling off the edge. We can see our steps clearly, and see far into the distance. We can place our trust in those who have a vision for our lives. We don't have to weigh the consequences or endure the pain of living. It's not as scary this way, and perhaps we make fewer mistakes. We don't have to search the Scriptures quite so doggedly to determine God's will ~ because those who have set themselves in this position in our lives have already done so. Yet Scripture says:

      Who among you fears the LORD?
      Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
      Who walks in darkness
      And has no light?
      Let him trust in the name of the LORD
      And rely upon his God.
       Look, all you who kindle a fire,
      Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
      Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—
      This you shall have from My hand:
      You shall lie down in torment. (Isaiah 50:10-11)

Faith runs through lightness and darkness, the known and unknown, following the letter of the Spirit and clinging to the solid Rock for everything pertaining to life. Faith doesn't fear making mistakes, but trusts the One who justifies the ungodly and who calls us to follow Him on the narrow, difficult way that leads to life.

Sometimes this looks doubtful to parents, who I believe truly love their children and want the absolute best for them. Sometimes parents disapprove of the choices and decisions their children make. Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes there might be rebellion in their hearts that God will address. Who is the "they"? Mistakes are a human thing. Rebellion is a human thing. Adult children are not automatic culprits. Nor are parents exempt. This doesn't make light of sin, but rather places it properly. Truth is, a heart can be rebellious even when outward actions completely conform to what others want, and I fully believe the opposite is also true: that a heart can be humble and obedient to God when outward actions might appear to others to be wayward.

Revisiting Honor vs. Obedience

Because I write to adult women, issues of child obedience as it relates to parental authority do not pertain to the scope of this blog. Yet I hear from many who equate obedience with parental honor. I wholeheartedly support, believe in, agree with, encourage, and love the Scriptural command to honor parents. In my humble understanding, honor and obedience are not one and the same. In my article Daughters in Waiting ~ Adult Daughters at Home I give examples of ways parents are honored when it manifests outside the context of obedience. 

In a recent comment, I wrote "If our parents are Christians then they are our brothers and sisters in Christ...yes, we should honor, respect, and care for them, but ultimately, [spiritually speaking] they are equal with us before God. Consider if as adults, your own brother or sister asked you to do something. If you did what they asked, would that be you “obeying”? Or simply you doing a favor? Or what if your adult brother or sister commanded you to do something? What if it were a friend of yours? You can give thought and prayer to their demand, seek God’s direction and Scripture, maybe even seek the counsel of others, and decide if it is a healthy or righteous step for you to take. But that still doesn’t mean you’re “obeying” them if you do it or “disobeying” if you’re not. The fact that you even consider their command, suggestion, or request gives them honor."

Although not discussed as often as the others, one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. We do hear about it in the negative sense ~ controlling sinful habits or the lusts of the flesh. We don't often hear about it in the positive sense ~ which could be exactly what it says! Self-control. As a woman seeks the influence of the Holy Spirit and discerns the will of God, as she learns to walk in the Spirit, self-control is one of the fruits manifested in her life. Yet when others consistently thwart His transforming work in the lives of those who, really, are His children ~ that is a misuse of authority (which is the abuse of authority). When parents try to make adult offspring "obey" them, even through subtle coercion or cognitive dissonance (bounded choice) they are making themselves as God in their child's life when in reality, they need to be stepping out of His way and coming underneath with prayer and faith that God is in control and loves that child.

Being self-controlled certainly doesn't mean that a wise person won't seek the guidance of those close to them. But they will take everything they receive before God for His direction, weighing it according to Scripture with prayerful consideration. Note that the Bible doesn't say when we do the will of others, we are part of the Lord's body, but when we do God's will, we are, as Jesus proclaims, His brothers, sisters, and mother. He embraces us not only among His disciples, but also His family. Seek and obey Him!