There seems to be some controversy surrounding the recent publication of 'Quivering Daughters' by Hillary McFarland. I can understand why, since this book came out so quickly after the death of Lydia Shatz, which many of us have been following the news of. I have many friends from various fundamental and quiverfull fellowships and I know they are concerned about Hillary's book. Some leaders are even speaking out against her book with accusatory remarks that she is 'in rebellion' and 'dishonoring her father' (which she did NOT). I personally came out of a strict fundamental church..where I was a member for fifteen years. It's not easy to speak up about abuse that takes place in such circles.
I remember when the Domestic Violence Campaign began when I was younger. There was a lot of controversy about that since many husbands were still beating their wives. I am so thankful that there are domestic violence programs out there and safe places for women and children to go to for help and support. I can't even begin to imagine how afraid battered women are to speak up and get help. Hillary speaks up in her book about spiritual abuse and yes, she even quotes some leaders she disagrees with, but she does so in an effective and grace filled manner. It took great courage for her to write this book and she did so to help wounded women heal from spiritual abuse. She did not write this book as an outlet to bash anyone. After being free from fundamentalism for over a year myself, I don't think I could be as gracious as she is in this book.
Now there are several books about spiritual abuse and are available all over the world. There are many websites dedicated to exposing spiritual abuse, but many churches do not talk about it. They want to cover their tracks before any media ever catches wind about it and they don't want new members finding out. Any church that does not openly discuss matters of spiritual abuse are vulnerable to committing this same abuse. If a church is sincerely there to help the wounded people, then why not protect your church from spiritual abuse by teaching about it to the members so they can be aware? If you're in a church where spiritual abuse is not addressed, in my opinion, is a red flag for disaster.
Now... this spiritual abuse goes beyond the churches, it also infiltrates the family. When a leader is spiritually abusing people they are also teaching how to spiritually abuse...and if you aren't aware of what it is, you may be inadvertently teaching and training your own children to grow up to be abusers too, by abusing them spiritually yourself. As a parent who loves their children, wouldn't you want to MAKE SURE you aren't spiritually abusing your children? Wouldn't you want to MAKE SURE your church is not spiritually abusive?
Hillary's book is a behind the scenes look at what takes place in the hearts of many quivering daughters from around the world. In my experience, as a spiritual counselor and former cult member, I testify that this kind of abuse is not isolated to the quiverfull movement. I would imagine many families with many children do not run their homes like this. This kind of mentality is within many Christian movements today. As a matter of fact, I believe it has infiltrated most churches in the world no matter their denomination. Spiritual Abuse is real and Hillary's book and the recent death of Lydia Schatz demands our attention.
As I read 'Quivering Daughters', my heart sank. It reminded me so much of what it was like as a victim myself. It was also a stark eye opener to what my daughters went through when we were deep in fundamentalism. When we left and spoke out about spiritual abuse, we received awful letters, emails, and messages on Facebook and rude comments on my blog. We were being stalked online by people we thought were our friends, then they were 'reporting' back to their church about what I was writing. So I closed my blog and disconnected from many of them on Facebook. It's been over a year since we left
and when any one of them finds out about this review I may get hit hard once again. Nevertheless, Spiritual Abuse is real and if you consider yourself a Christian in any way whatsoever I highly recommend Hillary's book.
I have been using this book as a discussion starter with my own daughters and it has helped us to be able to talk about what we went through. I am thankful that we got out when we did and that our family relationships have strengthened. There are many families that have been split apart because their quest to be right was more important to them than the hearts of their children. I implore you to take some time to become educated about Spiritual Abuse. Even our religious forefathers experienced the same kind of abuse and risked their lives to become free from it. The adversary has not given up and has found a sly way back into Christianity. Be aware.."your adversary is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." He's after your children. Our next generation. And He is looking for ways to get at them... through us. Let Hillary's book become a serious in depth self examination study for your family. Our children deserve it.
I ordered an extra copy to give away on my blog with this review. Here's how you can get a chance to win:
- Blog about this review
- Include your thoughts on spiritual abuse
- Tell why you want this book
- Link back to this review
- and bring your blog link back and put it in the comment section below.
Order Quivering Daughters
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Grace has won this giveaway!