Like Arrows in the Hand of a Warrior

Today’s post is a reprint from last year. As we prepare to publish my fourth book, I thought I’d share again the story of how we came up with the name for our publishing company.

“Children too are a gift from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children born of one’s youth.
Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed
contending with foes at the gate.” Psalm 127 3:5

So how many arrows make a full quiver?

The answer is that it depends on the quiver…and the size of the arrows.

Our publishing company’s name is Full Quiver Publishing. Often, people assume that we are part of the “Quiverfull” Movement. At Wikipedia, Quiverfull is described as: “a movement among conservative evangelical Christian couples… it promotes procreation, and sees children as a blessing from God eschewing all forms of birth control, including natural family planning and sterilization. Adherents are known as “quiver full”, “full quiver”, “quiverfull-minded”, or simply “QF” Christians. Some refer to the Quiverfull position as Providentialism…”

An internet search of the words “Full Quiver” shows our website on the first page, along with a majority of websites and blogs devoted to the Quiverfull Movement.

I have great admiration for couples who follow this ideology, especially in this day and age when the majority of married couples are using artificial contraception or becoming sterilized.

However, we are not part of the Quiverfull Movement. Instead, we proudly use and teach Natural Family Planning to plan, space and limit births. When we are teaching NFP, we encourage generosity and always stress there should be serious need to avoid pregnancy. We agree with the Church’s teachings on the Theology of the Body and are well-versed in the two encyclicals Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio. Our publishing company publishes fiction and non-fiction which promote the Church’s teachings on sex and marriage.

So why the name?

Years ago, I listened to a talk by Kimberly Hahn, in which she quoted the Scripture passage above and talked about the great gift of children and why generosity was so important. She later stated this concept in her book, Life-Giving Love: Embracing God’s Beautiful Design for Marriage: “We are in a spiritual battle, and our children are our arrows: How many arrows do you want in your quiver when you go into battle?”

This talk made a deep impression on me. So when we were forming our publishing company, after discussing many different names, this is the one that we felt God calling us to use: “Full Quiver Publishing.” It never dawned on us that we would be confused with the Quiverfull folks and that, occasionally, we would receive an email or a call from someone in the Quiverfull movement.

Back to the number: most quivers hold about 12 arrows. We have lost seven babies through miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and are raising five sons. We have indeed been blessed with a full quiver.

copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

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2 thoughts on “Like Arrows in the Hand of a Warrior

  1. Hi Ellen

    I was told very specifically by a Protestant pastor (Alliance Church?) that a full quiver was five. I have no idea where he came up with that number!

    That, incidently, is how many children we have. But that has nothing to do with that brief conversation from so many years ago.

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