Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Thoughts On The Duggars

One of America's most controversial families, The Duggars, also happen to be one of America's largest families. 19 kids, 2 parents, 1 daughter-in-law, a grandma, and two grandchildren (and another on the way!).

They happen to be one of my favorite families and they have a show on TLC called 19 Kids And Counting.

Like I said, however, the Duggars tend to be a very controversial family. They are extremely modest- skirt wearers and dress-like swimsuits. They homeschool. They watch little or no TV. They are Christians. Honestly, they sound a lot like my own family (except, well, I only have 4 kids), but they receive a lot of grief over their choices.

You either love them, or hate them. A couple of things really stand out to me when I watch their show.

The biggest, absolute number 1 parenting tip is that they always look to God. Doesn't matter to me what it's about or how you differ (or are alike) to the Duggars, this is great wisdom. Pray. Seek God's direction for YOU and YOUR family. Read the Bible. I love that they have family Bible time and are teaching their children from an early age to look to God. If you've watched their shows or read any of their books, you'll see that it's a way of life for them.

They never raise their voices and this is huge to me! They also never lose their cool. Practicing self-control is a theme that is taught over and over. It isn't a "Duggar" theme, but it's the Lord's theme. The Bible talks about having self control and if we want to be obedient children to Him, it's something we need to have. For some, however, self-control is easier said than done. And I'm one of those people! I struggle with losing my temper, yelling, or freaking out over "the little things". I know it sounds cheesy, but the more that I watch them on TV the more that I'm able to see how to handle different situations. I guess that's the visual part of me!

And before you tell me that they are a TV family and that what's on TV is not always how it is, I realize that. However, I've been told by several people who have actually seen them out in public that what you see on TV is exactly how it is. And yes, I do realize that they are human beings and there have been times were they have most likely "lost their cool".

I remember the Duggars from their "early" days. You know, when they only had 14 kids or so. I don't personally know them, but boy have I heard of them. Growing up in Arkansas (before they had their own TV show), you heard remarks about "being like the Duggars", often when another child was born into a family. As their family grew (they currently have 19 kids), each pregnancy had those who were EXCITED and an equal number who WEREN'T. Cruel jokes were often made and those who despised, REALLY despised! I honestly could never figure out what the problem was- here was a Christian family minding their own business, living their life the best they could for God, and yet people would judge them and call them names. Just a basic search of them on the internet yields nasty websites about them.

Regardless of how you feel about them, let me counteract some of their so called "problems".....

Why Is It So Hard To Believe That Kids Want To Help?
This seems to be a big thing when it comes to knocking the Duggars, but in my own household (of only 4 kids) I see this firsthand. My kids WANT to help! You might not think it's fair that each child has a buddy (or two) and are expected to help, but what better way to help our children become hard working, reliable adults. I've seen it many times while watching their television show- older girls holding babies or diaper bags, helping fix hair, even *gasp* teaching the youngers! I honestly don't know why this is such a big deal- like I said- my kids love to help. My kids help get toothbrushes ready for their siblings, the older girls have helped get the boy dressed, and yes, they have all begged to help "teach" him during school. And while they aren't always so willing to do this, they help fold towels, wash laundry, and clean house! I want them prepared for life on their own.

Image courtesy of John Kasawa /

Why Is It So Bad To Teach Them Skills?
Read my above point. I want them prepared for life on their own. It's my job to equip. I love that Jim Bob Duggar (the dad) makes it a huge priority to introduce his children to as many different life skills as possible. And they aren't dictated by gender. The Duggar girls learn to change the oil, the Duggar boys learn to cook. The girls are often seen painting or laying flooring and they all chip in to get work done. Why would anyone not want this taught to our future generation?

Why Is Being Different Such A Bad Thing?
Yep, this is one that I hear a lot- both in my own family and regarding the Duggars. What makes having 19 kids, one marriage, girls in skirts, boys in respectable (non-saggy pants) clothing, hard workers, loving God, not watching much TV, homeschooling such a bad thing? I've wrote about it many, many times.... aren't we commanded by God to be, um, different? Kudos to the Duggars (and everyone else who is different) for following God! Yep, we should totally despise them because they are different.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Why Is Installing Values So Bad?
I'm sure the world would be a better place if we stopped purposefully, intentionally instilling values into our children. Oh wait.... most of us have. We've stopped seeking God's direction, stopped teaching character qualities, stopped teaching and expecting modesty, purity, and respect. Why are the Duggars (and other like-minded families) given such a hard time with this?

I don't have the answers, but I know that the Duggars are good examples of how we are to live. No, they're not perfect and yes, I'm sure they make many mistakes. Maybe instead of judging them, we should look at the examples they do TRY to set! I don't see anything they do that doesn't line up to God's word. I am thankful for them and other like-minded families! We need more of them in our world!


A Proverbs 31 Wife said...

I love the Duggars. In a way the family itself is like Jesus. holding up values and there will either be one reaction or another by the world. Love or hate.

Rach J DeBruin said...

I remember before I had personally watched their show, I was a bit critical...however, in my defense I was basing my thoughts on what others had shared about them. Eventually I found out for myself (through their show, their books, their blog/website) that they are quite an AMAZING family! I also look up to them for their gentle nature with the kids. Thanks for sharing :)

jeana said...

I LOVE the Duggars! They are such a wonderful godly example of family.

Kelly said...

THANK YOU for posting this!! I have allways loved the Duggars, and know that they do their best to not only live a godly lifestyle, but also to teach and train their children in every aspect. It's amazing to see a family who is actually doing what we are supposed to do. I look up to them a lot because they are serving JESUS!
Loving your blog. You are an inspiration. :)

roddma said...

Devil's advocate but the Duggars have lost viewers due to their real beliefs being epxosed. The Duggars are Independent Baptist Fundamentalists who follow the Quiverfull movement. They also Advanced Training Institute ran by controversial minister Bill Gothard. No there is nothing wrong with being different, teaching skills, or helping, However it is wrong when you are associated with a leglasitic belief that doens't allow critical thinking. The girls do more than help because of the rigid gender roles. Note you don't see the older boys tending to the house or kids. IMO the parents had those kids. It isn't the older girls' place to be full-time baysitters. Helping is fine but not to the point of them being disallowed a life. Do you see them date? Hang out with friends at movies? Work at fast food? No.Ex Quiverfull duaghters speak of how they felt robbed of childhoods.

The Duggar kids may have skills but lack real education. Jill may be a 'lay midwife' but some states are have outlawed them. Their friends are like-minded people.
The Duggars may mean well but they are doing the kids a huge disservice by keeping them clueless about the real world. In other words, a formula is set for everyone to go by.

Jesus refused to follow the upteen rules of the Pharisees and warned about we are warned about false prophets. And I am just touching base here on the Duggar beliefs. You can Google for yourself about Bill Gothard and ATI.

Erika said...

Roddma~ Actually, the Duggars are not Quiverfull- they speak about that in their books. Yes, they do not believe in birth control, but that is from their decision to allow God full control of that area in their life. An area that most people are afraid to give over to God.

As far as the boys helping with children, etc.... Yes, they actually DO help with the children and around the home. However, from a Biblical standpoint, the home is where the women work and so the Duggars are actually teaching Christ by allowing their girls to do more of it and the boys doing others.

I'm familiar with ATI and Bill Gothard, however, most of what the Duggars believe/do, etc are FROM THE BIBLE and not from a list of rules. I won't say everything, but while Bill Gothard may be controversial, what we see on TV and read in the books aren't.

I am thankful they don't date or work at fast food, in fact, I'm not sure what working at fast food has to do with anything... The oldest boy runs a car lot (or two?), the next boy in line runs a towing company. The girls are pursuing interests regardless of how popular it is.

While you may not like the Duggars, I still stand by what I said. They are a wonderful, Christ-led family and really aren't much different than myself and my family.


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