One thing the Duggar family can be counted on to share with the cameras and audiences is relationship advice. From Jim Bob and Michelle explaining the evolution of their marriage, to Josh and Anna Duggar explaining to cameras just why their marriage outdoes any outside their belief system, to the Duggar daughters discussing courtship, the family is quick to seize upon any chance to witness to the world about how love fits in their belief system.
This has been a Duggar family theme all along — for instance, the show has included scenes in which Jim Bob Duggar was approached by his daughters’ suitors and asked for permission to court and to propose.
Another example is in the video below, of Josh and Anna, discussing their relationship six years ago.
“…trusting God for the one person that’s right for you…”
Josh explains that his marriage to Anna is different from most, because he loves her so much that he would never “…step over that line.”
The line Josh refers to in the video is intimacy — including kissing — before marriage. However, the Duggar family shot into the spotlight in a new way last year, with a series of revelations about other lines Josh had crossed, beginning before he met Anna, and ending with what he describes, in a post on his mother’s blog, as a porn addiction and unfaithfulness to his wife.
The Duggar family’s television show was pulled from the TLC schedule, Josh lost his job and was reported to be spending time in a rehab facility, and some of the family’s public speaking appearances were canceled or changed.
However, TLC never did appear to quite sever ties with the Duggar crew, and by the end of the year, they had returned to television for a three-part special series.
Now, with Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar still facing criticism for their role in Josh’s earliest problems (specifically, for accusations that the couple helped their son hide his crimes), the couple appear to be planning a trip to preach to others about marriage and relationships yet again.
Fort Rock Family Camp and Retreat Center recently announced an upcoming couples session. Though the date is set for April 1, the ministry is, apparently, entirely serious about having the Duggar parents present a special session to the paying guests.
“Also, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are joining us again for a special session Saturday evening! Every year they graciously offer their time to come out and meet with the couples, as well as share encouraging truths they have learned over the years.”
There’s no word on whether the couple can be expected to open up about what they learned about marriage through their trials with Josh, or what exactly they’ve told Anna Duggar, who is reportedly living with them while Josh is away, about her duty as a wife under the current circumstances.
However, Anna made it clear during the Counting On specials that she isn’t making any sudden moves, however betrayed she may feel.
Numerous people have reported seeing the Duggar family out and about with film crews, and recently, a TLC interviewer confirmed, in public Facebook posts she later deleted (screenshot below), that she was interviewing several members of the family, on a TLC set.
With the family filming and giving interviews, and now jumping back into to public appearance circuit with both feet, it’s not clear whether the $275-per-couple retreat, and Jim Bob and Michelle’s appearance at it, will make it onto the show.
It is clear, though, that none of the scandals have led the Duggar matriarch to question her qualifications to offer advice on marriage. In October, less than two months after Josh Duggar entered rehab, Michelle popped onto her blog to pen a long post about what newlywed wives should and shouldn’t do. The biggest portion of the post was devoted to warning wives that they should always be sexually available to their husbands, and hinting that husbands might seek intimacy elsewhere if wives fail in that regard — perhaps a rather sharp rebuke, as Josh and Anna Duggar’s marriage suffered through his unfaithfulness.
“And so be available, and not just available, but be joyfully available for him. Smile and be willing to say, ‘Yes, sweetie I am here for you,’ no matter what, even though you may be exhausted and big pregnant and you may not feel like he feels. ‘I’m still here for you and I’m going to meet that need because I know it’s a need for you.'”
TLC has not yet officially announced when the Duggar family will return to their television schedule.
[Image via TLC]