Joy-Anna Duggar is sporting an engagement ring, meaning that she and beau Austin Forsyth are officially tying the knot!
As Us Weekly reported, the Counting On couple have been “courting” – the old-fashioned term the Duggar family uses to describe a pre-marriage relationship – since last November. Then on Thursday, Forsyth put a ring on it.
As mentioned above, the pair have been “courting” since mid-November of 2016. According to the strict brand of evangelical Christianity practiced by the Duggar family, “dating,” as you and I understand it, is forbidden. Instead, “courting” couples must first get the girl’s father’s permission to begin the relationship. Although fans didn’t see the moment at the time it happened, due to the realities of TV production, Austin’s conversation with Joy-Anna’s dad, Jim Bob Duggar, went something like this.
“Over the years, I’ve been watching, and I really admire her heart for the Lord and her character. She’s such a diligent worker. She gets all the younger siblings working. She’s a good delegator — and, of course, her beauty.”
For his part, Jim Bob seemed pretty impressed by his daughter’s young suitor, calling him a “good guy” and saying he’d be “honored” for the young man, whose family owns an Old West-themed Christian camp, to court Joy-Anna.
— ET Canada (@ETCanada) March 4, 2017
Under the strict rules of courting, according to Brides Magazine, all of the couple’s dates were chaperoned and their physical contact was limited to hugs. Now that they’ve moved past “courtship” and into “engagement,” they’ll be allowed to hold hands as well.
In an exclusive video for TLC, Joy-Anna explained how Austin made the day special.
“Well, we were gonna go horse riding, and I decided to bring [my sisters] Johannah and Jennifer along because I knew that they would enjoy that, and they got to be the chaperones for this date. So, Austin made this day really, really special, and he asked me to marry him, and I said yes.”
Forsyth also explained how excited he is about the new phase of his relationship with Joy-Anna.
“I feel like engagement is more special because we’re committed to each other now, and we’re just moving forward to the day that we get married, and it’s exciting. [The place where I popped the question is] a place that I’ve come many times to just get away and spend time with the Lord. I just knew that this was the place that I wanted to ask her.”
— Noah James Bangs (@NoahJamesBangs) March 2, 2017
Joy-Anna and Austin join the ever-growing list of Duggar children who have moved into adulthood under the watchful eye of TLC viewers ever since the Duggar family first came to the country’s attention with 17 Kids & Counting in 2008. At the time, the oldest Duggar children were older teenagers (Josh was 20); Joy-Anna, at the time, was an 11-year-old.
Over the years, the older Duggar children have married off and have blessed their parents with grandchildren. Josh Duggar was the first to get married (to Anna Keller); they now have four children, as of this writing. Jill Duggar was next – she married Derick Dillard, and they now have two kids. The next Duggar to marry was Jessa, who married Ben Seewald and with whom she has two kids. Jinger Duggar married former soccer player Jeremy Vuolo in November 2016; as of this writing, it’s a little early for them to have had children.
As of this writing, Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth have not officially set a wedding date.
[Featured Image by Purestock/Thinkstock]