The Duggar family has revealed some unusual “courting” rules, as two of their daughters currently have boyfriends. Jessa, age 20, and Jill, age 22, both announced that they have begun dating. However, their parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, have some very specific and unusual rules for their daughters and the young men in their lives.
Jim Bob and Michelle are the parents of 19 children. The fundamental Christian family is currently featured in the hit TLC reality series “19 Kids and Counting.” The program, which began as a documentary titled 14 Children and Pregnant Again!, is currently in its 8th season.
The series features the couple, their nine daughters, and ten sons. As some of their children are now parents, the program also includes appearances by their three grandchildren.
As members of the Independent Baptist church, Jim Bob and Michelle do not use birth control. They also have numerous household rules, which restrict outside influences and require the children to maintain a clean-cut and “modest” appearance. The children are also expected to behave in a way that honors God and their parents.
As reported by Today, the Duggar family rules also extend to dating. Although the Duggar children are allowed to spend time with members of the opposite sex, Jim Bob and Michelle have outlined numerous rules, which help them monitor their daughters’ “courting” process.
Duggars do not date, they court.
According to Jim Bob, dating has no defined process or goals. Courtship, however, is meant to be a well-defined path to marriage. The Duggar family believes that courtship includes “waiting for the one God has for you and praying through the whole process.”
Young men who are interested in courting one of the Duggar girls must first approach their father. If Jim Bob does not approve, the young men will be asked to move on.
Courtship activities are supervised at all times.
Jessa and Jill are not permitted to be alone with their boyfriends. Ever. If Jim Bob and Michelle are not available to chaperone, one of the Duggar boys can fill in. Michelle explains that courting is “easier when you have more eyes looking out for you… there are a lot of things you can learn from not pairing off alone.”
Although the girls are permitted to have one private phone conversation per day, their text messages are monitored by both of their parents. Jim Bob said “it’s neat to see their conversations.”
All physical contact must be approved.
Any and all physical contact must be approved by Jim Bob. The Duggar girls are permitted to set their own boundaries, “within reason.” However, the boundaries must be discussed with and approved by Jim Bob.
The father explains that Jessa has “committed to waiting for the first kiss till marriage.”
Within their church, the Duggar family’s courtship rules may seem reasonable. However, both Jessa and Jill are well over the age of 18. As they are legally adults, they have the option of living their life as they choose. Both girls have expressed that they agree with and intend to continue following their parents’ rules.
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