19 Kids and Counting star Jessa Duggar recently embarked on a 12-day overnight trip to Central America with her beau, Ben Seewald, who she has been courting. However, the startling part of the whole trip is which members of the Duggar family are NOT present- Michelle and Jim Bob.
The Duggar family is known for its conservative courting rules which include no hand holding, frontal hugging or kissing until engagement or marriage. The family requires a chaperone on all dates that any of their children goes on until they are married. Therefore, many were left wondering how Jessa pulled off this 12-night trip with her special someone?
Michelle Duggar answered that question in the family blog, noting:
“We’ve set an age limit of 10 years old and above. So we have a lot of potential chaperones with 15 kids over that age! “
As part of the courting guidelines, each couple sits down with Michelle and Jim Bob to write out their expectations and limitations in their relationship. For example, no hand holding until engagement or kissing until marriage.
The courting rules and expectations are then given to the chaperone so everyone is on the same page. Jessa’s sister Jinger is present on the Central America trip, along with some of the other siblings, so we are left to assume the siblings will be doing the chaperoning on this trip and will ensure the guidelines are followed.
The other saving grace for Jessa’s trip is that it is a “missions trip.” The duo will be stopping in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, according to The Stir. The trip is designated a “Seekers of Souls” trip in which the group will attempt to convert those in need or who are “hopeless” into believers of Christ.
Though the trip appears to be well within the courting guidelines set forth by the Duggars, many are wondering if the couple is secretly engaged or if an engagement will be near after the couple had such an intimate time together. I think you will notice that the couple is getting increasingly closer and some photos are leading fans to believe the couple is already engaged, including this one posted by Ben to his Instagram account.
Check out the photo gallery below of the couple in Central America.
The Duggar family has been in the news recently for Jessa’s sister Jill’s recent marriage to Derick Dillard. Jill received her first kiss at her wedding in front of a crowd of over 1,000 guests.
What do you think about Jessa Duggar’s Central America trip? Will she return with a ring or does she secretly already have one?