Once again, the Duggar family will be offering marital advice to struggling couples. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have visited Fort Rock Family Camp before, both as guests and speakers, and this will be their second time as featured speakers since their son, Josh’s, infidelity (or perhaps attempted infidelity — he admitted to having accounts on a website devoted to cheating spouses) was revealed publicly.
Marriage is, of course, a major theme for the Duggar family lately, with Jinger Duggar recently announcing her engagement to pastor Jeremy Vuolo.
Their engagement and their plans for marriage are expected to be central aspects of the new season of the Duggar family’s reality show, Jill & Jessa: Counting On, which returns on August 23, despite viewers’ efforts in contacting sponsors and asking them not to associate with the show after the series of scandals with Josh.
As that goes, there’s no question that association with the family has caused difficulties for some businesses — in June, one shop backtracked, removing a photo of the Duggar family from their social media sites and declaring, “We do not support the views of the Duggar family,” after they were deluged with negative feedback for the post shown below (screenshot taken before Sweet Loring deleted the post).
As for Fort Rock Family Camp, which focuses on “family restoration and enrichment” from a fundamentalist Christian point of view, it’s not the first time Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have been associated with the retreat. In a testimonial, the couple says they’ve been associated with the family behind the project since 2002, and “we highly recommend Fort Rock! Who knows? We might see you there!”
The Duggar family spoke at the Spring Marriage Retreat, and the Fort Rock Family Camp proudly announced the visit on their social media pages.
They’ve used the family as a selling point in other retreats in the past, too.
Mother/Daughter Retreat with the Duggar’s!
September 5-6 we’ll be hosting a Mother/Daughter Retreat here at the… http://t.co/HaQJrpMKM7
— Fort Rock (@FortRockFC) August 25, 2014
This time around, though, the camp hasn’t advertised the couple’s visit on their social media pages. It’s not clear whether they received negative feedback last time, and are being more careful about adding the Duggar family to social media announcements, or if they just haven’t mentioned the couple yet.
They do mention Jim Bob and Michelle’s visit on their website, though.
“This year’s Fall Marriage Retreat we are blessed with having Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar, as well as Evangelist Tom Harmon, share the Godly principals for keeping a vibrant, Christ-like marriage!”
What will Michelle and Jim Bob tell couples who are seeking to rebuild their marriages? They haven’t announced a theme or statement, but here are some pieces of marital advice the Duggar family has shared over the years.
First, a few tidbits from Michelle Duggar: “Be your husband’s biggest cheerleader. Be the one who encourages him and doesn’t put him down.”
Regarding sexual intimacy, Michelle said the following.
“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.”
What about a husband’s duties in a marriage? According to Jim Bob Duggar’s advice to Ben Seewald, the two most important things in marriage are that a couple does more for God together than apart, and that the man can support his wife financially.
“Marriage is a sacrifice. Give yourself to the other person and think of them more than you do yourself.”
When two Duggar daughters, who are now married, were asked in 2014 what marriage meant to them, Jill and Jessa’s answers centered around getting to spend time together as a couple, and about how many kids they would have. Jessa says, in this clip, “I might have more than 19 kids.”
There has been no statement about whether the Duggar family’s appearance at the marriage retreat will be a part of the new season of Counting On, but with at least one engagement announced and other courtships hinted, it’s likely that some marriage advice will surface.
[Image via Duggar Family Official Facebook]