The Duggar family has presented marital advice at couples retreats numerous times, including at least two separate events at Fort Rock Family Camp since the family’s reality show fame hit the rocks with the release of police reports detailing sexual abuse alleged in the home. Now, however, they’ve promised that (if Baby Seewald #2 doesn’t interrupt their plans) they’ll be presenting for another organization.
After the Duggar family’s long-running reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, was pulled from the air in 2015, there was speculation that their run in the spotlight had ended. There were plenty of reasons — viewers worked to get promises from corporations not to purchase commercials during Duggar-related programming, family members (especially Josh) were given a less-than-warm reception on social media, and there was backlash at events that scheduled appearances by members of the Duggar family.
For the family to continue having a good working relationship with Fort Rock, even as association with the Duggar name causes negative publicity for some companies, is less surprising when you realize the Forsyths, the family behind Fort Rock, have a relationship with the Duggar family that goes back almost 15 years, and that the families have quite a bit in common.
Us Weekly reports that, like the Duggar family, the Forsyths require “modest” dress, have strict rules like forbidding bedroom doors to be closed, and prohibit kissing until marriage. They’ve also had a taste of reality show fame of their own, starring on CMT’s World’s Strictest Parents. Of course, there’s also the more recent news that Joy Anna Duggar is dating Austin Forsyth, whose parents own Fort Rock.
Now, though, it seems that the Duggar family is branching back out to perform talks for other organizations besides those closest to them. On January 27 — only about a week before the due date of Jessa Duggar Seewald’s second child, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s seventh grandchild — the parents who now join their adult children as stars of Counting On will be speakers at a marriage retreat hosted by Grace Fellowship Interdenominational. That is, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have promised to speak if Jessa’s baby doesn’t show up early and change their plans.
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s marital advice has drawn criticism before. Michelle Duggar once blogged controversial marriage tips, such as advising a woman to “be available” sexually
…no matter what, even though you may be exhausted and big pregnant and you may not feel like he feels.
Meanwhile, Jim Bob Duggar has placed a strong emphasis on a man’s ability to financially support his wife as one of the primary determining factors in a marriage.
Duggar to Ben Seewald:
“I think the most important thing is when a couple can do more for the Lord together than apart, and the husband can provide for his wife financially and take care of her…”
He also made finances a major issue in approving of Jeremy Vuolo’s relationship with Jinger, and has reportedly created a questionnaire — between 30 and 50 pages, depending on which of the Duggar couples you listen to — including financial disclosures.
What are the results of the Duggar family’s teachings on marriage and premarital relationships? One is that the married Duggar offspring speak of actually having time alone with their partner is one of the best things about marriage. In fact, in a recent video, Jill and Jessa gave advice to Jinger Duggar on her marriage to Jeremy Vuolo, and Jessa labeled the lack of chaperones as the best part.
“Enjoy being just the two of you. No more chaperones. That’s the best part.”
Between returning to their third full season of their reality show, Counting On, and this new speaking engagement, are we starting to see signs of more mainstream acceptance of the Duggar family back in public life?
[Featured Image by TLC/YouTube]