The Duggar family recently headed down under for a speaking engagement, and Jana was the oldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s children to participate in the event. Unfortunately for Jana, her father decided to single her out by cracking a joke about how she’s still single at age 28. Now, some fans of the Duggar family are defending Jim Bob for using his daughter’s lack of a love life to get a laugh.
On Friday, the Duggar Family News: Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray Facebook page shared a video that was taken during the Duggars’ recent trip to Australia. According to the Duggar Family Blog, the Counting On stars were at the Kilsyth South Baptist Church in Kilsyth South, Victoria to take part in a meet and greet arranged by the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). The IBLP is a Christian organization that has influenced the Duggar family’s views on everything from the way they dress to their old-fashioned courtship method of finding spouses for their children.
Due to their strict courtship standards, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s children have a very limited pool of potential mates to choose from. But even though he may be partially to blame for any dating difficulties that his children experience, this didn’t stop Jim Bob from teasing Jana Duggar for being single while she was standing in front of a crowd of over a hundred people.
“And Jana is — actually, back in the U.S., it’s her birthday,” Jim Bob says in the video shared by Pickles. “Jana is 28-years-old and still single, so she’s still praying about the one.”
The crowd gathered at the church laughed when Jim Bob said that Jana is still single. He and Michelle also mentioned Jana’s twin brother, John David Duggar, but they said nothing about his relationship status. Instead, Michelle bragged about how her second-oldest son is a pilot. John David did not attend the event with his family, and Michelle said that his absence meant that he and Jana had to celebrate their birthdays apart for the very first time.
Jim Bob’s comment about Jana got its own thread on the Counting On subreddit. Most Redditors who weighed in on what the Duggar family patriarch said were totally fine with it.
“I wasn’t there but I assumed it was just a dad joke. He makes a lot of them especially on the old episodes of the original show,” read one comment.
“Women have a biological clock. Men generally don’t. It’s more notable for a woman to be single and childless after a certain age. This is not unique to the Duggars,” wrote another Duggar defender.
However, a few Redditors questioned Jim Bob’s decision to joke about a potentially sensitive subject.
“What I do wonder is — what’s Jim Bob’s angle with that joke? Is it just a standard-issue dorky dad joke that he’s too oblivious to realize could be seen as hurtful? Does he know it’s a sensitive subject, so he’s trying to diffuse it with humor? Is ol’ JB a little salty that lovely, talented Jana isn’t playing along with the real Duggar family business: marrying off its children for profit?”
Jana Duggar has admitted that she finds it difficult to be single. She’s had to watch four of her younger sisters get married and move out, and she told Crown of Beauty magazine that her female siblings start treating her like an outsider as soon as they become wives.
“I know how it feels to wait for ‘Prince Charming’ to come along,” she said. “I’m still waiting. Waiting is not always easy. Especially in those times when all the married siblings are getting together and you can’t go along because your not part of ‘that’ group.”
However, Jana Duggar isn’t going to settle for anything less than Mr. Right just so she can spend more time with her married sisters. As reported by Entertainment Tonight, Jana has attracted many potential suitors, but she’s said that she’s “not just out to get married to the first that comes along.” The Duggar daughter knows exactly what she wants and is willing to wait as long as it takes to find “the one,” even if it means enduring more of Jim Bob’s dad jokes.