Josiah Duggar had recently announced that he and family friend Lauren Swanson are “courting,” which in the Duggar world is marriage-focused dating. In the Duggar world, and those who follow their Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP) religion, it is a necessary first step before marriage. Although Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar say that all of the children create their own rules around dating, all of them seem to follow the same formula. In this formula, couples are not allowed to hold hands until they are engaged and then wait until they are married to share their first kiss in front of their entire congregation and a TV camera.
It isn’t the courtship process that fans are necessarily not happy about, but instead, how quickly things seem to move for the reality TV family. The older Duggar children seem to go from friendship to courtship to engagement to marriage in just a matter of months. Most of the Duggar children courted for a mere few months before a proposal and then were engaged for a few months before they tied the knot. Unsurprisingly, almost all of the children have announced they are expecting within three weeks of their wedding, confirming that they almost all conceive on their honeymoon.
Ben and Jessa, Happy 3rd Anniversary! You are an incredible ministry team together. You both love investing in the lives of others and encouraging them to follow Jesus. You both have a servant’s heart and are a great example to the rest of us. We love when you bring Spurgeon & Henry over. They are such sweet boys! You are great parents and are really blessed. May God continue to prosper your marriage, family, and ministry as you daily continue to seek to follow Jesus! -Mom & Pops Duggar
Many fans worry that the children don’t know their spouses long enough or well enough before they commit to a lifetime with them. While some of their fans praise the adult children for being a “model example” and not having sex before marriage or children out of wedlock like so many other celebrities, many think this whirlwind romance is a recipe for disaster.
While Josiah Duggar’s courtship announcement was mostly met with positive comments, there were several people who were concerned that the courtship would go at the same ultra-fast speed, which means that Josiah might announce he is going to be a father before the year is out.
Although the Duggar children typically marry people they know from their childhood, Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth, especially, did not necessarily seem to be incredibly excited about her marriage to her husband, Austin, which had many Duggar fans concerned for her future and well-being.
Josiah Duggar, however, was the first Duggar to publicly cut off a courtship, which hasn’t happened for any of the other Duggar children, according to available information.