With the sweet however, comes the sour. As much positive as the Duggar’s try to put out there, negative things are sure to follow……..like rumors. Anyone who has a computer or has watched the news knows that the life of a celebrity is often times likened to a train wreck and just like a rubbernecker who passes a horrific car crash, ordinary people want to ‘see’ all of the bad in these people’s lives………who’s dating who, who’s getting a divorce, which star has a drug problem, which singer failed to pay taxes, etc. The Duggars unfortunately, are no different and truth be told there has been a lot of unflattering rumors that have come out about this seemingly amazing family. Yet, unless you know the Duggars personally, or you have the honest proof, then they are just that……..rumors.
Rumors are swirling right now as we speak, about the oldest Duggar children. These rumors are not getting started by media moguls or Entertainment Tonight (is that even still a show?), but the Christian homeschooling community itself. After reading many blogs and websites about my favorite show, I am seeing a disturbing trend that looks a lot like a celebrity news mill…..who’s dating who, who’s pregnant and who’s not, who’s GAY (good gracious people, leave these poor kids alone!), who’s FAT (really??????), or who’s going to write a tell-all book about what family life is really like at the Duggar home (not like the one that the oldest Duggar girls’ wrote either, read below to find out more about that one).I know that these rumors are getting through to the Duggar family. I know this, because when my family and I were watching a recent Duggar episode, ‘Love and Marriage’, where the older girls were talking at a 15-year-old’s birthday party, they addressed a lot of these rumors…….under the pretext of giving advice to other teens their age. Here is the ‘shocking’ truth, and I say truth because it came from their own mouths and who are we to say any different? Also, even if there are ‘secret’ things going on behind the scenes, if they wanted you to know they would have told you!
1. There are NO Duggar courtships going on right now. NONE. I hope they don’t tell the whole world if they are in a courtship relationship or ‘dating with a purpose’, as I am still so sad for Zach Bates and Sarah Reith, who were filmed on the Duggars show as they began a courtship relationship. Here is how that ended:Many have asked for an update on Zach and Sarah’s courtship that was announced last June. After prayer, Sarah decided to end the courtship several months after it began. We have not posted any updates or answered any comments about it until now, in order to give both Zach and Sarah time to heal.
Any parting of a relationship causes pain, and although we would love to avoid heartaches in life, it is through these very trying times that character and faith often grow. For Zach, it has been a time of learning, thinking, and drawing closer to Christ.
Zach is grateful that he and Sarah hadn’t chosen the traditional path of dating, since it protected them from wrong goals and further pain. The three main goals of their courtship were 1. to maintain purity, 2. to discover if they were the right life partners for marriage, and 3. to honor God first and foremost in their relationship. In that sense, their courtship was a success, as they achieved each of these goals.
Although the relationship did not progress into engagement and marriage, their time together was focused on strengthening their walk with the Lord, and therefore ended in friendship. Zach is grateful for having developed a relationship with Sarah and her family. He has learned valuable insights from the example of their family harmony and love for God. In spite of the pain of parting, he is full of memories and experiences that have encouraged him, strengthened him, challenged him, and humbled him. He can appreciate the growth that has taken place in his life as a result of these circumstances.
Thank each of you for your prayers and thoughtfulness!
This was written by Kelly Bates on her family’s blog http://www.thebatesfamily.com I think she did a great job with the post, but I hope there is not a need to have to write another one in the future (meaning that the children will not be quite so public with their relationships).
2. They believe in ‘DATING WITH A PURPOSE’. I suspect that after what Jill said when she was speaking at the birthday party, that they are very aware that some people in today’s society believe the word ‘Courtship’ is kinda creepy…….and hey, maybe they are right. There are some religous groups that ARE kinda creepy and very controlling of their children’s lives at all costs. Yet in the case of the Duggars, the Bates, and so many other Christian families who are trying to lead their children onto God’s path and not the way of the world’s, the word ‘courtship’ should not be viewed as something antiquated and manipulative. It is simply a way for two people of the opposite sex to get to know each other, under the protection of a loving family member who will help guard the couple against impurity. I know, God Forbid we protect the sexual purity of our children!
3. They are ON BOARD with it! Sure, they are parroting the beliefs of their parents, and no, they probably don’t agree with everything their parent’s have taught them about dating, courtship, or purity either. Did you believe everything your parent’s taught you? No, of course not (but I learned as I got older that they were right more often than they were wrong…..thanks Mamma and Daddy!). Yet, instead they trust their parent’s enough and ultimately they trust GOD enough to give over their futures to Him. Even as an adult, I struggle with a lot of the things in the Bible. It would be so easy to say that the Bible was written in different times, therefore it does not apply to me. Yet, that still small voice inside tells me that His Word is absolute no matter what generation I come from.4. Finally, THEY WROTE A BOOK ABOUT IT! Yep, they wrote a book about their life, their beliefs, and what it’s like for them as a Duggar. The book is entitled, “Growing Up Duggar”. It will not be released until March 4, 2014 (according to amazon.com), but it could not come soon enough for me!
It made my heart swell when I heard them lay out their beliefs and convictions before the general public as a tribute to their parents and their God. I am gladdened that they are so courageous and strong in their faith that they can withstand the pressure of not dating…….even though they are so obviously getting firmly into their twenties. Yet, as a mother with teens in the ‘dating age range’, I cannot help but be concerned for not only the Duggar children, but my own children as well. How on God’s beautiful green earth, will these young adults ever meet the one that they will marry? What type of person would have the courage and conviction to march past the gates that are in front of the Duggars home and ask to court a Duggar daughter? Who will be strong enough, confident enough, and slightly bold enough to want to marry into the lifestyle that the Duggars lead? My own children do not live in a reality television bubble like the Duggars do, but we have many of the same values……which lead to many of the same hurdles. So, who will our children marry and when?
The answer is easy…….They will marry exactly WHOM God has chosen for them to marry. They will marry exactly WHEN God has chosen for them to marry. Finally, they will marry under the EXACT CIRCUMSTANCES that God has chosen them to marry under.
All they have to do is trust in Him, believe that He has the very best things in store for them, and that everything is done in His own perfect time (sorry Duggar’s, NOT in Duggar Time!) They must lead the life that God has laid out for them, not the one that they have envisioned……..good medicine for all of us, not just young people looking for marriage. Finally, to let God’s voice and their parent’s council be their guide, as there is nothing written in the Bible about dating (plenty about sex between one woman and one man in marriage, but nothing at all about courtship or dating).
Told you it was easy……..(yeah, right!)……..but with God and Jesus Christ at the wheel, we can’t and they can’t go wrong!
Proverbs 3: 1-5 says: My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Matthew 6:25-34 says: Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.