I debated about writing this commentary for a few weeks now. But, its my blog… I pay the hosting fees… so, I guess that gives me the right to talk about what I want. Right? I fell in love with the Duggar family while pregnant and on bed rest with the twins. While being pregnant is difficult, being pregnant with twins is overwhelming. Instead of raising, feeding, and providing for one baby… there are two coming. Being on bedrest is depressing… literally. Your “friends” disappear and you find out who you can count on and trust. While lying on the couch, I began watching the Duggar’s 17 Kids and Counting reruns. Of course, it is not 19 Kids and Counting.
As I would lay there and watch these reruns, I constantly would think to myself “I want my kids to grow up like the Duggar kids.” Even with numerous brothers and sisters, each and every one of those kids are well-adjusted, loved, faithful to God, give back to their community and world, intelligent, and successful. TLC proclaims the show to be “reality TV”… but it is not like any reality TV we have seen before. And, I think that is the problem. We have been programmed to want the bad and ugly – the cat fights, the cheating spouses, the drugs, the alcohol. 19 Kids and Counting is not like that.
Think about the reality shows that are/were popular… Jon and Kate Plus 8, Honey Boo Boo, Housewives of Whatever City…. is that how you want your children to experience life? I can sit my children down in front of 19 Kids and Counting and know they are not going to be exposed to anything negative, derogatory, or too worldly. It is merely a window into another, NORMAL family’s life. A family that loves God and each other greatly.
Recently, there was a backlash about the Duggar family deleting pictures of same-sex couples kissing after Michelle and Jim Bob asked for pictures of couples kissing. I have seen comments ranging from “TLC needing to cancel the show” to “freedom of speech doesn’t apply to them because they are public personalities.” This is their choice. Kudos to the Duggars for standing behind their beliefs and following through with their decisions.
This isn’t about whether you believe the same beliefs as the Duggar family. This occurred on their PERSONAL Facebook page. They have the right to delete comments and/or pictures that go against their belief’s and views. It is no different than me deleting offensive items from my Facebook wall or comments on my blog posts. While, I believe everyone has a right to an opinion, if it is offensive or derogatory, or goes against my beliefs… chances are it will be removed. Not out of malice or dislike, but because it is my viewpoint and my beliefs. I am not telling you to believe or follow what I believe – that is a personal decision. But, just as critics have claimed freedom of speech should allow the pictures to stay… freedom of speech allows the pictures to be deleted by the family.
Like most personalities, the Duggar family has their share of critics. But, have these critics ever sat down to watch the show? I doubt it. The Duggar family has no pretenses. They are nothing more than a family trying to raise their kids to love God and each other and be productive members of society. They are fed. They are clothed. They have a strong belief system. They love each other and themselves. They are educated. They have a mom and a dad. They share their beliefs and values with their viewers, but never is it “shoved down your throat” or presented as “its this way or else.”
If you spent the time watching and learning about the family, you would realize they are just a normal family, trying to raise their children to be productive, God-loving, and contributors to the betterment of society.
I think the critics that have jumped on the bandwagon need to take a step back and reevaluate exactly what it is they are upset about. Is it because of jealousy? Is it because of hatred? Is it because the Duggar’s beliefs are not in alignment with theirs? Perhaps, the critics need to step back and reevaluate what they are trying to prove with their actions and hurtful comments. This isn’t about whether Michelle and Jim Bob should have this many kids. God has blessed them numerous times.
On the Duggar blog, among the valuable resources they share, there is a quote from D.L. Moody that is Jim Bob’s favorite:
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter.
After having children, and starting my blog, I have reevaluated my belief system and what I want to do to make the world a better place. Does it matter that you are rich and famous? Does it matter that you have a high-power job? No. What matters is that you leave a legacy for your children and that you make a difference. You must have a relationship with God. You must do the right thing. You must love your children and others. Until then, the hatred in this world will continue to exist and flourish.
I have, and always will be a supportive of the Duggar family. They are instilling the values in their children that God describes in the Bible. They are sharing these values and beliefs with the world. I only hope my children can grow up to be like the Duggar children in their beliefs and actions.
One of the pearls of wisdom that I gained while watching the show while on bed rest is something Jim Bob said… children learn to react to situations by watching the parent react to the same situations. I have always tried to keep that in mind. My children learn by watching me and my behaviors.
So, I ask you this… by attacking the Duggar’s beliefs and values… what is that teaching YOUR children?