The Duggars: A Love that Multiplies
By Renelle Roberts
The 700 Club
CBN.com- Renelle Roberts, 700 Club Reporter, recently visited with the Duggar Family.
By now, you’ve probably heard of the Duggar family, Jim Bob, Michelle and their nineteen biological children: Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn and Josie.
They just began their 6th season of 19 Kids and Counting. Their hit reality show airs Monday nights on TLC at 10pm. It documents their daily life, and has captured the births of their five youngest children. Michelle gave me a tour of the 7,000sq ft. home that they built themselves..
For the record, the Duggars do 40 loads of laundry per week, spend $3,000 a month on groceries, and have lived completely debt free for over 20 years!
But there’s no doubt that the first question most people ask them is, “Why have so many children?”
Michelle explains, “We had our first child, Josh, four years in to marriage and then I went back on the pill. Then I ended up getting pregnant while on the pill and I lost that baby. I had a miscarriage. At that point we really began to evaluate what we were thinking. With our own hands, with our own lack of knowledge we had destroyed our own baby. And that was devastating. We got on our knees and cried out to God and said, “Father, forgive us and give us a love for children like You love children. When He says that children are a gift and a blessing and a reward, we have seen that lived out for the last twenty-three years. It’s been a lot of hard work, but much, much joy.”
Jim Bob manages several commercial properties to provide for the family and never imagined he’d be a media sensation.
“I never dreamed in a million years that all this would happen,” Jim Bob says, “But it’s just a window of time that God’s opened up to minister to millions of people. And our prayer is that many people will come to know the Lord and start a relationship with Christ and start making right choices with their life.”
This large household runs like a well-oiled machine. Everyone pitches in.
You’d think Michelle has her hands full between making grocery lists, feeding and driving kids to and from appointments. But they’re not just her children- they’re also her students! That’s right, Michelle even homeschools!
I asked her why she believes the country is so fascinated by her family.
“It could be a number of things,” Michelle explained. “I think just the sheer curiosity of how a family with nineteen children functions. I also believe that there is a vacuum in America, and in each individual’s life. They want to know the answers to life’s questions. It’s that vacuum that only God’s Spirit can fill. So when people connect with that aspect of our lives, I think that is what makes the difference.”
Michelle developed complications in her last pregnancy and little Josie arrived three months earlier than expected. Since the NICU experience was still fresh in Michelle’s mind, I asked her if she is open to having more babies in the near future? “I’m 44 and if that would happen, we would be thrilled!” She said, “But it’s just a matter of waiting to see what the Lord has in store for us.”
Their lives may seem reminiscent of the Walton’s, but life’s not always easy and the Duggars do have their share of critics.
Jim Bob says, “There are people who don’t like us because of the size of family that we have. But we’ve had many emails from people- this one lady the other day said, ‘I was getting ready to have an abortion and I turned on the TV and I saw your show and I thought, ‘If these people can do it with seventeen children, then I can do it with one.’ And I decided not to have an abortion.’ I’m so thankful for testimonies like that because it keeps us going. There are so many encouraging emails of people who came to know the Lord, or families who have started attending church, giving their life to the Lord, and that’s what it’s all about.”
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