Why Does the World Hate the Duggars?

We don’t watch a lot of TV, but when we do, we tend to go for the less-gossipy, more fun kinds of reality show like Storage Wars or 17 18 19 Oh, I Give UP! Kids and Counting. We haven’t seen very many of the Duggars’ shows, just because Netflix hasn’t made very many of them available, but what we’ve seen is just wonderful. Word on the internet is that they have announced that baby number 20 is on the way! Word on the internet, of course, is a sketchy and frustrating thing, sometimes. A quick Swagbucks search told me everything I need to know about the world’s reaction to the newest blessing. It ain’t pretty.

The Deranged Housewife asked why people hate the Duggars so much. To which I replied:

You won’t hear me say anything negative about the Duggars! Except that maybe I think the bus would look better in bright red. I think the reason the Duggars really tick people off, aside from the joyful and wholesome Christian lifestyle, which is really foreign to most Americans, is that they put the lie to our culture’s myth that children are too expensive, too much trouble, impossible to deal with, etc. People just don’t know how to react to it when their whole narrative goes KABOOM like that. 😉

Like most hatred, Duggar Derangement Syndrome (henceforth dubbed DDS)  is a completely irrational reaction to something our culture simply doesn’t know how to parse. When a worldview is challenged, the natural reaction, for those who haven’t had much practice in defending their worldview, is anger. How DARE you try to yank the rug from under me that way! I’m enjoying the world the way I see it! It’s the most understandable thing in the world. Wrong. But understandable.

The Duggers expose many lies that our society is literally built on—lies that are really so much sinking sand, and our sinking society is starting to panic.

Lie 1: Kids are a financial liability. I’ve addressed this lie briefly, and Connie, my hero at Smockity Frocks, is taking it on in detail. Check those links for the truth about money and children.

Lie 2: It takes a village. We have been trained by our own experiences with socialized education to believe that children are impossible to handle without the help of professionals. No one family can do it all or pay for it all. In fact, having children in the care of their own parents twenty-four hours a day is the weirdest thing imaginable in our brave new world. And yet, here are the Duggars daring to leave that system we’ve so carefully arranged “for the children” to fend for themselves. Worse, it’s working!

Lie 3: Childhood should be a time of complete carelessness and selfishness. The stupidest objection I hear to the number of children that the Duggars have is that the kids have to help one another because there aren’t enough parents to go around. Usually, the complaint is that the older kids are actually raising the younger ones. In a dysfunctional family, this would be true. I’ve seen it. In a loving family where the parents are in charge, this is really just something that our culture hasn’t witnessed, and thus can’t understand. It’s brothers and sisters loving one another. When I tell my son to hold his sister’s hand in the parking lot, to tie his brother’s shoes, or to fold his father’s laundry, he is not raising anybody. He is helping his fellow man, and learning that he is his brother’s keeper. We’ve been taught in our culture that helping the helpless is the government’s job, so I can see how that might be confusing.

Lie 4: Having babies is too dangerous for the average woman. Having babies is certainly a risk. I don’t  deny that. So is walking on a busy city street or eating pretzels. But the Duggars prove that most of the medical rationale for an otherwise healthy woman not having “too many” children is a convenient excuse for encouraging women to drop out of procreation after the standard two-maybe-three babies. Pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes, but our culture treats them as disease.

Lie 5: It is impossible to raise children morally and in a way that they won’t rebel. I don’t want to tell on my social worker friend too much (about whom I commented more at Our Peaceful Homeschool Zoo), but it is very telling to me that she is now extremely annoyed, not only with the Duggars, but with their oldest son, who has the temerity to agree with them and live his life as they’ve taught him to. In fact, there are whole websites devoted to hoping that one of the daughters in particular will rebel. No one likes to see their own worldview fall apart, but masses of angry people on the internet are certainly hoping that the worldview of the Duggars won’t survive through their progeny!

Lie 6: Christianity is creepy. This is a lie for which we can thank Hollyweird. The only contact most Americans—even many nominal Christians–have with real Christianity anymore is through the media, in which every preacher is a hypocrite or a baby torturer. There are a lot of people who find the Duggars creepy when they start to sing hymns together. But it’s the dissonance of seeing how much they love Christ and how harmless they are that sets people off, not anything actually creepy that is happening. We are pre-programmed to distrust religious sincerity.

Lie 7: Sex and childbearing have nothing to do with one another. There’s just something so uncouth about allowing sex to produce anything but a nice feeling, and maybe a bond between couples, if both of them would like to continue the relationship. What the Duggars, and all reproducing couples do, is allow their love to mean something beyond the use of each other’s bodies. They remind people that the consequences of Godly sexual behavior are blessed, and that fruitless, promiscuous sex is an abomination.

Lie 8: Motherhood is a dead-end job. Another one I’ve covered elsewhere. Suffice it to say that  Michelle Duggar is a paragon of contented motherhood, and it makes “feminists” crazy.

Lie 9: The Big Lie. At the bottom of Duggar-hatred is Christ-hatred. I’m convinced that if the Duggars were raising twenty kids because they think evolutionary processes demand that the fit reproduce, and they deem themselves to be more fit than most (and I’d say they are rather more fit than I am, at least!), there wouldn’t be much outcry, because in all other respects, it’s obvious that they’re doing a fantastic job. It’s the Jesus thing that really kills the world. It has ever been so:

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.—John 15:18


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stephanie@Bowmania December 7, 2011, 10:59 am

    Great Post! I love the fact that God is blessing them again! 🙂 at times I wish I could have that many! I love that we have a large family of 5 kids!:) Even with just 5 I get questions and you know.. those LOOKS! Sigh! I could go on…. lol.. but I will stop (for now)

    • Heather Coplin December 7, 2011, 6:33 pm

      She should not be having another child because of what happened with the last pregnancy. Her child experienced a life and death situation because the mother had health issues that will most likely repeat with further pregnancies. She is putting the life of the next child in SERIOUS jeopardy and that should not be done and their love for their children should preclude putting future children in such a situation. I had triplets and they were born a few weeks prior to their 19th child being born and mine were 15 weeks early, the experience was terrifying and horrible and I had a tubal ligation and made sure that I will never take a chance of having multiples again (mine were naturally conceived with no drugs or IVF involved and once you have multiples the chance of it happening again goes up). My husband and I are dealing with these special needs children on a daily basis, one of us is always home. We have 7 children total (no we are not christian and ours has nothing to do with religious beliefs) and we care for our children in all ways. So do not take this post as a hatred for anyone or large families or any other reason except I have been where they were two years ago and out of love for my children would NEVER take their life into such a serious risk again. Her decision to take this chance with an innocent life enrages me.

      • Cindy December 7, 2011, 8:01 pm

        So you’re saying that this child shouldn’t allowed to exist because it might die. Stunning logic. Last time I checked, the death rate is 100%, give or take a chariot of fire or two. We’re all definitely going to die. The Duggars choose to give life a chance. You think it’s not worth bothering. That’s sad.

        • sinmantyx December 7, 2011, 8:37 pm

          Cindy. I think she is saying that becoming pregnant when there is a high risk of serious problems with the pregnancy is not a good choice. Calling the poster “sad” for stating this is really horrible. I got to spend several weeks in the NICU. I think what you just said was completely heartless because you’re basically being flippant about real and sustained human suffering. I mean, they don’t always die right away.

          • Cindy December 7, 2011, 8:44 pm

            And they don’t always die! And God has a plan for each of us, even in our suffering. I’m not being flippant. I don’t want to see suffering. Every life has the potential for suffering, and the nihilism of saying “Don’t even try.” is sad. It’s very sad.

          • Nameless Nobody December 7, 2011, 8:53 pm

            .. Her decision to take this chance with an innocent life enrages me.
            .. I mean, they don’t always die right away.

            The options are to either bring a child into the world, or not to bring a child into the world. If you choose to bring a child into the world in a riskier situation, and if the child dies, now or later, that’s still a better shot at life than what they had if she’d chosen not to have another baby.

            It’s her decision. I’m sorry for what happened to Heather, but I don’t think Cindy’s being heartless. I think she’s saying that it’s Michelle’s choice. We don’t have to like it if we disagree, but we don’t have any right to state what she _can’t_ do with her reproductive choices.

            • Cindy December 7, 2011, 9:05 pm

              Thanks, nameless.

      • Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy
        Twitter: SomewhatCrunchy
        December 7, 2011, 10:18 pm

        I find that point of view very interesting. There are plenty of women who have had horrible experiences, miscarriages, stillborns, NICU babies, tragic injuries, genetic problems and diseases with their first pregnancies and gone on to have healthy children. Being that she has only had one high risk pregnancy I think the odds are in her favor. I think living in fear of what could happen is a prison all its own.

      • Erin December 7, 2011, 11:59 pm

        Pre-eclampsia happens to first time moms and young moms too. Having it once does not increase your risk of having it again. Anyway, the Duggars didn’t create this baby, God did.

        • Rebecca Young December 8, 2011, 2:29 am

          I just have to say a big “AMEN” to that, Erin! God absolutely created this and very baby.

      • Jessica December 8, 2011, 9:00 am

        Did you know that the same health problem she had, and that you say will repeat, she had with her 2nd pregnancy and didn’t have it again until 19?

      • ccjohn146 December 8, 2011, 9:40 am

        I think making a judgement on someone else’s lifestyle of decisions to have children is ridiculous, based upon your own personal experiences. Every woman’s body is different. Each pregnancy is different. If I had headed your warnings based upon your fear, I would have one child. My first pregnancy became very complicated after the 4th month. I was on bedrest for months and my child was born prematurely with some congenital defects and we were told he might not make it thru the night. However, it was a chance thing that happened to him and if I lived in fear, I would have stopped at having just him. But instead, the Lord has blessed us with 5 other children. All pregnancies were textbook perfect, and all are healthy. Shame on you for trying to instill fear on those with problem pregnancies or “less than perfect” children.

  • Smockity Frocks
    Twitter: SmockityFrocks
    December 7, 2011, 11:01 am

    LOVE this post! I too am flummoxed when I see the rabid hatred for the Duggars. I always think, “If you don’t think having 20 children is a good idea, then BY ALL MEANS don’t do it!!!”

    I think you are right about a contempt for Christianity.

    (By the way, I have a whole thread on the Duggar hate site you mentioned. I KNOW. It’s like I’m famous!)

    • Cindy December 7, 2011, 11:08 am

      You’re a rock star! I will know I’ve arrived when I have, not only trolls, but off-site trolls!

  • Gail @ The Imperfect Housewife December 7, 2011, 11:06 am

    I love this! We have just recently borrowed the first 2 seasons from a friend. I find them fascinating! I love how the older children ENJOY helping the younger ones. They enjoy the buddy system. What better way to help raise up daughters to be wives and mothers than in your own home? We also have 5 children, and all the time get “Are they all yours?” It is said that in our society it would be more acceptable to hear “These are his, these are mine, and this one is ours” than the real answer of “Yes!” Thank you for dispelling the lies of the world about children!

  • Ashley Cozzens
    Twitter: oliveonandon
    December 7, 2011, 11:07 am

    You took the words right out of my mouth. Actually, your words are probably much better.
    It always amazes me that people can be so hateful towards a family that is probably as un-offensive as you could find, and then will fall all over themselves to support the “cultural” or “traditional” choices made by families with some other type of religion or worldview.

  • Sheila Wray Gregoire
    Twitter: sheilagregoire
    December 7, 2011, 11:12 am

    Great post, Cindy! One particular thing that really stood out to me (it all was good, but this hit home) was the idea that children are a financial liability. That is so true. I remember how CHEAP my babies were. But then, I shopped at thrift stores, bought everything second hand, gladly accepted hand me downs, used cloth diapers, and cooked baby food from scratch. The babies weren’t much money at all.

    If you expect to buy all new clothes, have each child in his or her own room, have each child in hockey and/or skating, then, yes, they’re expensive. But no one HAS to live that way. It’s all choices, isn’t it?

    And I do find it sad that people are rooting for one to rebel….

    Sheila from To Love, Honor and Vacuum!

    • Lori Falce December 7, 2011, 7:37 pm

      Yes…tragic for a parent to want to nurture a child’s interests instead of making them indentured servants subject to the whims of their parents’ sex life.

      • Cindy December 7, 2011, 7:50 pm

        Sex life? So older children are harmed by having younger siblings. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. And you don’t mean “nurture a child’s interests”. The Duggars do that. What you mean is “raise self-interested brats” which is what our culture excels at. It’s telling that you think parents’ sex lives affect their children negatively by merely producing them.

        • Lori Falce December 7, 2011, 8:23 pm

          You’re ridiculously hostile.

          I don’t think there is anything wrong with encouraging a kid’s interests in hockey or skating or any other classes they might take. My niece takes eleven different dance classes, and she is the least selfish child I know. And no, older children aren’t harmed by having younger siblings, per se. But they also aren’t automatically the better for it.

          And exactly what is “telling” and what is it telling you? I think it’s responsible as a parent to budget your time as well as your money, and not to demand that your children pick up the tab for your decisions.

          • Cindy December 7, 2011, 8:47 pm

            I’ve never seen any evidence that the Duggars do anything but raise their children well! I don’t see any harm in dance classes. I also don’t see any harm in doing each other’s laundry or participating in the family’s daily chores, which is all those children are doing. It’s not “picking up my tab” when I ask my older kids to take care of their younger ones. Or my younger ones to serve the rest of the family. We all work together to make this family run. That’s not “picking up the tab”. It’s living. You don’t like it, don’t choose it, but the Duggars serve their children and teach them well. BTW, that was hostile, and I’m sorry. I’m very tired tonight. Not that that’s an excuse.

          • republican mother December 8, 2011, 9:07 am

            In the 6,000 years of recorded history, only in the last few decades have such luxuries been in the reach of average people. George Washington did not play little league, instead he started his surveying career at 14. John Quincy Adams was an assistant envoy to Russia at the same age. The point is all these lessons and “extras” don’t do as much to develop character than being part of a family. When you’re family is larger, there is a place for everyone to help, and the ties that bind become closer. This is God’s plan for the family, not for kids to sit on their butts and be waited upon and catered to their fancy or interest.
            In my observation, the classes these kids get put into are usually the parents ideas and are doing some vicarious living themselves. This is not always the case as some kids have a real talent that needs nurturing. But you know what? GOD will make the way for them to develop that talent that HE gave them.
            Benjamin Franklin was the baby in a family of 16, and he got his start with his older siblings help.

          • Hannah December 8, 2011, 10:34 am

            I grew up with four siblings (my parents wanted more, but God said 5 was enough) and I was devastated when my mom got rid of the baby stuff. I would’ve loved to have more siblings. Being the second oldest, I helped with my younger siblings a lot and I think I am a much better person for it. No, we didn’t have money to take a lot of dance classes or whatever, but we had four wonderful siblings who we loved. I loved being able to help care for my younger siblings and it taught me to be a more caring, loving, nurturing person.

    • SleeplessinSummerville December 8, 2011, 9:47 am

      Actually, children CAN cost quite a bit of money without their parents making that choice. My son has acid reflux and is intolerant to dairy and soy (and all of this still, at age two). Believe me, I didn’t choose to have an expensive kid! My only point is that sometimes children are very costly, both in money and to their parents’ emotional health. I wish I thought I could afford (in both senses) to have a bunch of kids, but I doubt I’ll risk having more than two.
      I’m glad you found your children didn’t cost that much and I agree with the overall point you are making here, it just bothers me that there is this idea that if my child is costly it must somehow be my fault.

  • Heather @ Planner for Moms
    Twitter: hbixler03
    December 7, 2011, 11:14 am

    There is SO much truth to this post. We don’t have cable but I have watched the Duggars on Netflix too and I just love them! I jus love how Michelle has totally submitted her life to the Lord and truly delights in HIM!

    It makes me angry to see so many people turn around and criticize them. Thank you for your post it really does expose the lies we are believing. 🙂

  • Mary December 7, 2011, 11:14 am

    I love this post! I hear people raging about their carbon footprint and saying “shame on them for having so many children.” Duggar hatred perplexes me. Your list is awesome!

  • KellyH December 7, 2011, 11:16 am

    I have never watched the Duggar’s, so can’t really comment about that. If they are following what they prayerfully believe to be the Lord’s direction, then who am I to argue? I think you hit the nail on the head in Lie #8

    Lie 8: The Big Lie. At the bottom of Duggar-hatred is Christ-hatred.

    I think this is true of the Duggar’s, but also of Tim Tebow, the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. He is currently the most hated man in football I think. I think most of it boils down to his vocal Christianity.


    • Cindy December 7, 2011, 11:30 am

      Definitely true of Tebow, too! I don’t know a thing about football, but I know anti-Christ when I see him, and he is in the hearts of everyone who mocks that young man.

  • The Husband December 7, 2011, 11:16 am

    HOW DARE those weirdos so perfectly illustrate the difference between my hedonistic self oriented culture and theirs, thus forcing me to spend even a microsecond questioning the shaky foundations of my own beliefs?

    No, unless their show depicts them as over-controlling hypocritical monsters, change the station to some low comedy sitcom that belittles the family by depicting it as stupid, dysfunctional, and oversexed. Thanks.

  • Michelle December 7, 2011, 11:24 am

    I love this article and totally agree with you. It is such a travesty that people are actually cheering for the children to rebel. Rebel against what? Morals? Chastity? Hard Work? Love? Community? Being nice to your siblings?

    I just finished reading their new book and was so amazed by how they raised their children. If more people raised their children to not only respect God, but to respect each other what would our world look like?

  • Mary Jo December 7, 2011, 11:34 am

    Great post, as usual!

    The main reason I watch the Duggar is because I keep hoping that Michelle’s sweetness will magically jump out of the TV and cling to me. I guess it doesn’t work like that, but you can’t blame me for trying!!!

    *For the record, my physician would agree that I totally and completely test NEGATIVE for DDS. =D

  • A C December 7, 2011, 12:10 pm

    Great points!

    To me, the Duggars represent a normal – and very fruitful – family, in a world that has forgotten and rejected what normal looks like.

    We just can’t accept anything other than a self-gratifying, politically-correct, dumbed-down, look-like-your-neighbors kind of life.

  • Nicole Kirksey
    Twitter: CoachNicole
    December 7, 2011, 12:17 pm

    What a great post! I never thought of DDS that way.

    I don’t watch the Duggars a lot at all, and when I do, I’m amazed at how extremely organized they are. With one husband and one child, my environs are largely chaotic–or at least a bit, uh, off-center. 🙂 It’s inspiring to see what can be accomplished when one puts her mind to it.

    I’m off to clean!

  • Kathryn Lang December 7, 2011, 12:18 pm

    I LOVE this post! And I think you nailed it with Lie #8. I have also see it with the rise of Tim Tebow. When people are saying what they believe and following up those words with actions, the world does not have a clue what to do.

  • Lorrie McD. December 7, 2011, 12:35 pm

    I don’t hate the Duggars. They are to be commended and are an example to model ourselves after.
    I just have a general dislike for all shows trailing around after people!

    • Gidget
      Twitter: HSingunscripted
      December 7, 2011, 12:54 pm

      I agree with you most of the time, Lorrie – but, in the case of the Duggar’s, I’m actually grateful because they are such an encouragement to me 🙂

    • Cindy December 7, 2011, 1:13 pm

      I don’t usually like “reality” shows, but the Duggars have kept it real, without letting it become really invasive. They know the world is going to edit it the way they see fit, and they seem to have taken steps to keep the children’s privacy intact. I’m glad they’re out there showing the world what a blessing children are!

  • Katie December 7, 2011, 12:50 pm

    Love, love, LOVE this post! So many valid points! There is so much nasty directed at the Duggars, and other families who call themselves “Quiverfulls.” So, my quiver was full at 2, lol. Doesn’t mean that I have to spew meanness and rage at families like the Duggars. I think if society has to have indignant rage, direct it at the teenage girl who gave birth in a bathroom stall and left the baby there. At the mom who “forgot” her child was in the backseat of the car in the 100+ degree heat. At the boyfriend that slammed an infant into a wall because they wouldn’t stop crying and interrupting his VIDEO GAME. Don’t spew at the family who seems to be raising intelligent, moral, and more importantly HAPPY children, and are doing so debt free and without the assistance of the society that’s spewing at them. 🙂

    Okey dokey. Stepping down from my soapbox now. 😀

    I will say that I agree with a previous comment about a dislike for shows like that in general…it *is* weird to me to imagine a TV crew trailing around our every move. But I have seen interaction between the family and that crew on occasion, and it seems like both groups (the family and the crew) treat one another as friends…almost like part of the family. I would suppose that might make it easier, lol.

    Again, really enjoyed this post, and all of the comments!

    Homeschooling mom of two boys that’s ecstatic to have found my budding writer an online writing tutor! that’s not ME! 🙂

  • Gidget
    Twitter: HSingunscripted
    December 7, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Great post, Cindy! And, you may have a first here: a story about the Duggars that doesn’t have the comments section full of vile comments 🙂

    • Cindy December 7, 2011, 1:11 pm

      Give ’em time. They’ll be around. My spam filter is set to catch all the dirty words like ‘fundie’ and ‘breeder’, so it’s possible they’ve already tried. 😉

  • Kimberly@APeacefulNookInOurHomeschoolZoo
    Twitter: Homeschool_zoo
    December 7, 2011, 12:59 pm

    Well said, Cindy! The rabid hatred in the anti- Duggar camp has always rather perplexed me. Those whose idealogical leanings include banging the drumbeat for tolerance of differing beliefs and cultures, sure appear to be mighty intolerant if those beliefs and cultures happen to be originating from a conservative Christian point of view! The hypocrisy and the blind mean spiritedness might be amusing, if it weren’t so very sad.

    I’d throw my lot in with the Duggars…any day of the week.

  • Katrina December 7, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Great post! And so true. I am just so confused when people show such a hatred for them. They are such a great family, and a great example of what a family was meant to be like. They are an inspiration for me! (Though I would never have 20 kids!)

    I love them, and am happy for them that God has obviously blessed them so much.

  • Veronica @ A Quiet Heart
    Twitter: AQuietHeart
    December 7, 2011, 2:45 pm

    Loved (and agree with!) the whole post…but this line had to be my favorite: “Having babies is certainly a risk. I don’t deny that. So is walking on a busy city street or eating pretzels.” Classic! 🙂

  • Erin L. December 7, 2011, 2:48 pm

    I loved what you had to say and wished that people would just quit being so judgmental.

  • Sonita Lewis
    Twitter: therubynotebook
    December 7, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Like 🙂 Very Much.

  • Donetta
    Twitter: donettadalman
    December 7, 2011, 3:24 pm

    Brilliant!! Love every word of this!! The thing is – just because “I” don’t necessarily want to have 20 children of my own doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it or that they’re freaks for doing so! They are doing a great job with their family and I think it’s fantastic!! I agree with you that it’s more about the values they have than anything as far as the naysayers are concerned. Homeschoolers and Jesus freaks don’t make do many people happy. 😉 I know I’m proud to be both though!! (Just with a smaller family. lol.)

  • Kimberly @ Adventures in Mothering
    Twitter: KimberlyEddy
    December 7, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I love this post. LOVE IT. I can’t agree more. I think the only one that I am a little concerned with is how much work the older kids do but I agree children should work and not just lall around…and the Duggars do seem to have that in good balance. I think what makes things work well for the Duggars too is how involved dad is, which I think is awesome.

    • Erika December 8, 2011, 10:47 am

      Heaven forbid that the kids should actually do a little work. It’s so foreign in this day when kids are raised to be selfish, self-centered lazy brats who grow up to be selfish, self-centered lazy adults who think the world owes them something. I enjoy watching how the Duggar kids get along with each other and are truly friends. It all starts with two parents who are committed to each other and to the Lord who gave them these children. I only hope that I can be as dedicated a mother to my one blessing as Michelle is to her 20.

  • KML
    Twitter: lessonsfromivy
    December 7, 2011, 4:05 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, and it is so true.

  • Hannah December 7, 2011, 4:10 pm

    I am the second oldest (oldest girl) in a family of ten children. I have 8 children of my own, plus I have miscarried 5 since the 8 I have. I want another baby so badly, but for some reason I keep miscarrying now. Big families are great, I believe they are how Yahweh intended it to be. I do as much myself as I can, cloth diapers to making my own baby food. My youngest is 6 and my oldest is 25. If the gov’t would stay out of my business I’d be homeschooling right now too, but someone called and lied about us so they made us put them in pagan, oops I mean public school. I admire the Duggars and think everyone that puts them down is either jealous or immersed in the world and it’s Babylonian ways that they can’t comprehend any other way than the pagan way to raise a child. I agree with ALL the points you raised in your article. We are teaching our children hebrew, so they will be able to read the old testament for themselves, after that we will teach them greek so they can read the new testament also. Kudo’s to the Duggars and you too Cindy!!

  • Mary
    Twitter: marymakesmusic
    December 7, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Thank you for having the courage to write this post. I shared it on my Facebook wall. Why is it so easy for people to pick apart the Duggar’s lifestyle? I don’t know. Great article!

  • ELuzader December 7, 2011, 5:19 pm

    I have watched the Duggars show a few times, and the only way they can manage their children is the oldest ones do not have a life. The oldest girls watch the younger ones, and the baby sometimes. They do the cooking, laundry and grocery shopping. I’ve seen them home school the younger ones. There is nothing wrong with the older girls helping out around the house, but from the show I watched they did everything, and it was in every show. So I quit watching. Michelle can’t be in the best of health during her pregnancy since she was so sick with little Josie, and almost died.

    • The Husband December 7, 2011, 6:48 pm

      .. the only way they can manage their children is the oldest ones do not have a life.

      Really? If I have to help take care of my siblings, I have no life? Or do you mean, “I have a life which is not completely and totally centered around myself”?

      Their oldest kids have lives. They have friends, and they go out and see them; maybe you quit watching and missed that.

      To misquote The Princess Bride, “Life is work. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something.”

      Bravo to Michell Duggar for teaching that to her kids.

    • Sonita Lewis
      Twitter: therubynotebook
      December 7, 2011, 10:08 pm

      I only have 2 children, both boys, and they both have to help with cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. It’s called teaching them responsibility. Sad it’s such a foreign concept to so many that they take offense to it when they see it!

  • Kristi Gallant December 7, 2011, 6:14 pm

    I am so thankful that the Duggars have put themselves out there for the world to see that YES Jesus is still in the world and that He hasn’t gone anywhere!!!!! What a blessing they are to my life and my children’s lives. I am a home school Mom of seven, with my eight due in January 2012. We love to read about the Duggars on the web ( we don’t have t.v.) and how they encourage my children to be steadfast in all situations that our Lord God puts in front of us. Thank You Duggars for your unfailing Love shown through your family 🙂 May God bless you and Keep You! May his light shine upon you!!! Well said Ms. Cindy 🙂

  • Angie December 7, 2011, 7:11 pm

    As a non-christian feminist… I must say that I love the Duggars. So don’t judge us all 🙂

    • Rebecca December 8, 2011, 12:36 pm


  • Ashley December 7, 2011, 11:26 pm

    I love the Duggars! I hope that someday I can meet them and learn all I can from Michelle. There’s not much else to say that hasn’t already been said, except for one thing…

    It bugs me that people are giving Michelle such a hard time about being pregnant again. They say that her problems with the previous pregnancy should have made her not try for anymore. I can’t remember if it was the Duggar’s website, or an interview, but I read in more than one place that Michelle has had preeclampsia with something like four or five of the pregnancies, and they were all spaced out. She had a few without, then one with, then a couple more without, then one with. Just imagine, if she had stopped after the first pregnancy with preeclampsia. How sad would that be??? Also, it’s not like she “chose” to have another one. It’s not like they planned it. She said recently that she thought she might have reached the end of her child brearing years because it was a “long” time between Josie’s birth and this pregnancy (I put long in quotes because it was long for them, but most people would say that they’re insanely close). Michelle and Jim Bob made the decision to trust God with their family, to leave the number of children up to Him. They are doing God’s will by having all these children and raising them up. He won’t give them more than they can handle. Wow, they sure can handle a lot!!

  • Mrs P December 8, 2011, 12:35 am

    Mrs Duggar has only had Pre-eclampsia two times. Once with her first set of twins (2nd and 3rd children) and then with Josie(#19).

    Her pre-e with Josie was caused b/c of her gall stones. She has since had her gall bladder removed, lost quite a bit of weight, changed her diet and begun exercising an hour a day 6 days a week. Her high risk pregnancy doctor told her she was healthy enough to have another baby.

    And above ALL THAT, the Author of Life deemed her young enough, and fit enough, apparently, b/c He blessed her with another precious baby. Praise GOD!

    Mrs P

  • Thomas Kuhns December 8, 2011, 12:39 am

    99.9% of the people here on Earth take more then they leave. Why should I embrace a family who has increased their earthly burden 10 fold to my children’s generation?

    • Amy Riley December 8, 2011, 2:57 am

      Because they’re going to be the ones who pay your social security!

      • jeanine feldkamp December 8, 2011, 9:21 am

        amen to that amy!!

  • Elisabeth December 8, 2011, 9:08 am

    Love the Duggars; love the post; #9 The Big Lie is spot-on; that Daily Mugshot thing is distracting, cute, and real.

  • Ruth Adams December 8, 2011, 9:18 am

    I loved your points in this post. I also wanted to add that Michelle did have a surgery after the last baby. The doctor told her if she ever was to consider another pregnancy she must have surgery. I think that was a very responsible decision on her part, and I admire her strong faith in the Lord. The Duggars have been a HUGE inspiration and encouragement to me and to my children. Not just in having many children but also in the way they honor the Lord in so many areas of life. They are some of the most gracious people I have ever seen. I am constantly awed at how kindly they speak to those who oppose them. Thanks for standing up for them. 🙂

  • Tina December 8, 2011, 9:19 am

    I absolutely LOVE the Duggars. They are a godly family. They are unashamed. God has given them a powerful platform to share their faith. The world doesn’t like it. I think that is to be expected. What’s sad is when believers criticize them. I think their way of living is a threat to Christians who’ve not taken the time to know their stand on some nonessentials of a Christian lifestyle such as birth control, modesty, homeschooling, courtship, etc. Ya know, it’s ok to disagree with them on some of these things. They aren’t salvific! However, to “hate” the Duggars because they have strong convictions is just wrong and immature. I am not a Gothardite. My girls love to dance. We don’t homechurch. I don’t want to be like them in every way. However, I so appreciate their witness, their love for one another and their love for Jesus. Do I disagree with them about some of their choices? Yes, but they are awesome. Their show is wholesome and edifying. I love it. Oh, and I know of that website you are referring to. It is pathetic.

  • Mother Hen December 8, 2011, 9:26 am

    Great post!

    I am not Christian… but I am certainly no Duggar-hater either. I am well educated, raised upper-middle class, have lived on three continents, and love the idea of large families. I find myself Googling their family time and time again for encouragement and ideas. The only thing, I have to say, that I’ve heard (and this might very well be rumor) that bothers me is that Michelle stops breastfeeding the children at what I consider too young at of an age so she can get pregnant again. I have no problem with having children close together and my oldest two are only 14 months apart, but I hate to see a woman stop nursing just to do so. In this age of advanced nutrition, some women get their fertility back early while breastfeeding and some don’t… What’s your opinion on this?

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:25 am

      Honestly, if it were me, I wouldn’t stop breastfeeding early on purpose. I don’t know everything about the Duggars, though the comments here are giving me a good education quickly!

      If Michelle is like me, her fertility returns within a few months regardless of breastfeeding. My last 3 self-weaned because there was no milk left after I got pregnant. I’ve nursed as long as they wanted to, though, and don’t introduce solids until at least 6 months. My oldest nursed for 26 months, then they went 12 months, 11 months, and 14 months, respectively. I think extended breastfeeding makes for good, healthy child spacing, since your body gets to send the signals for how much life it can support. That’s probably the one criticism I would have of the Duggars, but it is their choice.

  • Lisa in TX December 8, 2011, 9:28 am

    Great post. Duggars aside, this is an accurate commentary on society’s lack of common sense. I was especially struck by #7. To the world, sex is just about the physical pleasure. We are having to discuss this with our oldest son, who has been exposed to pornography. When we don’t bring God into the bedroom, we allow Satan to dumb us down to our baser instincts.

    Also, there is life after a preemie/special needs child. I have 6 children. Two normal births, two miscarriages, my precious preemie who is now 6, and a perfectly normal two year old. People tell me what a blessing I am for taking care of a special needs child, but I am the one who is blessed to have him in my life. It breaks my heart that people think it is a curse to have to care for someone, especially a child, with disabilities. Second to Christ dying for my sins, my children are the greatest of gifts.

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:20 am

      God bless you! I’ve often wondered how I’d respond to people if I had a special needs child this late in the game. They seem to think that subsequent children are somehow less necessary than the first and second ones, and not worthy of the same amount of love and material attention. Every one of my children has a purpose in God’s plan and a precious, irreplaceable role in our family. What a shame that people would lament their very existence, just because they deem some lives too hard to be worth the effort. How far our society has fallen, to view people that way.

  • Sew Determined December 8, 2011, 9:30 am

    Excellent post and very well said. Thanks for sharing! I have 4 kids and I get the looks and even people coming up to me in the store and asking me if they are “all” mine. These are the same people who espouse how it’s mean to have more than 1 or 2 self centered children, but will come up to me or others with large families and say hurtful things in front of my children! My oldest once asked me when he was 5 if he was a burden! Why? Because he heard cruel people asking me that in front of him. I admire the Duggars and I pray for the sweet, gentle spirit Michelle has. She’s a a wonderful example of God’s grace. Again, thanks for the brave and thought provoking post.

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:14 am

      I’m not sure I’d have written the post if I’d known I was being brave! LOL. Thanks for your comment. I hope my kids never get the idea that they’re a burden. They’re certainly not!

  • Mindy December 8, 2011, 9:31 am

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
    For your blog, that is.
    Christ-hatred is, in fact, at the center of the whole thing no matter what anyone may say.
    From a 100% happy, content, God-fearing, Christ-loving mother of 10.

  • Abiga/Karen December 8, 2011, 9:33 am

    I had 5 children,1 in heaven because of ectopic pregnancy. This made it difficult to get pregnant but I did 4 times anyway. Praise God. My son has 3, my daughter has 7 , and youngest daughter 1, younger son none yet. Eleven grandies and counting, wonderful. And I choose to help out instead of having a career too and love it. My daughter and her hubby with seven are leaving it up to God for more also. We watch the Duggars and love the show.

  • Debbie December 8, 2011, 9:39 am

    First of all – thanks for this post! Second – I love the way you actually comment within the comments. As a blogger, I always respond to my comments too.
    You have made so many great points here. I think the bottom line is – selfishness. To have 20 kids is NOT selfish. It does NOT fit in to the way our society likes to put themselves first.
    It creates a household where everyone has to help out and maybe give up of themselves for the younger. This is something that the average person cannot fathom! It also has to do with actually letting GOD be in control, which Christians have a hard time with, as much as non-Christians. When we allow God to be in control of our families, that might mean we sacrifice toys, vacations, hobbies, etc. to raise one more child.
    I think what also irks people is that they really can’t find any major flaws with this family. They’re not crazy, they don’t beat their kids or make them sleep in the basement. Their kids act better than some 2-child households! The Duggars are successful parents and the inept can’t handle it!
    Thanks for writing this and keep the comments coming:)

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:05 am

      What’s the use of comments if you don’t converse, right? Thanks for hanging out with me!

      It is funny to me that people think it’s “indentured servitude” to have children work to care for themselves and others. As if doing their own laundry was a reasonable task, but doing a load for a younger sibling is somehow breaking child labor laws. That’s insane, but it’s what you get when you raise two generations of children isolated from any real responsibility before the age of 18 (or worse).

      No wonder no one thinks it’s their responsibility to care for his neighbor anymore. We don’t even think we should have to work for our families! Instead of filling needs around us, Americans call the government, as I’ve told here in a post I’m fond of: http://getalonghome.com/2010/01/three-stories-and-a-rant-part-1/

  • ApeMan1976 December 8, 2011, 9:48 am

    You know, you don’t actually have to read people’s negativity about your favorite shows. You can just watch the shows and enjoy them and not really worry about whether other people like them.

    Sometimes you’ll meet bullies who will intentionally make fun of your favorite shows to try to hurt your feelings or goad you into retaliating. Of course, if you’re arguing with those people you’re giving them what they want.

    The Duggars are a family many people enjoy watching on a television reality program. Other people don’t enjoy watching them and will give any number of reasons for this preference. This has nothing whatsoever to do with any of those people’s relationship with God. God doesn’t have a Nielsen box. He is unconcerned with such things.

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 10:16 am

      God is certainly unconcerned with the Nielsen ratings! LOL. He isn’t unconcerned with the hatred people show for the Duggars, though, and it’s not just about a television show. The Duggars are front-and-center with a deeply Christian message. That kinda *makes* it about God!

      • ApeMan1976 December 8, 2011, 11:47 pm

        “The Duggars are front-and-center with a deeply Christian message. That kinda *makes* it about God!”

        How so?

  • Cheri December 8, 2011, 9:54 am

    In all honesty, I don’t dislike the Duggars because of any of those things. I dislike them, first and foremost, because they use the Pearl’s “training” (abuse) techniques. It isn’t advertised on the show, but some quick Googling will bring you plenty of information that the Duggars themselves used to be very proud to share, before their fame, of course.

  • Mary December 8, 2011, 9:59 am

    This attitude that the Duggars attract is so much like the Tim Tebow hatred. Good people, making their own way, not asking anything from anyone, taking responsibility for themselves, showing joy while they do it and thanking God for the opportunity…how dare they!

    The fence has very little room on it anymore. We are either Christ followers or we detest those who are. I cringe at the audible crushing of our values from those who deem it invaluable, but I rejoice at the distinction of light against the darkness.

    Thank you for this well worded post, I love your spunk! 🙂

  • SleeplessinSummerville December 8, 2011, 10:04 am

    I can’t claim to know that much about the Duggars or the Duggar-hate because I’ve never watched the show (it’s not animated or translated from Japanese after all). But I think you made a wonderful point about how so many people are not able to accept that someone else may do it differently from the way that they do and that that might actually be OK. And don’t get me started on all the ways that people seem to think that problem teenagers are caused by anything other than problem parents…
    I am a Christian and I don’t believe that they are telling me I’m wrong for living my life the way that I do. Why should I criticize them for putting their faith into action in a way that looks different from how I do the same thing?

  • Busy mom of 7 December 8, 2011, 10:05 am

    Here is my two cents worth. First, as christians, we either trust God fully or we don’t trust Him enough. Who created these 20 beautiful children? GOD! And He is in control and He knows exactly how this will all work out and it WILL be for their good. I have 7 kids and I pray daily that God will give me a ” Michelle Duggar” type peace and grace when raising my children. I have never met a mom of even 1, who can so graciously discipline, love, and educate her children, and keep on smiling. Secondly, I believe the negativity comes from a critical and judgemental spirit that refuses to acknowledge that the Duggars are doing better at raising 20 kids than most folks can manage to do with the average 1.5 kids. Their children are polite,happy, kind hearted, giving children, who clearly love being part of a family that is about more than just themselves. If more people could raise kids with this type attitude, the juvenile court system might not be overwhelmed and we might have responsible young adults who take pride in their ability to be a productive member of society and less who feel the right to “occupy” Wall Street.
    Just my opinion. I sure pray that God helps my husband and I raise 7 as wonderfully as the Duggars have raised 19.We should be applauding this family for their contribution to a more moral America. They have 20 kids who will positively impact this world. How many of us can say that?

  • Sharla Orren December 8, 2011, 10:09 am

    Lie #3 is my favorite!!!! Even though I only have 2 children I have them help each other out and care for each other all the time!!!

  • Heather December 8, 2011, 10:23 am

    I’m not Christian but I love every.single.thing. about the Duggars. I love the way they are completely in love with each other, their family, and their God. I am inspired by the way they live their lives, peacefully, debt-free, and productive. I don’t care how many children they have, what their religion is, or how they make their money. They are good people.

  • Aislynn Holt
    Twitter: acholt21
    December 8, 2011, 10:24 am

    THANK YOU!!!! I love this post my personal favorite: “The stupidest objection I hear to the number of children that the Duggars have is that the kids have to help one another because there aren’t enough parents to go around. Usually, the complaint is that the older kids are actually raising the younger ones…” Your response to that is so spot on. My older son loves helping his brother. I also think that people that complain about this don’t really watch the show. If you watch it the producers ask the kids questions like why they dress in skirts, are they forced, do they HAVE to help with the youngers, etc. I think it blows peoples’ minds that they actually CHOOSE to do it! They want to wear skirts, they aren’t forced to. They want to help their mother, they want to help their siblings. It’s really a beautiful family!

  • Dawn Wright December 8, 2011, 10:29 am

    LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!!

    As a Christ follower, homeschooling, mommy of our 8 children- adding more soon!!! I couldn’t agree more!!!! People are sooo scared of the unknown. Of things that are different. Of things that- oh my goodness- make them UNCOMFORTABLE? Anything but that!!!! Please no!

    Yeah…..our blog title says it all – are these kids all yours? A question we get asked all the time! And not just because we don’t have the same skin color, but just because we have 8 (did I mention we were paper pregnant? JUST A TAD EXCITED). People are just amazed. If I had a dime for every time we say some one “mouthing” and counting our kiddos I could pay for our adoptions and support other adoptions!!!!! 🙂

    • Angela Hughes December 9, 2011, 1:13 am

      Yes, ma’am. I agree with you. We would be almost rich for every time we have heard that! 🙂 I remember when we were living in NY, having to listen to that and rude comments EVERY time we took our, at the time 5, out and I was VERY pregnant, hurt terribly, and quite honestly, made me angry. As though it was super wrong and stupid for hubby and I to have only been married to each other and for us to have children ONLY with each other. People can be so rude and mean. 🙁

  • Lisa B. December 8, 2011, 10:41 am

    Excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT take on it all. I couldn’t agree more fully and completely with what you’ve said. In fact, I’m planning to link back. Awesome.

  • kathy December 8, 2011, 10:47 am

    Love it. Good post.

  • Kelly December 8, 2011, 10:48 am

    I don’t really ‘follow’ the Duggars, but knowing ‘about’ them has caused me to think about them, of course. This is the best written response to them I have seen. And there are so many well-worded nuggets in here, especially,
    No one family can do it all or pay for it all. In fact, having children in the care of their own parents twenty-four hours a day is the weirdest thing imaginable in our brave new world

    …I just love this. I have bookmarked it and will return to it. Thank you for such a thoughtful response.

  • Shari Clark December 8, 2011, 11:02 am

    Awesome post! As a mom of 9 (on earth) and definitely open to more, my family and I definitely love the Duggars. They are such an encouragement about everything in this very negative world. Love it!!

  • Denise December 8, 2011, 11:32 am

    WELL SAID!! (Massive amounts of applause and cheering!!) =) =)

  • Jennifer Banks December 8, 2011, 11:41 am

    You go girl! Thank you so much for taking this on. I am so sad all the time to hear the hurtful comments people are making about this family. I am going to share this link on my FB page, I really hope more people read it and understand. It’s all I wanted to say but didn’t have the ability to put in words 🙂

  • Michelle December 8, 2011, 11:55 am

    The problem with lie number 3 is it is not a lie but truth

  • Cheryl December 8, 2011, 12:02 pm

    I have never watched the show myself, but I am sure the Duggers are fine parents. I do think that religion in general is creepy, but I don’t think it has much to do with whether or not someone is a good parent. However, I do think having 19 or 20 kids in this day and age is completely irresponsible. We live in a time of dwindling resources and a changing environment. With the human population growing far beyond the bounds of our planet’s ability to support us, some caution should be used when we choose to reproduce. I think it’s a case of just because you can (even if you can do it well), doesn’t mean you should.

  • Michelle December 8, 2011, 12:04 pm

    This is so true. I especially like the last point. Very correct!

  • Mrs P December 8, 2011, 12:05 pm


    Mrs. Duggar shares about this in their first book, 20 and counting. She does NOT deliberately stop nursing. She has chronic thrush and mastitis while nursing, and has to use special shampoos, etc. It is extremely painful for her and she has tried lots of herbal and pharmaceutical remedies to no avail. She said that she can even remember using a numbing cream on her breasts and then wiping it off just before baby latched on so that she was not screaming in pain while nursing. (btdt, I have sympathy!!) She also mentioned that even though she does *not* schedule her babies, she starts her cycle again by 8 weeks or so post partum, so she is generally pregnant by the time the baby is 8 months old, and as soon as she does, her milk dries up.

    Mrs P

  • Angela December 8, 2011, 12:30 pm

    @ Michelle (1st Michelle lol)

    Lie #3 IS a lie. If we allow our children to be “carefree” and “selfish” until they are 18, how do you think they will react to the Real World when they don’t get their way?

    Part of raising children is preparing them for their future, and teaching them the skills and knowledge they will need to be able to live on their own and be Responsible. It takes years of preparation and kids Doing things for themselves to learn how to be responsible in all aspects (financially, personally, educationally etc) that is not something they will learn the second they turn 18.

    Placing responsibilities on children is important. Kids who are allowed to be selfish will turn into selfish Adults until they are taught otherwise. Gratitude is an important attribute that kids need to be taught, not selfishness.

    When people give more than they take, the world will be a better place. But it starts with ourselves.

    • Kristen December 8, 2011, 5:36 pm

      I couldn’t agree more Angela!

      • Nikki December 8, 2011, 7:04 pm

        I believe this family to be God driven and God trusting . Awe what a good Godly world with more God driven and trusting and Loving families.

  • Rachelle December 8, 2011, 12:39 pm

    I love your post about the Duggars! You have summed it up very well! I think people are hypocritical because they are jealous and know they couldn’t handle 19 kids like the Duggars do. God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle! That is why I don’t have 19 kids! I am proud of the Duggars for not only raising 19 kids, but for putting their life, their faith and their family on national TV! I can’t imagine being in their shoes! They are an awesome family and they are great examples of Christians…right from the youngest to the oldest!

  • Rachel December 8, 2011, 12:41 pm

    I never knew the world hated the Duggars?

    However, I would like for them to adopt other kids if they truly want more. Like kids from Ethiopia, etc, who are desperately longing to be adopted.

    • Jenn December 8, 2011, 5:32 pm

      I think the Duggars are doing a great job representing their Savior but I too would love to see more large families adopt. I would also love to hear someone from the quiverfull camp address the adoption issue -they are so pro-big families and really concerned about fulfilling God’s commands and yet I have never read anything from a quiverfull family about adoption. The two seem to go hand in hand to me?

      • Joie December 8, 2011, 6:39 pm

        I am not judging their decision, that’s for the Lord to do. Has anyone ever considered that quite possibly there is a “child” addiction though? There are seasons in our lives, when your children start having their own children isn’t that an indicator that it’s time to embrace the next season. Couldn’t it also be read with her latest difficulties that it may be time for her to stop…even though the body will “accept” another child, doesn’t mean you have to have one. There are so many children that could truly benefit from what they are teaching their children. I could never say the right thing for them to do, because I don’t feel called to adopt, but if they do want more children have they considered this other helpful avenue.

        • Joie December 8, 2011, 6:41 pm

          …also thought I would add. If difficulties are imminent with a mom’s health, isn’t there a responsibility to her other children? Just questions that go through my head…again…no judgement intended 🙂

      • Sarah December 8, 2011, 6:50 pm

        Jenn, you are right they do go hand in hand! I can’t speak for the “quiver full movement” , but I do know several large families who do wish to adopt, and I know some who have, or are in the process, as well as some ministeries/christian organizations who are both pro large family and pro adoption and we ourselves have run into some difficulty with those who have influence in the process ( of adoption)thinking that we ( with 6 ) already have “to many” and ” don’t NEED to adopt”, My reply to that is ” My need isn’t what I am concerned about, but rather the child who needs a loving home and family” Another issue larger families face with adoption is the income requirements, which are often “per femily member” making it difficult to meet for a larger family, who are often living on 1 income, and much less than the average household. SO that could be A reason we don’t hear as much about adoption in the large family as we’d like . From the larger families I personally know, they are the first to jump on board and support (generously) adpotion ministries, orphanages, and missionaries who work with orphans, as well as giving to families raising money for adoptions, but these things arn’t done publicly so you often don’t hear about it in their blogs or on FB or in the news reports. I can’t speak for those I don’t know, but for the ones I do know adoption is very close to our hearts!

  • Bethany December 8, 2011, 12:43 pm

    Love this post! I am expecting #8 and we are trying to raise our family to be honorable, respectful, etc. It is NOT easy especially on a dairy farmer’s pay. The emotional stress of being teacher, wife, mother, cook, laundry person, referee, etc. is not always easy to handle either but neither are your jobs. Your life is what you make it and we choose to try and have it more simplified. My kids do not have all the latest gadgets, toys, electronics, etc nor do they have sleepovers and fun days many times a week. They have chores and responsibilities that help to make this family work and learn to live well with the rest of the world when they are older. By having something constructive to put their minds and energy into, they have less time for trouble. I am not saying everyone should or has the means to live like we do. But, I think they should realize that people aren’t condemning them for living the way they choose to live, and they, in turn have no right to judge the Duggars or any other large family they meet. In my neighborhood, most people consider 4 a large family so I have long passed their tolerance zone.

  • Rebecca December 8, 2011, 12:43 pm

    Thank you for a wonderful post about a wonderful family! I realize that they put their lives in the lime light for us all to judge…but may we look at our own families and lives for a bit and wonder if WE were on TV what sort of picture our families would paint? For theirs paints quite a beautiful one to me personally! We have 6 children so far…we learn something new everyday, we have all learned that it takes each and every one of us to keep our household running! We have more to laugh when we are silly and more to cry when we hurt. I mess up daily, just as the Duggars do I am sure! We are all imperfect beings trying to serve the ONE perfect being! My goal for our family is simply to keep trying! To hopefully show Christ to those around us…as I feel the Duggars do as well.

  • Rachel December 8, 2011, 12:43 pm

    I will say regarding #3……….. if a foster home treated their kids the way the Duggars treat their kids, they would be REMOVED from the foster home. Trust me. I know that for a 100% fact.

    Not saying that what they are doing is wrong, but that kids do need some time to play and not be responsible for other kids and just take care of themselves

    • Anna December 8, 2011, 2:31 pm

      Maybe you should redefine the meaning of play? I can’t get my 9yo daughter to do her work, because she’s too busy playing. Normal, right? Except what she’s choosing to do is what would look like work to you.

      Lie #10: Kids don’t like their siblings, or parents.

    • stephaneih December 8, 2011, 7:45 pm

      Rememeber – u only see a snapshot of their lives on tv.. the producers want us to talk about how the kids do too much for each other.

  • The Happy Homeschool Mom
    Twitter: lthomeschoolmom
    December 8, 2011, 1:07 pm

    Very well said! As a mommy of 7 we get negative comments all of the time about our family, mostly in front of the children. I think it is sad that society today views children as a burden and not a blessing. I love the Duggars. It is one show that I like for us to watch on TV.

  • sonya
    Twitter: WomanofGod_37
    December 8, 2011, 1:12 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I feel the same way. Everyone talks SO much stuff about the Duggars. We that walk with Christ know that they are walking out the plan that God has called on THEM and helping us to know Jesus well. I love them!

  • Carla December 8, 2011, 1:15 pm

    Couldn’t agree more….

  • Kandi December 8, 2011, 1:15 pm

    LOVE this!! I absolutely agree with the what the Duggars (and many other families) are doing! I have only 5 children myself, but that is how God planned it, not my husband and I. We have been together almost 21 years now and God is the one who blessed us with 5 beautiful and perfect gifts! Had He wanted us to have more, we would. (If I had my way, I probably would have at least 10!) If I believe God’s will is perfect (and I do), than I also need to believe that He gives us what is right for us.
    Thank you and God bless your day!!

  • Rachel December 8, 2011, 1:20 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this more, and I think it is WRONG for you to automatically ASSUME that the world hates the Duggars.

    I think all these positive posts demonstrate that the entire world doesn’t hate the Duggars!!!!!!!!!

    How would YOU like it for people ASSUME that the world hated your family? And write a blog post entited “Why does the world hate Cindy’s family?”

    I have heard soooooooooo miuch positive feedback on this family and it is INSULTING to them to assume that the world hates them!

    • Zekesmom10 December 8, 2011, 7:19 pm

      Rachel, I was just on the People magazine website and a few others regarding Michelle’s miscarriage today and I was sickened by some of the hateful comments people made toward the family in general and Michelle in particular. I couldn’t continue reading comments. So, yes, I agree with this blogger. Most of the world (who has ever heard of them) hates the Duggars.

      • stephanie December 8, 2011, 7:46 pm

        Sadly you are right… I too see a lot of it out there in the world

    • Walt December 8, 2011, 7:47 pm

      @Rachel…read the comments on the article in news.yahoo.com and decide for yourself what the world thinks of the Duggars.

      @Cindy…excellent post! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    • Heather F. December 8, 2011, 11:19 pm

      I have to say that I LOVE the positive feedback from this blog-but if you check facebook and other social media outlets, there is MUCH negativism there! It’s sad how many people dislike one family-because of their beliefs.

  • Betty December 8, 2011, 1:23 pm

    Love this post!!!! We love the Duggars!!!! Thank God that they stand for what is right!!!!

  • Sonya December 8, 2011, 1:26 pm

    I have to say I am dissapointed in this post.
    Why on earth would a family be selfish enough to bring this many children into the world, when there are thousands upon thousands that are starving to death and dying ever second? If you truly can afford to have 20 children, do something good for the world and save a few children who truly need to be saved. I have no problem with Christianty, or people who are pro-life or anything else like that, but the world is over populated as it is. And people like this are merelly adding to the problem.

    It also bothers me that television companies will run a show like this, every day, but they will only air World Vision ads once a week if at all.

    Dont waste your time creating lives when you could be saving them.

    • Caroline December 8, 2011, 2:24 pm

      Hi –

      While you do make a good point, I don’t think the Duggars would even pass a home study to be able to adopt.

      I know that is sad, but in order to adopt you have to meet certain qualifications and I don’t think they would meet them. The main one would probably be requiring the older kids to care for (all the time, not just help) the younger kids. There are other reasons why they would not pass a home study.

      But maybe the Duggar kids themselves can adopt kids someday?

      • Sonya December 8, 2011, 2:29 pm

        I understand it is hard to adopt, and I can only hope you are right and that the Duggar kids will adopt children when they are grown up. Lol maybe they can each adopt 20 kids and save 400 children from starving or freezing or being beaten to death.

    • Autumn December 8, 2011, 2:28 pm

      “Don’t waste your time creating lives when you could be saving them.”
      Wow. I actually had to pause and reread that sentence a few times. Children are a blessing from the Lord. The Bible says that He has knit each child together in the womb, that He knew and loved us all before the beginning of time. That’s no small thing! Those lives are precious – not one more than any other – spoiled child, starving child, typical, or special needs, God loves them all the same. I could hear the disdain towards large families as I read your comment. Have YOU made every effort you can to save the dying children? Are you living debt free? Are you sending all your extra income to feed the poor & not worrying about where you will make up for it at the end of the month? Do you have cable? Drive a new car? Eat at restaurants? Or are you living on the bare essentials so that you aren’t wasting your time, but saving the dying? I fear not.

      • Sonya December 8, 2011, 6:07 pm

        For the record I am not debt free, nor do I own a car,now do I have cable and yes I do stress about where my money comes from every month. But I make DAMN sure that I am at the local Salvation army as much as I can, and I do fundraising for the local childrens hospital, and yes I help with World Vision.
        I am not saying that their lives are any more or less precious than others. I am saying that if those dying starving children are so precious and God loves them so much, why wouldnt a good Christian go out of their way to help them ease the pain and hunger? Why is it fair for them to die and starve alone if they are so “Precious”? sound like you think the lives of American children are much more precious than others.

        • Autumn December 9, 2011, 12:06 am

          I did not mention, nor allude to one child’s culture or nationality being more important than another. I am sorry if something I said encouraged that incorrect assumption. The Duggars (by their own admission) have placed the area of family planning into the hands of an all knowing, ever present God that says children are a blessing. I think this is where you & I could knock heads all day. Your plan to have 2 or maybe 3 kids at a later point in your life & then adopt til you have “5-ish”, that is YOUR plan. That is what YOU want. That is what sounds good and works out for YOU. Allowing the Lord to direct their steps & prayerfully asking for His guidance in their life is what the Bible says should be everyone’s plan – God’s will for our lives, not our will. They are living out a faith that I assume you do not share. Until you share that faith & the gift of salvation, understanding the Duggars’ choices will forever seem foolish and backwards to you, 1 Corinthinas 2:14 – one without the Spirit cannot understand & spiritual things are foolishness to him. But like, Kimberly, I will pray that you will find that faith & gift.

    • Lin December 8, 2011, 5:28 pm

      The world is NOT overpopulated.

      • Sonya December 8, 2011, 6:12 pm

        Umm…do you watch the news? Do you read books?

        The deforestation of the rain forest is because of human population. The pollution and gas that clogs our atmosphere is because of the dense human population. We are expelling so much carbon dioxide with each breath we exhale that what few trees are left cannot keep up with the oxygen production and we will slowly suffocate ourselves.

        If there were not so many people on this planet, there would be room for vegetation. There would less trees cut down for building houses and farms. There would be more room for animals to thrive and we would not have species going extinct left right and centre.

        If there were less people in the world all those things like the plague would not be spread so easily if we were not all clustered ontop of eachother bumping into someone every 3 feet.

        How can you sayt the world is not overpopulated?

        • Sarah December 8, 2011, 6:58 pm

          I read that all the people in the world would fit inside the state of Texas!!

          • Kmomof06 December 9, 2011, 2:18 am

            Sarah, I have read that too. Infact, I have read recently how China and other countries even including the USA do not have enough children to handle the workload to support the aging. Scary really. Also, wonder what would happen if all the families with two or three kids cut down from their huge houses, 3 cars, all the extras that the “American Dream” fills our heads with, what would happen to our forest, vegitation, and minerals, gas and such. What if we all lived a bit more minimal, and gave to the children without families. I know that now raising 6 kids we waste less of everything than we ever did with just 2 or 3 kiddos.

  • Cindy December 8, 2011, 1:40 pm

    I LOVE this article …I am a mom of 7 and we get looks and comments often people are ignorant bottom line and it is no ones buisness how many kids one such family has we should worry about ourselves and what we have been given in this life. Also to the above comment I would rather watch the Duggars than the filth that is displayed on nearly every other program it is a disgrace and we should take a stand against the filth NOT THIS PROGRAM or families whom have more kids than ourselves and also I would have loved to adopt children yet it was a door that for whatever reason never opened but we help homeless and needy kids often and the Duggars may also help those in need you dont know their every move or their hearts so STOP JUDGING OTHERS WHEN YOU KNOW NOT THE WHOLE TRUTH ………….

    • Sonya December 8, 2011, 2:02 pm

      If you cant adopt, that does not give you an allowance to breed dozens of more hungry mouths to feed. I dont care what charity work you do, there is nothing that you can do that will make up for the dying children in the world. If you cant adopt, then put your money in sponsoring as many children as you can, into volunteering on missions, (dont you christians do that all the time anyways?) Sew quilts for orphans, and send food packages…spend your money on the miserable instead of brining more into the world to be miserable. WHy not make the ones that are already stuck here happy?

      • Kimberly @APeacefulNookinOurHomeschoolZoo
        Twitter: Homeschool_zoo
        December 8, 2011, 4:28 pm

        I am sad for you, Sonya, that you do not see each new life as potential for joy, and only assume it’s misery. I wonder what has happened to you to make you so disheartened and bitter. What a horrible way to live. You have my prayers…

      • Julie December 8, 2011, 4:51 pm

        Why not make the ones that are already stuck here happy?
        As Christians it isn’t our job to make everybody “happy”. That’s an impossible job. The world is NOT over populated, it’s just not true. There are many unjust situations (caused by sin)in the world that provide lots of opportunity for Christians to share God’s love and mercy. Children are a blessing from God, whether they come by birth or through adoption. Do you do all the things you suggest others do to help the “miserable”?

        • Sonya December 8, 2011, 8:10 pm

          I do actually. I volunteer. I knit squares to be sent to orphanages to make blankets, I do plan to adopt when I am done school. I will stop at accidents on the road. I sponsor children through world vision and volunteer at the childrens hospital.I donate to the food bank (Although I have been to it many times in my life)
          I am a big believer in practice what you preach. So yes, I do all those things.

          • Smockity Frocks
            Twitter: SmockityFrocks
            December 9, 2011, 12:12 am

            Sonya, That is wonderful that you are caring for so many! Bless you and may others follow your example!

            Have you ever considered that each Duggar adult and child may be doing the same? Or if they don’t now, there is the potential that they could in the future? I know they have the show, but the truth is we don’t know everything about their lives, like how much or how often they give to and work with charities. The children are being raised by selfless parents in the Christian way, which is to serve others. The amount of good this family is doing and can do because of their size is immeasurable.

  • April December 8, 2011, 1:44 pm

    Hello, Cindy ~~
    I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE!!! this post. I won’t be reading the comments left because the ridiculous negativity of just the second one is too much. I think the Duggars are amazing, selfless & inspirational people and our world stops on Tuesday nights to catch the new episodes on TLC! I think it’s beautiful that they’ve chosen to believe that God will close her womb and that children really are a blessing – not a curse as our world would believe.

  • KB December 8, 2011, 1:46 pm

    I love this post. I watch the Duggars occasionally, not every time it is on. I really did not know that there were people that were haters of the Duggars, I looked up the Pioneer Woman while I was at it, people hate her too. It is crazy to me! I could care less how many kids people have as long as they they are caring for them, and my tax dollars are not subsidising their endeavors. I have three kids here with me, and one in heaven from a miscarriage. I shocked the pants off of my family with number three, I have never mentioned to them I was quite shocked as well! I am not sure about everyone using the “quiver full” biblical point, however. I know God wants children of all kinds. I also know that God blessed us with a brain for thinking and reasoning, so each woman will know how many children is enough for her family. In all honesty, I have heard the quiver full spouted out to me, with the same persons hand out also and I found it disgusting. To ask for money from my family, when they had all the technologically advanced toys and I was still rock’n a flip phone, driving a very used pickup. I am jaded slightly, and admit it. As to the big kids helping out, I thought that was just how it was in life. If your family needs help you help them! It does not matter if it is reading a book to sis so mom can do the dishes alone, or if mom sews your Halloween costume so you will be a fantastic cat, or if little brother needs a new set up with the Thomas track, he will reciprocate and pull you in the wagon. In our house my kids are expected to help out with what ever is needed and that is just how it is.

  • Marieke December 8, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I don’t have a problem with the family per se, and it does drive me crazy that so many people hate then and say so many untruths about them (which this blog did a great job of pointing out). However, I do find myself wondering if 20 children is excessive given the thousands of children in the world that are without a mom or a dad. God calls us to care for the widows and the orphans. Why not think about foster care or adoption for a child that has already been born and has nowhere to go? A foster child could really benefit from all the love and experience a family like the Duggars have. I’m not saying their choice to birth more children is wrong, but after working in foster care for the past seven years, I do sometimes struggle with families that are so large, and yet unwilling to consider bringing a child into their household that is not theirs by birth.

    • Sonya December 8, 2011, 7:12 pm

      Thank you Marieke.
      My husband and myself even though we are capable of having chilren, have decided to only have one maybe 2 of our own, and as we both want a larger family (preferably 5ish) we will adopt the rest. We did not want to deny ourselves the joy of having our own child, but see no reason to be selfish when we are fully capable of taking care more than that. I cant wait to adopt a child and i know they will appreciate what we have done for them much more than any child born into a family.
      You are so much more thankful for what you DO have when you havent had anything for along time.

      • stephanie December 8, 2011, 7:49 pm

        Awesome plan you have.. But let me warn you – do not expect any adopted child to appreciate what you do for them.. (while it is possible that they will, do not expect it). Until they have a family of their own.. I say this with love and experience…

        • Sonya December 8, 2011, 8:12 pm


          I know…I am fully prepared to deal with that. And I know it will be tough, but it will pay off in the long run. and hopefully my children will adopt children too. When they come to realize what they have been saved from they will be so happy that they wont be able to help but share their happiness with other chilren in need.

          Especially adoptin an older child…yes they will hard to work with. But I am patient.

          Did you have hard time with an adoptive child?

  • Lindie December 8, 2011, 2:12 pm

    Good for you! I used to live in the same city as the Duggars and even worked at the library they go to. I think they are wonderful people…all of them! I try to avoid all the media about them because it’s just so negative. It really is too bad.
    And, I agree with the previous poster who said people are afraid of what they don’t know. I recently had my 3rd child at home. People thought I was nuts. What they don’t understand is that that’s how it had been for generations. Only in the last hundred years did we start doing it in the hospital.
    Same thing with the Duggars. A hundred years ago, people had loads of kids. If you only had one or two, you were the outcast.
    They have plenty of love and are doing an AMAZING job of spreading it around. Good for them and good for you for posting this!

  • Rhonda @ Abide at Home
    Twitter: abideathome
    December 8, 2011, 2:14 pm

    Never been to your site before – but I stumbled upon from another blog link. Really enjoyed your post. I enjoy watching the Duggars – and I admire the grace with which they have handled the media and their publicity (as opposed to the Jon & Kate fiasco/tragedy). Thanks for your considerate post.

  • Katie December 8, 2011, 2:43 pm

    To the person who complained about having too many kids because of dwindling resources on earth, so that makes it irresponsible. You’re kidding, right? God doesn’t ever promise any of us eternity on this earth. This planet isn’t meant for us to be on forever. It is where we are going after that is worth living for.

  • Autumn December 8, 2011, 2:58 pm

    I believe that the biggest issue here stems from the definition/roles of parents & children. If someone is watching & criticizing the Duggars and that person does not have a Biblical worldview, they’ll have a blast! Children are a blessing from the Lord and blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Also, the goal of parenting is not to make your children happy, it is to make them Holy. And while that sounds very boring & unfair, it isn’t. The joy of the Lord will surpass any worldly pleasure we can try to give our children on earth. We are to train them up in the way that they should go, not the way that they want to go. Do you suppose that the world is against the Duggars because they are proving that the thousands of people in the welfare line can actually make this work if they wanted to? Debt free, single income, lots of mouths to feed…with no government assistance.

  • April December 8, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I don’t like the Duggards. It has nothing to do with Christ nor do I think that other people don’t like them because of the “Jesus” thing. I am sure some do but those people are just ignorant. I was raised in a Christian home where we all work together and sang Hymns. In fact I love singing hymns and don’t think they are creepy at all. I do think that they are paying for their children by using the media. But hey, that is the American dream 15 minutes of fame, endorsment deals… etc etc. They “appear” on TV to be good parents. They “seem” to be honest, loving Christians. And I will admit I am a synic in that I don’t really trust this “reality”. Especially people who are too nice…..but my Sunday school teacher that I loved did mollest my best friend (his adopted daughter) and their wonderful foster children. So I admit to my trust issues. But the bottom line reason I don’t like them is that I think they are irresponsible to reproduce prolifically. They are a popluation explosion in and of themselves. The world cannot sustain current population growth. As much as I love the Lord, I do not believe he wants us to exploit this beautiful world he created for us. Some day all our great great great grandchildren will be starving without adequate health care nore jobs. There is not enough American Dream to go around. Reality is that some will be very rich and some will be very poor and there will be many inbetween. How big the population is determines just how many are at the bottom. Is it a few or is it a crisis? I just hope we can put it off as long as possible. They are just bringing it generations closer. Maybe it is only .0000009 of a generation but you add them with everyone else over populating the world for the sake of what we “love” now and it comes closer quickly. Balance is always the best policy. Being Extreme in anything whether it holy or not, will never come as good in the end.

    I do give them kudos for find a way to fund this particular fancy of theirs. So I no moral beef with them but, ethically and in the long term, I think they are irresponsible.

    • Amy @ this DIY life
      Twitter: thisdiylife
      December 8, 2011, 4:29 pm

      First time reader here 🙂 All excellent points and I totally agree with you. I read through some of the comments and sorry to say, I was just shaking my head at a few of them. Bottom line: it’s really up to no one but Jim Bob and Michelle to determine what they believe is God’s will for their family. No child is an accident – God doesn’t make mistakes! We have struggled with infertility for 6 1/2 years and trust in God’s timing. He may not choose to give us children that don’t have fur and we’re okay with that. If He chose to not give the Duggars another child, I believe they would accept that. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but God’s will is God’s will.

      I can understand the concern that people have for Michelle’s health. I appreciate that they are seriously afraid for her and for the baby but if God brings you to it He will bring you through it. Again, God doesn’t make mistakes.

      Why do people hate the Duggars? For the same reason they hate Tim Tebow. Luke 21:17 – And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.

      • Cindy December 8, 2011, 4:45 pm

        “I can understand the concern that people have for Michelle’s health. I appreciate that they are seriously afraid for her and for the baby but if God brings you to it He will bring you through it. Again, God doesn’t make mistakes. ”

        Absolutely! I actually had something of an unusual conversation with my husband about this last night. Somehow it never occurred to him that I would still trust God with my fertility if something “went wrong”. I know who my God is. I belong to Him, and nothing that happens to me is outside his loving wisdom. My hubby is still kinda on the fence, which is hilarious, considering that he already has five. You’d think he’d be ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ at this point, wouldn’t you? LOL.

        Also, I have a precious (beyond precious) friend who is TTC, too. I’ll remember you when I pray for her.

    • Sonya December 9, 2011, 7:51 am

      Well spoken.

  • Brandy December 8, 2011, 3:34 pm

    I completely agree with what you are saying, my only issue with Michelle getting pregnant this time is that I am worried about her and the baby. After the complications that happened with the last baby, it makes me nervous for her to do it again. I don’t think that it is fair to knock parents with two or three kids either. I am a mother of two, but that was because my son has several medical and psychological problems and he requires so much attention and then trying to give my daughter the same amount of attention. I feel that I don’t have the time or attention to give a new baby that he/she needs and even though I would love to have more that it would be selfish of me to do so.

  • Becky @ Our Peaceful Home
    Twitter: beckyjwebb
    December 8, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Love this post! Cindy, these are my thoughts exactly. I find myself rolling on the floor laughing and a little sad at how much people oppose the Duggars. I think calling them irresponsible is ridiculous. They are raising a wonderfully loved family that takes care of each other. I’m sure each one of these children will be much more responsible than many families that raise only one or two because of how that have learned to love and help one another. Glad to see you are getting the traffic you deserve!

  • Caitlyn December 8, 2011, 3:36 pm

    This is the most absurd post I have seen in a while. I think that people hate them because they seem to have kids for the money and fame. I don’t see why people would hate them for their wholesome Christian lifestyle. I don’t understand why people freak out if someone else wants to have a lot of kids but how can someone say that people are using health risks as a “convenient excuse for dropping out procreation after the standard two-maybe-three babies.” The number of kids someone wants to raise is up to the individual–I don’t think its OK to judge people for having six or for having one. The Duggars don’t bother me because of how many kids they have chosen to have they bug me because it seems like a publicity stunt at this point. TLC probably told them to have a 20th 😉 I don’t care what people say about money and kids– not everyone has a TLC show to pay for theirs. And one more thing I know for sure– the people who are freaked out about the Duggars having 20 kids would be just as freaked if they were doing it from a liberal non-Christian standpoint.

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 4:04 pm

      I don’t see how they could have been doing it for the publicity, given the fact that they had 14 kids before reality tv ever even existed.

    • Steph December 8, 2011, 6:40 pm

      “I think that people hate them because they seem to have kids for the money and fame.”

      They had already decided to trust the Lord with their fertility (and had 14 kids to show for it!) long before they appeared on TV for the first time, so I think that right there disproves your entire argument. They have said numerous times before that their reason for being on TV is to encourage others in the same way they had been encouraged throughout their life; paying it forward, if you will. It is really so difficult to believe that people would choose to allow God to control their fertility, not because of fame or publicity, but simply because they have THAT must trust in the Lord’s plan for their lives? If that’s so hard to fathom, you would think my husband and I were completely off our rockers!

  • Heather Wagner December 8, 2011, 3:57 pm

    As a mother of five (15 short) and a Christian, I agree with all they say. My husband and I are of the opinion that too many Christians refuse to trust God in this area of family. Why should the world except large Muslim families and thum their nose at large christian families? I love all of my children. No it’s not easy but anything worth while isn’t! A lawyer dint go to school to make life easy. A Dr. Didn’t do 4 to 10 years of school for it’s comfort. I love my job!!!!! It’s the best one I have ever had!

  • Janet December 8, 2011, 4:33 pm

    AWESOME take on the Duggars. I have seen the Duggar hatred so much. A lot of people I know hate them because they are good parents and prove to the world that well behaved children are possible. It makes their head explode when their 2 brats are all they can take and their behavior is awful and sent the dad in to get fixed. Jealousy is an ugly thing. As far as having kids to get more money, that is crazy. Sounds like you haven’t read any of their books or know much about them. They are debt free and are very frugal and are super savvy when it comes to investing. I think that already having 14 kids when it all started kind of shows their love for children????

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 4:48 pm

      I’ve heard a lot of the same thing. It would be funny, if it weren’t so sad, the number of times I’ve heard people say those kids aren’t natural, they’re so good. Like the Duggars have done something wrong in training them well. I only hope I can do half as good a job with mine! I figure God hasn’t given me 20 because he wants to limit the number of people I mess up. 😉

      • Sonya December 9, 2011, 7:54 am

        I will agree with you on that Cindy. The parents are doing a great job at raising the children. (Even though I still disaprove of the amount). The children are responsible, respectable, intelligent and the girls are not sluts (as far as we can see on TV) and the boys are respectful towards women…in that sense yes, I think they are doing a good job.

  • Paige December 8, 2011, 5:02 pm

    Loved this post…although I think that sometimes they are a little crazy (20 would drive me nuts), I applaud them for sticking to their values and beliefs. I am thankful for Christian families who swim against the tide in public. Jim Bob and Michelle are great parents, and though it’s not for our family, God has certainly blessed them greatly!

  • Susan December 8, 2011, 5:24 pm

    AWESOME! So sorry to hear about their miscarriage!

  • Savannah
    Twitter: SavsBlessings
    December 8, 2011, 5:33 pm

    Love this post, and following your blog now. Thanks so much!

  • Rebecca December 8, 2011, 5:35 pm

    People are afraid of what they do not understand…and unfortunately, some people read my blog and don’t understand and leave nasty comments or think negatively of me…because they don’t know me and have never really tried to….I think the same thing is true for the Duggars’….and you nailed it!

  • Nate December 8, 2011, 5:57 pm

    While I don’t really follow the Duggars, my wife does fairly closely, and we can’t help but find something absolutely inspiring about them. People say they only have so many kids for the publicity and the money it brings by being on TV, but they head most of the kids long before reality TV even knew their name. They have so many kids because God BLESSED them with the ability to have so many. Before the show even came around, they had the money to comfortably provide for the children they already had, and I am sure that, even if the show didn’t exist, they would still be able to provide comfortably for 20 or more if they so chose. The fact that the older kids pitch in and help to take care of their younger siblings is something you just don’t see in today’s society, but it is something that is sorely needed. None of the children go without the love and care of their parents, nor do they receive any neglect due to lack of parental attention. All of them are love equally by their parents and are being raised to be the best people they can be. Overpopulation or not, these are the kinds of people that this world could truly use. And any comment about “why don’t they just adopt if they can afford so many kids?” The simple fact, as stated above, is that God has blessed them with the ability to have and cherish these children, and if adoption is such an issue, then why don’t the people that condemn the Duggars for not doing it, do it themselves? And if they have, congratulations. I’m the product of an adoption and even I would rather have my own children than adopt. It’s not a selfish thing, it is a matter of giving that child the love that they deserve, and there is a special bond between a child and their birth parent that, I can honestly say, does not always exist between a child and an adoptive parent.

    The Duggars are truly an inspiration to how children should be raised, and it is so sad to hear how many people actually condemn them for it! It is heartbreaking ,even for me, to know that she had a miscarriage, my heart goes out to her and her family!

  • Denise Kaski December 8, 2011, 6:11 pm

    very nice and refreshing article I am a mom to 9 children we get a lot of negative comments but thats ok. My children are all a blessing to me:)

  • Mary Jo December 8, 2011, 6:14 pm

    Thanks for the update, Cindy. I am so sad to hear this. After having 3 miscarriages myself, I know just how painful that can be, no matter how many more there are to fill the void. We will be lifting the whole family in prayer for God’s comfort and sustaining grace.

  • Nora December 8, 2011, 6:29 pm

    I just wish mother s of many would be given equal value,, we are not lower than anyone else, We have our beliefs and we love the children God has given to us and will not have regrets in the end for not having children. The time passes quickly and they are gone. We’ve lived our life and you all have lived your lives only difference is that your materialistic lifesyle passes away and we have our children for eternity. We are not animals, we have souls and we will live eternally , It will matter how we live our life.

  • Katie December 8, 2011, 6:39 pm

    I had already commented on the post, but I wanted to come back…

    All of us who were lifting the Duggars up in thought, rather than tearing them down, need to really lift them and pray this evening. I just read online that when they went to the Dr today for what they thought would be a routine 20 week visit, they discovered that there was no longer a heartbeat and they had lost the baby. 🙁

  • Gentry December 8, 2011, 7:16 pm

    I guess you need to add another lie to your post: Overpopulation and depletion of the world’s resources.

    Also, to the people who want the Duggar’s to adopt instead of follow nature, I ask, “How many abused, starving children have you adopted?” If you truly care for orphans, you will take action and not use it as a defense against a family’s biological children (?!?!).

    • Marieke December 8, 2011, 9:24 pm

      Wow Gentry! Personally, I went on a mission trip when I was a single 25 year old to Eastern Europe and spent three months volunteering in government run orphanages there. While there, I met an 11 month old girl that I felt a strong connection to. Although international adoptions were closed to the country I was visiting, I felt that I had to do something to help her. The following summer I went back and fought to get a visa for her to come to the United States for medical treatment. When she arrived in the Midwest, she was two years old, weighed a whopping 16 pounds, didn’t have any language skills (in that she only spoke one word–uh-oh–in her native language), and couldn’t walk or stand. She has a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Eventually I was able to adopt her as a single mom, who was fresh out of grad school and trying to find my way through my first job.

      After that, I became a foster parent. My second placement was a boy who was 29 days old when he showed up in my home. He was born to a mom who tried to abort him when she was eight months pregnant, did drugs, smoked, and drank alcohol during her pregnancy. At 2 1/2 he became available for adoption, and I adopted him (I was still single).

      I currently have foster placement of twins that were born at 28 weeks gestation. When they were discharged from the NICU to me this past July they were seven weeks old and weighed four and five pounds. They ate 16 times each day. They had, and continue to have, severe reflux (as in it’s so severe that I will need a new couch after they leave, they’re on their fourth formula change, and have been through more than one medication and numerous doctor appointments). They hadn’t bonded with anyone since their birthfamily didn’t visit them for more than 30 days in a row during their time in the NICU. My husband and I have been married for an entire year (first marriage for both of us), and this is our SECOND set of twins that we’ve fostered. In addition to the six month old twins we currently are caring for, we just took in a seven month old this week. Did I mention we also have five and eleven year old kids, and my husband works for a Christian camp, and I had to drop down to a part-time teaching position this semester because the twins were too medically fragile to attend daycare, so we took a hit on our income?

      So please, don’t smugly ask me what I’m doing to follow God’s command to support orphans. That’s just as bad as people saying horrible things about the Duggar’s. What are You doing Gentry, to support the orphans and foster children that are in need of families? These kids need families, even if it’s just for a short while. I love the babies in my home now, and I adore and love my children that have been given to me via adoption. Adoption/fostering isn’t a “second” choice for me–my husband and I may go on to have a biological child, but I don’t feel that I *need* that in order to be complete. Neither does he. He adopted my children three months into our marriage.

      I am proud of the work we do as parents both in loving the children that come to us and advocating for them so that they don’t end up lost in the system or abused by it.

      • Sonya December 9, 2011, 8:03 am

        Wow Marieke, You sound like a truly amazing person.
        I have done several missiosn trips as well, even though I am not a Christian, I go with them when they go to different countries anyways because I cannot afford to go by myself. There is also certain safety in groups. Most recently I have been to Niger working in a orphanage. There is 2 sometimes 3 children to a bed, and there are more coming in every day.
        I have seen them too. Its one thing to see ribs and distended bellies on the TV, its another thing entirely to hold one in your arms and feel every bone sticking out and see the yellow of their eyes…to see them cry from hunger.
        As soon as I finish school (1 more year!) and I can support a famiy, yes my husband and I will be adopting. We have both seen these children first hand and the though of having more than 1 or 2 of our own just because we “want to” sickens us.
        I give props to Marieke because I could never do the foster parent thing. I could not stand to have them taken away from me after they find a home. I would want to adopt them all.
        I am so proud there are people like you in the world Marieke, stay strong! God will truly thank you (if you believe him I am not sure).

        May I remind you all that the “Christian” virtues are Faith, Hope and Charity? Maybe you should try the Charity a little more often.

    • Cindy December 8, 2011, 9:41 pm

      Overpopulation is definitely a lie! Overpopulation does exist, in certain areas, but it is a political problem, and not one of resources. I’d love to adopt if that were ever the path laid out for me, but the idea that my own kids don’t deserve to live because there are other people suffering in the world is just…I don’t know what to call it. I’m really speechless at the thought.

      I agree that the either/0r of having your own children or adopting is a pretty slimy way of saying that certain kids shouldn’t be born so they can “make room” for less fortunate ones. Adoption is a wonderful and blessed thing to do, as is feeding the poor and sponsoring children in other ways. We all do as much as we can! But having my own children is no more or less selfish than adopting. It’s just a different way of nurturing God’s children.

      • Steph December 9, 2011, 11:15 am

        I agree!

        I am going to counter all adoption comments here with the same attitude of indignation as is directed toward the Duggars and everyone like them, because, quite frankly, I am sick and tired of the negativity!

        I think adoption is wonderful, but the reality is that not everyone is called to it. And, to be quite honest, adopting a baby is not quite the same as carrying, birthing and breastfeeding your own child. My husband and I have plans to adopt at least one child later own down the road, but we also have a great desire to have children of our own, born out of the love between us as husband and wife. The effrontery it takes to tell someone that they are not allowed to have the desire to bear their own children, that rather they must adopt, it astounding. To those I say, who exactly do you think you are, that you may decide how many children is “enough” for one couple? And how would you even go about determining that number? What if someone else came along and decided that NO more couples could reproduce, because there are too many children in need in the world. How would that make you feel, knowing that you weren’t permitted to have ANY, because someone, somewhere decreed it. The fact is, there are no such laws, because we live in a free country, and the Duggars (and everyone like them) have the freedom to have as many children as the Lord sees fit to bless them with. Considering they trust in the Lord with their fertility and never “tried” for any of their children, I suggest you take your beef up with God, because HE is the one in control of how many children the Duggars have, not them! And good on them for their trust in Him!

        And, for the record, there are so many couples in the world dealing with infertility, I’m sure the Duggars’ 19 even out the odds a little. So, please, just live your own life with your own convictions, and don’t worry so much about what the Duggars are doing! As long as they are paying for the kids without government assistance and raising them in a loving, abuse-free home, it’s really none of your business anyway!

  • TUC December 8, 2011, 7:40 pm

    Good post with interesting points. I think the only thing that has ever bothered me with the Duggars is that they say they are leaving it up to God to decide how many children they get but ignoring his call to not turn away from the orphans. Any family that can handle 19/20 kids would likely make great adoptive parents. With so many children already alive and waiting for the love of a family like the Duggars, I can’t understand why they don’t adopt if they are open to having more children and are dedicated to God’s Word. I hope they eventually do adopt… it would be the frosting on their cake!

    • Sonya December 9, 2011, 8:10 am


      • Sonya December 9, 2011, 8:16 am

        Actually I posted above that maybe each of the 20 children will adopt 20 kids and save 400 children from dying and starving. We can only hope.

        • Cindy December 9, 2011, 9:43 am

          You know, that kind of starvation and poverty is a cultural and political problem, not a problem with other people in other countries existing. It’s OK to have your own babies! And pray for the world’s problems, and send help, and YES, adopt! But don’t pretend that adoption is going to solve the immense problems of the third world just to justify your own opinions about large families in the first world.

  • Dawn December 8, 2011, 8:00 pm

    This is my first time visiting your blog, and I intend to poke around a bit more!

    My husband and I have been blessed with 10 children, no twins, all biological. The oldest is 19 yrs older than the youngest. They are currently ages 23 down to 4. I was pregnant with our baby at our oldest son’s high school graduation and didn’t even know it yet!

    I’ve been the target of some pretty nasty remarks; from not only strangers, but “friends” and family as well. It has always amazed me the personal questions complete strangers will ask you. I have literally been asked by perfect strangers if I believe in birth control. I always kinda wonder how people would feel if I began to question their sex lives.
    We are in our 16th year of homeschooling, and that always draws the questions as well.

    Our children are expected to work in the home, and I certainly don’t feel guilty about that. We are not training a bunch of lazy, selfish pigs. My children, who are taught to be hard, honest, diligent workers will be the owners one day of the companies that hire those children who are allowed to “play and be selfish” for their childhood. Not being taught responsibility doesn’t help ANY child. I am NOT raising boys who will be video gaming, television watching, internet addicted men. I am raising boys who will know how to provide for their families, and who will not be afraid of the hard work necessary to do just that.

    Sorry for the novel length comment. I honestly have only ever seen 2 Duggar episodes, and that was 4-5 yrs ago. But because of our family size, folks just assume that we must worship the Duggars, and ask me about them ALL THE TIME. I’m too busy raising my 10 to worry about their 20!!

    • Cindy December 9, 2011, 11:21 am

      Please, poke around all you like! I hope you find something useful. Congratulations on your wonderful brood! It drives me nuts that people seem to think my younger children are somehow less important and desirable than my older ones, just because there are more than two. I’m pretty sure they know better, though. And my kids work, too. For each other, not just for themselves. Wonder of wonders, they’re happier when they do! It’s a secret to contented living that the world doesn’t seem to have understood, sadly.

      You are always welcome to leave comments of any length here. Thanks for visiting!

      • Dawn December 9, 2011, 2:07 pm

        Hee hee, I’m baaaaccckkkkk!! I also meant to say that when you only have 1 or 2 children, fairly close together in age…oh, the family dynamics you miss!!! Watching my 23 yr old married son play football with his younger siblings; hearing my 21 yr old son tell jokes to his little brothers and sisters; seeing my 17 yr old daughter sweep her 4 yr old brother up into a big hug and kiss…that is the stuff that makes my heart just MELT.
        My children will be great parents, because they know HOW to love children, how to have fun, and how to work.

        For those who feel sorry for kids like mine, let me tell you one thing. Last night, my 11 yr old daughter sat in the rocking chair holding and snuggling a baby doll. She said, “Oh Mom, I just can’t wait to have babies! Babies are the best!” So I’m not thinking she resents the fact that babies are work. She has been taught that children are a blessing, and she sees it herself!

        Our first grandson is on the way in April, so I imagine that very soon we will be fighting over whose turn it is to hold the baby!! Such fun…I can hardly wait!!

    • Steph December 9, 2011, 11:36 am

      I have three children, and I am pregnant with out fourth. I am already getting the rude comments from people about how many children we have. I have decided that, from now on, whenever someone asks me about birth control or makes any comments regarding the size of my family, I am just going to stare at them for a minute, blink a couple of times, then say, “Wow, that was really rude.”


      • Cindy December 9, 2011, 2:27 pm

        I may have to join you in that answer. It is rude, and I see no reason I should try to ignore that fact. :0)

  • Jan December 8, 2011, 8:36 pm

    I am the Mommy of two boys and I firmly believe that God knows what each of us can handle. Wheather it is one child or 20 plus childeren. I have not seen the show. However, My hat goes off to all you Mommies and Daddys who have more than me. God knows what he is doing… it is not for us to judge.

  • Renee
    Twitter: GrowingStam
    December 8, 2011, 8:44 pm

    Amen, Great post!
    You have great points of why so much hates… People hates being face with their sin, even if don’t realise that is why they hate so much!

    Michelle lost is so sad, we have lost one little blessing a couple months ago, and now pregnant again, but the pain is still very real. Praying for comfort for the Duggars (2 Cor 1:3-4)

  • Jamerrill @ Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling
    Twitter: JamerrillWriter
    December 8, 2011, 8:55 pm

    Well, I can’t NOT chime in! I love and agree 100% with everything that you wrote. 🙂

  • Crafty Mama December 8, 2011, 8:58 pm

    So sad she lost the baby!! 🙁 At least the little sweetie pie is with Jesus. Praying the family recovers well.

  • Blessed Beyond a doubt
    Twitter: JillCraft
    December 8, 2011, 10:32 pm

    Love it! Thank you for sharing your heart! I wrote a similar post.

  • Marla VanAsselberg December 8, 2011, 10:43 pm

    Being the Mama of 5 biological & 2 chilren from another Mother. & 11 grands & 4 ‘adopted’ ones( can’t leave out 4 of my grands step/half siblings) . I have so much admiration for the Duggar family . How often do you see a family group a fraction of their size function with the love, care & consideration ,that they exhibit . Kudos to JimBob & Michelle for all their hard work & wisdom in raising not only a Godly Family ,but one that works together for the good of all.

  • JulieBeth December 8, 2011, 10:57 pm

    Thanks for a great article. I havent watched the show since we don’t have access, nor dealt with many Duggar haters, but I have had a few people make strange comments which I have countered. One of the strangest, which generally comes from “Christians” is that it is a financial burden on society that they have so many children. I tell them that not only aren’t they on government assistance, but they are not in a bunch of debt either. Then those people who had their rug pulled out are grasping for another reason to think there must be something wrong with having a large family. Praise God this family is bravely willing to stand for Biblical truths in a hostile public arena. Thank you for defending Christian principles on this blog. I am glad a friend shared it.

  • Linda
    Twitter: LindaDifino
    December 8, 2011, 10:57 pm

    GREAT post, Cindy! You rock my world. I sure hope the fame doesn’t change you. 🙂

  • Harman December 8, 2011, 10:58 pm

    Isn’t every job a dead-end job?

  • Stacey December 8, 2011, 11:25 pm

    I only wish my husband and I were half as good at raising our 5 and counting. Praise God for the blessings the Duggars have. God still does consider children a blessing!

  • Heather F. December 8, 2011, 11:27 pm

    I LOVE all of the positive comments here. Lots of love from big families. I currently have 2 boys, I would like another child, but my hubby isn’t so sure, and he lost his job and our insurance. I know it can be done with little money and no insurance, but it makes him uncomfortable so I respect his decision. Anyway, reading these posts about all of you with big beautiful families makes me wonder something larger….if having less children has caused us to have this new “entitlement” generation? I grew up as one of 3 and I had to help around the house, and help take care of my brothers. I knew how to take care of a baby long before I ever had one! Maybe if we stopped buying our kids every new gadget and made them “earn” some of this stuff we get them we might have a better society. Just a thought….and about the resources thing….Really? I know you said you don’t do religion, but if God didn’t want this many people on the planet, he would take care of that. He will provide “enough” . We don’t always need “excess”.

  • Lauren December 8, 2011, 11:54 pm

    LOVE. I love this. So much. Gentle, unrelenting truth. Love it. The heart issue is what’s really going on in this situation, and you do an awesome job of directing readers to an examination of the heart attitude, versus other takes that offer up a prescription for how many children people ought (or ought not) to have.

  • Jessica davis December 9, 2011, 12:42 am

    My heart goes out to this family…im 29 years old I have a stepdaughter but no childrent of my own my husband and I have lost two babies one in 2009 a little girl born at 22 weeks and one just recently at 11 weeks …I know the pain but I know tht Gods has a plan for ours lives as stated in Jerm 29: 11..they will be in our prayers

  • Angela Hughes December 9, 2011, 1:06 am

    Thank you for putting this out into the internet world! I have noticed, as many have, that the majority of those who bash and spread hate about the Duggar family are non-Christian liberal folk, and I think it’s plain sad the way they speak about such a loving, upstanding Christian family. Yeah, the older kids help out more than those in an ‘ordinary’ family, but that doesn’t mean they are raising the younger ones. They are learning very important lessons, not only in showing love for their brothers and sisters and helping set a loving example for the younger ones, but also in how to care for others in general. Michelle and Jim are upstanding pillars in the community they reside in, as well as the Christian community. The family genuinely loves each other in the proper way, and Michelle and Jim are a wonderful example of a nurturing, HEALTHY married couple. The children have never been sexually abused, nor have they been physically or emotionally abused. They are intelligent, and some of the most well-rounded, humble people I have ever seen. Perhaps people have grown too cold, too driven to out-do each other. Perhaps society, in general has forgotten that in order to have a hope for the future, we must love and treat our children in the manner that God has decreed us to do so. Children that are brought up in a home where they are taught self-respect and how to properly behave and function are the future of this world. For some reason, a point was reached where people decided to buck tradition and honor, and they have decided that conformity in any mode is evil, Christianity is evil, love and respect is evil, the sanctity of marriage is evil. They would rather have children with multiple partners and be single and ‘independent’ rather than be ‘tied down’ to one person and have a wholesome family as in the ‘old’ days. Why? Only they know, I guess…or do they? Perhaps it’s just the need to rebel at any and all cost. Hmmm…. Me? I have a husband, my first and only, that I have been married to for almost 11 years. We have 6 children (and as much as I HATE this question, and it is asked often since it’s apparently uncommon for the answer to be yes…but YES they are all OURS). Is it hard? Yes. Do we struggle? Yes. But we are constantly working hard to make our lives better. Personally, I regard the Duggar family very highly, and with the utmost respect. I truly wish there were more honest people like them in the world.

  • Lolly December 9, 2011, 7:10 am

    Ok….I am going to be the voice of opposition but let me let me start by giving you some background.First, I do not hate the Duggers. I disagree with them having so many children but not for any reasons that you discussed here. I am one of only five children (I say only because compared to the Duggers, it is not a lot). I am a christian….and have two children of my own. I think all the points you addressed are spot on. I have to agree that the Duggers have the best moral, christian values as I have ever seen. I applaud them for that, really. My concerns are with the children. Not financially because as you pointed out, that is not a problem for them. I just wonder when do you say “God has blessed us and now I will focus on the children I do have and make sure that they get all the love and attention they deserve.” As second born of five, I know that I alsways yearned for more attention from my parents and more one on one time. However, I knew that with younger siblings, they required more. I have never seen any of the Dugger children appear sad nor neglected but I have to feel sorry for them not being able to have that unique relationship that I feel is impossible with so many siblings. I applaud the job they are doing but my heart really breaks for what the children are truly missing out on. The good news is that they are living all they know. They have no idea and I can say for their sake that ignorance is bliss. I know that the parents do the best they can which is far more than what I can say for some families with only one or two children. I just wish they would be done and focus on the precious children God has so graciously given them. The good news is, I think that I am more concious of making sure that my children are showered with love and attention from me and so I feel as though the Dugger children will all be better parents themselves when they have their own.

    • kim December 9, 2011, 8:46 am

      in a lot of ways i agree with you. i was second oldest of 9. mom would have a baby, come home , hand it to me and go to bed because she was so tired. my dad was an awful person and would “be nice” to mom while she was pregnant and then he was mean again.
      we were all homeschooled and NEVER went anywhere except church. but the schooling, cleaning, laundry, childcare, fell on me. and i was just a kid. at on point i had 4 kids in diapers, i was 14.
      it made me a strong person, and a good mom. but i do see a lot of the parenting work fall onto the Duggar girls. i do believe that kids should work around the house and help being part of the family, but the parenting should be the parents job.
      i am married and i have 6 kids of my own now. but i am the mom and my husband is their dad.
      i do agree with you on this. i think that kids are a blessing but at some point you have to ask your self…”does god really want me to risk my life?” “does god want the 19 kids that i do have to loose their mom?” there has to be more thought to it !!!
      just sayin

      • Cindy December 9, 2011, 9:39 am

        So you’re doing a good job! Awesome on you! I really don’t think I could ever follow the thought “kids are a blessing” with a “but” the way you just did, but I totally understand where you’re coming from.

        • Natalie M. December 9, 2011, 11:23 am

          Kim – I agree with Cindy about the “but.” And I’ll take it a step further, if I may. I understand you’re obviously concerned about the health risks of having so many children. I just birthed my second a few weeks ago and it’s certainly a drain on my body, but I also trust that God knows what He’s doing with me and my family. You speak of the risk as though you are the only one who has any control over your health. Having children is something God has specifically designed you, me, and Michelle Duggar to do. We are intended to be mothers. To say for yourself or indicate that Mrs. Duggar should say that God wouldn’t want a mother to risk her life by having another child is giving into fear and limiting God’s power. I’d be interested to know what the general consensus would be if this were, say, Mrs. Duggar’s first or second. I suspect more people would be rallying around her, offering support & comfort, and defending her great courage for trying to have children later in life. I mean, that’s the chic thing to do nowadays. Just look at Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman.

      • Renea December 9, 2011, 10:47 am

        I think the problem comes in when we look at the Duggars and judge them by our own, personal experiences. All people will disappoint in some way or other, regardless of how many children they have. In your case, Kim, your father would have been mean regardless of how many children your mother had. And who’s to say it was children who made your mom so tired? I can tell you from experience that depression will tire anyone out, whether they have one child or 10. If your dad treated your mom horribly, it was likely depression that caused her to hand off the babies to you and go to bed. From a different perspective, perhaps having lots of siblings softened some of the harsh realities for you because when your dad was mean and your mom was tired, you still had your siblings. Had you not had them, you probably would have been much more lonely. Or perhaps you would have felt that your mean dad targeted you with his anger because there would have been no other children to absorb his extra anger.

        And may I make the same point to Lolly, along with another. I have three children, but even when I had two, my oldest was never happy with the amount of attention I gave him, and he got a lot! The fact is, children are very egocentric. I remember a friend of my son who was an only child. He wasn’t satisfied with the attention from his two working parents (although they gave him plenty of attention), and he had every toy on earth. The two problems were that his parents placed a priority on material things and both worked, and the son thought the world should revolve around him, so he wasn’t happy as he realized it didn’t. I’m all for loving, teaching, and playing with my children. But the fact is, I’d be raising a dysfunctional child who was ill-prepared for the world if I didn’t teach him to also entertain himself, care for himself, learn to cook for himself, clean for himself, and educate himself. Today’s parenting advice to spend every waking moment focused on your children is one of the things contributing to our entitlement problem in society. It also creates some very selfish spouses with marital problems.

        Growing up, I had Catholic neighbors with 10 children, and I’ve observed many other children of large families who blame their lack of parental attention on having too many siblings. But children who come from families with only two children (such as mine), often have the same complaint of lack of parental attention, believe it or not. It’s just that each egocentric child finds a reason to justify why their parents did not spend the amount of time with them that the child wanted. It’s easy for a child in a large family to place the blame on too many children. Smaller families place the blame on a multitude of other things. My oldest son blames my middle daughter as the reason he doesn’t get the attention he wants. Does that mean I should have only had one child?

        The Duggars appear to have a loving and well-adjusted family. I don’t feel sorry for their children having a lack of attention. I envy their situation because their children have already learned to put selfishness aside and to love their siblings. They have a number of admirable traits that I wish my children had. And it seems obvious to me that the parents do take time to spend with each individual child. You wouldn’t believe how many families who only have one or two kids DON’T take the time to do that with their kids. But you don’t see everyone criticizing those families on the internet.

    • Pat December 9, 2011, 1:33 pm

      Let me begin by saying I too am a Christian – believe all that the Bible teaches, but here is my discrepency: God gave us a brain, to use it, and think with. Granted Jim Bob has well provided for his family (even if most of what they purchase is from second hand stores) to save money. By home schooling, they are given the individual attention that they would not get in public school (older assisting the younger one to one). They have leaarned to cook, clean, and good parenting skills through family values, which today we see litle of. Just love watching them playing all their different instruments, and singing words of Praise and Worship to The Lord as a family. This is a thing of beauty, instilled in them through their parents values, the Word of The Lord in Bible Study – I applaud them for this!!
      But, as I said previously, there is a time to say enough is enough. At 45 yrs. of age, Michelle is High Risk, especially with eclmpsia, which if I am not mistaken caused the early delivery of Josie. Knowing this, is it worth putting two lives in jeopardy, and again causing the premature birth of a child who either may not live, or possibly live a life wih
      birth defects? Seems some still are plauging Josie. Is she still not on oxygen therapy, and getting sick for seeminingly no apparent reasons?
      I am NOT a Dugger hater, watch their program religiously, and do admire the values instilled in their childrens lives. My problem is – When is it time to say enough? After all they went through with poor Josie (and it still appears she is not totally well after their visit in Israel), and the fact that Michelle’s body has never had the time to heal properly, to return to “normal” physically. Granted that The Lord said – “Go for and multiply”, but I do believe that they are pushing it to the limit. She can say no when ovulating (and by now, I do believe she knows when that is happening), and why can’t precious Jim Bob have the presence of mind not to have sex with her during these times? Having the scare they did with Josie, and almost loosing Michelle, wouldn’t it be the wise thing to think of “What would happen if he lost the love of his life, the mother of all his children”, just because he wasn’t using the brain God gave him and was running on his own physical desires? And she, being the dutiful loving wife not saying “NO, this is not a good time”, why take any chances on the loss of a child or myself?” This is not disobeying The Lord, it is just using common sense.
      I had so speak my peace, and am very sorry for their loss, however, miscarriages happen for a reason, and in my heart, believe that this was The Lord trying to say STOP? You have enough children, be grateful they are all normal and well, don’t press your luck.

      I sincerely hope that this statement is not taken out of context, but given through the thoughts of both mental and physical consideration for both Michelle’s well being and her desire to continue being the wonderful Mom she is to her family.

      • A December 9, 2011, 4:52 pm

        Eclampsia is not a condition which repeats itself, “just because.” Having it once, does not necessarily mean having it twice. Michelle has said many times that if she feels that it is no longer safe to become pregnant again, she might re-think her situation. One preemie due to a regularly occurring condition that does not necessarily repeat itself in the same woman is not reason to stop having babies. All over the world the cutting edge of medicine is to get 60 and 70 year old women pregnant because they were not able to conceive on their own. It is controversial, but no one is up in arms about it. It is helping us learn more and more about how pregnancy affects us, and how aging affects pregnancy. 45 is not all that big a stretch to have a baby even without intervention, and lots of women are having careers well into their 40s and then starting a family. If this were Michelle’s first the world would be encouraging her not to give up on her dream.
        I don’t believe for a minute that JimBob is making decisions based on his physical desires either. They are in a loving relationship in which (although they don’t talk about it specifically) involves both of them desiring to be intimate. That does frequently result in pregnancy, and it is a beautiful sign of what God has blessed us with. If there were a clear threat to Michelle’s health from this, they would abstain or make other arrangements, that is simply not the case. THEY are both using their brains, and listening to the Lord with their hearts. Sexual desire is secondary to that.
        It is not my place, or yours to discern what the Lord is saying to Michelle here, only Michelle’s. A miscarriage happens in anywhere from 10-75% of pregnancies depending on what stage you are referring to. A 19 week miscarriage (although it was probably earlier) is not uncommon, and probably has little to do with Michelle’s age. None of this is ours to judge. I don’t think I am taking your words out of context, just realize that it sounds like you are saying “I know better, but don’t judge me because it is with the best of intentions.”

  • Cowtoy December 9, 2011, 7:48 am

    I agree with your statement, “The only contact most Americans—even many nominal Christians–have with real Christianity anymore is through the media, ” but go to bed every night thinking that’s because so many “Christians” spend their lives tied up with the building and people of their own church and so little time helping others.

  • Lisa December 9, 2011, 8:18 am

    Lolly- I think it’s an illogical assumption to think that in smaller families kids get more parental attention. Most parents I know who are not homeschooling are very busy with their “own” lives, and though they have fewer children than I do, spend less time with them. It really depends on the parents, thier personalities and their priorites.
    Loved the article! I’m linking it in my blog!

    • Cindy December 9, 2011, 9:42 am

      My parents only had two, and I only wish they’d had as much involvement in my life as the Duggars did with twenty. Not that my parents neglected me, but they truly didn’t know how to parent us, especially as teens. LOVE my parents. They were just young, and I think the way they raised us was really just they way their generation and economic class did things, so please don’t think I’m disparaging them! The Duggars are doing just wonderfully. They’re human, though, and it’s not going to be perfect for their kids any more than it was for the rest of us.

      • Natalie M. December 9, 2011, 10:50 am

        I’m sorry. I don’t think being young has anything to do with being a good or bad parent. My mother got married at 17 & had her first at 19… and she was a fantastic mom. Perhaps you meant immature?

        • Cindy December 9, 2011, 11:01 am

          No! Not for many! I wish I’d started young. Didn’t mean to imply that every young parent doesn’t do a good job. Merely that mine were unprepared.

  • Janelle Mullins December 9, 2011, 8:44 am

    Thank you for everything you said. I agree 100%. I am always amazed at people’s reaction to the Duggars. I find them so totally refreshing. They are not ashamed of their beliefs. I am always blessed that they respond to the media scrutiny with such humility but strength. They never come across as weird, which the media loves to emphasize. Thank you for your words.

  • Lisa in TX December 9, 2011, 8:51 am

    Such sad news this morning about the Duggar miscarriage. I went through the exact situation of going in and the doctor not finding a heartbeat. It is devastating. And NO it is NOT “nature’s” or God’s way of saying STOP!! When you value human life, it is not so easy to dismiss. This is a pain the family will carry the rest of their lives, but I am confident that their faith in God will bring them hope and the courage they will need to carry on. Haters need to keep their opinions to themselves and let this family have time to grieve in peace.

    Sorry to be snippy, but it is a touchy subject for me. God bless.

    • Cindy December 9, 2011, 9:37 am

      So sorry for your loss. You didn’t say how long ago it was, but I can tell it’s still a difficult subject. A sweet friend of mine just lost her baby, too, and it’s terrible to watch. People keep telling her to get over it. How do you get over that? I don’t think I could. You move on, maybe, but you never forget. Saying a little prayer for you now.

      • Jessica Davis December 9, 2011, 12:01 pm

        So sorry for your loss…I know all to well the pain you are feeling….I have lost two precious babies the only two pregnancies I have had…One born at 22 weeks and one lost at 11 weeks…one was two years ago and one just a couple of months ago…you never get over the pain…it is something that you will always carry with you…I have clung to Jeremiah 29:11 through all of this…and though I have moved on my hurt still hurts and longs for a baby, but I know my God and he is bigger than anything I could every face and I know he has a plan for my life as well as for yours…God bless you…..

  • Kathy December 9, 2011, 8:54 am

    Great post. Your observations are right on. I recently read an article about why people love to hate Tim Tebow. It’s really all about the discomfort that people in the world have around people who walk in the spirit. I understand that and it’s to be expected. Persecution is all around us. We need to pray for one another.

  • Shannon December 9, 2011, 9:12 am

    I’m over from Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling (via Facebook) this morning and ALL I can say is “AMEN”. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Cara Montes December 9, 2011, 9:31 am

    Very good job exposing “the lies” of the world. I believe that bringing sin to the light and exposing it is the only way to let the light of Jesus deal with that sin. And from the looks of it, the Duggars are being a great “light” and you are right about why the world hates them. Don’t you hate it when you are driving and the sun gets in your face and you can hardly see where you are going? So what do we do? We put on our sunglasses. That’s what the world has done. They’ve continues to willingly veil their eyes to the truth and the light and when they put those sunglasses on, they continue to see what they want to see. When I see the light of Jesus, I want to be completely overcome by it and to soak it up, because I know that only He can change me. It’s sad to see the scrutany against the Duggars, but it’s encouraging to see how they handle it so gracefully.

  • ava December 9, 2011, 10:17 am

    Why do you delete posts that have a difference of opinion than you? I personaly don’t understand why people give these freaks any attention…

    • Cindy December 9, 2011, 10:39 am

      I don’t! I have only trashed one post, and that was accidental and restored! (And agreed with me, btw) Why do you think I did? Read my comment policy for more information: http://getalonghome.com/policy/comment-policy/

    • The Husband December 9, 2011, 11:00 am

      Even if she had removed such posts, this pile of words isn’t a free state populated by (taxpaying) citizens. It is a complete and total dictatorship, albeit owned by a benevolent dictator-for-life who foots all the bills. Rex lex.

      And if you don’t understand why “people give these freaks any attention…”, why are you not only reading a post about them, but taking the time to comment on it?

      • Cindy December 9, 2011, 11:22 am

        What would I do without you, baby?

  • Natalie M. December 9, 2011, 10:44 am

    I’m from a family of seven & my parents certainly had their share of comments about the family size. My husband’s parents encountered comments as well and they only had four! I recently gave birth to our second and when people ask how many we’re planning to have, I tell them, “However many we end up with!” I love how that messes with their heads, because I’m sure they’re wondering how we could possibly want lots of kids. 🙂

    One of our best arguments is the Word of God Himself, which says that children are a BLESSING. Psalm 127 compares them to arrows in the hand of a warrior (an interesting side note is that it specifically says the “children of one’s youth”–which is my argument against the popular “get married, focus on your career for several years, and THEN have 1 or 2 in your late 30s” mindset which so many people seem to have… besides, wouldn’t you rather chase a toddler while in your 20s than your 40s?). In any case, I know that if I’m in battle, I want as many arrows as I can get to fight against the enemy. 🙂

    God bless the Duggars and comfort them, especially Michelle.

  • Deanna Cignetti December 9, 2011, 11:57 am

    I do not hate the Duggars. I would much rather watch them with their 19 children thean the other show with less children. The Duggar children are taught manners, respect, and the love of each other. I KNOW that I could not have handled more than two children, so I chose not to have them. However, the Duggars have done a wonderful job,but I truly enjoy watching Jackson. That boy is something else. Duggars, you have done a good job

  • Jen December 9, 2011, 12:25 pm

    My heart goes out to the Duggars at this time. They are a family, and like any other family hurt and have feelings. It’s too bad there is so much negative, but you’re spot on for its cause. Any family, regardless of its size, is going to suffer persecution if it is truly living a Christlike life. As followers of Christ we need to realize that it is not us the world is rejecting, but our Saviour.

  • Jenny December 9, 2011, 12:55 pm

    I admire large families and I didn’t get started early enough to have a large family, but having 20 or so children does not make you a good parent.

  • Cara December 9, 2011, 2:06 pm

    Love it! I completely and wholly agree! True Christianity is taboo in the world and they are unapologetic about it!

  • Olivia Smith December 9, 2011, 3:00 pm

    Cindy, First off I would like to thank you for your blog and let you know I have been reading you for awhile now, far before you were SO famous. ;o) Secondly, I would like to say that I enjoy watching the Duggars on the DVD’s I have and have learned a great deal from them regarding how to organize, manage and parent kids from their two books. I do agree with your original post that many of the reason the “World” hates the Duggars is a spiritual mater and many of their arguments are ludicrous. As I mentioned above, there are many things I admire about the Duggars but I am torn regarding the sheer number of children they have. In fact, my husband and I have had lengthy conversations about this. We both agree that children are a blessing from the Lord. Where I struggle is that it is the parent’s sole responsibility to “train” up a child in the way he should go. God gave the parents to direct and discipline, their own kids, it is not the other childrens right nor responsibility. In the latest episodes I have watched of the Duggars, I see ample times where the older Duggar girls are correcting and discipling the younger kids. When the whole system is reliant on the older kids shepherding the younger ones, I see flaws. Please understand, I am not referencing caring for their physical needs, but more for their spiritual. Nancy Wilson said it in her blog post today way more eloquently than I ever could. She was comparing a Mother’s role to that of a Pastor and his congregation. “The bigger the congregation, the bigger your duties. Learn to shoulder them. Getting help from the bigger kids may be great, but you can’t hand off your responsibilities to them; they are some of the sheep you are ministering to, not co-shepherds. Ultimately, I don’t hold too much stalk in opinions. Everyone has them. I try and compare my opinions as well as the opinions of others to the Scriptures. Personaly, I nor my husband see a mandate from scriptures saying that you must have an X number of children. Children are still a blessing whether you have one or twenty. God judges the heart and motives of individuals. You can have one child and want to stop for selfish reasons OR you can have twenty children and want to continue for selfish reasons. Only God can determine that. The Scriptures are clear though on who holds the responsibilty of correcting and shepherding those childs hearts.

  • Nadya December 9, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Amen!!!! Beautifully said!!!! Agree with your 150% and then some more!!!!

    And and a High 5 to your husband for standing up for you!!! Way to go!!!! 🙂

    Praying for the Duggers!!!

    Merry Christmas!!!

  • Elaine Kresan December 9, 2011, 5:29 pm

    The Duggars are honest, REAL, God-loving people who love one another & every one of their kids, who, incidentally, are home-schooled & talented. The world today isn’t capable of handling anything so clear & clean. NO divorces, NO his, hers & ours, NO drugs, NO fancy clothes, NO pre-marital sex (OMG!). They love one another, care for one another, & volunteer to help those who are in need. Their world is REALITY, as opposed to the Hollywood world of PRETEND!!!

  • Jessica December 9, 2011, 7:47 pm

    What a varied bunch of comments. I really wish I hadn’t read some of them.

    I just wanted to say that I agree that many in this world have been taught that having a family is just too much work, too much sacrifice, and too much money. How much they miss! While we all have the ability to choose our own situation, to one extent or another, I’m not sure that I would be as eager to marry and have children if I had come from a home where my parents divorced, or if I had been abused as a child, or if I believed everything I saw on television. But, for those of us who know the joy that comes from bearing and raising a houseful of wonderful children (even on the days when they seem a little less than wonderful), what a responsibility we have to help others see what a blessing it really is. How about not griping about our spouse when they aren’t (or are) around; how about telling others how great it is to have children, and invite them into our homes so they can be a part of it themselves. How about treating our families with love and respect, and helping to teach others to do so. Yes, there are many children in the world who need a home and a family, and there are ways to help them (we are currently looking at adopting a child or two out of the foster system–and there are thousands waiting for a family!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t bear and love and raise our own children. Let’s choose lift and help rather than tear down and criticise.

  • Sonya December 9, 2011, 8:29 pm

    Despite my previous comments, I did just hear the news about her misscarriage, I send my thoughts to her and hope she is allright.

    But why would you delete any comments you dont agree with? What is the point of having a discussion board if we have no freedome of speech?

    • Cindy December 9, 2011, 8:51 pm

      I’m not! I’m only deleting nasty comments. Disagreement is quite welcome. I just don’t want to hear anything spoken about the child that died. That is beneath human decency. I said “nasty” comments, and nasty is precisely what I meant. :0)

  • cherrie December 9, 2011, 8:32 pm

    First let me say- I love the Duggars. I think they are wonderful people, and their children are blessed to have them as parents. I do, however have misgivings about their having more children. The fact is a woman Michelles age has a MUCH higher chance of pregancy ending in complications or birth defect. At her age, the possiblity of a child born with downs is 1 in 100. That is a very high risk. My next concern is that they are in a way encouraging others to have children that they may NOT be able to afford or care for. Good people and even good parents sometimes get stressed to the point of ‘snapping’ and end up hurting their children. Last, as a former foster parent and an adoptive mom I cant help but think of how many children the Duggars could have adopted and given a home. There are THOUSANDS of children growing up in group homes that no one will adopt. I am truly sorry for the Duggars, and pray that God will comfort them during this time.

    • Cindy December 9, 2011, 8:50 pm

      We’ve already hashed and rehashed the adoption thing. Suffice it to say that I’m unconvinced that the existence of one person on this earth is a good reason for denying existence to another.