Four Things to Learn From the Duggars That They Didn’t Mean to Teach

Did any of you see the news? The Josh Duggar news? Turns out the latest is that he has cheated on Anna, using an online cheating service. I will not advertise them by even mentioning their name.

I have followed the Duggar family since 2009. That’s 6 years. I’ve read their books, I’ve watched their show. I’ve been influenced and inspired by their values and practices.

I feel so incredibly sorry for Anna. She married a man that she thought was everything she wanted. Now she has this nightmare to live through.

But I’m glad that Josh was busted. There are STILL lessons we can learn from the Duggar family, lessons that they didn’t teach on purpose. More like observations! Here are the ones that stick out to me the most:

1.No matter how well you shelter your children, no matter how well you try to hide from the world, sin is still here. It’s in us.


2. No matter how many values we teach our children, if they don’t choose them for themselves, there’s nothing we can do but pray. This happens everyday in America. Parents sacrifice everything, set all sorts of boundaries, and we teach and teach and teach.

Ultimately, each man chooses for himself what path he will choose.

3. I wish that from the beginning, the Duggars had chosen a different title sequence for their television show.

No, they didn’t really have a theme song. Instead, Michelle went through and named all the ways their family is different from “the average American family” i.e. “all of us.”

I wish instead they had said something more like this,

“Hi! We’re the Duggars! People are always asking to film us, so we say ‘Come on in.’ Just know it’s crazy in here. It’s messy, and we have dealt with dark issues in our family. We are no different from you. There are just a few more of us. We’re Christians, but not because we did anything to earn that. We’re Christians because we believe in the forgiveness of Jesus. We make mistakes. So do our kids, and we’re just regular people, doing our best to become better and make the world a better place.”

But that’s not what they said. Instead, they talked about how little t.v. they watch and stuff like that.

This is a great reminder for us to not fall into that trap ourselves!

How often do we consider ourselves righteous because of the good or different things that we do?

I still think the Duggars have contributed many good things to society. They challenged our idea that every family should have 2.5 children. Hey, maybe a big family would be fun!

Their girls are incredibly sweet, and I expect to see great things from them. Their Growing Up Duggar book is an encouraging read.

The Duggar books gave me good ideas for wrangling my children, but I will rest easy knowing I do not do everything exactly the same as they do. Things didn’t turn out perfectly for them.

And you know what? My boys won’t turn out perfectly either. Let me just go ahead and give you the news: My boys will disappoint you eventually. I will too. I will disappoint you.

4. As a Christian parent, I start to wonder, “Well, gracious, these parents did so much. How do I keep my kids from falling into the pornography trap?”

I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that Alan and I had 2 great sets of parents to learn from. I think it’s time we all stop looking to t.v. stars or experts we’ve never met for parenting advice, and think about what worked for our own parents. And if you had bad parents, find other mentors, friends, or relatives that you can learn from.

I’m all for listening and reading about parenting, but it all must be taken with giant grains of salt. We all have different parenting styles. We all have different children. The more babies I rock, the more I am convinced that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all-approach’ to raising children.

No matter how we do it, there’s that whole nature thing. Each person is responsible for their own choices. I addressed this in my testimony: My Story of Faith.

We will always teach our boys the truth from the Bible, and there is no topic of conversation that we will shy away from. We discuss ‘hot topics’ with our oldest two boys often.

However, at the end of the day, they will make their own choices. I can be Jesus to them to the best of my ability (which is not very good), but I cannot choose Jesus for them. Only they can do that.

But you can bet I’ll be praying!!!