So, I'm watching the Today show yesterday and the large Duggar family has filled up the screen. As soon as I heard that they were making a big announcement, I knew Michelle had to be pregnant again. What else would they be on the Today show to announce? That she was finally going through menopause? Hmm... after being in the presence of some menopausal women, I highly doubt that it would be something that she'd be in the mood to tell the whole world on live TV. And sure enough, she proudly exclaimed that they were expecting their 20th baby. The WHOLE family was smiles from ear to ear. You could tell that there was an overall contentment and joy about the prospect of another addition to one of the largest immediate families in the world.
When I first heard of the show, I thought they were some super weird hippy crazy people who didn't believe in birth control and were into all natural, tree hugging, granola munching, burlap wearing... individuals. I thought the show would portray a dysfunctional, kinda sad home environment filled with feral children who were forgotten by their parents and ultimately unloved. I really did. I wasn't expecting good things. And I was curious why such a lifestyle would be exploited as entertainment... and I was sucked in.
I don't watch the show very much but I have to say that when I saw my first episode, I was blown away with how completely wrong I was. Here was a family that was MORE functional than my tiny one. There was more love in that home than in most homes I have ever been in with just a few family members. Not a single child looked like they'd been living in a cave. The house was clean. The kids didn't look abused or emaciated. They were well behaved and Michelle and Jim Bob CONSTANTLY had smiles on their faces. THEN I thought, Ok. These people are just CRAZY! How do you have that many kids and still have a smile on your face? How does Michelle still have hair? Jim Bob still comes home after work and not to the bar for hours first? There has got to be something severely wrong with these people! Again. Not the case.
The more I see the Duggar family on TV, the more I respect them. Here is a man and wife who love God first. And they obeyed His will for them to be fruitful and multiply. And then they appreciated His words when He said that children are a blessing. Not only do they love God and they very obviously love and respect each other, but they love each and every one of their children. Not only do they love them, they run a successful, happy home. They have been able to enjoy the making and having of these kids AND accept the responsibility for their actions. They aren't just popping out kids and letting the chips lay where they fall, so to speak. But these kids are smart. They are well behaved. They respect their parents. They respect each other. They grow up and get married to people who love and respect them. The kids are responsible. They are charitable. They work well as a team and they know that its just what needs to be done. They don't resent each other. They're not trouble makers and they take joy in each other's company. Its amazing.
I have three kids. My house is almost never clean. My kids fight often. I start stupid fights with my husband sometimes. When things get messy or crazy or loud, I am NOT smiling. I have so much respect for this husband and wife who have a great marriage and a happy, functioning family. I don't think they're crazy at all. I think that every other household can take tips from them. I think that they should be role models for other homes. That doesn't mean that I feel the need to pop out 17 more kids. (Are you kidding me? How does she look that good after all those kids? I've only had 3 and look terrible!) But I think that we can learn how to love and respect others and God the way the Duggar family does.
Some people may look at them and mock. I think, though, that they do a great job though of living above reproach. Its not like they're Octo-mom, having children they can't take care of for selfish reasons. They are a loving family that is just enjoying the blessings that God continues to bestow on them. To all the nay-sayers, I say, "Stop judging and start learning." And to the Duggar family, I say, "Congratulations!!!!"
***If you'd like to get to know this amazing family better, check out their website: http://www.duggarfamily.com/***