Dear Aunt B: What do you think of Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar’s rules of courting on “19 Kids & Counting” and how do your children feel about it?”Just Curious in Oklahoma”
Dear “Just Curious in Oklahoma”:
I actually love the Duggars and their show “19 Kids & Counting.” I personally think you should have as many kids as you can love efficiently! Although their rules on courting seem strange in our society, there are a lot of good things we can learn from them.Their goal seems to be the same as mine and my husband’s: to raise kids that love and honor God with their lives.
I have never agreed with people that push their kids out into the dating world at very young ages. Our family has never participated in dances or dating type activities in school. I think praying and using God’s word for a compass in your quest to find a good partner in marriage is the best idea. I love the idea of very little physical contact until marriages. So many times people get emotionally involved because of too much physical contact, therefore there hormones are raging and their brains have little involvement in the process. The importance of the courting process is to involve your family (the people who should know the most about you and care the most for you) in the process. The way I understand it, courting involves getting to know the other person for who they are, what their belief system is, how you get along as friends and what their future goals are before you spend any time with them alone.I personally think if the courting process was involved prior to any deep involvement in a relationships, we would probably have a higher success rate in marriages in our country. Engaging the brain, before you engage the hormones and emotions would definitely give you a more balanced perspective on a person.
With my kids I have never encouraged dating. I have encouraged hanging out in groups, setting high standards for people you want to date, and saving yourself for the person you will spend forever with. Although the Duggars are a little “nerdy”, I think their process is to weed out the losers. Growing up in a house with basically no dating standards, I found myself in some uncomfortable as well as dangerous situations. I never wanted my kids to learn the hard way that you can not trust everyone. Also I do not think kids should be put into situations to have to make sexual decisions under pressure. When you are in a group or family setting, you are protected and accountable for your actions to the people that are surrounding you . It is when you are alone that you are vulnerable to the improper actions of another. Courting is a great idea, but I think there are a lot of good standards that can be put in place without it all becoming a ritualistic practice.
As far as what my kids think about it, they don’t seem to have a problem with the way we do life and dating. I do my best to keep the lines of communication and love open. We have never said, “You can’t date until you are a certain age,” we just haven’t encouraged it or made a big deal about it. If their is someone they are interested in hanging out with, we encourage them to pray about it for awhile. If they still feel positive about it after praying about it and they want to pursue a deeper friendship, we still encourage them to doDear so in a group, that way it is not awkward for them or the other person.
I would rather have been told I didn’t have to kiss the frogs, I could wait on the Prince God had for me than to have been told, “You have to kiss a lot of toads before you meet your prince.” You may think that’s old fashioned, but when you save yourself for the one and only person God has for you, you don’t have all the embarrassment and shame that premarital activity brings. I did save myself for marriage sexually, but I wish I had not wasted valuable time on people that there was no future with. So Courting “Duggar Style” is not exactly what I have in mind for my family, but living God’s style and engaging in relationships with pure motives is our style.
Life is not about being the most popular or having the most dates, it is about building a future that will last and finding a love that will endure the test of time. If they don’t love, cherish and respect you and your body before you are married, why would they later? Teach your kids to value themselves enough to wait on God’s best!
***Dear Aunt B’s replies are simply friendly, faith based opinions from the heart. We hope they inspire, help and bring comfort to you. However, Aunt B in no way claims to be a licensed or professional counselor. She simply shares wisdom from her years in her own professional, educational and life experiences. The decisions you make are your own choices. Aunt B desires to be a heart that listens and a voice that inspires love and hope.**