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Since May a lot of scandal has surrounded the Duggars, a large traditional family from rural Arkansas and the stars of TLC’s popular (and cancelled) 19 Kids and Counting. The Josh Duggar scandal busted the closet door wide open on a family that really is not new to controversy. Despite the backlash and the criticism, there really is a lot to be learned from the marriage of Jim-Bob and Michelle.
1. For better or for worse
Michelle and Jim-Bob really have taken this marriage vow seriously. Not only has the couple had to stay strong in the wake of their eldest son’s many confessions, but they’ve even documented on their show that their youngest child was born premature and with health issues (and the miscarriage of baby number 20). It is their faith in God and each other that keeps them strong no matter what.
2. Teamwork is essential
The Duggars have 19 kids, only three of which don’t live at home and that takes a lot of coordination. Michelle really is the one who keeps the household flow in check, and makes sure Jim-Bob checks his weight. Both partners know their roles and make sure that they get their tasks done and communicate clearly with each other. They have instilled this important lesson in their children, as the kids became old enough to delegate tasks to. Everyone has a job to do to keep the household functioning. If they can do it with a brood of 19, there really is no excuse for the rest of us.
3. Instilling traditional values
A lot of people in the world look down at their traditional values of modesty, clean language, and no illicit substances, but there may be something to this mindset. The girls keep their legs and chests covered; the boys keep clean and groomed. All of the children come across as polite and gracious as opposed to being wild. The couple has taught their kids the value of a dollar and to put the family first, always. Why are such ideas being snubbed in our modern society?
4. You can’t sweep everything under the rug
The Duggars have been a high-profile family for years and have made headlines due to their unique family size and lifestyle. They really should have known better. Josh Duggar had molested younger girls (including a couple of his sisters) when he was 15 years old. Being a minor, his name couldn’t go public, but that was a mighty skeleton to try and keep locked in a closet. If the problem is big enough it will get out.
Perhaps the major downside to their values is that they haven’t taken into account the real world. There is a “just say, no” approach to how they raise their kids that is quickly unraveling and proving to be unhealthy. Maybe Josh was the special case. The odds were out of 19, one was bound to be the oddball. But let’s not dismiss that as a team, Jim-bob and Michelle have a lot of successes that we could learn and apply in our own marriages.