So, I love the Duggars. I do. I can’t help it. I understand that many don’t agree with the number of kids they’ve had, the way they’ve decided how many children to have, and many of the religious, political, or cultural viewpoints that they hold. And I get that. But here’s my caveat – they may have 20+ children, but they’re all so polite, kind, generous, and respectful. And they have faith. And they actually stick to their moral code (as zealot-y as that might be), which isn’t something that we can say about a lot of the other families we see in the reality TV world. And I don’t have any intention of having anywhere near that many children – but if my kids could turn out like the Duggar kids, I’d be exstatic.
This is actually the second book that the Duggar family has written. Their first book, written just as Anna and Josh were getting married, focused more on the practicalities of running a household that large. This second book seems to focus more on the children themselves – including separate chapters on the girls and boys and the ways in which Jim Bob and Michelle go about preparing the different genders for their roles in life. The book also goes in to how the Duggar’s encourage character and moral development, putting a special emphasis on parental attitude and how much that has to do with raising children.
I want to say a couple of things about reading this book. First, it was an incredibly quick read. It’s written from alternating first-person-perspective (meaning that the narrator always refers to themselves as “I”, but then it’s notated in parenthesis whether the “I” refers to Jim Bob or Michelle) which can get a little bit distracting at times. There were also tips and tricks on time saving and organization, as well as a couple of recipes scaled to feed the Duggar family. This book begins with the tumultuous birth of the last Duggar babie, Josie (which many of you may/probably saw on television), and discusses how that situation tested their faith before moving on to the more “practical” sections of the book. This book is VERY scripture heavy, but as a conservative Christian family, that shouldn’t surprise any reader going in to it.
I think the thing I love the most about this book is that it showed me a way that Christian child rearing can be accomplished in a way that inspires a serving heart, respect for elders, and the foundation of faith. I don’t agree with all of the Duggar’s beliefs (I’m not a conservative Republican or a Young Earth Creationist) but I am proud Christian woman just beginning to push myself to grown and expand in my faith while finding a way to keep that going life-long. I think that’s what the Duggar family is full of – Christian believers looking to be on fire for God. And I bless them in that.
It’s not literary. It’s not enlightening. But it’s inspiring, and a great look behind the biggest family on TV.