Justifying the Duggar family’s courting rituals

By Brittney Fleshman

Since I started watching “19 Kids and Counting” on TLC, a new kind of dating has come to my attention. I can honestly say that I didn’t know what a courtship was prior to flipping through my TV guide one night and stumbling upon the Duggar family’s reality show.

At first I thought they were crazy, but after watching the show and hearing the Duggars’ reasoning behind their conservative choices, I had a change of opinion. Now, I am supportive of anyone who chooses to enter a courtship instead of a relationship.

The Duggars live in Arkansas and have certain values and standards that are a little different than what most people in the country live by. They dress modestly, abstain from drinking alcohol and choose courting instead of dating.

While courtships seem like an unfamiliar ritual of the past, there are many families like the Duggars that still practice such traditional values. For instance, having the man ask the woman’s father for his permission to marry his daughter is still something common in contemporary society. Many couples also choose to abstain from premarital sex and wait until marriage.

But the shocking factor about the Duggar family is that the couples abstain from any and all physical contact until marriage, including kissing and even holding hands. They also prefer to have a family member or friend with them at all times, also known as a “chaperone,” to help them from breaking any courting rules.

Don’t freak out yet. This type of dating is actually understandable.

The Edmunds Law Firm of San Diego says that people who court longer and do not rush to get married will more likely have greater success in their marriage.

According to the Duggar family, courting is a process that should be faster than dating. The first three Duggar children to get married ” Josh, Jill and Jessa ” each courted their spouses for less than a year.

A courtship involves a couple that is in search of a potential marriage partner and chooses to skip any other form of dating. The Duggars say this avoids potential heartbreak and helps them find the soul mate that God intended for them.

Let’s be real. Wouldn’t we all like to avoid the heartbreak that comes from dating and just find our soul mate already?

The Duggars did modify the traditional rules a bit by allowing an engaged couple to hold hands. This is a big deal. Think about it: no physical contact at all (besides a side hug) and then being able to hold hands.

A side hug is exactly what it sounds like: hugging from the side without hugging from a frontal position.

When courting, the couple gets to know each other and decides if they are fit for each other after learning things like life goals, religious beliefs and personality facets. The physical relationship is supposed to be saved for the one God chooses for them.

Now let’s get to the part I know you are all wondering about. Yes, all 19 children have the same mother and father.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar believe every child is a blessing from God and will happily accept every pregnancy. This is sweet, isn’t it?

The Duggar family lives by certain values and standards based off of Christianity that may not be popular with many Americans, but who should judge that? In the end, we are all looking for our soul mate, so what’s wrong with cutting out the heartbreak?

The Duggar family serves as a prime example that we should not pay too much attention to what other people in society are doing. Instead, we should focus on what makes us feel comfortable and content.

Here’s to the Duggar family for being proud of who they are and for reminding Americans that tradition is still important. Cheers (with a glass of water or juice, of course).


Monica Lopez / The Poly Post


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