I hadn’t necessarily planned to use my blog as a soap box for anything (other than God’s grace), but I’m going to go a little controversial and jump on up there. The heated debate that sparks up every time the Duggars announce that they’re once again expecting always makes me a little feisty and this time it has more than ever. I think it’s because I’m carrying Elizabeth Grace—and never before has an unborn life seemed as precious and sacred. So as I read through comments about Duggar number twenty being on the way at people.com, Babycenter and Facebook—everything from the harmless jabs, to the downright horrid vitriol—I decided I’d get my two cents in as well.
First off, I just have to say it: why the surprise, people? If there’s one thing Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are crystal clear and extremely vocal about it’s their views on child bearing and the use of contraceptives. They’re a quiverfull family and will not do anything to prevent pregnancy. Ever. It doesn’t matter if Michelle had preeclampsia and delivered her last baby at 25 weeks gestation, or if she’s forty-five years old, or if she already has two grandchildren. They believe that God should have complete control over their reproduction practices and will not stop having children until it is a physical impossibility. Whether or not you or I or anyone else agrees with this stance doesn’t make any difference to them. It’s their conviction. It’s their right. Please don’t be shocked if they have more after this. If it’s possible, I promise you, they will!
And while I don’t necessarily agree with everything the Duggars believe I have to admit: they’re loving parents who are raising well-rounded and respectful children…and they’re debt free to boot. That’s gotta be worth a little street cred. Not to mention, they’re my brother and sister in Christ and I feel like they get enough criticism from everyone else. Speaking of, I have no doubt that their loudest opposition—those who scream that they’re crazy and irresponsible and how dare they have twenty children when all the world’s water is drying up?!—are mostly likely pro-choice. The same people who staunchly support a woman’s “right to choose” somehow become positively irate when that woman chooses to have as many children as the Lord would bless her with. Oh, if they could see the irony.
And here’s the biggest thing for me--our culture’s view of children in general is really messed up. Kids aren’t seen as a heritage from the Lord and parents certainly aren’t bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. People (even some in Christian culture) become judgmental and cruel if a couple chooses to have more than 3 or 4 or 5 or “X” amount of kids. In a day and age when the average American household has no more than 2.5 children, both parents work full-time and the accumulation of “stuff” seems to be the goal in life, I find the Duggars’ lifestyle refreshing. I’m not planning on having twenty kids, but I won’t be disparaging of the family who does and can do it well. Congratulations Jim Bob, Michelle and family!