Guys, marriage is a special gift from God. Jim Bob and Michelle are still deeply in love and committed after all this time, and they have a lot of advice.
The two keys to maintaining a marriage are being able to admit when you are wrong and asking for forgiveness. Also, they never go to bed angry, and they focus on having a God-centered marriage.
Since the Duggar girls don’t build relationships independently, we’re going to start this chapter about girls growing into adolescence with a story from a man. Jim Bob knew a girl who was boy-crazy when he was a teenager. She had a new boyfriend weekly over a period of several years. The girl got married and was still very unhappy, insecure, and self-centered. I am left with no new information, but I do wonder how Jim Bob knows all of this.
Next, the girls warn us about romance novels. Romance novels are just as dangerous for women as pornography is for men because both fail to satisfy, they say. Plus, they both create unrealistic expectations. This section also tells me that the girls seem to think Playboy is still the pinnacle of porn, because they keep talking about all the “airbrushing” involved.
The Duggar girls know a lot about marriage. They say that God created us with the inborn desire to be loved and accepted because he wants us to seek him, not a man. They say that marriage can be idolatry.
Somehow the girls are able to get into talking about purity rings without ever really talking about sex. The Duggar girls talk about thanking God for their feelings of “natural physical desire toward men” to show gratitude for “making us ‘normal’.”
So, each girl gets a purity ring to keep her lust under control. The ring is a symbol of commitment to themselves to be pure as they wait for God to find them somebody to marry, and it symbolizes the desire to involve their parents in choosing a life partner. It also reminds them to pray for the man they will marry.
Were any of you aware that adults often confuse love with sensual desire? Satan puts lust into your head. The girls say that Satan “has been recycling the same basic temptations for the past six thousand years.” It’s almost like it’s just part of human nature that people like to fuck.
These girls make talking about sex the most boring thing in the world, but they do manage to get another dig in at Grandpa Duggar.
We get more stories about their parents because the girls don’t have their own experiences to offer. Michelle once had a boyfriend who didn’t share her faith, and a Christian school counselor encouraged her to break up with him. She learned to trust God. A few weeks later, she met Jim Bob.
Next, the Duggar girls are going to tell us why courtship is better than dating. First, courtship allows you to meet a man’s entire family all at once so you can see them going about their daily interactions. They say “usually a guy invites a girl out to a nice restaurant” even though they’ve really only heard this from a friend of a friend. This is important because some “guys” are totally mean to their siblings. They once saw a “young man” demean his little sister during a volleyball game before throwing the ball at her. Let me tell you, nothing dries you up faster than seeing a man throw a temper tantrum over a volleyball game.
Courting also allows for accountability because you are never alone with the “guy” until you’re married. They say that if a guy can’t control himself with you before he is married, how can you trust him around women later? I mean, this book was published before news of Josh’s own moral failures emerged, so this is pretty smug. Accountability is also important because having sex with multiple partners can give you HIV or HPV. They actually do cite a statistic about HPV, so they Googled exactly one thing to write this book.
The girls then scare us about how difficult it is to be a single mom, but they also remind us that abortion is bad. They immediately aim to counter the arguments they think will be made. The child’s eye color has already been determined!!!
So, they recommend looking for a Christian crisis pregnancy center because the Duggars sure as hell aren’t going to help you. They write, “Don’t ever consider getting an abortion, with a surgical procedure or with the abortion pill.” They also say they personally know “several women” who have had abortions, and they all regret it. They also say, “If you are pregnant, take responsibility and take care of yourself and your baby, and God will take care of you.” It’s pretty rich advice coming from four teenage girls who haven’t had to pay a month’s worth of rent yet.
Anyway, let’s get back to courting. The girls know all about what happens to people who date. They are selfish and feel spiritually empty. Group activities in a formal courtship are totally spiritual because people who court consider marriage as a realistic possibility.
Next, the girls talk about character qualities they look for in a future husband. They want a man who is godly like their father. They give an example of a way their dad protects them: Jim Bob makes the boys save up to buy their own cars, but he gives the girls their own cars. The girls also want a guy who puts the family first by not having a lot of friends or hobbies.
The girls also want a gentle spirit who doesn’t spew out anger. They say that chivalry is important, and they use the word “chums” to remind us that no actual young adult wrote this book. Seriously, if they’re trying to relate to real girls, this isn’t the way.
They get into a story about Jim Bob trying to work on his chivalry. He used to open the car door for Michelle, but eventually he stopped. So, one day they go to the paint store and forgot to open the door for her. Michelle stayed in the car and honked the horn until he turned around an opened it for her. So relatable!
The girls also say that once a member of the TLC film crew member held the door open for them at a coffee shop and randomly lectured them about how they should marry a gentleman who holds the door open for them. In the real world, anybody who holds a door open while volunteering their opinions about chivalry after nobody asked is a loser or nonexistent.
Next, the ladies talk to some very real Christian guys about what they are looking for in a wife. They want women who have good relationships with their parents and siblings, women with integrity, and women who are “pure.” They also long for women who “esteem motherhood” and have a “hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
Next, we get some info about courtships in action. The girls have nothing to offer, so they turn to degenerate Josh Duggar for answers.
Josh said that as he grew older, he realized that there are two types of people in the world: men and women. They also talk to Anna, his wife, who saw Josh on TV talking about the importance of waiting for true love to get it on. Josh says he was “constantly tempted to have lots of wrong thoughts.” He confessed these thoughts “quickly” to God and his parents. In 2006, he and Anna met. Josh was smitten. And, uh, it doesn’t actually sound like they had a courtship? It sounds like they agreed to get engaged after a couple meetings.
And that’s it — all you need to know about relationships with “guys.”
Coming up: Chapter 6