I’ll start by saying that of course, I don’t know Michelle Duggar personally. I know what I see on T.V. or what I’ve read online. However, based on those experiences, she has been a source of encouragement and valuable ideas to me and my girls. What I have really liked is that she doesn’t pretend to be perfect. She is open about her past indiscretions: her eating disorder, her lack of modesty, her physical contact before marriage.
She exhibits a grace that I admire. She speaks gently and kindly to her children, even when correcting them. That can be difficult to do, especially when a parent is very disappointed with a child’s behavior. It tells me that either she is a very good actress when the cameras are rolling, or she has the love of Christ flowing through her. I choose to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe the latter. It’s more uplifting to me.
Something else I have noticed is that though she has many children, she makes an attempt to have an individual relationship with all of them. I have noticed that I have to make a concerted effort to take the time to listen to, and give my undivided attention to my older children. Squeaky wheels tend to get the grease and babies and toddlers sure do squeak! Yet I have seen Michelle take the time to go to coffee with and engage in one-on-one conversations with her older children. Then she has spoken in her camera interviews about how important it is to do that.
19 Kids and Counting has been a blessing to us. The show has been a respite in a way from a lot of the other shows on T.V. that expose my children to things I would rather them not experience yet. We have been able to sit together and enjoy a program that is actually edifying and uplifting.
Recently I have felt horrible about the comments I have seen online about the family. I think people must forget that public figures are real people. I actually saw one commenter excuse the abhorrent comments he/she made by writing that by opening themselves up to the public they deserve and should expect any comments that are made about them. I was looking for information on whether or not TLC was planning on cancelling the show permanently and had to quit searching because the comments and articles I was finding were literally making me nauseated. My spirit was hurt.
I have girls, and I agree with Josh Duggar’s comment that his behavior as a teen was “inexcusable.” However, I also agree with Mike Huckabee that it is not “unforgivable.” I have been so thankful for God’s grace in my life. He extends it to everyone. I wish it were easier for we imperfect people to do the same. It’s amazing how a perfect God can show grace for even the most reprehensible of acts, but we humans, who also make numerous mistakes cannot. I think by showing utter disdain and hatred of those who make mistakes, people believe it will show how righteous they are. Unfortunately, what they don’t seem to understand is that the opposite is true.