People either love them, or they mock them. Unfortunately, there isn’t much middle ground when it comes to what people think about the Duggar Family.
When I see them, here’s what I see:
A big family.
A big family that loves Jesus.
A big family that loves Jesus and lives debt free. (Now, that’s impressive!)
Here’s what I mostly read about them:
They have too many children.
They need to stop having children.
They are being selfish for even considering another pregnancy.
I have watched many of their shows, I’ve read lots about them, and can honestly say that I have no problem with their convictions. How can I? I am not privy to the personal conversations they have with God! From the outside looking in, they appear to be a family doing what they feel God is calling them to do. How can I argue with that?
In fact, there are two things the Duggar Family does that strikes a cord with me.
First, they make sure to spend 15 minutes each week with their children for a personal heart to heart discussion.
The first time I heard this, I was caught off guard. I felt like the Duggar’s were saying they only spend 15 minutes with each of their children every week. And yet, that’s not at all what they were saying. The Duggar’s are talking about being consistently intentional with each of their children.
This side of Heaven, we have 2 children. And, while I am a stay-at-home-mom and constantly with my children, teaching them, playing games, doing life, and loving them, I don’t know that I have ever been consistently intentional about having a heart to heart with them on a weekly basis.
Now, we have snuggle time, we pray together, we talk often throughout the day about what they are thinking and feeling, and we do mini heart-checks. But, do both Todd and I both set apart 15 minutes each week to give each kid our undivided attention (with no TV, internet, Facebook, phone interruptions, or thinking solely about them), to talk about whatever is on their hearts, or circulating in their minds, and ask them to share things they would like to do? No! We don’t! (But, we will now!)
Secondly, another Duggar rule is to, “Praise your children ten times more than you correct them!”
We often tell our kids what we want them to do, instead of what not to do, so I was thinking this would come naturally. And… I was wrong! Praising your child ten times more than you correct is something else that needs to be done consistently and intentionally. We began trying to do this last week. Now, please keep in mind that we do have a two-year old boy, who is like taming a tornado most days. So, for him, the ratio was somewhere around 1 to 5… (but, we’ll get there).
But, here’s how doing this helped our family last week. As I began to praise our children more, all of our attitudes began to soften and change. We began to enjoy each other more, and there was more peace in our daily routine. When the fits and fights came, I had more patience and energy to correct their actions in a gentle manner. The kids reciprocated and began to speak nicer to each other, and to me. This led to overall less fighting, less frustration, and less fits, which led to us having a lot of fun.
The Duggar’s have a lot to teach people. While their actions go against the norm (isn’t that what God called us to anyway in Matthew 5:13-16), they are showing the world how to raise God-fearing children, and how to be obedient to God. They care less about what people have to say about their decisions, and more about what God has placed on their hearts. And, personally, I find that incredibly honorable and something that our own family can learn from and strive for!