Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

November 23, 2011

19 Kids and 1 More Coming

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Most people in America know of the Duggar family.  They are the focus of the television program 19 Kids and Counting.  This is a reality show that features a family from Arkansas.  It is true — there are 19 kids!  The numbers begin to spread, however.  Oldest son, Josh is married and they have a child.  And just recently, Michelle and Jim Bob announced to the kids, and later on television, “Number 20 is on the way!”

That’s right!  To add to the 10 boys and 9 girls, there will be another. I suppose the television program will have to change — 20 Kids and Counting!  We had the privilege recently to have dinner with this remarkable couple and their children.  They are down-to-earth people with solid values and commitments.  They are really like folks that you would have gone to school with.  I describe their dating and courtship as cheerleader and church boy!  They have such a fascinating story of how they began to date.  From the early dates of their courtship, God was the pivot.

They have truly sought to have their lives under the leadership of God.  To spend time with them would convince you that they are submissive to His authority.  The testimony through the lives of their children bears further evidence that submission to God’s will has produced wonderful results.  The children are so emotionally healthy, stable, personable, and loving that only the power of God in such a large family could produce such.  The children truly love and respect one another.  They bear a wonderful witness to what is possible in families.

The Duggar family was the featured guests at a Fresh Grounded Faith event, hosted by our daughter, Jennifer Rothschild.  The children performed.  All the children, with the exception of the three youngest (but their day is coming) play the violin.  The violins are different sizes according to their size!  They all likewise sing!  Again, one is impressed with the children.  There are those who criticize this family for the number of children.  The family is ridiculed at times for allowing God to determine the number of children born to Michelle and Jim Bob.

I am a strong defender of this family.  Although I know their faith and commitment to daily walk with the Lord has produced such wonderful children, I would ask folks to look at this family as a model.  Leave faith out of it — which would be a mistake — but look at the family and how it functions.  I believe the parenting skills of Michelle and Jim Bob, the responsibility that the children express, the unity of the family, and the respect shown between children and parents, is a great model for American families.

While many are greatly concerned with the arrival of the next child, Michelle has a trust and commitment.  She does not fear.  She is surrendered to the care and guidance of Her Heavenly Father.  Commitment to Christ is the controlling fact in all that Michelle and Jim Bob do.  I was also struck about how they have followed biblical principles in the management of finances and possessions.  They believe in being debt-free, and they are!

As dinner began to be finished, Jim Bob and I talked about names for the coming arrival.  If you know the family, you are aware that all the names for the 19 children begin with the letter J.   I thought that I could make a contribution for a name.  They already had a Jennifer and Jill.  So I suggested other names in our family, like Judith, Justine, and Juliet.  Jim Bob listened, politely, but I think they have already thought of a name.  But wait, all of those are names for girls!  What if it is a boy?  He was silent.  I said, “What about Jolly?”  He smiled and said, “Not bad!”  At least it told me they hadn’t selected a boy’s name.  Well, I guess I will have to wait until Spring!

The film crew from The Learning Channel was there.  Some of the footage will be on a show next season.  Don’t miss the interview by Jennifer.  You will see the authenticity of this remarkable family.  And if they come to visit us, we will let you know!  But we have become concerned.  What if they really do take us up on our invitation?

Getting to know this family, it behooves me to strongly recommend that Christ be the focal point of your life and family.  He does make the difference.  God knows how to develop a family.  After all, He did write the book on marriage and family!  Read the Bible . . . ask for His guidance . . . and then follow His way!




  1. Thanks for the informative article, it was a good read and I hope its ok that I share this with some facebook friends. Thanks.

    Comment by Andrew J. Gephart — November 27, 2011 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

  2. Pastor Jolly, you have certainly mimicked my thoughts on this family. I watch 19 Kids and Counting, as such, often wonder what it would be like to have grown up in such a loving family. We should all pray for a healthy maternity for Michelle and a strong healthy new born come spring. Thank you so much for this article on this most unique family.

    Comment by gsquires2199 — December 2, 2011 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

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