TLC family with 19 kids discusses courtship, no kissing before marriage


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  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    April 15, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    cjb: How do we know they haven't? Maybe that explains why they have so many kids! LOL!!

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    April 14, 2014 9:40 a.m.


    "My point is that you should put more emphasis on developing the more important qualities AND more emphasis on the more challenging to develop qualities"

    And yet why did you feel the need to counter my argument if I never argued this idea?

    Never did I suggest a couple not work on communication

    Never did I suggest it wasn't very important.

    Never did I suggest communicatin wasn't even more important than physical intimacy.

    I've only ever said that the physical side is important.

    You are the one who suggested my argument only holds true if A and B are equally important. And yet my only argument was that if we're saying communication is important and that couples should work and develop that then the same argument holds true for the physical side.

    As far as what percentage who divorced kissed before marriage? Come on now, you're really stretching.

    What percentage of couples that stay together kissed before marriage? Likely nearly all - so I guess that means couples need to kiss before marriage right?

  • Doklove Quincy, IL
    April 14, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    @Christopher B. I agree with you. If they focused ONLY on the most important thing then they would be ignoring a lot of lesser, but important facets to their relationship. You must have misunderstood my point. My point is that you should put more emphasis on developing the more important qualities AND more emphasis on the more challenging to develop qualities. Physical intimacy is very important, but I would argue that a couple that has established good communication outside of the bedroom first will be much more likely to develop good communication inside of the bedroom.

    Of the couples that end up divorced for whatever reason what percentage, would you guess, kissed prior to marriage? I would guess almost all- indicating that kissing prior to marriage doesn't solve problems later on. But I believe this couple who is putting their effort into developing a strong relationship, through whatever means, will do better than average because they are trying.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    April 13, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    I'm fine with how they parent their children, it's their relationship with their adult children that bothers me. It bothers me that the parents are chaperoning adults and all over each other teasing them that they can't be close yet. They have over 20 people living at home. Twenty year olds sharing bedrooms with three year olds. They don't need two chaperones for video calls. There is no privacy. You can reserve closeness for marriage and live on your own and attend college away from home. When they magically marry they won't be prepared to resist temptation cause they have never been taught to do so. It's not up to them. In another interview Michelle said "dad allows them a side hug at saying hello and goodbye". Maybe they agree, but they have no choices for working and leaving home. All their travel and education is with accountability partners or online. They don't even know anyone likes them until dad gets involved and let's them speak. And as Elizabeth Smart has said there is a danger is teaching kids purity is all important.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    April 12, 2014 5:47 p.m.


    "@Chris B- Your argument only holds up if both A and B are equally important AND equally challenging to accomplish"

    Not even close to true.

    If that were the case every person should determine what the single most important thing in their life is and ONLY do that thing.

    The truth is our lives are filled with thousands of things that are important(to different degrees) and we don't only do the most important thing. That's just silly to believe that if thing A is more important than thing B a couple should only do thing A, even in courtship.

    "I have yet to meet a couple that has not stayed together because they didn't like how their partner kissed"

    Financial problems are often cited as the top reason for divorce. However, a wide variety of intimacy issues also contribute to many divorces - a simple and tame google search will prove it through many studies. If you really believe that kissing(intimacy) issues don't contribute to marital problems, I suggest you learn what you may not want to.

  • Doklove Quincy, IL
    April 12, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    @ Grammy3 They didn't have 19 kids so that they could make money off of it. They also have never set themselves up as the standard of how to parent. They did what they feel was right and producers came to them and offered them to be in the spotlight. They felt that it might be their way of fulfilling Matthew 5:14-16. I don't see how them making money off their life is any worse than any entertainer making money off what they do. If they had kids mainly for the reason of exploiting them in this way then I would agree with you, but they are living their lives the way they would with or without TLC (albeit quite a bit richer) and we as a society are willing to pay them for it. Great!

  • Doklove Quincy, IL
    April 12, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    @Chris B- Your argument only holds up if both A and B are equally important AND equally challenging to accomplish. I have known many relationships dissolve because of poor communication. I have yet to meet a couple that has not stayed together because they didn't like how their partner kissed. This is why I see your argument as completely opposite to their objectives.

    Now is it scientifically proven that not kissing will improve communication- No, nor am I advocating that people embrace this life choice, however, I respect that in a world of hypersexualization and poor marital dedication a couple is trying to do something that they believe will make their marriage stronger. I think they will succeed- not because they didn't kiss, but because they are showing dedication to making their marriage strong. I also think they will learn how to kiss just fine.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    April 12, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    I enjoy watching the Duggers and I learn much about how we could have raised our 8 children better. I think 19 kids is probably excessive or extreme but they do a good job. I don't have to agree with everything about someone's life to learn from them.
    I think it would be good for Hollywood and New York to notice that there are Americans who don't follow the values of the liberals on the coasts. The "fly-over" people could also be considered the "glue" people that hold the country together. The popularity of the Duggers shows conservative values have a following. We aren't all drinking the Kool-aid of liberalism and hedonism.

  • California Steve Hanford, CA
    April 12, 2014 7:21 a.m.

    As usual, the comments are better than the article.

  • Let it Go! Omaha, NE
    April 12, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    Thank you for being steadfast in your standards. Your courage and total commitment to your future spouse is inspiring to my life. I now am strengthened in my commitment to remain worthy until I meet the love of my life and to be more devoted to her after marriage. May your marriage be a shining pillar of light in this ever-darkening world.

  • Grammy3 SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    April 12, 2014 12:50 a.m.

    I have had a very hard time with this family. I think that it is great that they have 19 children and are good people but the problem that I have with them is that they are making money off of people because they have 19 children. I have a niece in law who came from a family of 14 children but you do not see them on t.v. and trying to show everyone how to live. I am sorry I do believe in waiting for certain things until you are married but please do not go around and brag about it or tell everyone about it. It just does not settle well with most people.

  • Arizona Rocks Phoenix, AZ
    April 11, 2014 9:25 p.m.

    I respect Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard's decision in regards to their obedience to the laws of God and their commitment to each other. Sexual expression of love shows the deepest devotion and respect that a husband and wife can give to each other. If they decidee to remain chaste and wait until marriage then God bless them. I honor them for that.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    Tajemnica - And yet as much as you seem to disagree, your only argument is that you believe I am wrong.

    As you may be aware there are some cultures where the parents pick the spouses for the children and the first conversation the couples have is on their wedding day. These couples obviously don't have physical intimacy before marriage either. And even with very little to no communication taking place between these couples before marriage, they typically stay together and have good families.

    But the whole notion of "we're not going to kiss because we want to better communicate" doesn't hold up to any scrutiny. They've been dating for month and months - kissing does not prevent couples from getting to know each other. And just as verbal communication will be important in marriage, so will physical intimacy be.

    Saying we shouldn't do thing A because we want to focus on thing B is not inherently any better than focusing on A instead of doing B if its determined that both A and B are important in a marriage.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    @ maq
    I was not advocating premarital sex as a prequel. But this family has taken it to the extreme by forbidding mostly innocent and natural forms of affection, and in effect sexualizing them. The children being taught that these types of affection are wrong outside of marriage has to have some residual affect. I am sure you hugged, held hands, and even kissed before you got married.

  • Tajemnica West Valley, Utah
    April 11, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    @Chris B
    Especially regarding your most recent comment: Your argument, "There is nothing more correct or admirable about a couple saving kissing than there would be if another couple saved talking longer than 5 minutes per day to each other." is completely ludicrous. They have nothing to do with each other. I have seen you post some pretty random, off the wall, and completely false things about a variety of topics before but you have never nor could ever be more incorrect in your arguments on this forum. I didn't save my first kiss for marriage nor do I look down on anyone else that doesn't. But it would have benefitted me if I had.

  • maq West Valley, Utah
    April 11, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    Coming from someone who abstained from premarital sex pre-marriage I can tell you that you are 100% incorrect. It immediately became the most sacred act of creation in concert with God. There was no issue with a psychological transition and I know that most in similar circumstances will agree. If you've ever watched the show you will see that Josh, the oldest Duggar child had no problem with this after he got married. I thought it would be ackward after I got married but my thoughts were to no avail.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 11, 2014 1:42 p.m.

    Even better .. they should commit to never having sex after marriage unless the purpose is to have a child.

  • Another Perspective Bountiful, UT
    April 11, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    No kissing before marriage? That quite likely explains the 19 kids. After WW2 the soldiers came back and after their long years of being deprived of being with a woman, the baby boom happened

  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    April 11, 2014 1:21 p.m.

    The parents have 19 kids!

    Based on the story they suppressed their physical "emotions" before marriage.

    They have 19 kids! ???

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    @Doklove - You are right that pressure isn't the right word if they truly want to do it, as opposed to only doing it because they feel they should.

    However, your comment about them doing it for exactly the reason to build better communication doesn't really counter anything I've said. Communication is part of a relationship. So is physical intimacy.

    Saying they are saving kissing for marriage is again no different than saving longer talks for marriage and only talking for 5 minutes a day.

    There is nothing more correct or admirable about a couple saving kissing than there would be if another couple saved talking longer than 5 minutes per day to each other.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    They are being taught that kissing, holding hands or other kinds of physical affection are sexual in nature and inevitably lead to sexual arousal. The problem is that attitudes about physical affection being a sin before marriage carries over after marriage. It is not easy to transition psychologically from premarital sex, and acts which lead to it, being one of the worst sins one can commit, to sex being the most sacred act of creation in concert with God.

  • Tajemnica West Valley, Utah
    April 11, 2014 12:25 p.m.


    Ignorance is bliss for you isn't it. It's apparant you know nothing about this family. Yes they get money from TLC but they have plenty of money from realty projects and they had that abundant income long ago. You are probably right in your comment as it regards to many other people on reality tv where that is their primary income but do yourself a favor and don't comment on someone or something you know nothing about

  • Doklove Quincy, IL
    April 11, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    @Chris B. If someone makes a life decision of their own free will, as was pointed out in the article, how is that "religious pressure"- even if the decision is based in religious beliefs? That would be like saying you watch an athletic event because of societal pressure. Can't they make up their own mind? Also, your relating of their decision to holding off on communication was exactly opposite to their point as they explain that they are trying to focus on building a non-physical relationship through communication.

    @Cheesecake- Your analogy fits perfectly if marriage is only about physical relationships, which would be a pretty poor basis of a marriage. They are trying to develop a friendship and establish good patterns of communication- which I would argue is the "running" of your analogy to prepare for a marathon of marriage. Holding hands, kissing and sex is the easy part.

    Why is it that if someone sets a standard for themselves that is more rigorous than what we hold we pick them apart. Its not hurting me.

  • Cheesecake Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    Like training for a marathon by refusing to go running...

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 11, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    It's great that these enormous family religious oddities have reality tv to run to for income and support.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    No hand holding until an engagement?

    This is religious pressure(and yes it stems from religion) gone overboard

    Is it wrong? No, they certainly can choose.

    But it doesn't make any more sense than a couple saying "we are never going to talk to each other for more than 5 minutes a day before we are married because we want to save that special communication of longer discussion for marriage"