Thursday, February 6, 2014

The blessing of children: Duggar interview

Recently, Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar did an interview with
It really summarizes how we feel about God's blessing of children.

While in Washington D.C. for the annual March for Life, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar sat down with Cortney O'Brien from to discuss large family logistics and relationships. The Duggars also shared a touching story about how their show saved a life. Here are the highlights of the interview:

Cortney: What are some of the benefits or most fun parts about having such a large family? 

Jim Bob: "We’re always going places and doing things. And I think in one sense, we have one of the funnest families in the world because there’s so many of us that it’s just non-stop fun.”

Jim Bob: "Even when we go do a work project. We can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time."

Michelle: "I think Jill summed it up one time. She said, 'People just don’t understand how much fun it is to be from a large family. It’s just like, the love multiplies, it doesn’t divide.’ So that’s why we named our book A Love that Multiplies." 

Cortney: What are some of your other favorite activities as a family? 

Michelle: "As far as energy activities, we love to go on bike rides..."

Jim Bob: "We’re always playing basketball and volleyball, and then in the front yard, the boys a lot of times are playing football. And the other night we went to [an] Arkansas Razorback versus Kentucky game."

Michelle: "Oh that was amazing. The kids love to sing. They’ll just break out singing when we’re driving down the road."

Jim Bob: "And they all love playing instruments together."
Michelle: "And entertainment. Just the fun of doing and saying the cutest little things kids do." The mother of 19 keeps track of her children's most memorable words in her iPhone.  

Cortney: Say you hired a babysitter for a night. What instructions would you give them? 

Michelle: "The babysitter or the children? I think I would instruct the children first." (laughing) 

Jim Bob: "For years, my mom would watch our children when Michelle and I would go on a date each week. And of course, now a lot of our older daughters are - "

Michelle: "She still does sometimes. She’s still willing and available to do it."

Jim Bob: "Now, some of our older daughters are in their 20s, and so they watch the little ones...."

Jim Bob and Michele also discussed their relationship with their kids and with each other: 

Jim Bob: "I guess, the main thing we try to do as parents is keep up [with] the hearts of our children. Having heart-to-heart talks with children is very important, and for them to build, confess things, and make things right...."

Michelle: "And always purpose to treat each other with respect. No teasing, no calling names, no putting each other down, but truly showing respect..... You know, you’re gonna have those relationships for life, and you really want to cherish and nurture those even now...."

Jim Bob: "And I think really the foundation of a close-knit family first off is having a close relationship between husband and wife, and then the children’s relationship with the parents, and then the children’s relationship with each other. And there’s gonna be offences and things that happen, but making sure that each one of us humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness."

Michelle: "We’re really desiring to teach them to love, putting others before yourself. The acrostic we use is ‘JOY’ - Jesus first, others second, yourself last - and if you put it in that order, then it makes for a very peaceful, harmonious place to live. Even at Josie’s age, who is now four, our baby in our family, just encouraging her to realize, you know what you can serve your big brother, you can go and get him his cup and bring it to the table and help serve your brothers and sisters, even though you’re the youngest...."

Cortney: I read another interview you both did and I think, Jim Bob, it was you that said a writer emailed you and said that your show prevented them from having an abortion. I was wondering if that is something that encourages you both to continue doing the show? 

Jim Bob: "Over the past ten years we’ve received several emails and letters from women who have said that after watching our show, they’ve decided to keep their baby. They’ve changed their perspective on the child - instead of seeing the child as a burden, they see the child as a blessing. But one mom in particular, back a couple years ago, she sent us a letter that said, ‘I was watching your show, 17 Kids and Counting.... I’d already gone in for my first initial appointment to have an abortion, and I was going to have an abortion the next day.... I flipped through the channels and saw your show.' And she said, 'Ya know, if that lady can do it with 17 kids, I can do it with one.' And she kept her baby." 

Michelle: "And she sent a picture!" 

Jim Bob: "And so that makes it all worth it. Our whole family really believes that the TV show is really not about us - it’s really about a ministry to share with the world that children are a blessing and a gift from God."

Read the full interview on

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