Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

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

Compiled by Sarah Petersen, Deseret News

Published: Fri, April 11 12:20 p.m. MDT

 The Duggar family speaks openly about their standards regarding courtship.

The Duggar family speaks openly about their standards regarding courtship.


Jill Duggar, 22, of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" recently announced her engagement to Derick Dillard, 25. The Duggar family has been open about the agreed-upon standards.

"We're just really trying to keep our relationship focused not on the physical but really just more on communication and continuing to learn more about each other," Jill Duggar told ABC.

"We're saving our first kiss and things beyond that for our wedding."

The Duggar family has already spoken about its dating and courtship standards on the TV show. In a TLC interview about courtship, Jill Duggar and her sister Jessa Duggar, 21, explained that they would put off hand-holding with beaus until an engagement is announced and hold off on any kissing until marriage.

Parents Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar explained that during their own courtship they didn't wait until they were married to kiss, and now they wish they had.

"Michelle and I are really grateful that they have chosen to set high standards," Jim Bob Duggar told ABC.

They also explained that his children have made this decision on their own.

"We have told our kids in courtship to set their own rules, and then bring them to Mom and Dad to kind of let us oversee that, and then to also hold you accountable to those," Jim Bob Duggar said in a TLC interview.

Jim Bob Duggar is grateful for the example his older children are setting.

"Both of the girls realize that they've got a lot of little brothers and sisters coming after them," he told ABC.

"I don't think each relationship is going to be the same ... [but] both couples have decided to have high standards in order to keep themselves pure and also set an example for their younger siblings."

Email: | Twitter: @Sarah_DNews

1. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
April 11, 2014

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"

2. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
April 11, 2014

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

3. Cheesecake
Salt Lake City, UT,
April 11, 2014

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

4. Doklove
Quincy, IL,
April 11, 2014

@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.

5. Tajemnica
West Valley, Utah,
April 11, 2014


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