I really haven't used this blog to address controversial issues, but since I've been reading the Duggars' book, following their preemie daughter's fight for life, and keep coming across hateful blog posts about them, I feel compelled to respond.
They're crazy to keep having children. If you aren't a Christian, I could see where everything about the Duggars would rub you the wrong way. I won't try to defend them to you and this post isn't directed to you. But if you believe God's Word as I do, I take issue with these kinds of statements. The Bible speaks of children as a blessing, not a burden. Nowhere in the Bible does God advise us to be careful about having too many children, not even for the sake of "common sense" or finances. In fact, in Ps. 37:25 the psalmist tells us that he has never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. If God is not to be trusted to provide for our families, then why trust Him at all?
The Duggars are holier than thou. I have seen the Duggars speak in person, have been reading their book, and have seen them a few times on television. I have not yet felt they were telling me I am inferior for not living as they do. In fact, they seem quick to downplay decisions they have made (like clothing standards) as being their choice alone. The humility I have seen in them has really touched me. So why all the people decrying them as holier-than-thou? Could it be that their good choices make them feel guilty?
They can't possibly be giving those children enough attention. This has to be one of my favorites as the people who say it are typically parents of just a few children who send them to school with 20+ other children in a classroom. For seven hours a day, their child will have just one adult teaching them who doesn't truly love them. Research shows a student is lucky to get a couple minutes of personal attention. There will be no loving brothers or sisters to tutor or play with them during the day. What there will be are plenty of kids willing to tease them or physically torment them if they have the opportunity. These same parents will drop their kids off at sports in the evening, feed them a meal in the car, will rush them through homework and baths and shoo them off to bed. Yes, how could the Duggars possibly give their kids as much attention as these parents do?
It's abusive to make those older girls care for the younger kids. Would it be abusive to allow them to babysit other people's children as so many teen girls do? The basis for this statement is that it is abusive to have to be responsible to one's own family. In this view, the "kind" thing to do is to turn girls loose in the mall or the movie theater with spending money they haven't earned where they can collect immodest clothing, watch soft porn movies, and get STDs at the same time. If you don't understand that latter reference, you might want to research where many young teens are having their first sexual experiences. In my counseling practice, I saw several teen girls who would have gladly helped care for their siblings if only they received any attention from their parents at all. Throughout history, the role of young adult men and women was always to serve the family while living at home. Only in recent years have we produced a generation of young people who characterize this as abuse.
It's immoral for them to put their family on TV. I will not stand in judgement of fellow believers for this choice, especially when I know they prayed about it a great deal and feel God is using it for His purposes. They have certainly opened themselves up to persecution, haven't they? But so did Jesus. If there had been television in Jesus' day, perhaps He would have preached on it. As believers, it behooves us to remember Romans 14:4. Homeschooling 19 children may not be God's plan for us or what we desire for ourselves, but as Christians, we ought not criticize those who are sincere in their witness.