At church a few weeks ago, I heard a couple of people talking about the Duggar family. They are this family that has like 19-20 kids or so. They've written a few books and have a TV show on TLC titled, "19 Kids and Counting." The people at church were talking about this family's commitment to Christ and godly living as a family. The more I listened, the more intrigued I became with this family.
Laura had given me one of their books a while back (like at Christmas). I never read it because I don't like to read things at night that might give me nightmares. When I heard a bit more about their love for the Lord and commitment to family, I decided to give the book a try. I'm very glad I did. It is very obvious this family is committed to Jesus Christ.
The book (A Love That Multiplies) starts by telling about a time a few years ago when there was a big ice storm; trees fell on their property, no electricity for 9 days. It was so bad with trees and tree limbs falling they could not allow any of the smaller children out of the house for the first few days. They had 21 people in their house at that time including a one month old and a set of grandparents; the grandfather was sick with a brain tumor with only a month to live.
Here’s what nailed me as I read this. Jim Bob is the husband (I thought he was a Walton). Here's what Michelle wrote about him, "Thankfully, I am married to a creative and smart husband who’s also a devoted father. He knew that lots of little eyes were watching how he would cope with the ice-storm disaster, and his optimism and good humor never waned throughout that long, difficult time. Jim Bob rarely gets rattled; he’s always rock solid in his beliefs and in working toward the parenting goals we have set for ourselves. He looks at everything as an opportunity to teach our children something new. The ice storm was no exception. We hold to the truths of the Bible, in which the apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). How could we teach our children those words and then show frustration, fear, anger, or some other destructive emotion when an ice storm made our lives a little more complicated?
Seeing the vast amounts of damage to the trees in our yard, Jim Bob might have had a few moments when he felt completely overwhelmed, wondering, How am I going to get this huge mess cleaned up? What if the power stays off for several days? How can I get my family through this calamity? But those little eyes watching him never saw him hesitate. Instead they saw him thank God that everyone was safe, fed, and relatively warm, and then ask Him for strength and wisdom to meet the challenge. And through it all, the smile on his face and the love sparkling in his eyes never faded.
That sounds like a guy committed to leading his family in God's ways. So, I decided to watch the TV show "10 and Counting" for my "first."
I enjoyed watching the TV show. Michelle Duggar seems to have such a sweet spirit. In the episode I watched (reruns that I taped on the DVR), Michelle and Jim Bob went on a marriage retreat and Grandma and the older children took care of the younger children. It was cool to hear Michelle and Jim Bob talk about the fact that they had a good marriage, but wanted it to be even better. There was a sense of authenticity about following Jesus. The older girls were invited to a birthday party to talk about some of their moral convictions. I don't feel God is calling me to have 19 children, but I sure do admire the way these guys are trying to do family. We may not all be called to families of the same size, but convictions like godliness, purity, and respect are attributes that all followers of Jesus are called to pursue.
I'll let them do 19 (and it may be more by now) and I'll work with 2 but we all need to seek to be fully surrendered to Christ in whatever we do. I'll watch the show more often provided I don't have any nightmares.
Thankful for the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Books by the Duggars
2. Boiled peanuts