Is Child Marriage Wrong if the Parents Consent?

I was struck by a recent facebook post by Michael Farris, in which he discussed whether the government should be allowed to set a minimum age for marriage.Text is as follows: A recent discussion on a friend's FB thread highlighted a very serious problem that I see surfacing in Christian and conservative circles.The issue under discussion was setting the proper minimum age for marriage. The question quickly led to the recitation of the emerging mantra "it should be no business of the … [Read more...]


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How Being an Older Sibling in a Big Duggar-Like Family Is Like Being a Polygamous Sister Wife

I was talking recently to a friend about inter-sibling relations in a large Duggar-like family. After listening, she said this: It sounds almost like sister wives or something. Wow. I had never thought of it that way before, but, yes.I grew up in a family very like the Duggars, except that we had half a dozen fewer children. We older children were expected to help raise the younger children. My parents followed the same parenting manuals as the Duggars, and those manuals advised placing … [Read more...]


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It Took This for People to Listen?

Last fall a petition was created calling on TLC to cancel 19 Kids and Counting after the Duggars deleted photos of gay and lesbian couples from their facebook page (they had called for happily married couples to post pictures of themselves, but apparently only meant heterosexual couples). At the time, I wrote a post I titled On the Duggars and the Locus of Outrage. My words then are still relevant today, in the wake of revelations that Josh Duggar sexually abused five girls in two families as a t … [Read more...]


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Anna Duggar and the Silencing Power of Forgiveness

I have been coming upon more and more truly excellent commentary in the aftermath of the revelation that Josh Duggar sexually molested five girls in two families as a teenager---and that his parents, their elders, and local law enforcement covered this up. There is Samantha's How Josh Duggar Is Getting Away with It, for example, and Kathryn Elizabeth's Josh Duggar Says He's Sorry. So What? I've seen defenders argue that we shouldn't be airing the family's private affairs publicly, and that this … [Read more...]


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When Marriage Looks Like the Only Escape

Over the weekend I spent time speaking with yet another young Christian homeschool graduate considering early marriage. We'll call her Jen. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard this story. Speaking with this Jen, I was reminded, once again, of my own youthful wedding, and the decisions I made at the time.Jen told me she felt if she got married, her parents would give her breathing room---and stop trying to sabotage her relationship with her boyfriend. The sad thing is, … [Read more...]


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The Cold, Unforgiving World of Geoffrey Botkin

By AhabOriginally posted on Republic of GileadSome time ago, after I reviewed the Botkins' "Ready for Real Life" webinar series, a reader pointed me to a 2013 sermon by Geoffrey Botkin. On September 29th, 2013, Botkin delivered a sermon at Christ the King Church in Centerville, Tennessee (where he serves as an elder) entitled "How Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals, Part III", available at Sermon Audio. Geoffrey Botkin is the head of the Western Conservatory of the Arts, a ministry that pr … [Read more...]


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What Courtship Was for Me

I grew up in a community where courtship was not only the ideal but also the only option considered godly. Dating was for worldly people who didn't care about things like purity, marriage, or family. And yet, I don't think my parents actually sat down beforehand and hashed out how they were going to handle things. When I was grown and entered the world of romantic relationships, they seemed to be flying by the seat of their pants---in other words, their approach changed over time.My own " … [Read more...]


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