[Note: The point of this post is not about passing judgment on the Duggar family. The question is, does the lifestyle they endorse actually do what they say it will? Is it the perfect formula for a godly family? Or is what we’re seeing just a set of normal people striving within a very difficult way of living?
This post examines the Duggars’ own lives within the paradigm they themselves endorse. Given that we only see what our televisions allow us to-- does what we can see, reflect the image held up to us? And if it does not, how can we be sure about what we can‘t see?
No one expects the Duggars to be perfect. But that is not the question. The real question is: are they really showing us the best, most godly way to live-- or are we recipients of some level of what might be called “false advertising?” Please read "Duggar Bashing" for Vyckie's perspective on this Report Card..]
All of Bill Gothard’s 49 Character Qualities can be viewed online here.
Alertness vs. Unawareness
Being aware of that which is taking place around me so I can have the right response to it (Mark 14:38)
Parents Jim-Bob and Michelle often seem oblivious to all that’s going on around them! Not to mention their apparent total disregard for OSHA regulations in building their home, it’s been quite a few years [on TV at least] since a bike helmet has been spotted and the girls continue to run things like an saw for cutting tile in loose dresses with unsecured long hair. Negative marks to Josh for only showing alertness of greed on the birth of his daughter and opting to have his wife deliver at home instead of overriding her panic at a new doctor. Sorry, but that seems more like “oh no, we’ll lose ratings for not showing the birth!” than any real concern for Anna and the baby. Kuddos, though, to Josh and John David for being alert to a roadside accident victim and performing lifesaving assistance. A big improvement in alertness to little Josie since her near-death experience when first home.
Grade for the Family D+
Attentiveness vs. Unconcern
Showing the worth of a person by giving undivided attention to his words and emotions (Hebrews 2:1)
Jim-Bob and Michelle model this perfectly for their children. Michelle’s rapt gaze as Jim-Bob speaks encourages her husband and shows him that what he is saying matters to her. As is typical of younger people, Josh and Anna struggle with this one more—especially Joshua who is likely used to being the oldest and shouting the loudest. He has gotten better at this over his first year, almost two years, of marriage.
Cousin Amy struggles with this. Grandma has it down to a “t” and the four oldest girls are coming along fine.
GRADE for the family: B+
Availability vs. Self-centeredness
Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving (Philippians 2:20–21)
The Duggars teach their children “J.O.Y: Jesus First, Others Second, Yourself Last.” And, surprisingly, they do a decent job of this. We’ve seen the girls make middle-of-the-night breakfast for Dad on his way to the hospital with Mama, Grandma tirelessly manning the single washer and dryer in the Little Rock house, Grandma cleaning and watching kids whenever needed, John David helping at Josh’s car lot, John David and Joseph staying behind to continue working on the Bates’ home, the older girls helping at everything all the time, Josiah picking flowers for Grandma and the girls, kids making cards and banners, even Cousin Amy pitching in to help with the little kids. Michelle loses some points here for not seeming to respond much to her little children’s needs for love and affection. (This could be the editing of the show, but seems likely to be more than that).
Grade for the family: A-