Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage: Introduction

by Incongruous Circumspection

I will be quoting Bill Gothard’s material in this text style and my response will be in the normal text:Bill Gothard has published a manual on how a wife should meet her husband’s seven basic needs, as well as how a husband should meet his wife’s.  As you’ll see, the latter part, directed at the husband, is highly disingenuous because, according to Bill Gothard, a marriage relationship is skewed completely toward the man.  The wife is only a cheerleading, supposedly willing, party.As Bill is notorious for, he takes anything he can find in the Bible to support any point he dreams up, disregarding the context, the era, even the writer’s style, etc., and sandwiches it in with his unique, sleight-of-hand, wording to numb your mind into believing he knows what he is talking about.

The unsuspecting reader may look at Bill’s words as a sort of optional guidebook that might work for some and not others.  I will prove to you that this is not the case.  Bill makes it very clear that, if a woman does not follow his directions to the letter, she is a fool.  Worse yet, she is a horrible wife.

Finally, why are there not 8 basic needs?  Or 16.5 of them?  We’ll never know how Bill finds his “rhemas” as he calls them.  We can only look at what he gives us and blow his theories out of the water.  You will find that much of my commentary will be decidedly personal, but that’s just fine.  Why?  Because Bill makes the assumption that he is speaking for all men, and last I checked, I am a member of “all men”.Now, let’s begin with a look into Bill’s introduction to the Seven Basics Needs of a Husband and Wife.

Your spouse has many needs. Even if he or she is not consciously aware of all of these needs, when they are unmet, your spouse will exhibit sorrow, confusion, and frustration.

This is a setup.  It is a very effective tactic to come out at the beginning of any “new truth” and state that the receiver of that truth may not even be aware of the need for it.  By saying this, any person who wants to “debunk” the message, as I am doing, can be easily dismissed as ignorant, or even better, accused of willfully denying what is obvious truth – obvious because Bill Gothard says so.  Thus, if I say that I don’t need my wife to meet my basic needs, as laid out by Bill, the author would state that I am simply unaware of my basic needs and, more importantly, the correct process or person to have those needs met.Then Bill polishes off this introduction by proving to the reader that spousal sorrow, confusion, and frustration are symptoms of not following his formulas that will come later.  This isn’t new though.  All “how-to” manuals begin this way.  They sneakily position one or many common human emotions as being negative, and then hit you with the reason for that emotion – the reason being a common trait in society, as well.  Bill is a master at this.

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The Formula Problem: Why Duggarizing Your Marriage is Not Recommended

by Incongruous Circumspection

Baking is one of my favorite pastimes.  I make a killer banana bread.  I love baking cookies and many times, like Marie Barone, bake a cake just because.  I follow recipes very closely but always add vanilla even if it is not called for.  I can follow those recipes to the letter for one simple reason – I live 900 feet above sea level.

Those who live 2500 feet above sea level cannot enjoy the ease of baking I take for granted.  When a recipe calls for a certain amount of flour, they have to add a bit more of the liquid ingredients.  If baking powder is needed, the elevated baker must reduce the amount by as much as half.  Baking temperatures must be increased.  And it isn’t as easy as following specific directions for a perfect cake either.  In order to find the perfect balance of everything, copious testing and many failures must ensue.  But, just as the elevated baker is finding the correct balance, a thunderstorm hits and their angel food cake comes out of the oven in the shape of a discus.

Such is life in the baking world and such is the idea behind marriage.  What works for one couple will not necessarily work for another couple.

Everyone in the world is familiar with JimBob and Michelle Duggar.  They are all over television with their TLC program, as well as having been on numerous talk shows and the subject of many a news story.  They tow the line of an organization called Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) and their home schooling program Advanced Training Institute (ATI).

IBLP/ATI is run by a chronically unmarried man named Bill Gothard with a storied past, full of scandals.  This gentleman has propped himself up as an expert on marriage and everything to do with family life.  He is quite the guru with millions of direct and indirect adherents to his ideas.  Yes…ideas.  Bill Gothard has seven steps to this, fourteen steps to that, twelve steps to everything except alcoholism, three steps to whatever else.  The material he puts out is so formulaic, a follower of his has nothing to do but reference any of his hundreds of manuals for any question in life.

As was put forth in ATI material that Michelle Duggar handed out to women at a conference she was speaking at, the formula for marriage is very simple.  The wife must worship her husband at every turn in life.  She must stand behind him in all his decisions and respect his leadership.  She must look at him lovingly whenever he speaks and not interrupt.  She cannot argue with him or disagree unless she follows a formula to make a “godly” appeal.  All financial decisions are his.  All final decisions are his.  Her husbands vision must be her vision and absolute unquestioning trust and faith must be placed in the man she married.

This seems to work well for JimBob and Michelle Duggar.  JimBob appears to be an ambitious man and has started numerous businesses.  Currently, he is successful at real estate, not to mention the large amounts of money involved in any television show.  Trusting a man to make good decisions is very easy when that man works hard, efficiently, smart, and enough to more than enough money is rolling in.

The problem is that two people living together is never a cookie-cutter situation.  JimBob and Michelle Duggar, as well as all adherents of IBLP/ATI practices, have a favorite line that you will hear whenever they give public interviews or are backed into a corner, defending their ancient and outdated belief system.

“This is simply our conviction.”

No it isn’t.  If you dig into the reality of IBLP/ATI/Duggar, you will see what they portray as their conviction is really much more.  They posit that, due to their convictions, they have been blessed by God.  The obvious conclusion is that if others do not have the same convictions, then God is obligated not to bless them.  Thus, the “simply our conviction” line is really a translucent lie.

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The 14 Basic Needs of Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar

 

by Hopewell

Recently  on “19 Kids and Counting,” Michelle Duggar was seen giving women a handout on the “7 Basic Needs of a Husband,” a document produced and distributed by the Advanced Training Institute –the Duggar’s “homeschool group.” She also gave out the group’s “Character Qualities” chart, which I discussed in an earlier post, The 49 Character Qualities of the Duggars.

The 14 Basic Needs of Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar: How they meet each other’s 7 Basic Needs:

7 Basic Needs of a Husband:

  • A man needs a wife who is loyal and supportive: Obviously, Jim-Bob picked the right wife! Michelle has been there with him, supportive to the max, thru years of small businesses, scrimping and buying used and saving the difference to achieve his (well, their) dream for their family. She’s put up with a two bedroom house on a car lot keeping 4 or 5 small children quiet while Daddy made a car sale. She’s sold cars herself with babies underfoot, gone out to tow cars on her own and kept all the family fed, clothed and healthy throughout it all. That was the early years.

Today Michelle is beside Jim-Bob at every possible moment—even on the Santorum Campaign trail when possible. While she has Grandma Duggar and the big girls to take up much of the day-to-day running of the family, caring for Jim-Bob is her responsibility and she obviously takes it seriously. Her rapt attention when he is speaking shows her love for him.

  • A man needs a wife who honors his leadership: Michelle honors her husband by taking any opportunity to praise him as a father, speaking lovingly of love of family fun, of making a careful response to problems and of modeling the behavior he wants to see in his children. She openly admires his vision for the family and his business acumen. When he is speaking she is completely focused on him.
  • A man needs a wife who develops inward and outward beauty Michelle has kept herself in very good shape considering all the years of pregnancy she’s endured. She honors her husband’s preference for long hair at an age when most wives have long since cut theirs for convenience. She maintains her composure in difficult situations and tries always to speak in a loving voice. She laughs easily and her smile at that time is lovely. She is a very outgoing lady.
  • A man needs a wife who will make appeals, not demands.  While we cannot know what goes on when the cameras are off, it does not appear that Michelle is a very demanding of her husband.  She does not complain about him dragging home an antique harp or buying a new bus—she’s used to his whims and trusts his business sense. She knows him well and lives easily and happily with him.

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Carefully Scripted Lives – The Real Reality of the Duggar Family "Blessings"

by Libby Anne

I can’t say how often I’ve heard ordinary Americans defend Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their popular TLC television show, 19 Kids and Counting. “I wouldn’t choose to have nineteen kids,” they say, “but if they can manage it, who am I to question their choice?” “The kids look happy and healthy,” they say, “look how polite and well mannered they are.” I hear these comments and I just have to sigh.

First of all, I want to pout out that I would have concerns about the Duggars even if they were your ordinary family plus seventeen extra children. For one thing, there is no way any two parents can give nineteen children the individual attention and time they need. It’s just not feasibly possible. The Duggars like to say that “love multiplies,” but the thing is, time doesn’t. And then, of course, there is the population issue.

But it’s not these things I’m going to discuss here. The fact is, the Duggars aren’t just your ordinary family plus seventeen extra children. There is a great deal of editing that goes into making TV, and one thing that gets edited out are the Duggars’ religious beliefs and their beliefs about child rearing. There is much, much more going on here than you see on TV.

I know this because I grew up in a family very much like the Duggars. We had a third fewer kids and we didn’t have a TV show, but otherwise it was about the same. Our beliefs were nearly identical to theirs, as was our way of living. When I look at the older Duggar girls, I see myself. I was them. With that in mind, I’m going to take a moment to outline nine specific concerns I have about the Duggars.

1. Isolation and Indoctrination

The Duggar childern are homeschooled in part in order to shelter them from bad influences, i.e. from other kids and teachers who hold different beliefs or live different sorts of lives. The Duggar kids don’t have friends who aren’t pre-approved by their parents. In fact, the Duggar kids aren’t even involved in church activities – their family participates in a “home church” where they and several other like-minded families get together on Sunday mornings and worship together.

Furthermore, even the older Duggar children are not allowed to go anywhere without having an “accountability partner,” i.e. another sibling, to keep tabs on them. When one of the older boys volunteered at the local fire department, one of his sisters always went with him to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn’t get in trouble.

Another reason the Duggar children are homeschooled is in order to teach them “God’s truth.” This means that they use religious textbooks, creationist science curriculum, etc. I understand that we have this thing called “freedom of religion” in our country, but I also believe that children have a right to an education, and teaching children one side of everything becomes indoctrination rather than education.

Not surprisingly, the Duggars’ computers have internet access limited to about seventy “approved” websites. To get unlimited internet access, the children – even the older ones – have to get a password from their mother and then have another sibling sitting by them watching the screen as they surf the web to make sure they stay out of trouble. The main reason for this is likely to keep the children from viewing internet pornography, but it also helps ensure that they don’t get subversive information or other viewpoints.

2. Children raising children

If you think Michelle is the one raising all of those kids, think again. Those older daughters, some of them already adults, are the ones who are actually doing the majority of the cooking, cleaning, and childcare. They are, in effect, raising their younger siblings.

Now I’m not saying Michelle sits back and watches soap operas while the kids work, but rather that with that many children there is simply too much for her to do on her own. She doesn’t have the time or energy to raise her children without her older daughters’ help. And fortunately, because the Duggars homeschool, those older daughters are available to help 24/7.

The Duggars have this thing called the “buddy system.” When each new child is born, that child is assigned to one of the older children. In this way, the older children are responsible for dressing, feeding, and even educating the younger children. Michelle hadthis to say about the buddy system:

This house would not work if we didn’t have the buddy system. The older children mentor the younger ones. They help them with their little phonics lessons and games during the day, help them practice their music lessons. They will play with them or help them pick out the color of their outfit that they want to wear that day, and just all of those types of things.

I’m all for siblings helping each other and playing together, but this goes way further than this. This is siblings raising each other. And as we’ll see, this means a lot of sacrifice for the older siblings doing the raising. [Read more...]

Atlantic Wire:’19 Kids and Counting’ Gets Stranger, Sadder

General public not impressed by Duggar family “witness”

by Vyckie Garrison
During my Quiverfull days, I honestly believed that Michelle Duggar’s TLC show – which began as “14 Children and Pregnant Again!” and is currently titled, “19 Kids & Counting” – was an awesome witness to “the world.” I was in awe of the Duggar family, and it thrilled me that such a wholesome, godly family was given a national stage on which to exemplify for America what a truly biblical family looks like.

I’m sure every detail of the Duggars’ television show, numerous talk show interviews and guest appearances at political rallies is calculated to paint their “traditional family” and their “pro-life values” in the best possible light. However, as a former Quiverfull believer-turned-outsider-looking-in, it now seems plain that non-fundamentalist Americans are not particularly impressed by this mega-family, nor is the general public overwhelmed with the conviction that all families ought to live similarly.

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