Friday, May 8, 2009

Married With Children . . . Lots of Them!: What We Can Learn From the Duggar Family

This Sunday for Mother's Day, I will likely be referring to an article I wrote regarding the growing Duggar family. As many know, the Duggars have 18 kids and will probably have more. They have their own show and my wife watched it constantly in the weeks prior and after she gave birth to our own son, Elijah.

After their 16th child, an article was written in the San Francisco Gate regarding this family that shocked me. The author goes beyond journalist objectivity and attacks the family as a bunch of homophobes, bigots Christians in whose kids will grow up as mind-numbed robots just like their parents and will not receive the type of attention they need.

In response to the article, I wrote an article critiquing the argument from the SF Gate. I encourage you to read both articles and see what you think. The reason I bring this up is being that this Sunday is Mother's Day, I am reminded of the confusion our culture has regarding children, family, and marriage. The culture is left scratching its head when watching the Duggars and yet as Christians, we must give God the glory for a family willing to raise children, not to mention 18 of them!, to obey and follow our Savior.

As a culture, and even as Christians, we need to recover this understanding of children. They are not burdens, but blessings. Children are worth the investment (lack of better word) and time. There are two ways in which we are called to fulfill the Great Commission: evangelize and have children.

I encourage you to read the articles for yourself as I believe they will open your eyes to conversations taking place in the culture that are rather shocking. It is this sort of rhetoric and nonsense that rationalizes abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, divorce, cohabitation, the culture of death, and the many other issues we face today. Whenever we view children as a burden and marriage as just a certificate (rather than a covenant) is the moment our culture (including the Church) begins, and has begun, to decay before our very eyes.

Here are some excerts from the SF Gate article:

...this might be the most disquieting photo you see all year, this bizarreDuggar family of 18 spotless white hyperreligious interchangeable people with alarmingly bad hair, the kids ranging in ages from 1 to 17, worse than those nuked Smurfs in that UNICEF commercial and worse than all the horrific rubble in Pakistan and worse than the cluster-bomb nightmare that is Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise having a child as they suck the skin from each other's Scientological faces and even worse than that huge 13-foot python which ate that six-foot alligator and then exploded...

...if you study the above photo (or the even more disturbing family Web site) too closely you will become rashy and depressed and you will crave large quantities of alcohol and loud aggressive music to deflect the creeping feeling that this planet is devolving faster than you can suck the contents from a large bong?...

Perhaps the point is this: Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the Midwest? In other words -- assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the homophobic asexual Christian right -- where are the forces that shall help neutralize their effect on the culture? Where is the counterbalance, to offset the damage?

See why I am concerned?

McDanell - Married With Children...Lot's Of Them!

SF Gate - God Does Not Want 16 Kids: Arkansas mom gives birth to a whole freakin' baseball team. How deeply should you cringe?

Official Family Website -
The family have also written a book which I believe you can check out at our local library - 20 and Counting.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! -Psalm 127:3-5a

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