Ben Seewald’s father’s essay on marrying young may offend the Duggars

Ben Seewald - Jessa Duggar Courtship

For the better part of the past year, one of the biggest questions directed toward the Duggars on their social media accounts is when Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald will get engaged. The 19 Kids and Counting stars haven’t addressed the question, but one person close to the situation is finally speaking out about the topic: Ben’s dad, Michael Seewald, penned a lengthy blog post about why conservative Christians should strive to marry young.

“I, for one, don’t agree that putting off marriage is biblical or healthy,” said Michael, adding he believes delaying marriage until late 20s is becoming “an epidemic in conservative, Christian circles.”

Using scripture to support his argument, Michael said “those who have sexual desire” should marry rather than have a long courtship. He explained, “We have a situation in our society that lends itself to frustration and sexual immorality in young people. Three forces have ganged up on them and are making their lives difficult: The ever earlier age of puberty which prolongs the time they struggle with unfulfilled sexual desire. Another is a society which promotes extended childhood and irresponsibility. A third factor is parents advising their children against the pursuit of marriage until later.”

Ben Seewald's Parents - Michael and Guinn Seewald
Ben Seewald’s parents, Guinn and Michael Seewald. They married in their late teens.

Michael, who describes himself as a “blue-collar guy” who works 60 hours per week to support his family of nine, has appeared on 19 Kids and Counting and seems fully supportive of his 19-year-old son’s relationship with 21-year-old Jessa. However, his blog post indicates he has different opinions than the Duggars. Specifically, he seems to think Jim Bob Duggar should cut Ben some slack…

“Many fathers, overzealous in protecting their daughters, have made the process so difficult and foreboding,” Michael said. “Give some room for healthy relationships between young men and women. Dads, a twenty year old young man is not going to be as wise or mature as you are at forty five. Cut them a little slack. Some parents feel that a heartbreak is the end of the world for their children, and tend to be overprotective.”

Ben Seewald and Jim Bob Duggar - 19 Kids and Counting

Michael further opposed the Duggars’ idea that someone who is “giving a little piece of their heart” to someone else — a phrase the Duggars have used many times — will have less of their heart to give to another person if that first relationship doesn’t pan out: “While there is evidence that this is true in a sexual relationship it is absurd to think it is true of mere romantic feelings. There is no basis for this in Scripture. Parents can guilt their children to death over these feelings which are unavoidable.”

Michael concluded that neglecting the pursuit of marriage as a young adult only leads to “inordinate temptation and unhealthy singleness, being unhappily alone, or worse, becoming sexually immoral.”

Ben and Jessa’s relationship will further unfold on the upcoming season of 19 Kids and Counting, which returns to TLC on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 9/8c.


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  • ME

    They’re all religious quacks disguised in bright smiles.

  • Glowbug

    Marriage should not be entered into lightly—a young person experiencing some heartbreak over a romance—not the end of the world—
    –there is nothing wrong with an adult getting a college education, establishing a career or exploring a career goal, having some money in the bank and even home ownership before marrying—

    Also, being a single adult is just fine—-some people do not feel ready to marry anyone until late 20’s & 30’s–
    —as far as having big families—some women are not able to conceive at all or are fertility challenged as a woman & a man—I know more women having trouble conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy than people who do not want a child———

    • Erica

      I wonder what the Duggars would do if they found out that one of their children couldn’t conceive especially after the pressure they put on them to get married and have large families!

      • nator8

        Odds are, they will.

      • Guest20

        They would believe that it is the hands of God and probably encourage them to adopt if they want children. They have said from the beginning that they leave it up toGod whoch is why they dont take birth control.

        • Erica

          They had said before that they were going to adopt but it was just for show because the religion that they are they don’t believe in it but maybe in those circumstances they may be for adopting and i hope they would because so many kids need homes and as crazy as these people seem to be sometimes they did raise good wholesome children

          • Guest20

            I dont know where you get the idea they dont believe in it. The parents and kids have all talked about adoption and im sure we will see adoptions im the years to come. I dont believe the Duggars would lie for the show. Others may think otherwise but i can tell their bliefs and morals are real to them. They arent hypocrites.

            • ksharp7

              I don’t have the idea they don’t believe in it. I have the idea that the duggar parents wouldn’t qualify. And there are not the excessive number of children just waiting around for parents some seem to think exist. They don’t have to adopt to be considered prolife. Abortion is a sad solution to pregnancy, adoption is a solution to parenthood.

            • petiethecat

              Go look up Gothard. Pretty clear they do not believe in adoption.

              • Lily Mathers

                You might need to clarify what “Gothard” means :) Anyone who doesn’t know who Bill Gothard is, so just typing his last name coud confusing. Bill Gothard is a cruddy guy who never got married or had kids, yet for some reason decided he should teach parents how to raise their kids. And yes, he had a LOT of horrible teachings that were not from God and have harmed hundreds of thousands of people. He lost his ministry after – sickeningly – for his inappropriate behavior with young women. I was never told (yep, been there, was hurt deeply by it, and thankfully got away) what he believed about adoption – so let’s be sure of things before stating them as facts. Like we would want others to behave toward us.

            • R J Bogart

              Ha ha ha. Not hypocrites you said. Still think so?

            • Carol Smith

              Reallly??????

          • ksharp7

            I’d hate for them to adopt just so they can get their family to a magical number. There are not scores of children. There are actually more couples wanting children than are available and that is a good thing. We have solved many problems and made it possible to actually raise the child you gave birth to. We don’t know what they will do until it happens. There are usually rules about the number of children in the home, age and income. Countries expect things as well. China would expect you would send them to college. I don’t know how many birth parents would place knowing higher ed means some online classes and that they don’t want their daughters to work outside helping the husbands job.

          • karan

            give it time the trouble is coming.. there is no way, if they all have children, something is’nt gonna go wrong. I hope the best, but odds are!! What in the world would they do if one turns out gay. Dear Lord.

            • Lily Mathers

              “Turns out gay”? O for frick’s sake, they would love that child. You are just a pot stirrer asking a question like that. :(

          • balletlady

            I believe I read the Anna Keller Duggar’s parents “shunned” one of their daughters for adopting…she could NOT conceive immediately…so they adopted.

            • Lily Mathers

              “I believe I read”… what? Where? This is how internet rumors get started. This is why Snopes is so popular. If you can’t 1) remember if you actually read this and 2) where did you read this? Do we just trust a stranger on the internet?

              No!

              • balletlady

                Wish I could remember where I read it….but you can easily google it. As per t.their CULT doctrine it ss NO BIRTH CONTROL….one is to have “their own children”…..I would think the child has been accepted without question at this stage. Jessa and BenBoy spoke of adopting so it make sense to read in part.
                Ben’s father was the one who also made the rant after the molestation of the girls came to light, he said something about Josh being a false Christian….which seemed to upset Jm Bobhave yet to hear Pa & Ma Seewald’s reaction to BenBoy’s baby #2…..still working for Jim Bob, even with his 2 yr Associate’s Degree
                MUST work for Papa…can’t have “outsiders” know what’s going on behind he doors of the Duggarville Tin Mansion.

      • Rae Ann Carter Fritsche

        The chance of having fertility is significantly lower when the married couple starts out as virgins. Multiple sex partners increases your chance of infertility

        • Carol Smith

          HUH????????

        • Lily Mathers

          AND AGAIN!! That is serious baloney. Rae Ann Carter etc, you can’t just make stuff up, back it up with no sources, and treat it as gospel. I hope people will come back and comment – show me your proof (I have a bad feeling someone told YOU this so you wouldn’t have sex before marriage)

      • Rita

        Erin bates is going through this as 1 of 19 in a quiver full family

      • Carrie Cruz

        I wonder what they would do if one of the girls wore pants? Omg !

        • Lily Mathers

          Pants are way more modest in many situations. I am horrified that Voldemort Duggar was in a house with sisters … this makes me sick, but I talked with my own om about this. If there is a molester around, you want your daughters in pants.

      • Lily Mathers

        It is horrible to not be able to have babies. I speak from personal experience. But marriage and babies is not every person’s path – and for those of us who believe that God loves us and has a plan for our lives, we pray and study find a different path than the one we hoped for (Look at the life of the Apostle Paul. No wife or kids, so he was able to do so many things he couldn’t have with a family to care for :)
        I imagine you think this is a “GOTCHA” question, but the answer seems clear to me. Hold onto your hat for the shocking answer…. they would be sad with the adult child who couldn’t have kids and the would keep loving them. Its not a defect, and again, this is not the path that God has chosen for all of our lives. There is another church, actually a cult, that teaches you have to have a mess of kids to get to heaven (well, your own planet), but the Duggars aren’t of that faith. I am a pretty harsh critic of a LOT that goes on in that “quiverfull movement” and the Duggars drive me nuts on occasion, but I will also always stand up & tell the truth too. I mean, were you thinking they would cut off ties to that adult child?? NO WAY! And hello, we all know that literally millions of children in this world are orphans who need homes.

        The short answer version is this. The Duggars would do… EXACTLY WHAT ANY PARENTS WOULD DO if their adult child was heartbroken over not being able to have kids.

    • Wtf

      But there is also nothing wrong in marrying when you are young. I think in your teens in too early, but if you are in a committed relationship in your early-mid 20’s and want to get married, your age shouldn’t stop you. My husband is still finishing up school, and we live in an apartment, but we’re doing just fine. I honestly find it really annoying when people say you need to establish yourself as an adult first before marriage. I could care less about establishing a career, already having a house or anything like that – I love being young and married and figuring everything out together!

      • Glowbug

        I married when my husband was finishing up his bachelor’s degree and we lived in a tiny apartment and I worked full-time–but I did not get a chance to complete a bachelor’s degree—(I did graduate with an associates degree – community college)
        but we delayed starting a family until five years later— today—its much more expensive to even have a small apartment let alone a house—that is why waiting and having some money saved–at least–is probably a good idea—everyone is different —-that is just my thoughts

        • Lily Mathers

          It is so cute how people disagree all day with the Duggars UNTIL they do something that YOU also do. Sheesh.

      • Sage

        I think it’s wonderful you found your husband young! I think as long as you know who you are and he knows who he is, and you know you both approach life in a similar way, with similar values and ways of handling difficulties then it can be a huge blessing to marry young! But sadly, most people change a LOT in their 20’s and are just figuring out who they are, what they want, and how they will approach life. Sometimes that changes the equation drastically. I knew who I was, in my twenties, and at 23 I married a man who later changed so much I couldn’t eve recognize him anymore. I married a homebody and 7 years later he was out clubbing several nights a week, unable to hold down a job, taking drugs, going out of town refusing to take me along and I found out later taking other women instead. He was nothing like the man I married, because when I married him, he didn’t know who he really was. Our marriage eventually ended and I feel like the life I dreamed of is gone forever. I see plenty of young marriages work out beautifully (my own parents married at 19 and are happy and still in love!) but you have to be REALLY sure of who you are, who they are, and that this is the person God chose for you. Loving someone isn’t the same as finding your soulmate, and as I discovered, love really isn’t enough.

      • Lily Mathers

        Awesome for you. I hope that stays great and positive :) But if you enter marriage saddled with debt that can be HUGE problem and is one of the leading causes of divorce. You can be “annoyed” all day but it doesn’t mean that is the greatest choice to make. I am not sure what you mean specifically about being established as an adult, but it sure helps! You have to be a certain age to do things like buy a house (unless you have parents who are still helping).
        But, getting back to the point – Seewald Sr is all freaked out that people will have no choice but to have sex before marriage. Give us a break, Ben’s Dad! Human beings don’t run around telling people they MUST marry young or they will oops, accidentally fall on someone and just start making out with them. 😀

        • balletlady

          Michelle once said something to the effect on Purity that to have sexual contact is like a “cup that has been passed around and everyone spits in it &then the last person has to drink from the cup”…

    • Merp

      My parents married when they were almost 30 – both already had Master’s degrees, careers, and a house, and this last year they declared bankruptcy. Age has nothing to do with anything.

      • Glowbug

        Are your parents happily married even though bankrupt? What does that have to do with marrying at 30?

      • Carol Smith

        What does bankruptcy have to do with age?

        • Lily Mathers

          People went waaaaay off-topic. Ack.

  • Murphy

    How about men just stop making the world revolve around their junk.

    • Mike Rotch

      because without our junk you wouldn’t have a world to complain in.

      • Murphy

        all we need is the seed bro. Everything else we can do on our own and better than you.

        • Mike Rotch

          That’s my point- No seed, no weed.

          • Murphy

            That’s some pretty desperate rhyming right there. JimBob would be so proud.

            • Sophie Bashaw

              Stop being such a butt hurt women and be nice to men?

              • Lily Mathers

                I don’t think you quite grasp the meaning of “butthurt”. And you lost me with using “women” when addressing one womAn.
                I guess you could say, IF women were here acting like they were super offended University students who needed therapy dogs, coloring books, hugs, hot cocoa, and to be excused from their mid-term exams, then ok, you can say “butt hurt”, even though it is a stupid as hell phrase/word/whatever. WHO is being mean to grown men here, exactly?

                I would LOVE to make all of you go read Teen Groom Ben Seewald’s father’s Blog. That guy is mad as pants! Ca-ray-zee! Some of us are busy working to help the homeless, the hungry… the real hard things in life and didn’t get married in their 20s. Or have sex before marriage. Ben’s father is confused about a lot, but why does he think people can’t control their urges?

          • Lily Mathers

            Ohhh! You’re STONED! Now I get it, you aren’t making a ton of sense since you were smoking pot. Which you seem 0% ashamed of.

    • Lily Mathers

      That made me laugh out LOUD! Oh my stars that was funny.

  • penny

    Woah Jim Slob is packin on the weight.

    • Guest20

      Jim slob? Really? Name calling? How old are you?

  • Emily

    Oh geez, I can’t stand the Duggars. No one cared about them when they had ’80s hair, and covered every inch of their body in denim skirts & button downs. Now they’re “hip” or something? lol They’re like a cult, honestly – “Side hugs” They aren’t allowed to dance… wtf? Are the girls allowed to have their periods and wear bras? Damn.

    • Guest20

      You shouldn’t be so critical with people that have different lifestyles than you.

      • Torako

        i’m not the OP, but tell you what… i’ll stop being critical of them when they stop trying to take away my rights. sound fair?

        • Guest20

          Sounds like u want to take away their rights to live their life ad THEY choose

          • ginmi

            I’ll stop being critical when they stop pimping out their family on TV.

            • Guest20

              Whyy do you care?

              • FED-UP

                PEOPLE BETTER START CARING! these duggars and bates and seewalds are all religious cults,the duggars are now rich another (jim and tammy faye bakker) using their religion to get rich! THE DUGGARS are looked up to by nieve couples who see only what the duggars and tlc tv wants them to see,it all looks so PURE! These couples want to follow the duggars,what happens to all the many children when the families grow and can’t support them all,starvation,beatings,murders,TAX PAYERS paying money to help support them,where will it all end,not a good placethat will be for sure!

  • nator8

    Wow, should I ever be more grateful for my immoral unjust family. At least they let me grow up and learn the road for myself. I am the happiest I have ever been, and PS…..I had premarital sex. About 10 years worth of it!!!!! lol.

    • Guest20

      You choose your path, they choose theirs. Each person will be accountable to,God,for their actions.

      • Torako

        why does god need so many commas?

        • Guest20

          Typo from typing on ipad and hitting the , instead of space bar

      • ksharp7

        They were born into this. Had no education beyond what their parents allowed into the house. Sit in on any social media. Require them to tag along with each other. A few are adults. We don’t know if they chose it.

        • Guest20

          Adults always have thme freedon the leave. They arent being held at gun point. Maybe, just maybe, they have chisen this lifestyle too and by what it looks like, they have.

          • ksharp7

            Do you know the parents even preview the show before letting them watch. How do we know they know they can leave at 18? There is no teacher, no tv, no internet, no person outside their lifestyle that would ever be able to tell them. I think it’s fine their family is large, fine they homeschool the minor children, fine they wait until marriage. It’s the relationship with their adult children that gives me concern. The one like minded place they send their children to briefly is not only unaccredited and filled with the same mindset and sheltering practice that leader has been accused of inappropriate behavior by several women. They think not letting them go to community, state or bible college will protect them, and they were wrong. Yet they still fear the outside world.

            • Guest20

              Their leader? They use Bill Gothard material, he isn’t their leader. Their faith is not on man but on a Jesus Christ. From Pesident of the U.S. to spiritual leaders, we will be let down.
              You make the kids seem like a bunch of uneducated hillbillies who wouldn’t know how to leave. You really need to worry more about your own life and not theirs.

              • ksharp7

                They are not uneducated. They are sheltered. They are allowed to know what their parents decide, even in adulthood until they are married. They are allowed at Gothard seminars and training facilities. The world knows 18 is the age of adult freedoms, but I don’t know if they know. And none of the girls have the means to leave without a man to take her away from all of it. None have left. That is the point. The point that all their sheltering doesn’t guarantee safety.

                • Guest20

                  So what? Many parents shelter their kids. I did. As adults they CAN leave unless they decide to follow the faith of their parents. No one is holding a gun to their heads. They are smart kids and could leave if they really wanted. Most kids though, if raised in a happy, healthy home, will choose the same lifestyle.
                  We have freedom in America and fortunately people have a right to raise their kids as they think is best. They love their children and I’m sure have their best interests in mind. It’s not how you would raise your kids and that’s fine. You get to raise your kids the way you choose. They deserve the same.

                  • ksharp7

                    It’s not how they raise their kids, it’s how they raise their adults that I find excessive. The adults aren’t kids.

                    • Guest20

                      But they are ADULTS, with two feet that could walk away if they choose to.

                  • FED-UP

                    yous missing the point! no good education,nobelief that a women can have a career,only belief is to make babies with the husband,and no money to leave as daddy controls all the money,all cars are in daddys name,except to the older boys,also a couple of families in ARKANSAS are having their children taken away,for giving MMS which is BLEACH ,to the kids,people like the duggars are using this as they beieve that it can cure things ,as they do not believe in science and doctors,they are giving small children enemas to cleans them of autisma,this is child abuse,most likely the ambulance took josie ,she had been given this MMS.

              • FED-UP

                yes he is their leader,all the text books they use are what he wrote,he has his own publishing company,who do you think annas sisters husband works for? Who ever you are GUEST,you are either a family member or a cult /church member,but either way,we all as AMERICANS have worked to long and hard to let these so called christians take away our rights as women!

        • Guest20

          You don’t know that theyDONT choose it. So maybe you shouldn’t make such NEGATIVE assumptions about people.

          • FED-UP

            why they make negative remarks about gays and transgenders,they only do this as a way for more publicity! gays and transgender people have been her since the beginning if time,and the proof is coming out that the bible is all lies,it is only a matter of time ,that it will be proven ,that all the re-writes of the bible have been tampered with.they have actually found scriptures that suggest jesus laid naked with male followers while traveling around.

  • fergiemeetsjesus

    “While there is evidence that this is true in a sexual relationship it is absurd to think it is true of mere romantic feelings. There is no basis for this in Scripture. Parents can guilt their children to death over these feelings which are unavoidable.”

    AMEN! finally someone says it.

    • Guest20

      No one chastises the kid for romantic feelings. They tell them it is totally normal and romance is good. They just believe In saving the physical aspect of the relationship till marriage.

      • Torako

        have you… actually watched the show? that is what they do, guest20.

        • Guest20

          Thay have never once chastised the kids for having romantic feelings. Ive watched every show.

          • ksharp7

            You watched them sit next to them for every text, skype and visit. They micromanage their older kids and contract out the younger ones. They somehow think once married you no longer need self control in public. That you can finally go to the store by yourself.

  • Jess

    I know starcasm did an article on what would happen if Ben and Jessa’s courtship fails but what will happen if Jill and Derrick or Josh and Anna’s marriages fail aka ended up in divorce, basically Jill and Josh are in the real world, so then might have different views since finally leaving the dugger compound, and I am speculating that Josh now uses birth control since his wife has not popped out a kid in two years. It also amazes me that these to are not engage they have been courting for over a year now, that is way to long for any couple to go with out sex

    • anjealka

      As much as I would love to hear Anna was on birth control(or that she had a choice), Marcus just turned 1 and rumors are swirling she is pregnant again. Anna has said many times she is committed to at least 6 kids(a full quiver).
      Only reason Ben & Jessa aren’t married is Ben doesn’t have a job, skill, or degree. Jill and Josh got the fast track to marriage because Josh had his car lot and house(with help from his family) and Derick had a degree and job. What does Ben have, a good selfie

      • FED-UP

        ANNA is on her 4th child and it is feb.2015,ben and jessa are married and no job,and no kid,they were married nov.1st,he still works for jim bob as his boob! and as for the car lot it was rented land and building,he sold out the cars when he go his job at the hate group in politics,in DC

    • guest

      an entire year without making out. yeah right. lol

      • FED-UP

        well if it is true,then that explains why they didn’t share their first kiss in front of everybody,they ran to a room in the church to come together as husband and wife,and her sister and another female friend walked in on them,she went and told jim bob,he in turn took the producer aside to get them to edit it to make it look like him and michelle knew they were going to run out without kissing in front of every one!

    • Guest20

      They would probably feel like most parents would if their kids got a divorce…saddened. They would encourage then (I’m assuming)’to go to marriage counseling. It wouldn’t change their beliefs one iota.

  • anjealka

    I don’t usually side with Jim Bob but shouldn’t he protect his daughter? Ben is barley 19 with a GED, not in college currently, has tried a few jobs and hasn’t stuck with one so I would not want my daughter marrying someone either if they did not have stability or specific college goals. It is fine to get married if you are in college finishing a marketable degree or have been working for a few years at a job with advancement possibilities but Ben is doing neither.

    • guest

      i agree. shes 21 he is a teenager. i just remember at 21 as a female i was significantly more mature than a male 21 year old so i could only imagine a 19 year old boy. i am guessing he thinks her parents will financially support them.

      • anjealka

        My feeling is Jim Bob is going to help Ben become a Pastor. The Duggars home church is growing very large & Ben has been preaching during services(and way too much online). I wonder if Jim Bob promises each daughter a house? Jill got one so will Jessa too?

        • Guest20

          The girls are making their own money from their book.

          • anjealka

            Nothing would make me happier then to hear that the girls got to spilt the book money 4 ways(or maybe 5 ways since David Waller, Anna’s sister’s Priscillia’s husband was the won who actually wrote the book) and have been paid separately since they were 18 by TLC/media. There has been no word either way, but Jim Bob has said since the boys, referring to Josh, John, Joe all have their own income they can buy their own cars, clothes, personal items but since his daughters don’t he buys each one a car at 18 and they have a debit card for essential shopping.

          • holyscroller

            As a book publisher, I can assure you they are not going to make even a small fortune on one book. With as many ways as the income from the book has to be split, each one will get very little.

            • Guest20

              They will probably make much more from the show, magazine articles and appearances.mmi dont think money will be an issue for them.

            • FED-UP

              they have all their duggar trinkets they sell,hats,tshirts,cups ,books,dvds,etc.

              • Lily Mathers

                Yeah never seen any of that.

            • Lily Mathers

              Oh really? You are a publisher where? Amazon or self-pub doesn’t count.

        • ksharp7

          Is it in her name? Was daddy involved.

          • anjealka

            It was a house that Jim Bob bought a few years ago. Some blogs have shown the records and it appears up until recently it is still under Jim Bobs name. John David also owns a property on the same street. It is maybe 20-30 minutes from her dad’s house. It is a beautiful home, from the previews IMO nicer then the Duggars house, nice flooring,fireplces, lots of nice woodwork, brand new upper end kitchen on 20+ acres.

            • ksharp7

              Then maybe they are renting or living there for free. That isn’t giving a house to anyone. Yep Ben preaching has got to stop until he has proper seminary education and some work studying other faiths. Duggar are self churched. Look like they are starting their own. What Ben said must be supported by the duggars as they have not made a statement. I do wonder if the girls would even know they could leave, should the book money go to them and actually be enough? They are homeschooled, the websites are approved on by the parents and every date or retreat is either chaperoned or also teaching the notion a girl must remain at home until marriage. There philosophy makes no sense. A person who lost a spouse isn’t somehow soiled and doesn’t have an incomplete heart for the next spouse. Even the Amish let a couple sit on the porch alone with the family going about work in house and on property. Other conservative faiths who have segregation between the sexes have commented on mom sitting between the two of them in a car as being excessive. It is perfectly ordinary for a man and woman not to live at home, date with no other people around and refrain from marital relations before marriage. Even college age students. The LDS are prime examples of this. Yet they leave home, go to college, date without mom and dad or other couples and marry before leaving college all without going too far morally speaking.

            • Guest20

              All the evil in the world and this is who you decide to demonize? Leave this poor family alone. There is already enough hatred and lies spread about them. So many negative assumptions that you just add too.

              • Lily Mathers

                Arrgh. If you only knew back then what you hopefully know now.
                Speaking of hopefully, I hope we never see the Cheating Jerk again.

            • Lily Mathers

              If I had a bunch of houses that were investments, why not let my kids live there for a while? There is so much else going on, this feels like majoring on the minors.

        • Lily Mathers

          Jessa and Ben live in the Grandmother’s former house. Jill and Derek lived in a humongous house, I don’t know what happened when they moved off to “scaryville” to do … I don’t know exactly what they do down there. Insult the natives, that is all i have heard so far.

      • Lily Mathers

        I didn’t know Ben had a GED!! I always find it odd that he and Jessa are decked out in U of Arkansas gear when neither of them went to College or Uni. Jessa and all Duggars aren’t ALLOWED to even go to a Christian school! None of them were. Not even the University where Jinger got married! That was a Chapel in John Brown University, and I know some quality young people who go there and are still good people. That is one of the things I find sad here – not even going to University :( That is a great time to go from parents’ home to Real Grown-Up World. No clue why a teenager with no job was allowed to marry Jessa. What the heck do they do for money? Yikes.

    • TA

      Ben is in college and has a job with his family business during the summer. it’s been stated on the show several times.

      • anjealka

        The show you are referring to was taped last fall. The new season starts in a few weeks and the preview is out. Ben left college after 1 semester and left his job as well and moved 3 hours from his family to be closer to Jessa. Since moving he has not been in college or employed, he is traveling with the Duggars for political rallies and speaking tours and went on the mission trip. It seems like Jessa and Ben will get married so I do hope he what he loves to do and gets an education or builds that career. At 19 it must be a big weight on any guys shoulders to think about being the sole supporter of a large family.

        • holyscroller

          I’m surprised that Jim-Bob approved of this relationship. In the past he has repeatedly asked about how potential suitors are going to support his daughters. Ben may be a nice guy, but not very good “husband-material”. He QUIT college and QUIT his job. He can’t be a preacher unless he gets an education, and even then, starting preachers start at the bottom and don’t earn much. I’d say if Ben quits something one more time, it’s three strikes and he’s out. Jessa would be better off dumping him now than
          finding herself married to a lazy guy who can’t or won’t support her and the brood.

          • Addie2U

            Something about Ben is just off. Jim-Bob needs to put the brakes on this marriage PRONTO.

          • FED-UP

            OF COURSE! jim bob wants control,so put the kid working for him,cleaning toilets,make him give up college,does not want him educated,he is most definately paying their bills at grandmas houseoh,and jills husband works at WAL-MART.

      • FED-UP

        he quit his job and college to move closer to jessa so his urge could get stronger and move along to marriage faster,he was not stable to marry her,jim bob was in a hurry to get weddings going so he could keep his tv show, luckily jill got prego right away,as did anna with their 4th child,because it looks like either ben is a dud ,or jessa is infertile.

    • alwr

      Jessa is 21 years old. So, no, Jim Bob should not “protect” her. She is an adult who should have a right to freely make her own choices about her life and relationships.

      • anjealka

        I agree and would love to see Jessa or any of the kids at least go off to a Christian college or live on their own. Jessa is going to be 22 soon & it makes me sad she never took a trip with friends or worked at a mall or took a college class. I do think most fathers want to make sure their daughter whether they are 20 or 40 are marrying a man that will treat them right and take care of them.

        • Guest20

          It’s their culture and how they live.,,the girls,are old enough to leave if they want but have chosen to follow in their parents faith.

          • ksharp7

            How can they leave? They don’t have a place they can work, unless they are working with a sibling as accountability partner and in fields that may help them be a missionary like midwifery. The only reason jill was able to train, and most was done online, was because her sister did the doula stuff at the same office. After marriage they may help their husbands job. They are no where near a typical minimum wage job even, and they wouldn’t be allowed to wear the uniform and work a shift absent a sib. Even volunteering required a sister for John David. You need money to leave.

            • Guest20

              They have the money from their book. If they wanted to leave they could.

              • ksharp7

                Do they? I won’t believe any of them can leave before marriage, or attend a physical real world college without a sibling attached until one of them does. As least we know Amish kids can leave. They don’t even trust the military for their sons or daughters. The boys do some short term wannabe bible rescue that has yet to be accredited and who knows who gets a job because of that training. And the girls get to go on retreat with the man who stepped down due to allegations of inappropriate contact.

                • Guest20

                  So let them. They choose a life that seem ridiculous to you and many others, but its life and their culture. So what, let them. Geeeesh.

              • FED-UP

                Do you even understand how being brainwashed works? these kids have been since birth. they have diplomas thru bill gothards homeschool program,they are not thru an accredited legal school,they would not be accepted in the real world,as for the oldest boy in college,he is living with the bates ,he had to be a resident of that state to go to this college,and he is doing on line courses,he is there to court one of the bates daughters.

          • FED-UP

            Can you really be that nieve? dad controls the money,jessa is married to a little boy who can not hold a job, they will always be under jim bobs control,also the houses jessas house is her grandmas house,most likely when she passes it goes to jim bob,he is in realestate,jills house will remain hers as long as she pops out many babies,if they decide to move ,it will be close to dad,and that house will be sold to a quiverfull cult family who moves there to grow the cult,look up THE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PRAYER IN KANSAS CITY,MISSIOURI,THE DUGGARS ARE A PART OF A GROWING CULT LIKE THIS ONE ,WHO BY THE WAY IS CONNECTED TO BILL GOTHARD ,THE GREENS WHO OWN THE CHAIN OF HOBBY LOBBY STORES,they and all the rest of the corrupt republicians who clain to be good and caring christians just want to take over our government,our social security,our womens rights it will be SELMA all over again,only for all americans who don’t believe like they do.

      • Guest20

        If you love someone you cherish them and if you cherish them you protect them. I dont care how old your kids are, if you love them you will be protective of them.

      • Me

        she thinks she is!

    • ma

      Agreed, or better yet allow or even encourage his daughters to gain some of their own marketable skills so they can financially contribute or have a slight chance of supporting themselves if the relationship breaks down and they become the equivalent of used goods within their own community.

      • anjealka

        People can choose to agree or disagree with young marriage but some religions or area of the country it is more of a norm. I live in an strict LDS area and marriage by 21 is very common but most young women get an education/skill/trade. Many become nurses, teachers, hair dressers, or various healthcare professions and work for the first few years of marriage while their spouse gets their career started or finishes an advanced degree. Then many go back to work after the kids are older. I so wish the Duggar girls could do something between 16(when the finish homeschool) and marriage, it could be anything from college to travel to work just something.

        • FED-UP

          They are taught up to a 7th or 8th grade level ,and mostly biblical studies,very little normal subjects,they do not want the kids educated to hold jobs,the girls are to stay home and have lots of babies,the boys get trained to be able to run a home business.

    • Glowbug

      Ben is a 19 year old —dude –and left his job and stopped attending college to move closer to the Duggars—I think it is amazing that Jim Bob can control so many people—I guess Ben has gotten swept into the Duggar celebrity–let’s not kid ourselves—The Duggars love being in front of the camera —esp Jim Bob when he gets to explain everything to world—-this show is Jim Bob’s platform to promote his agenda—which is fuzzy in details—because if he told you all about it–people would not feel so warm & cozy about these religious zealots—let’s not forget he got Josh in DC pushing the religious agenda as well—
      Jim Bob & Michele do not believe in BIRTH CONTROL—-that is what they want everyone to do as well—-

      • anjealka

        I think Jim Bob likes that Ben is young. I find it interesting Josh marries Anna who knew very little about the Duggars but was very willing & wants a mega family, ATI, homeschool and Chooses to men/boys to court his daughter that were originally fans of the show & not into ATI.
        Compare Ben to Kody Brown or Brady Williams. They all had their families change religions in their teens & all 3 take it to the extreme of the religion. Jim Bob found Ben at the height of his religious transformation & a super fan of the show. Read the comments on the Duggar family blog , crazy tween/teen fans that would do anything to become a Duggar. Ben won the lottery.

        • Glowbug

          I wonder about Ben—If he was a fan of the show—-Jessa is a beautiful girl—and he gets a house to live in near Duggarville—he gets TV exposure—The Duggar girls who are past 18 —have no means to live on their own—sure if they left—it would be good luck—and they would be shunned—you have to toe the line—and they know if they marry—no birth control—the thought of the two Duggar women –one now married—pregnant one after the other—is sickening—what happens if after one or two kids either one decides that is enough?
          Do they have any say? This is a cult—just like the Sister Wives show—women bear the brunt of this ideology—bear lots of children—what happens if they only have boys—who will the babies be past to? As we know, woman do the raising and the house work, home schooling—what about that—
          Mitt Romney’s wife had 5 boys–

          • anjealka

            I sadly don’t think their will be any changes till Joy & below. Now Jana just by biology won’t get to near 20 kids but the top 7 Duggars looks as they will all most likely follow the family formula, court, marry, no birth control, lots of kids. Honestly if you were Joe or Josiah with no education & knew if you picked a pretty girl & had a large family & sold out your privacy you could have a good standard of living compared to the poverty you remember from when you were little, why not follow the formula. TLC, people mag, instagram all these media sources paying these couples (making it look so easy to marry at early & have large families) are just as bad as the seminars & groups that push these beliefs.
            As for Mitt (who I have meet a few times over the years & I think is an ok person, no politics but I have seen him be very kind & humble, he was a volunteer at the hospital I had surgery at), I have wondered about gender selection. Gender selection is more popular then you think in Utah. The poor women do the ovulation method which is surprisingly accurate, & the more affluent do sperm selection. Mitt’s wife has MS, so maybe they did seek some gender selection with her more high risk situation.

            • FED-UP

              I think that by her demener,jana has been tainted by either dear old dad or bill gothard,or a brother,that is why jim bob is not pushing her into any relationship, and also I wonder about AMY,why is she not using the last name of the man they claim is coher dad,why DUGGAR? now as we all know how they feel about kissing and hugging before marriage,even if she goes by duggar for her moms financial reasons,like they claim,wouldn’t jim bob,stop the money unless amy did what he wants her to? she is rebelling against what his beliefs are,and she is getting away with it,so their is a reason why he can not control her,maybe a little secret there?

          • Lily Mathers

            Arrrrghhh again! He did not “get a house”. This is ridic and just fictional gossip. Hopefully all of you took your convo to a fanfic site where it belongs. You write so badly, maybe you will be a big star like the hideous woman whose lame fanfic of lame vampire tale sold a bunch of copies and (gag) then became a movie. Talk about the probs in our culture! We are surrounded by garbage.

      • FED-UP

        yeah,taking away all womens rights,going back in life instead of ahead,women will be baby makers,no education,no work for women out side of the home,just property to the man to with as he pleases!

      • Lily Mathers

        What job? And if he did only earn a GED, what kind of school would he have been attending? You all are just creating a narrative and filling stuff in as you go!

    • Carol Smith

      Does he have a real job? I think he still works for JB. He needs to do something with his life!

      • anjealka

        As of now all we know is he works for Jim Bob and he and Jessa have given talks at various conferences (which people have guessed they get paid 3-5kish for). I believe they were hoping for a TLC birth special to keep their lifestyle going. Since they have no rent or car payment they don’t need much to live on. Ben does have his 2 year degree. This is their chance to stand on their own 2 feet. Ben could find an entry level job (he used to work at state farm) and housing is dirt cheap where they live, so they could do it on their won if they wanted to.

        • Carol Smith

          I have only seen where they attended a religious gathering this summer, but nothing about speaking engagements. There are posts that say they “speak oUT” abaout the scandal, but no official engagements. Ben should have been better prepared to stand on his own two feet, but that’s the Duggar way. marry young and breed.

          • anjealka

            I believe Jessa and Ben have been attending some Southern Women’s conferences. I know there is a 5-6 dates very soon they are suppose to be talking at as well as signing autographs. They have been involved with this conference since before they got married. So far it is not cancelled? In fact Jessa has a date to speak while 38+ weeks pregnant.

            • Carol Smith

              Yes, and her questions will be limited to getting married and being pregnant. Those questions were posted on the conference website as being allowed to ask. That’s all she knows except for the cult beliefs. Why did they bother to invite her – she has nothing to offer people who are doing something with their lives. Why doesn’t someone ask her when Ben is going to get a job!!!!

  • TA

    Ben and Jessa are almost certainly having some kind of physical relationship, even if it is just kissing.
    a recent photo he posted of her on IG almost seemed suggestive.
    and if they are? good for them. the no kissing until your wedding day is absurd.

  • Dee Drak

    Whoever wrote this article definitely picked and chose what they wanted to focus on. Read the whole article on the Seewald family website yourself because this article is misleading.

  • CamLof21

    I too thought that Jim Bob and the older boys were being too hard on Ben. It seems all the older boys had the authority to tell him what to do and give him chores in their house. My goodness, does it really take all of that to court Miss Jessa?? Geesh!!!!
    ]

    • CamLof21

      cont’d
      Not to mention the fool Jim Bob made of him on that mini golf date. I felt sorry for the kid.

    • FED-UP

      NO,the duggar boys are stuck up brats ,they know ben is young and stupid and they were playing with him,he is their little stupid PUPPET!

  • smarter gun owner

    Pretty soon they will start their own country….oops no they don’t have to they are ram rodding ours into NOTHING.

    • FED-UP

      There are 1600 known CULTS in the UNITED STATES,most of them use their money to gain power ,like the DUGGARS,they put money in politics,like the DUGGARS,some use money to buy houses to re-sell to help other CULT MEMBERS relocate to their towns,like the DUGGARS,ARKANSAS is in a world of hurt when he starts to sell to other cult members,they could be even worse sexual preditors than GOTHARD,OPEN YOUR EYES CITIZENS OF ARKANSAS,KEEP YOUR CHILDREN LOCKED UP ,PREDITORS ARE BUYING HOUSES FROM JIM BOB.

  • phylly3

    I have zero respect for Jim Bob who makes his living from the “fruit of his loins” and the baby factory he married. There are a lot of kids to go and I hope down the line a few of them expand their world view and realize a small family or, gasp, no kids is fine. That higher education is a good thing and making one’s own adult decisions is tantamount to personal fullfillment. That’s a show I would watch. What good is living a chaste life when you become pregnant 2 months after marriage and every 18 months after that? Your future endeavors begin and end with the first positive pregnancy test. Parents who only inspire their children to live the exact life they have chosen for themselves are not doing it right.

    • FED-UP

      Hve you seen on facebook ,michelle and others that work for bill gothard are still supporting this sexual preditor,they are promoting his homeschooling which is totally wrong,this women is still making money off his homeschooling,if any one read RECOVERING GRACE.ORG. ,OR HOMESCHOOLERS ANONOMYOUS,what he did to destroy these families,that teaching he has out there is not right,she is no more christian than he is.she is a whack job ,they need to be stopped!

  • Shugie

    At least they are married and self sufficient. They are not single parents waiting for the government handout.

    • Addie2U

      Fortunately for Ben, the Duggar’s are self-sufficient. How else would he get his weekly allowance? And come to think of it — his free room & board?

      • FED-UP

        He is not even smart enough to cut wrapping paper and wrap a square box!

        • Addie2U

          I saw that one & I’m NOT surprised! Too funny.

    • FED-UP

      There have been two or three people who live there and know the duggars and have said ,before TLC picked them up,they were indeed on foodstamps,I believe these people as they shop where the duggars do,and they seen it!

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  • texassa

    Encouraging kids to get married so their teenage boy can have sex is one of the dumbest things ever.

    • Debra Peterson Padgett

      I just read his parents were in their late teens when they married, times have changed yes but if your in love go for it.

  • Rita

    Whaaaa

  • Tabby

    Really don’t understand this. Soooo much pressure to marry young for christians. It’s sad to think that some christians think getting married will solve all the sexual immorality problems that those who are not married have. I believe it’s good to mature and grow in Christ and enjoy your life because marriage is not supposed to be taken lightly . Don’t just marry you because some article said so, enjoy the time and fellowship with Christ and others. The only person who can help you make the tough decisions in your life is christ.

  • Erica N Voshell

    Overwhelming: & God saw that it was good…the only conclusion that came to mind while watching Jessa & Ben during the whole event <3 just so much love

  • Pimpk

    Ben seewald the “mooch”? I remember reading one of the scumbags who married a duggar girl doesnt have a job and just mooches off the white trash brigade.. Is this true?? If i was jim bob i’d be pimping my daughters out, be makin bank!!!

  • Carol Smith

    Both Jessa and Ben needed to do something with their lives, get a good education and mature before getting married so young. Jessa was denied a college education (as were the other Duggar girls) and does not work.

    Mr. Seewald, this generation is not pressured by their parents to marry late. These people want to get an education and prepare themselves for the future rather than racing into marriage and changing diapers. That should come later with hopefully a decent job and enjoying being newly married. You make it sound as if girls who do not marry right away are living a sinful and promiscuous life. Why shouldn’t they better themselves, mature, and pursue their ambitions? I feel sorry for the Duggar girls as they are doomed to a life of dependence and living in an information vacuum. I think the control that Jim Bob has over the adult girls in his house is sick. They should be out on their own by now, but I am afraid they are too brainwashed to know that.