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, 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.”
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.