Love ’em or hate ’em…it seems that the Duggar family draws some strong opinions.  They are so often criticized for their ‘irresponsibility’ in having so many children, I mean, 19 kids is a wee-bit more than is needed to simply carry on the family name, right?

They certainly live contrary to our culture – they see children as a blessing, welcoming each and every one as a gift from God, whereas society at large makes every effort to prevent a child from being conceived.  And those children that are created, but are ‘inconvenient’ are often killed, well over one million of them aborted each year.

Then there is the way they operate their household.  American’s love debt.  The recent housing crisis is one evidence of that…broke people who purchased too much house are now unable to pay their mortgage.  The average person carries a balance of over $5000 in credit card debt.  Car loans, financed furniture…I’d say America doesn’t ‘run on Dunkin’, it runs on borrowed money.  Yet here stand the Duggars, with a family much larger than the 1.2 kids per family, operating their lives with no debt: zero, zilch, nada.

I admire them for both of these things, but the reason I most like the Duggar’s is that they offer a humble, yet immensely knowledgeable perspective on raising children.  They have been there and done that, 19 times over.

I recognize that their show is, well, a show.  TLC doesn’t air it out of the goodness of their heart, but rather to make money, so what gets aired is for ratings.  And I think that is okay.  What I see is a very small snippet of their life.  A tiny glimpse into their days.  But the nuggets of wisdom that Michelle shares are priceless.  The feedback the children give provides insight that is immensely helpful.

By all accounts, the Duggar children are a rather well behaved bunch.  I would be pleased if my children shared the attributes I often see from those children.  The way the speak to each other, the way the older children help care for the younger, the way they seek to serve others, and not just themselves.  It takes intentional, consistent effort on the part of parents to produce such children.  It does not happen on it’s own.

So for a half hour here and there, thanks to my trusty DVR, I can gain some wisdom from an older woman.  I can learn tips for training and teaching.  I can gain encouragement that well mannered children, who go against the grain of culture, can be happy and productive people.