Friday, February 3, 2012

A Love That Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar

Who hasn’t heard of the Duggars? This super-large family is awed by their fans and censured by their critics.

I have only recently begun watching their TLC show, 17/18/19 Kids and Counting (depending on which season you’re on), after I received two DVDs for Christmas.

After watching several episodes, I couldn’t help but wonder how in the world do they do it?!, so I was excited to receive a copy of their second book, A Love That Multiplies, for review!

Admittedly, the first third of the book had me in tears. Most of the beginning of Michelle and Jim Bob’s second book deals with the scary circumstances surrounding Josie’s birth and the difficulties of a preemie in the following months. My situation wasn’t the same, but my husband and I lost our first baby boy at 26 weeks, and the Duggars’ story reminded me of that frightening time in my own life.

Even if you’ve watched only one episode
of the Duggars, you will quickly realize that their convictions are not popular. Jim Bob, Michelle, and their children are very open and forthright about their strong biblical standards. In A Love That Multiplies, they tell the reader over and over again that they believe children are a precious gift from the Lord.

Early in their marriage, Jim Bob and Michelle gave God complete control over how many children they would have, and they have never wavered from that decision, despite nasty and ignorant comments from the outside world.

Throughout the entire book, I was impressed with the Duggars’ strong faith in God’s Word. Everything they do, from babies to school to work revolves around the Bible. For example, the children memorize a passage from Matthew 18, which gives the biblical steps for conflict resolution. As they memorize, they incorporate what they’ve learned into everyday life. Squabbles with sisters and brothers are to be resolved biblically.

My two favorite parts in the book were both written by Michelle. When watching the TV show, I continually wondered how she can be so calm and quiet. Even her niece remarked in one show, I’ve never heard her yell!

Well, Michelle enlightens us in the book! Apparently she used to raise her voice and lose her temper! However, during a school study on anger, one of the Bible verses she was reading to the children stood out to her – Proverbs 15:1, ‘A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger’ – and she was so convicted of her wrong behavior! She immediately asked the children to forgive her and asked the Lord to help her control her tongue.

Michelle says the Lord immediately tested her with a can of pineapple.

You’ll have to read the story yourself!

But, I was so encouraged to see that she has struggled with anger, yet with the Lord’s help has worked on having a calmer, kinder tone with her children.

I was also glad to read that Michelle felt overwhelmed with the responsibility of homeschooling. Her teachable spirit is obvious and such an encouragement to other moms, as she appears so organized and unflappable, but is truly human like each of us!

Many can admire this ‘and-counting’ family in a well-good-for-them-but-not-for-me kind of way, but true biblical faith is hard for the lost world to understand. I believe the Duggars faith and conviction can be boiled down to Matthew 6:33, ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ If you put the Lord first in all you do, EVERYthing will fall into place.

As a Biblicist Baptist, I don't agree with several of their associations (Bill Gothard is one)*, but I truly admire the family's strong conservative stand overall. I really enjoyed learning more about what makes the Duggars tick. Several things were quickly mentioned that they covered in more detail in their first book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting! I think I’ll have to check that out soon!

If you're curious about that how-many-kids?! family, A Love That Multiplies is a fascinating (and recommended!) look into the Duggars’ crazy life – or ‘serene chaos,’ as Michelle says! You’ll read about Jinger’s stolen diary (!!!), the popcorn round of Memory Lane, Josh's rock business, abstinence principles they follow after childbirth, as well as delicious recipes, helpful household tips, pictures of the family, and so much more!

A very special thank you to Libby from Howard Books for sending me a copy to read and review!

Also reviewed on Amazon, Simon & Schuster, and Christianbook.

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*Many of these people and organizations have formed without proper local church authority, which I oppose. These people/groups may have positive points and good intentions, but without the proper authority, biblical discernment should be used when using their materials.

**Disclaimer: I was given a free product for review purposes only. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**

1 comment:

Annette Whipple said...

Sorry to hear that you lost a baby more than half way hard!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. I have never seen the show, but have heard much about them.

I wanted to let you know that I began a new blog...much like Live, Learn, Love but more focused! if you are interested!

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