5th Annual Values Voter Summit

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are doing everything wrong. On the new season of their show (premiering April 1st), the story will follow their daughter Jessa, aged 21, and her plan to abstain from kissing her boyfriend, Ben Seewald, until their wedding day. Yikes. If they’re following the traditional wedding night plans, Jessa and Ben will cover a lot of physical ground in a really short period of time, which has to be the worst possible way to start a physical relationship.

The Duggars call their whole dating thing “courting,” and it entails no physical contact and a lot of parental supervision. They essentially date by committee with chaperoning and consistent input from parents, instead of building relationships based on their own personalities and compatibility. I’m not sure how that’s a great basis for a last relationship, because at the end of the day you’re married to your partner and not to his or her parents. Try as in laws may, they can’t run the relationship forever.

Everyone is entitled to their own sexual choices, and so if you decide that you want to wait until marriage to have sex that’s your decision and a form of sexual freedom. But the Duggar children don’t really have a choice, or any choice based on actually looking at different philosophies and then deciding what’s best for them personally. Personally is the key word here–only an individual can decide the speed that feels comfortable for that individual.

I don’t have kids. But if I did, I would urge them not to wait until their wedding day to have their first kiss and then do God knows what on their wedding night. That’s not taking it slow–that’s taking it extremely fast. It seems wildly irresponsible of the parents in this situation to direct their children to stamp out their desires until their wedding night and then drop them off with little education to figure out what comes next. I can’t imagine that they’re particularly prepared for any of the emotional components that go along with a physical relationship, especially one that happens all at once. Hopefully, people in this situation don’t do the typical wedding night thing, and start a physical relationship at the pace that makes them feel comfortable.

Building a physical relationship is an integral part of building a relationship, and intimacy isn’t a shameful, lewd act outside of marriage. Sex isn’t just a physical act–it has so much communication tied up in it that I can’t imagine forging a deep relationship without it. Unfortunately for the Duggars, sex is more currency than a healthy part of a relationship, and I wonder how on earth these young people are equipped to very suddenly have thier relationship turn sexual.

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