Do as they say and not as they do — because, believe it or not, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar didn’t court in their relationship. That’s right, the parents known for strict courting rules for their children didn’t even follow the rules themselves.
Michelle and Jim Bob’s relationship mirrored more of a dating situation — something that is particularly off-limits for their kids. And their daughter, Jill (Duggar) Dillard, was the one to spill the news of her parents’ unconventional courtship. “So my parents, they um, did the traditional dating,” Jill said in a now-deleted clip from “19 Kids and Counting,” via In Touch Weekly. “So when they were engaged, they spent a lot of time alone together. They said they saved intimacy for marriage, but they kissed.” But it seems like the Duggars gave their kids such strict rules for marriage because Jim Bob and Michelle regretted the way they went about dating, according to Jill. “They wish they would’ve saved more of each other for themselves,” she said.
On The Duggar Family blog, Jim Bob and Michelle explained that during courting, it’s important for the couple to have strong God-centered relationships to look up to. It seems like Jim Bob and Michelle didn’t have a relationship mentor when they were dating — so they wanted to ensure their kids weren’t in the same position when they began courting.