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on Tuesday, April 1, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar laid out the rules of courtship for their 19 children -- two of whom, 20-year-old Jessa and 22-year-old Jill, recently began relationships with prospective mates.
PHOTOS: Failed reality TV romances "As far as our kids dating, we believe a lot of times if you're alone with the person, it can create desires that can kind of get stirred up, and you don't have any accountability, and [that] can kind of lead to some hanky panky," Jim Bob explained on the show. "Courtship is really getting to know each other for the purpose of possibly getting engaged and getting married," the father of 19 said. "Obviously we're saving our first kiss for marriage," Ben said.
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Even though we’re following Jesus, and reading the same Bible, and aiming for the covenant of marriage, our dating advice can be surprisingly wide and diverse.
One Lord, one faith, one baptism — and a billion different dating tips.
If our heart is not there — if our soul is not already safe through faith, if our mind is distracted and focused on other, lesser things, if our best strength is being spent on the things of this world — jobs, sports, shopping, entertainment, relationships, and on God — we simply will not date well. Listen to Jesus, and “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Seek him first (Matthew ), and dating will be added according to his perfect plan and timing. It’s not the first rule, but I have found that it is a “golden rule” that most often makes the difference between healthy and unhealthy Christian dating relationships.
Added Jill, who is courting 25-year-old Derick Dillard: "The main difference between courting and dating is setting boundaries for yourself so that you don't cross over those." PHOTOS: Stars who got their start on reality TV Those boundaries, for Jessa and her beau, Ben Seewald, 18, include no holding hands, no kissing, and always having a chaperone (usually one of the Duggars' 10 sons). "It's pretty basic." Michelle and Jim Bob, who are devout fundamentalist Independent Baptists, also require that their daughters' suitors include them on any text messages.
"It's neat to see their conversations," Jim Bob told
He shared, “We’re humans, and sometimes we don’t always abide perfectly by our rules.” Austin continued, “We try.
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