Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Wanna be Like Michelle Duggar

I Wanna be like Michelle Duggar

Job 22:24-26 (New International Version)

24 and assign your nuggets to the dust,
       your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines,

25 then the Almighty will be your gold,
       the choicest silver for you.

26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty
       and will lift up your face to God.

Last night I watched 18 and still growing, a TLC show about a conservation family in Arkansas who decided to let God decide how many children they would have, and though I wouldn’t want to give birth to 18 children or mother them on a daily basis, I do admire that they live by principles of godliness that are quite foreign to most people who watch the show and the Duggars make no apologies for their choices. They share their lives with no pretense. Last night the show chronicled Michelle and Jim Bob’s trip to appear on The View in NYC. If you are even slightly aware of media, you know that The View is hosted by mostly liberal hosts except for Elizabeth Hasselbeck, the lone Republican and conservative.  She often ends up getting chewed up and spat out though she is a very able opponent. 

I never watch Michelle Duggar without marveling what a calm and sincere woman she is. She is not caught in the trap of commercialism or feminism that many, even Christian women are swirling about in. She speaks to her husband with a calm and loving voice even when he is whining or out of sorts ,which is not often, and she truly exhibits the Proverb: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 This in itself is a enigma to me, for when my husband is being whiny or nagging I almost always respond harshly reminding him that my metaphoric dog is only chained to the doghouse but can still bite and make a big racket if he gets too close, which is enough to keep him from venturing too close for awhile and results in his ego being bruised.  I know how to deliver those harsh words without any problem.

She dresses modestly, as does the rest of the family, without regard to the latest trends, never adorning herself in a lot of jewelry or extras. This couple believes is being frugal using the motto “Buy used and save the rest.” They pay cash for everything and are in debt to no one. They don’t believe in dating or in letting their children watch TV or spend much time on the internet. They are very different from even most Christian families.

When I heard that they were going on The View, I wondered what this show could possibly want from them. Several of the women on the show regularly, harshly criticize and make fun of Christians and conservatives. I thought that the Duggars were in for a rough interview.

What I heard was something else. Michelle showed up in the same dress I’d seen her wear at various other dressier occasions. She came as she is and there was no worry that was good enough, no rush buy the perfect outfit,  and her analysis of the show? It was fun! She said even the jokes and jabs at their lifestyle and religion were “fun.” That made me think and when I sat down to read my Bible that night before I went to sleep I marveled that the scripture so appropriately fit my thoughts about Michelle Duggar.  I don’t know why I was surprised—God was speaking to me! It wasn’t happenstance; it was God.

Job tells us when we live for God, all the riches of the world are nothing but throw away entanglements saying, “and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines,” Our wealth in this world has long been measured in terms of gold and how much we have. But Job tells us that this world’s wealth is not important or valuable when God is our center and our focus. He tells us that when we throw away the attachment to this world’s riches we become clothed with the riches of God.  Who would know and understand this more than Job, and Michele is a exemplary example of this. She wears her relationship with God like silver and gold and shines far brighter than anyone wearing Cartier or Tiffany’s, and when anyone tries to disparage her life or choices, she only sees the good. She isn’t dependent on her self esteem coming from some worldly people espousing a worldly agenda. So how does Michelle Duggar come out of the interview on the view? Shining! The woman left a good impression of whom and what she is because there is nothing but God to dull her witness. She wasn’t busy polishing her silver or guarding her gold trying to look good.  She just tossed it all away and let Jesus shine through. Her public persona is as beautiful as her private and we all know it is hardest to Christ-like with our families.

Whether she’s disciplining an overly rambunctious child or talking to her husband, she remains calm and loving. She’s even loving when her husband declared to her that he was bored out of his mind while they were shopping for the newest baby’s layette and is not at all like another TLC  proclaimed Christian woman who talks roughly and rudely to her husband. I know I would have told my husband to suck it up and enjoy this time with me while we shopped for God’s little miracle. Get the overt and implied dig there? I am very good at this! Shame on me. No wonder I can’t shine with the glory of God’s silver and gold.

I’ll probably never be exactly like Michelle Duggar because I have a sneaking suspicion that God made her originally to be a gentle person and that’s not my original nature, but I can clad myself in the silver and gold of my relationship with God and let Him live through me.

1 comment:

lisa b said...

I hate to admit it, but I have a really hard time with Michelle Duggar. I appreciate that she is so calm and patient, but it's hard for me to believe that it's REAL. No, I'm not saying that I think she turns into a raving lunatic as soon as the cameras stop rolling. I know that she doesn't. I've seen in person more than once since we both live in Arkansas. Homeschool conventions, election rallies . . .I guess that's it but yes -- she was always the same as she is on tv.

I haven't watched their regular show so I don't know what their home dynamics are like. But I do wonder . . . what if they have a child who rebels? What if they have a child who is perfectly nice and well-mannered but doesn't accept their faith or conservative lifestyle as an adult? What will happen when tragedy strikes the Duggar household? They seem to have created a very idealistic situation for their family; what happens if that falls apart? I'm asking honestly and searchingly, not in judgment.

I readily admit I'm much more like Kate Gosselin than Michelle Duggar. I am a questioner and I say too much. I am flawed, but am giving what I can to my family. I know that I have made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes and I just pray that God's grace will reach down and grab them anyway. Maybe because of me, maybe in spite of me. I don't know.