‘Counting On’: Joseph Duggar Says He ‘Observed’ Kendra Caldwell Before Courting Her

The Duggar family doesn’t like to date. Rather, they court with the intention of marrying. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar raised their kids very traditionally — they’re very religious, and a lot of the children’s rules stem from living life to please God. The kids can’t date around, and there is no intimacy allowed before marriage. But the words Joseph Duggar used to describe his crush on Kendra Caldwell confirm that the Duggars are living in a different reality.

Joe and Kendra Duggar
Joe and Kendra Duggar | Joe and Kendra Duggar via Instagram

The Duggars have very strict relationship rules

Growing up, the Duggars didn’t get to experience the same things most American kids do. They were all homeschooled by Michelle, and they never played on any intramural sports teams or did any after-school activities that didn’t involve church. Things were only even more strict when it came to dating — the Duggars weren’t allowed to casually date around. Instead, they entered courtships, which were relationships with the intention of marrying. The Duggars would get to know another person’s personality and religious values — if they were compatible, the courtship would result in a marriage.

Their ideas of husband and wife differ from the modern American ways

Years ago, the husband was thought of as the head of the household — the one who made the money for the family and was the sole person responsible for making big decisions. Nowadays, times have changed, but not for the Duggar family. The Duggars still look at the husband-wife role as the man making the money and the woman caring for the children. In all of the Duggar marriages, this remains the case, though some marriages (such as Jinger and Jessa Duggar’s marriages) seem to have more equal roles. 

Joseph Duggar once said he ‘observed’ Kendra Caldwell before courting her

Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell are one of the most traditional Duggar couples. They wed very young and started immediately having kids. Duggar goes to work each day while Caldwell stays home and cares for the babies. But the way Duggar described their relationship before they began courting gives us insight into how the Duggars truly think of marriages.

Duggar once said that before courting Caldwell, he didn’t know much about her. But he added that he would occasionally speak with her and “observed her from a distance” to learn what kind of character and values she had. He said the more he observed her, the more “impressed I became with her godly character and her sweet and gentle spirit.” While Duggar’s intentions are good, his word choice makes it clear that the Duggars seek out their spouses rather than letting a connection happen naturally. It makes it clear that the Duggars think of marriage as a holy commitment to the Lord rather than a commitment out of love.

Duggar and Caldwell just welcomed their second child.

Some think the two are on track to have as many kids as Michelle and Jim Bob

Duggar and Caldwell are definitely one of the most traditional Duggar couples in their behaviors, and some fans are convinced they’re the next Michelle and Jim Bob. Caldwell already announced two pregnancies before her 21st birthday, and she wed Duggar when she was only 19. It seems the two have years of having babies ahead of them, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they ended up with even more than 19 kids.