The Bates Family and the Duggar Family Differ in This Major Way

When it comes to reality TV families known for their grand size, the Duggars and the Bates are possibly the most famous. We remember the Duggars all the way back when 19 Kids and Counting was first airing on TLC, and now that the kids are growing up, moving out, and marrying off, we get to watch what they’re up to on Counting On. The Duggars are friends with the Bates, too, as the Bringing Up Bates family also have 19 children and abide by the same Christian fundamentalist rules.

From the way they all dress to the way they date, we know the Duggars and the Bates have a ton in common. There does seem to be one big part of their lives that differs, though. Here’s what it is.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar always knew they wanted as many kids as possible

Jim Bob Duggar, center, and his wife, Michelle Duggar
Jim Bob Duggar, center, and his wife, Michelle Duggar | Matt McClain/ The Washington Post via Getty Images

There was never any doubt in Michelle or Jim Bob Duggar’s minds that they would be having more kids than the average couple. Bustle notes after Josh was born, the couple actually did try birth control briefly — but after suffering a miscarriage, they felt it was a sign from God that they were meant to have as many children as He blessed them with. “We prayed and studied the Bible and found a host of references that told us God considered children a gift, a blessing, and a reward,” they said.

Bustle again notes that Michelle said she would have loved to have even more kids if that’s what God wished for them — and that’s even if it meant going through ultra-risky pregnancies. We can’t forget that Michelle was pregnant with another baby after Josie, but unfortunately, that child didn’t make it. Even Josie, the 19th child, had an ultra-difficult birth — but Michelle and Jim Bob were determined that they were doing what they were called to do.

Gil and Kelly Jo Bates didn’t always intend to have so many children

The Bates family
The Bates family | James Ambler/Barcroft USA/Getty Images

It didn’t take Jim Bob and Michelle long to realize that having many children was exactly what they wanted. And while the Bates family has just as many children, they (particularly Gil) seemingly had a different outlook about it. Gil Bates told the Christian Examiner that the idea of giving up birth control initially terrified him, as he didn’t necessarily want the possibility of having 20 kids. “My wife one day said, ‘I think God wants us to trust Him on having children,'” Gil said. “I said, ‘Wait a minute. We could have 20 kids. You just can’t do that.'”

Eventually, Gil came around to what his wife was saying, though. “But then I read through the Bible, and I saw that God called children a blessing,” he told the publication. “I was kind of looking at children as a hindrance instead of as a blessing.” Gil also understands, however, that “trusting in God” means something different to everyone — and he has no judgment toward those who don’t want to have a lot of children. “It’s not a matter of how many children God gives you; it’s really a matter for us of finding God’s will for your life, and being willing to trust Him in whatever He’s asked you to do,” Gil added.

It looks like a few of the Duggars are hoping to have huge families, too

Multiple members of the Bates and Duggar family already have families and children of their own — but when it comes to which family is likely to have more grandchildren, we put our money on the Duggars. Certainly Duggar family members have already mentioned how they want as many children as possible, which is right in line with their parents’ beliefs. As for the Bates, we’re sure a few family member will also have large families, though it may not be as top-of-mind.

So, which Duggar kids are predicted to have large families? Romper notes Jessa Duggar has spoken about wanting a lot of children, and this includes going down the path of adoption, too. Jill Duggar has also mentioned wanting as many children as God will give her and is open to the possibility of adoption, too. As for the other family members, we’ll have to wait and see if fan favorites like Jinger or Joy-Anna will also have more kids — but many believe they will follow right in Michelle’s footsteps.

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