The Real Reason Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Had 19 Kids Might Surprise You

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are the parents of 19 children, and they once starred on the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. The show gained traction when people realized how massive the Duggar family actually is — and it made plenty of people wonder why anyone would actually want 19 children.

But Michelle and Jim Bob didn’t necessarily start out their marriage wanting 19 children. Here’s the real reason the couple had 19 kids.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar | Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

When the couple first got married, they didn’t want any children and Michelle was on birth control

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar met when Michelle was only 15. Jim Bob had gotten word that Michelle had recently found Jesus, so he invited her to Sunday school with him. The two hit it off, and after a while, they began courting. They wed in 1984, when Michelle was only 17 and Jim Bob was 19. But when the couple first began married life, they actually didn’t want to have children. As a precautionary measure, Michelle started on birth control to prevent the couple from having children before they were ready. Contrary to popular belief, the Duggars were not always against preventative birth measures.

Michelle had a miscarriage, so she and Jim Bob reevaluated their life plan

While Michelle was on birth control, she accidentally got pregnant. Unfortunately, the couple lost the baby. After this happened, Michelle and Jim Bob began to re-evaluate their life plan as far as having children. Both had always been deeply involved in religion, and they began to rethink the idea of using birth control. The couple started to believe that children are truly sacred, and there should be no reason to prevent them. From that point on, they were against birth control and instilled the importance of having kids into their own children.

The couple decided to leave the number of children they had in the hands of God

When Michelle and Jim Bob decided to forego birth control, it meant they would leave the number of children they had up to God. At the time, the two were completely unaware of how many children God would bless them with — and neither could have guessed it would be 19. 19 children were not in their original plan, but their new opinions about birth control and saying no to any preventative measures meant they were getting ready for a potentially high number of kids.

35 years later, Michelle and Jim Bob have been blessed with 19 children — and they wouldn’t change a thing

Today, Michelle and Jim Bob are the parents to plenty of kids, and the couple has a dozen grandchildren. Plus, in their eyes, more children means more people to preach the word of God. The family gained a reality show, plenty of fame, and even deeper roots in religion. Plus, they have plenty of love to go around in their family. Despite having to raise all 19 kids, which was definitely a challenge, Michelle and Jim Bob wouldn’t change a thing.

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