Josh Duggar of the TLC show "19 Kids and Counting" has offered up some dating advice for his younger brother, Josiah, 18, who recently entered into a courtship relationship with 17 year old Marjorie Jackson.
In a recent video uploaded to TLC.com and shared on the Duggar's official Facebook page, Josh, who married his wife Anna in 2008 after a short courtship, explained to Josiah that while boundaries are necessary, it is important for individual couples to set up their own specific guidelines instead of following the exact rules of others.
"You got to watch a lot of us go through our relationships, though all different walks of life, but you [and Marjorie] will able to find the common things that you can set together. You could say, 'We draw our line here,' while some people will say 'We'll draw it over here," said the 27 year old father-of-four.
As an example, Josh explained that because he and Anna's courtship was long-distance, certain boundaries weren't relevant to their relationship, but are necessary for couples who live close to one another.
"I know for Anna and I, we had a thousands miles between us--it made things a little easier...Each person has a different structure," he said.
As previously reported by the Gospel Herald, Josiah and Marjorie entered into a courtship several months ago after the two went on a mission trip to El Salvador, but the couple's families had known each other for many years. In addition to speaking fluent Spanish and English, Marjorie is also an accomplished pianist and actress and has even written a book which encourages young ladies to read the Bible.
In the Duggar family, courtship is not entered into lightly, and includes strict rules and the intention that the couple is preparing to marry. Among the family's courtship rules are no hand-holding until engagement, no kissing until marriage, and chaperoned dates.
"Courtship is like dating with a purpose," explained Marjorie in a recent video. "It's getting together in group settings and with our families, and just really asking those tough questions and getting to spend more time together with family and friends."
Like Josiah and Marjorie, the older Duggar siblings and their spouses--including Josh and Anna Duggar, Jill and Derick Dillard, and Jessa and Ben Seewald--all chose the courtship process for their relationships and are now happily married.
"Dating with a purposeful mind-set is really such a contrast from what we are used to seeing in our world," explained family matriarch Michelle, "Emotions get heated the closer you get. You're like two magnets being pulled together.
She added, "You need [to set] boundaries together at the beginning of a relationship and tell others, so it sets up accountability."