Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar married on July 21, 1984, and at that time, they chose to use contraceptive birth control pills. They thought, “We don’t want children right now. We can’t afford them. We want children in our timing, when we’re ready.” Four years later, they decided to have their first child. Then Michelle went back on the pill, but she conceived and had a miscarriage. At that point, they talked with a Christian medical doctor and read the fine print in the contraceptive packaging. They discovered that, while taking the birth-control pill, a woman can get pregnant and then miscarry. They were grieved! They were Christians! They were pro-life! They realized that their selfish actions may have taken the life of their child. They prayed and asked God to forgive them and to teach them to love children as He loves children. They asked God to bless them with as many children as He saw fit, in His timing. Right after that, Michelle got pregnant with twins! To date they have been blessed with 19 children—10 boys and 9 girls—Joshua (and wife, Anna), Jana & John-David (twins), Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah & Jeremiah (twins), Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace Makiya, and Josie Brooklyn.
God has opened many doors for them to share that children are a blessing from the Lord. To date they have been featured on five Discovery Health and TLC documentaries: 14 Children and Pregnant Again!, 16 Children and Moving In!, Raising 16 Children!, On The Road With 16 Children!, and Duggars’ Big Family Album. They have appeared on several national television shows, including The Early Show, The Today Show, The View, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Fox and Friends. They have also been featured on numerous national and international television networks, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Korean Broadcasting System, Discovery Home and Health in both the UK and Australia, and Italian public television. They have done countless interviews with radio talk show hosts around the world, including NPR, AP Radio, CBS Radio, FOX Radio and others. They have appeared in various magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Chicago Tribune, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, People, and many others from the United States, Canada, Korea, Japan, China, India, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Germany. They have recently completed work on their first book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting! The Duggars’ desire is to make Christ known and for others to see that the Bible is the “owner’s manual” for life.
As a family project, the Duggars built a 7000-square-foot home without going into debt. Both Jim Bob and Michelle are licensed real estate agents. They often host and facilitate the Financial Freedom Seminar, a video seminar taught by Jim Sammons. Jim Bob served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003 and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2002.