On Sept. 16, “People Magazine” revealed that Jessa Duggar is officially involved in a courtship with 18-year-old Ben Seewald, who lives about three hours away in Hot Springs, Ark. The best news of all for fans of the super-sized Duggar family is that the courtship will be featured on future episodes of “19 Kids and Counting” on TLC.
The traditional Duggars do not believe in dating. Instead, they choose to go the “courtship” route. When courting, a couple spends time together in group settings and very little or no physical contact is involved. Jim Bob explained to “People,” “Both families spend time together and the couple sets goals together to determine if they are meant to marry.” To date, the only Duggar child that is married is oldest son, Josh Duggar, who wed Anna Keller in 2008 after months of courting. They recently moved to Washington, D.C. after having their third child, Marcus Anthony, who was born on June 2, 2013.
Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald met in church and began texting each other, after asking for permission to do so. Mom Michelle is happy with the match and said, “They share very similar beliefs. It has been fun to watch them.” Other rejected suitors have called in the past, but Ben made the selective cut. “He’s the first one she has shown interest in that has a spiritual focus and legitimate calling about ministry work,” Jim Bob stated. He added, “When a guy is pursing your daughter, you want to check him out and see if there are any red flags and with Ben, there haven't been any. He is very sharp. It appears like a match made in heaven."
Like Josh and Anna did back in 2008, Jessa and Ben plan on saving their first kiss for their wedding day. In the meantime, they’re allowed to hug briefly to say hello or goodbye. “They want to wait on the physical relationship until later,” Michelle explained.
Jessa, age 20, is the third daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. She has two older brothers (Joshua and John-David), two older sisters (Jana and Jill), six younger sisters (Jinger, Joy-Anna, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn and Josie), and eight younger brothers (Joseph, Josiah, Jeremiah, Jedidah, Jason, James, Justin and Jackson).
Fans of the Duggar family will be able to watch Jessa’s courtship unfold on the new season of “19 Kids and Counting,” which premieres at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Sept. 17 on TLC. Below are details for the first two new shows.
- Tuesday, Sept. 17: “Big Changes.” It's a time of exciting and emotional changes for the Duggars as Josh and Anna make the move to Washington, DC. But before the goodbyes, the couple still has one important thing to do - find a place to live. The premiere is a super-sized, 60-minute episode. 9-10 p.m. EST.
- Tuesday, Sept. 24: “An Emotional Goodbye.” The Duggars knew that eventually one of their 19 children would move away and that bittersweet milestone has arrived. It's time for the Duggar family to say goodbye to Josh and Anna. 30 minutes. 9-9:30 p.m. EST.
More about the Duggar family from "19 Kids & Counting"
The super-sized Duggar family includes mom Michelle, dad Jim Bob, plus children Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn and Josie. The family resides debt-free in Arkansas and stars in a weekly reality TV series called "19 Kids & Counting."
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