As you likely know, I'm Jewish. And this month we celebrate the new year and the Day of Atonement (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.) We say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new, and we ask G-d's forgiveness for the sins we've committed against him, as well as asking forgiveness from others for the sins we've committed against them. Why am I writing about this? Because I do see a bit of this kind of behaviour in the Duggar family.
Here's what I mean. In Christianity, you are forgiven for your sins by accepting Jesus into your heart and asking to be forgiven--Jesus has paid the price for the sins you've committed. Of course there's a bit more to it, but we're just talking an overview here. The Christianity I'm familiar with hold your sins close to you, you ask forgiveness in private and tend not to share them with others.
What I like about the Duggars is that Jim Bob and Michelle have an "open door" policy with their kids--their kids can come discuss anything with them and their parents will listen with open minds, open hearts, and friendliness. There isn't a fear there, regardless of what their kids are going to discuss. Sure it's probably tense at times and sure it's probably not always the most comfortable, but the fact that their kids know they have a safe place to go truly impresses me. I was always close to my mom and she's still one of my best friends, but there was NO WAY I was going to tell her things...not just because it would have been hard or embarrassing, but because she didn't want to hear it. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.
The Duggars practice of talking privately with their kids, especially the older ones, reminds me a lot of the Day of Atonement. While Jews save everything up and wait until one day a year to get it all out, the Duggars are always willing to hear what their kids are thinking, what they may have done wrong and feel guilty about, and what they may need to ask forgiveness for.
I hope that I can have this kind of relationship with my daughter, that she'll feel comfortable enough to share her heart and mind with me. I know it's not something that comes naturally, it's something you have to work on, to build. This is one more thing that I'll take from the show and incorporate into my own life.
I also hope this New Year is happy and healthy for you all. Thank you for your continuing support!