Any large family has its favorites and its black sheep.
In a family the size of the Duggar clan, there are enough kids in each category that they could play an annual softball game against each other with the prize being a silent nod of approval from Jim Bob for the winning team.
Of course, these days the Favorites would have a hard time filling out their roster, while the Black Sheep could have a full pitching staff, a bat boy, and a mascot dressed like ebony mutton.
For about a year now, several Duggar daughters have been in open rebellion against Jim Bob, and the ladies certainly aren’t alone in their struggle.
Leading the male side of the insurrection is a man who’s been issuing oedipal challenges to his father since before he could recite the entire New Testament.
We’re talking, of course, about Josiah Duggar.
In case you were unaware, of all the Duggar kids, Josiah might be the biggest thorn in Jim Bob’s paw, and that includes Jana, who has committed the unforgivable sin of being 30 and still single.
Josiah is the only Duggar in his family to have entered a courtship that did not end in marriage, which created a mild scandal at the time.
But these days, Josiah is a happily married father of one, and his loving wife took the occasion of his recent 24th birthday to remind the world that he’s not such a bad guy:
Lauren Swanson posted the above photo of her husband, along with a lengthy caption that seems to fly in the face of Jim Bob’s assessment of his son:
"Happy 24th birthday to the love of my life! You are truly one of the most amazing and thoughtful person I know," Swanson wrote.
"Everyday I thank the Lord for letting me walk side by side with you as your wife," she added.
"You never cease to fill our home with fun and laughter. You’re the best dad! It is a joy to watch you with our little girl."
Yes, from there, Lauren went on about Josiah’s piety and his parenting skills.
It was a particularly meaningful ode, as those are two of the areas where Jim Bob was reportedly concerned his rebellious son would fall short.
"Seeing her smile and how excited she gets when you get home from work is truly one of the sweetest things to behold," she wrote of the couple’s daughter.
Who knew Josiah even had a job?!
"You are always giving and desiring to please the Lord in all that you do," she concluded.
"I am so blessed to be married to such a wonderful man! I Love you, honey!"
Clearly, Lauren’s primary goal in writing the caption was to sing her husband’s praises on his big day — but she might have been killing several birds with one stone.
For starters, it was an opportunity to silence some of the harshest criticism against her husband.
On top of that, there have been reports of Josiah and Lauren having trouble in her marriage, and Lauren may have seen this is a chance to put those rumors to rest.
Of course, if she thinks it’s that easy to bring the Duggar rumor mill grinding to a halt, she’s got another thing coming!