It’s no surprise when a member of the Duggar family rushes into marriage with a person whom they’ve only been dating for a few months.
But in most cases, the offspring of Jim Bob and Michelle are at least legal adults when they enter the relationship that will eventually lead to a wedding and many, many children.
That wasn’t the case for Justin Duggar, however.
Justin was just 17 when he started getting serious with Claire Spivey.
From the moment that Justin and Claire announced their courship, of course, it was widely assumed that the couple would get married.
After all, that’s the goal of all Duggar courtships, and they’re usually successful.
What we didn’t know is that the couple would move so quickly in spite of their youth.
Over the weekend, Justin and Claire got married in the sort of lavish Duggar ceremony that the family is known for.
“Today we have started a journey together that God crafted long before we ever knew it was meant to be,” the couple announced on social media.
“We are so thankful for the love of Christ that has brought our lives together and teaches us what real love looks like. There is no greater joy than marrying your best friend," Justin and Claire continued.
"We are thankful for the prayers and support so many have shown us through our engagement and look forward to this new chapter of our lives together as husband and wife.”
For obvious reasons, fans of the Counting On clan were overjoyed by the news.
“Y’all are adorable!!” wrote one such commenter.
“Congratulations!! My favorite Duggar is married May your life be filled with Joy and Happiness," another wrote.
“Congrats to you both! I wish you so many years of happiness together!” a third chimed in.
On Reddit and elsewhere, however, critics made their voices heard.
Many were of the opinion that these two were forced to sprint to the altar.
Others felt that at the very least, two teenagers who were in a desperate rush to get hitched should have been encouraged by the adults in their lives to take things more slowly.
Claire addressed some of these concerns in a recent Instagram post.
“Justin and I’s families have known each other for over 20 years so before he or I were even born, and then we got connected last year," she wrote.
"I’m really looking forward to the memories to come spent with him. I’m excited to see what the Lord holds for us in the near future.”
Two months prior to their engagement, the couple issued a similarly optimistic statement comfirming their relationship.
“There is nothing comparable to finding the one you are meant to spend your life with,” the November 2020 post read.
“We know we have found that in each other. We cannot wait to be married and are looking forward to a life together of faith in Christ, love for one another and happiness!”
To be clear — we’re happy for them, and we hope they make it work.
But the fact is, teenagers in love always say this sort of stuff.
And it’s up to the adults in their lives to make sure they don’t rush headlong into a situation they’re gonna regret.
Instead, the Duggar and Spivey families were likely encouraging their kids to get hitched.
And no one had more to gain from the situation than Jim Bob himself.
News of the Duggar clan has consisted of one scandal after another in recent months.
Josh is living in a windowless warehouse on Jim Bob’s property.
Jill is drinking alcohol and talking smack about her parents.
It’s the kind of media attention that Jim Bob hates, and he knows there’s nothing that can counteract it quite like a wedding.
And of course, as a bonus, the union of Justin and Claire means that his empire will soon expand further with even more grandkids.
The Duggars, as you probably know, believe that it’s the obligation of every Christian to create as many children as possible.
And apparently, they’ll do whatever they have to do to adhere to that goal — even if it means marrying those children off as soon as possible.