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Are John David Duggar and his wife, Abbie, permitted to drink?

Compared to some of their family, John David and Abbie make relatively rare Instagram appearances. Often, it seems, they do so to flout the infamous Duggar family rules.

This instance goes beyond the family’s once-exaggerated wardrobe restrictions.

John David’s parents were extremely clear about their position on alcohol. Now, their son and daughter-in-law are toasting cocktails in vacation photos.

John David and Abbie film a confessional segment during their time on the TLC reality show Counting On.
John David and Abbie film a confessional segment during their time on the TLC reality show Counting On. (Image Credit: TLC)

Both John David Duggar and Abbie Burnett spent time in Cabo

During the final week of March, John David and Abbie took to their shared marital Instagram account (gosh, those are always unsettling) to post photos from their Cabo San Lucas vacation.

The Duggar couple clearly enjoyed some fun in the sun. Their photos are full of palm trees, poolside relaxation, and smiles.

Most of their pics are somewhat generic — if more luxurious and thus worldly than the image that the Duggars once projected. But one photo stands out from the rest.

One of the photos that John David and Abbie posted included the married couple seated at a table with a pair of massive tropical drinks in front of them.

Now, to be clear, we do not see them drinking the delicious-looking beverages. And we also do not know for a fact that they are alcoholic — they could be glorified snow cones for all that we know. In theory.

However, as numerous longtime followers of the Duggar family have pointed out, the Duggar family has historically made a point to highlight their abstinence from alcohol.

John David With Abbie Pic
John David Duggar and his fiancee, Abbie Burnett. The couple is planning to marry in November of 2018. (Image Credit: TLC)

Did John David and Abbie enjoy alcoholic drinks?

Neither John David nor Abbie made any mention on social media to declare the drinks to be “virgin” or to disavow alcohol.

It’s possible that, given that the two of them haven’t appeared on reality TV in nearly half a decade, they didn’t feel a need to add that detail to their photos.

But a lot of fans are suspecting that their relaxation went more than that. For a couple of Duggars to show even potentially alcoholic drinks without loudly decrying alcohol is kind of a big deal.

What does the Duggar family teach about alcohol?

Jim Bob Duggar once attempted to terrify his children with the story of a man who hung out with people who encouraged him to have a beer. That (possibly real) man “eventually became a drug addict,” Jim Bob told them.

Michelle Duggar claimed to know a “top honor student” who suffered brain damage following “an alcohol-related rollover accident.”

Taking things to greater extremes, the Duggar family avoided listening even to Country music. One of those reasons for this was that the lyrics could, at times, “glorify” drinking.

Abbie Burnett Picture
Abbie Burnett may soon be Mrs. John David Duggar. She poses here with the man she started courting in the summer of 2018. (Image Credit: TLC)

Obviously, many of the Duggar children are now adults. According to the Duggar family rules, John David became a true adult when he married Abbie. As a husband and father, this means that he can set the rules for his wife and household — including regarding alcohol.

It is possible that, like some of his siblings — most notably, sister Jinger Duggar Vuolo — John David has reevaluated some of his family’s teachings. Jinger has spoken repeatedly about how some of what her family and church taught her does not appear to have a biblical basis.

But not everyone makes a dietary choice out of ideology. Sometimes, people just enjoy a refreshing beverage while on vacation.