If you know anything about the Duggars, you know that they love rules.
There are the Duggar courtship rules, of course, that are now infamous.
But patriarch and matriarch Jim Bob and Michelle have equally strict guidelines for just about every aspect of their children's lives.
Long before, and aside from, courtship.
Until they move out on their own (usually only permitted once they've married), the Duggar kids are under their parents' control.
Not just as a figure of speech. Entirely.
From the moment they start their morning chores to the moment they finish their evening prayers, it's Jim Bob's show. Period.
If it sounds like a lot of pressure ... well, it is.
A newly-revealed list of Duggar house rules sheds more light on exactly what's expected of Michelle's massive brood.
And man alive, this is super effed up.
[UPDATE: The moment we've been waiting for is finally at hand -- the Duggar kids are rebelling against Jim Bob's strict control! Scroll down for the latest on this exciting situation.]
There's nothing Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar love more than rules. And it seems the controversial couple has put together a list of strict regulations by which they expect their children to abide.
The rules were revealed this week by Focus on the Family, a fundamentalist Christian organization with which the Duggars have long been affiliated.
Making the Rounds
The Duggars have a new book out, and it seems that as part of their promotional campaign, they provided Focus on the Family with the following list of 22 rules (and counting!) that help maintain order in one of the world's most famous fundamentalist households.
"1. Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well." We're not sure what's meant by "soft words," and unfortunately, the Duggars don't elaborate. Suffice it to say, probably not a lot of F-bombs being dropped in Jim Bob's home.
"2. Always display kind actions and joyful attitudes, even if you have been mistreated. Have the right response by quickly forgiving others in your heart even before they ask." With all these rules for his kids to follow, it's a good thing Jim Bob is big on forgiveness!
"3. Always be enthusiastic and look for opportunities to praise others’ character." To their credit, the Duggars are always building each other up.
The Art of Deflection
"4. Always deflect praise and be grateful to God and others for the ways they have benefited your life." Here's where it gets confusing -- Duggars are supposed to dish out praise but never accept it. Sounds like an awkward household!
"5. Always use manners and be respectful of others and their belongings." Simple enough. We think everyone can get behind that one!
"6. Always do what is right, even when others may not, or when no one is looking." Another classic! They're on a roll!
And Here We Go ...
"7. Thank God for how He made you, for what He has given you and everything He allows you to go through. (Romans 8:28)" Yeah, things get more specific from there. We probably don't need to tell you this won't be the last Bible passage.
Compassion Is Key
"8. Don’t mock or put others down. Develop compassion and pray for others."
What If You're 9 Percent at Fault?
"9. Never argue, complain, or blame. Quickly admit when you have done wrong and ask for forgiveness (even if you were only 10% at fault). Don’t wait till you’re caught. Be sure your sins will find you out. He who covers his sin will not prosper, but he that confesses and forsakes it shall find mercy."
Getting Into Creepy Territory
"10. Have a tough accountability/prayer partner to daily share your heart with and to keep you in line (your parents, spouse). The power of sin is in secrecy." So tell your family every thought that passes through your head? No thanks!
Another Good One!
"11. Be attentive and look for ways to serve others with sincere motives and no thought of self-gain."
Back to the Thought Policing
"12. Think pure thoughts (Philippians 4:8, Romans 13:14)." Someone tell Jim Bob no one controls their thoughts all the time!
"13. Always give a good report of others. Don’t gossip! Never tale-bear unless physical harm will come to someone. (Use Matthew 18.)" Not gonna lie, we're not totally sure what this one means.
The "Raise" Rules
"14. Never raise a hand to hit." As you'll see, the next few are all sort of similar.
A Pattern Emerges
"15. Never raise a foot to kick." Probably could've covered that in the last one.
What If You're Playing Catch?
"16. Never raise an object to throw." You get the idea ...
"17. Never raise a voice to yell." And they're still going ...
"18. Never raise an eye to scowl." Okay, we didn't see that one coming.
Sharing Is Caring
"19. Use one toy/activity at a time. Share!"
Cleanliness = Godliness
"20. Do your best to keep your surroundings neat, clean and organized." To their credit, the Duggars do keep a pretty neat house.
"21. Never let the sun go down on your wrath. (Don’t go to bed angry or guilty)" Good rule, but there was probably a less weird way to put that.
The Joyous Trinity
And finally "22. Amendment J.O.Y. – Put Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last."
Left a Few Out
There you have it. 22 rules that will help you be more Duggar-like in your own life. For Josh's sake, they probably should've included a few about not molesting your siblings or cheating on your wife, but maybe next time ...
Surely, Jim Bob and Michelle knew they wouldn't get away with it forever, right? Eventually, a time would come when the Duggar kids realized they were serving a master they could never please.
The Pants Party
Things started out innocently enough with Jinger Duggar defying the family dress code by wearing pants.
Joining the Resistance
Soon after, Jill Duggar followed suit and cast off the shackles of the floor-length skirts that she'd been wearing since high school as part of her family's "modest attire" guidelines.
It took a few years, but finally -- in 2020, at the age of 27 -- Jill joined her sisters and started wearing pants!
A Major Development
This was the Duggar equivalent of the US joining World War II. Jessa had long been her parents' most loyal child, and now, the tide has officially turned against Jim Bob.
A War on Two Fronts
Jim Bob's daughters are rebelling against him at the worst possible time. He's currently engaged in a feud with Jill's husband, Derick Dillard, that has led many to question his authority.
A Bold Accusation
Derick claims that Jim Bob has been stealing his kids' reality TV earnings and keeping the cash himself for their entire lives.
"Don't steal millions from your family members" might not be in the Duggar rule book -- but it probably should be.