Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Moving to Arkansas

After watching the Duggers last night on TLC, Leatha and I were inspired.

Have you seen this show?

You want to laugh at this family for their prima facie conservative extremism, then all of a sudden you start thinking, "Hey, that's not a bad idea." Initially, you might expect a legalistic undercurrent, but you get a surprising glimpse of a grace-filled home marked by holiness, love and joy. Their whole family has a sweet disposition.

The last episode was about their oldest son's courtship. It was amazing. It was the most counter-cultural relationship I've seen. And yet the most exemplary.

This transition to becoming the Duggers won't be easy for us. It will require a few changes...

1. Moving to Arkansas
2. Changing our attire. ("Ava, put on this dress. Boys, don the polo shirt and part your hair with some Aqua Net.")
3. Being happy all the time
4. Cutting out TV. (Ironically, they have a reality show about their lives, but they don't even have a TV...)
5. Cutting my hair (wait, I already did that last week...Leatha chopped off all the old highlights...I look like a school boy.)
6. Building a new house...by ourselves.
7. Homeschooling
8. Teaching our kids how to court (I've got to figure out what that means first)
9. Changing the "Metropuritan" blog to "Neopuritan"
10. Getting a CDL license to drive the family bus.
11. Changing my name to Jim Bob (Not even joking- Jim Bob is the patriarch)
12. Changing our last name to Dugger
13. Changing my dating talk (I encourage college students to date)
14. Having 14 more kids.



J and J Masson said...

ok. they are a really sweet family. i saw it a few times and it's like watching a real life flanders family-you almost can't stand it, but you have to look and then you end up learning something from them. but really-can't the mom get a new hairstyle? yes, i struggle with being critical . . .

Anonymous said...

Could you explain your reasons for encouraging college students to date? And what do you consider "dating" to be exactly. Thanks.

Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot said...

We totally couldn't turn off the tv watching them in New York City, taking 5 cabs, ordering 7 pizzas for $130. And then she announced that she was pregnant with the 18th!

Looking forward to that dating post!

Metropuritan Mark said...

I already posted a couple messages on dating that I gave at TSC last year (click the "Relationships" tab to the right and I think it's the second post). In there you will find my definition of dating.

I'll try another dating post soon. It will probably be a rehashed, yet more readable, version of the aforementioned dating talks.

Anonymous said...

In that dating post you referred to you include a phrase that interested me: "she always felt more comfortable asking questions via email/online (typical of this generation- awkward in person and bear my soul online)". I am meeting regularly with a college-aged woman who is constantly having drama with her friends via texting or Facebook posts. I find myself telling her that this kind of communication is not going to work with her husband if she marries someday. Am I just being old-fashioned or do we need to be countering this seemingly false intimacy? What do you see as you work with young people regarding these things?

Metropuritan Mark said...

Regarding the online drama... I don't think the solution is to fight cultural trends by telling them to stop communicating online. Although some who are addicted to facebook, myspace, blogs!, etc need to practice self-control, as in anything. That might start with fasting from it for a season.

However, I think a healthy challenge would be to say, "If this is a problem, the only thing you need to communicate online is encouragement." Edifying words are the water that puts out drama fires. Moreover, confrontations or any difficult conversations always...that's too strong...most often yield negative results. It's not really fair to the person being confronted.

The main thing the online generation needs to realize is that we are all accountable for the words we speak...including typed words online. Matthew 12:36-37.

Finally, it also might be good to use this to your advantage- give them opportunities to type out their feelings (i.e. a quick email, "Hey, I was thinking about you and prayed for you today. How are you doing?" In this way you'll get a closer look at what's going on in their heart.