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Book Review: Counting the Cost

book review: counting the cost by jill duggar

I watched the Duggar Family off and on throughout the years. I’ve been fascinated by their story, although I have never harbored any desire to share their lifestyle. I have no problems with families who want a lot of children as long as they care for and provide for those children. I had this book on my Secret Santa list at work and was thrilled when I received it.

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pros: A Christian-based book. No bad language or objectionable material.

Cons: It’s not fiction, and ya’ll know I love fiction.

My Thoughts: I read a few nonfiction books each year. Last month I reviewed Brittany Spears’ latest autobiography. Jill Duggar’s book offers a ringside seat to growing up in the Duggar Family. For those who missed it, Jill’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, have 19 children. For over a decade they hosted a reality television show on the TLC. As the fourth of those 19 children, Jill recounts life both before and during the television show. She goes into detail about the religious leader her parents followed and the church group he led. 

Jill is very clear that her parents were part of a cult. She honors both of her parents by never disparaging either of them, although she’s honest about their dishonesty and what it cost her. She and her husband Derrick were married for several years and had continued to be the primary focus of the show before they were ever paid for their contribution. Even after requesting information on the contracts her parents signed for her, Jim Bob and Michelle refused to share that information with their grown, married daughter.

Then there’s the issue with her brother Josh. Jill never goes into detail about his abuse of her, but she’s clear that he was wrong. She was satisfied that his most recent criminal case in 2021 for child pornography ended with him in prison. She also shares her heartbreak that her parents worked so hard to protect her brother Josh but did little to protect their daughters whom he molested.

I’m saddened to see a family who had such an opportunity to share about God on national television succumb to the snares of fame and money. Jim Bob often referred to the television show as the family’s mission. Eventually, that show became the sole focus of their lives.

As a parent, I can’t imagine having to decide which of your children to protect. I pray I would make a different decision than the Duggars, and I pray harder that I never have to make that choice.

It seems the Duggars found themselves trapped in the never-ending cycle of trying to be good enough for God to love them. If they obeyed their parents enough, wore the right clothes, never had bad thoughts, listened to the right music, never drew attention to the wrong parts of themselves, and on and on, they would be protected.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. No matter how good we are, it won’t protect us from life. Yes, following God’s laws will protect us from the consequences of sin, but He wants us to follow his laws because we love Him, not because we don’t want bad things to happen to us.

I mean, look at Jesus. He was completely, utterly perfect, and His life ended on a cross.


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