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Justin Duggar and Claire Spivey: Did Jim Bob Arrange Their Barely Legal Marriage?


Justin Duggar is marrying Claire Spivey and even formally joined her church on his 18th birthday.


Did Jim Bob arrange this almost-child marriage between the two teens?


Justin Duggar proposed to Claire Spivey basically the moment that he became a legal adult.


As we all know, courtships — and marriages — must be approved by Jim Bob within the Duggar cult, due to psychological and social control but also financial leverage.


But though fans accuse Jim Bob of basically arranging yet another marriage for another barely legal child, Justin’s soon-to-be mother-in-law insists that it’s not the case.


Hilary Spivey, who shared this image and others on Instagram, responded to a follower’s comment along those lines.


Claire’s mother asserted: “Jim Bob has never once arranged a marriage.”


It’s unclear if she’s splitting hairs here about the definition of “arranged” or what, but she has a whole lot more to say.


“All of those kids have been equipped well for life,” Hilary praised of the Duggar family, whose children have minimal life experience in society and little to no formal, real-world education.


“They can handle lots of responsibility at a young age,” she went on to claim.


Hilary couldn’t resist taking a jab at a society that allows children to live thier own lives, adding: “unlike most of society today.”


As for Justin’s extreme youth, Hilary also offered up a half-explanation for why the cult feels that this is appropriate for him.


“Justin’s daddy told him that he knew he would marry young,” Hilary recalls.


According to her, Jim Bob told him this “’cause he was so responsible.”


“Trust me…” Hilary told the concerned followers.


Of the Duggars, she concluded by writing: “We’ve been blessed to know them for years.”


Well, different people define different things as blessings, but the Spiveys and the Duggars clearly see eye to eye in a lot of alarming ways.


Upon their engagement, Justin and Claire shared a message with the public.


“There is nothing comparable to finding the one you are meant to spend your life with,” they gushed.


“We know we have found that in each other,” the two teens claimed.


“We cannot wait to be married,” the pair raved after Justin popped the question to Claire.


“And,” they continued, “are looking forward to a life together of faith in Christ, love for one another, and happiness!”


Naturally, fans were immediately concerned about the extreme young ages of these teens.


There are a number of complicated social factors at work behind the almost-child marriages within fundamentalist cults.


One is the emphasis upon fertility and reproduction. Another is a cultural disinterest in education (combined with a tradition of getting jobs within the cult).


With actual dating of any kind being banned and substituted with closely supervised courtships, there is also the factor of getting them “settled” as adults before they have time to finish maturing or, worst of all, develop an original thought.


And that is precisely how Derick Dillard explained why the Duggars marry so young when fans asked Jill why her baby-faced teenage brother is about to become a husband.


“We want to have sex,” Derick noted, a line that some mistook for a joke.


Fundamentalist teenagers are still teens — the vast majority of them have sex drives running rampant but no outlet (often, not even masturbation). They will do anything, even saddle themselves for life to someone they barely know, just to pop their corks.


This is a well-documented phenomenon within victims of these kinds of fundamentalist cults and of toxic purity culture in general.


In this way, there is no escape from the cult, the family, or community, and it will be years before Justin and Claire are financially independent enough to make any real choices of their own.


Jim Bob may not have “arranged” this marriage, but he set things up to push all of his children to either marry as soon as possible or risk permanent servant status like Jana.

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