It’s been almost a year since Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell got married, and for the most part, the young couple has stuck to the Duggar script.
Kendra got pregnant on her honeymoon, and she’s happily played the role of doting wife in a number of promotional videos the Duggars have posted online.
The couple even participated in the making of a TLC special about Kendra’s delivery, granting more access to the network’s camera crews than any of Joseph’s siblings ever had.
But even though Joe and Kendra haven’t shied away from participating in the family business, they don’t seem to enjoy the spotlight as much as other Duggars.
In fact, the newlyweds have raised eyebrows with their refusal to interact with fans on social media.
For past Duggar couples, Instagram profiles have been regarded as a sacred privilege.
Duggar kids aren’t permitted to engage in social media until after they’re engaged, and usually, they take advantage of their new freedom as soon as possible.
But Joe and Kendra have yet to create accounts either as individuals or as a couple.
And fans can’t help but wonder why that is.
The answer might have something to do with the fact that Joe and Kendra are deeply conservative in their beliefs — even by Duggar standards.
Like his siblings, Joe is an adherent to the teachings of disgraced minister Bill Gothard and his Institute for Basic Life Principles.
But unlike the others, Joe took his devotion to the organization step farther in his youth by attending the Gothard-founded ALERT Academy, a sort of faith-based boot camp for fundamentalist young men.
“This drove me to depend even more on God,” Joseph recently wrote of his experience.
“As a young man, I can say this was one of the greatest things God used to strengthen and build my faith in Him.”
Joe is commonly regarded as one of the more practical and serious Duggars and his stringent devotion to his parents’ belief systems was evident during his courtship with Kendra.
The Duggar courtship rules are already notoriously strict, but Joe and Kendra held themselves to an even higher standard of behavior.
Joe recruited his siblings to serve as chaperones and ensure that he and Kendra stuck to their own rules.
The couple limited themselves to periods of physical contact that lasted no longer than three seconds and only allowed themselves to “side-hug” and say “I love you” after they got engaged.
For all the recent talk of “Duggar rebels,” it looks as though at least one of Jim Bob and Michelle’s offspring has gone in the opposite direction by being even more conservative than his parents.
Watch Counting On online to get caught up in time for tonight’s season premiere.