The Counting On alum, 29, opened up about how she plans to approach relationships when Felicity, now 4, and Evangeline, now 2, reach that phase of their lives. “I think that the Bible’s clear about what purity is before marriage, but as far as the specifics, it’s not nailed down,” she exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the release of her new book, Becoming Free Indeed, on Tuesday, January 31.
Duggar pointed out that her perspective on “purity culture” has slightly shifted since she began her own courtship with Vuolo, 35, in June 2016. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar‘s daughter followed a strict conservative Christian lifestyle throughout her childhood which encouraged purity and modesty for women.
“[We were taught] you can’t go on a date with someone without a chaperone. You know, you can’t kiss before you’re married, you can’t hold hands, like, all the rules,” she told Us. “[But] I don’t see that in the word of God.”
Jinger and her husband, who tied the knot in November 2016, want their little girls to be more open-minded. “I mean, sometimes things are trial and error,” the former TLC personality added. “I want to equip them for life and give them the best possible lives that I can and point them to the word of God. And then, at the end of the day, I think that they will grow and mature. I don’t think that courtship is a word that we’re gonna use with them at all because I don’t think that that’s the only way to find a spouse — or the best way — at all.”
In her new book, the Arkansas native pushes back on some of the teachings she experienced while growing up. Jinger and her siblings were raised as devout independent Baptists and were taught principles founded by controversial minister Bill Gothard. However, as she started a family of her own, Jinger started to develop ideas of her own and found a new way of embracing her faith — partly thanks to Vuolo.
“I had that perspective in mind as well as that I would have as many kids as God would give me, meaning [using] no birth control at all. That was something that I thought was my future,” Jinger told Us. “And even though now I’m married and I have two beautiful girls … my life looks totally different than I thought it would.”
The retired soccer player has been “so supportive” as Jinger continues to broaden her horizons. “He has encouraged me to grow [and] to get outside of my little box of thinking,” she gushed.
Jinger reflected on the early days of her relationship with Vuolo in her new book, confessing that he “wasn’t yet convinced” that he was The One when they were given permission to begin their courtship.
“Jeremy was the last guy to ask my father if he could court me. He was unlike the previous guys in nearly every way,” she wrote. “He didn’t pursue me because I was a Duggar. He wasn’t a fan of the show, and he knew next to nothing about the tight-knit, conservative Christian circles in which I’d grown up. … I trusted Jeremy, and for the first time, I was ready to hear a different perspective on the Bible.”
Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith From Fear is available now.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi