Jill Duggar Politely Shuts Down Critic's Claim That She's Dishonoring Her Parents

The title of Jill Duggar Dillard's new tell-all memoir, "Counting the Cost," refers to both the high financial and personal price she paid for being a member of the famous Duggar family of "19 Kids & Counting." Not only was she raised under the oppressive rules of the Institute of Basic Life Principles ministry group, she also was denied money, privacy, and many personal choices by her father, Jim Bob Duggar. Through the book, Jill and her husband, Derick Dillard, hope to let her side of the story be heard and to let fans know some of the disturbing secrets lying under the Duggars' "shiny happy" TV surface. For instance, Jill confirms her father deliberately tried to cover up and downplay the atrocious acts of oldest son Josh in an attempt to keep their show on the air. 

"Counting the Cost" is getting raves from book critics and fans alike. However, there are some who look at the Duggar daughter as another Prince Harry: a disgruntled child oversharing about private family matters. In a recent Instagram post, Jill wrote about a book signing event that was met with some finger-wagging from followers who felt she crossed the line in a most unbiblical way. No matter what wrongs may have been done by her parents, they said, putting them into print was a bad move. Though Jill doesn't ordinarily respond to comments on her threads, she was compelled to speak up for herself once again and address the shamers.

Jill Duggar Dillard says 'honoring' isn't the same as 'obeying'

There are still plenty of questions left unanswered by Jill Duggar Dillard's book and the interviews she's given about it. Some readers, however, think she's already said too much. Her recent Instagram post comment thread included some harsh words from followers who accused Jill of disrespecting her parents. "PS: the Bible doesn't say honor your mother and father if they deserve it, if they earn it, if you feel like it, until a certain age," one said. "No, it's to be at all times, no matter what. If you don't, then you will answer for it." Another critic added in part, "So much hurt is going to come from this book. These were things that the public didn't need to know [about]. What an embarrassment for [her family]." A third commenter defended Jill's father, Jim Bob, saying he "did the best he could." 

Perhaps because of the implication she was being un-Christian, Jill joined the thread to address the critics. "Yes, I still believe we should honor father and mother at every age!" she explained. "It's the definition of honor that has been skewed in IBLP & so many other groups. To 'honor' at all ages does not mean to always 'obey,' or to always 'agree,' or to keep silent about everything, especially when others continue to be harmed. It is possible to live respectfully and show honor to one's parents while also disagreeing. Even Jesus didn't see eye to eye with his family."

Jill's relationship with her parents is complicated

The followers criticizing Jill Duggar Dillard for writing "Counting the Cost" were quickly shouted down by her defenders. "Honor is not defined by obedience, and respect is a two way street," one wrote in part. "I love that you have learned that you can still honor your parents while living your own life." Some also pointed out other sections of the Bible that warn against associating with harmful people. 

This type of self-preservation is what Jill and her husband Derick are practicing now. They recently appeared on NBC's "Today" to discuss their relationship with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. While Jill still sees her mother on special occasions, she currently has no contact with her father. When news of the memoir came out, Jim Bob included the Dillards in a group text in which he "basically threaten[ed] that if anybody speaks out against him or my mom that they would be cut out of the inheritance," Jill said. She also implied she's not as close to some of her 18 siblings since the book news came out; only Jinger Duggar Vuolo has openly come out in support of her.

Those hoping for a quick reconciliation will have to wait. Jill told "Today" she and Derick don't want to feel "pressured to have a false sense of healing." For their part, the senior Duggars released a statement (per In Touch Weekly and other outlets) saying, "We love all our children very much" but would not comment publicly on the book.