Counting On stars Joy-Anna Duggar and her now-husband, but fianceé at the time, Austin Forsyth, committed a major courting faux pas back before they got married, and you can witness the shocking act on tonight’s episode.
As you know, Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth are already married in real life. But since real life is generally ahead of TV production sometimes months or even over a year ahead, what you’re seeing on Counting On happened a long time ago.
And so, whenever the Counting On scenes that you’ll see tonight were filmed — whenever that may have been — the two of them were not married and still under the strict rules of “courtship” followed by the Duggar family and those who would marry into it. And, the two broke a big courtship rule.
So what was the shocking activity that likely brought scandal and shame to the Duggar and Forsyth families? The sinful and immoral activity occurred while the two were working on a home renovation project (Austin pays the bill by flipping houses and doing handyman work). While using a table saw, Austin, possibly on purpose, possibly accidentally, and possibly accidentally-on-purpose, touched Joy-Anna’s hand.
You’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal?” Couples in relationships touch each other all the time, and teenagers and young adults can scarcely keep their hands off each other.
Well, in the quaint and patriarchal lifestyle employed by the Duggars, couples — even adults, like Joy-Anna and Austin — don’t “date” in the sense that most people understand the term. Rather, they enter into a “courtship,” with both fathers’ permission. And during courtship, they aren’t allowed to touch each other beyond the awkward side-hug.
Of course, Joy-Anna and Justin are married now and can touch each other as much as they please.
However, it still seems like Joy-Anna is destined to live out her days under the archaic rules of her father. Although she’s an adult woman who, presumably, can make her own choices, she will be abiding by the wishes of her husband when it comes to how she dresses. That means that, as the Christian Post reports, she won’t be allowed to wear pants.
New episodes of Counting On air on Mondays at 10 p.m. Eastern time.