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Jessa Duggar of '19 and Counting' Is Dating, Has Family's Support

Image: Jessa Duggar of '19 and Counting' Is Dating, Has Family's Support

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 18 Sep 2013 09:28 AM

When reality-show stars like "19 Kids & Counting's" Jessa Duggar want to bring a love interest home to meet the parents, the awkward meeting is made even more awkward by prying cameras that broadcast the moment to millions nationwide.

Duggar, 20, the third daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of the family TLC series "19 Kids & Counting," is dating Ben Seewald, 18, whom she met at church, according to the New York Daily News. The series, which premiered Tuesday, will document their relationship. 

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"He’s the first one she has shown interest in that has a spiritual focus and legitimate calling about ministry work," Jim Bob Duggar, 48, said, wrote the New York Daily News. "When a guy is pursuing your daughter, you want to check him out and see if there are any red flags. With Ben, there hasn’t been. He is very sharp. It appears like a match made in heaven."

Jim Bob Duggar said that he and his wife are encouraging their daughter to get to know her suitor "on a deeper, spiritual level."

"Both of them love studying the Bible and he is thinking about becoming a pastor," Jim Bob Duggar told RadarOnline. "They have similar interests."

The elder Duggars have talked to Jessa about the mistakes they believed they made in relationships, such as getting intimate too soon.

"We hope they save the physical for when they are married," Jim Bob Duggar told RadarOnline. "When Michelle and I were dating we took things farther than we should have and we regret that. We hope they hold off on any physical aspect until they're married and that they focus on their spiritual relationship."

Fans poured their support on the "19 Kids & Counting” Facebook page. More than 3,400 left comments and 42,000 liked it since Tuesday.)

"Congratulations to them," wrote Vicki Rieker on the page. "She is adorable and I'm glad she has found someone to be with that identifies with her values. The world needs more (Duggars) and less Kardashians."

"I applaud Jessa and Ben for their God-given strength of character and their moral uprightness," wrote Margie Hays. "What a perfect example they are setting for all ages to follow."

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Related stories:

Duggars' Adoption Would Make It '20 Kids and Counting' for TLC

Burger Bill for Duggar Family of TLC's '19 and Counting' Exceeds $600

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