‘Counting On’ Star Justin Duggar Announces He’s in a Courtship, Despite Only Being 17 Years Old

“Someone call Miss Cindy and tell her to bring her bales of hay! There’s gonna be a wedding!”

The Duggar Family has had a dry spell lately, with no courtships or weddings to broadcast on their TLC reality show, Counting On, but that ended on Monday when Duggar son Justin Duggar announced he is courting.

In a video clip released by Us Weekly, Justin revealed that his new girlfriend is 19-year-old Claire Spivey, whose family has been chummy with the Duggar clan for nearly 20 years. 

And, if you’re thinking Justin has a particularly young-looking face, you’re right: he is only `17 years old.

“Claire and I are excited to share that we are in a courtship,” Justin said in the video clip. “God brought Claire in my life and I wasn’t really expecting it, but he brought her along right when I needed her. Ever since then, I just knew that she was the one. Claire has a lot of good qualities and I can sit here and tell you all of them, but there are so many good things that Is see in her. I’m so blessed to have her in my life.”

Claire, in turn, gushed in typical Fundie fashion about Justin.

“Justin and I’s families have known each other for over 20 years so before he or I were even born, and then we got connected last year. … I’m really looking forward to the memories to come spent with him. I’m excited to see what the Lord holds for us in the near future.”

Justin is rarely on the family’s show ‘Counting On,’ (and is one of the “background boys” The Ashley refers to in her recaps, due to him rarely, if ever, appearing on the show except in the background). However, he is front and center in a clip of an upcoming episode, introducing his family to Claire.

“We all know I’m about to butt in and tell the story of how I started courting Michelle in order to steal Justin’s thunder.”

The Dugs are shown in a video chat as Justin appears on the screen, beaming in from a conference he’s attending.

“I actually do have some news for the family, and I figured while we’re all together, I can introduce someone,” Justin says. “This is Claire, and we are now in an official relationship.”

(None of the Duggars look particularly shocked, which means they probably knew what was coming before it was filmed.)

Justin then tells the camera (from a room that resembles some sort of fancy prison cell or sad camp bunk) that he and Clare met at a family conference “not too long ago.”

“Several months after, I talked with her dad and asked if I could start a relationship with her,” Justin explains. “She’s really outgoing and very sweet and nice.”

According to TLCMe, Justin and Claire met in the Spring of 2019 while dining out with a group of friends near Claire’s hometown in Texas.

“The two got to know each other when Justin came over to spend time with the family. The visits increased and they were quickly drawn to one another,” the site reports, adding, “Justin says he knew Claire was going to be his wife within a week of meeting her.”

Claire’s family is also large; she is the oldest of six kids. TLCMe reports that they enjoy reading the Bible and praying together, as well as doing outdoor activities.

Claire particularly enjoys watching Justin work on his truck. Other Happy Days-esque activities enjoyed by the couple include Justin being in the kitchen while Claire cooks, sharing a soda, and going out for ice cream.

“I’m really looking forward to the memories to come,” Claire says in the video.

After the news of their courtship went public, Claire wasted no time in creating a public Instagram, which she used on Monday to gush about her man.

“Words will never express the depth of my love and admiration for this amazing man!” she wrote. “He is the most tenderhearted person, and every moment spent with him is treasured. I’m so thankful for the man of God that he is. Whether we are in person, or long distance, he cherishes and loves me unconditionally. His example to me and all he meets, is unlike any other. I am the most blessed woman on earth to be in a relationship you. I’ll love you forever.”

Justin’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, offered their thoughts on the courtship on the family’s official Facebook page.

“Congratulations on your relationship, Justin and Claire!” they wrote. “When Justin couldn’t stop talking about what a great girl Claire was, we knew it was only a matter of time before he would make it official! We are excited for them as they follow the Lord and find out what He has in store for their lives during this courtship! We have loved getting to know Claire and her family better over the last year, and we think the world of them!”

Currently, there are five Duggar kids over 18 who are not in courtships: 19-year-old James, 20-year-old Jason, 21-year-old twins Jeremiah and Jedidiah, and, of course, 30-year-old Jana— who is badgered constantly about still being single

To read The Ashley‘s ‘Counting On’ recaps, click here

(Photos: TLC; Instagram)

21 Responses

  1. Calling him “this man” repeatedly is pretty telling, lol. She knows it’s ridiculous, it’s all for cash and the approval of that cult they grew up in.
    I’m happy to see Jill break away; I’d love to see her sign her OWN contract with TLC, JBoob would have a stroke.

  2. Seems to be alot of “hugging” going on.
    Does Mom & Dad approve when it’s the sons
    and disapprove when it’s the daughters ?
    How does that work ?

  3. Josiah was 18 when he started courting Marjorie (and we all know how that ended) so I have my doubt. Still, he’s even younger than him! He will be 18 in November! (I assume if they stay together, he will propose to her on that day…ugh) So he is officially the youngest Duggar kid who courts an older girl (Ben excluded, he doesn’t count because he married in the family). I just…if they were allowed to actually DATE, I’m sure it would have fizzled out in a couple of weeks/months, although Michelle dated JB when she was 17 and still married him, lol.

    I can’t imagine, them being married when he’s barely 18 (hopefully next year, not this one but who knows with this family), she gets knocked up and gives birth before she’s 20, I know they have an example in Kendra but my god, this is young…his brain isn’t even fully developed yet and her’s neither!

    So does that mean his older bros are the new Jana?! And why don’t they rather find someone for her?! I bet the poor WOMAN is thinking will Johannah court before her and at this rate she bloody well can in a few years! (Or maybe even before that, like, does that mean the age they are allowed to court will go lower and lower?! I’m appalled at his parents not seeing a problem in that!)

  4. Claire needs to take herself a few states over to the BATES men if she really has an appetite for that certain type.

    Letting(or making) a 17 yr old boy who has only been loosely home-schooled, basically fast track it to the alter, all for a story line and more money for Jim Boob’s pockets, is beyond gross. Not to mention, because of his age, once he marries, with no skills etc, he is 100% dependent on the BOOB for everything, and just like the rest of the fundie-zombie clan, have to dance to his fiddle.

    After watching both shows for a long time now, you can easily see the difference between Gil Bates and the Boob, and one of them is a controlling scary douche nozzle who rules his family with fear and love withholding. Gross.

  5. This girl is not 19; she looks like his mom! And I love how she describes Justin as a man…Wow, these kids need a little exposure to the world.

    1. He is 17 years old! Am I the only one who thinks this is too young. Claire is 2 years older which makes her an adult and he is a minor CHILD. Slow down Justin. I know the hormones are raging but please take 5 years to grow up and live a little. You are not a cash cow for your family.

  6. She looks like she should be his mum!!! My son is 16, and although he’s very mature, kind, and helpful if he came home tomorrow to essentially announce his engagement, I’d be concerned. They seem to relish in it. Very odd

    1. I have 19 and 22 year old nephews that I know are in no way ready for marriage. Sad to think that the 22 year old would be considered past prime marrying age, by Duggar standards!

    1. Calling him “this man” repeatedly is pretty telling, lol. She knows it’s ridiculous, it’s all for cash and the approval of that cult they grew up in.
      I’m happy to see Jill break away; I’d love to see her sign her OWN contract with TLC, JBoob would have a stroke.

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