Despite growing up in a religious community that’s been described as a fertility cult, Jana Duggar is still single and childless as she approaches her 34th birthday.
There’s been a great deal of speculation with regard to why Jana continues to live at home with her parents as her younger siblings leave the nest to start families of their own.
(Women in the Duggars’ community are not permitted to live on their own, otherwise, Jana might be happily residing in an apartment somewhere instead of sharing a bedroom with her youngest sisters.)
Some observers believe that Jana is secretly in love with her best friend, Laura DeMasie.
Indeed, homosexuality is so taboo in the Duggars’ bizarre belief system that if Jana were in a relationship with a woman, she would have little choice but to hide it from the world.
The alleged relationship has inspired many impassioned pleas for Jana and Laura to break free and make a life for themselves somewhere far from the small-mindedness of their Arkansas hometown.
But there’s no actual evidence of any romantic connection between the two friends.
The more likely explanation for Jana’s continued solitude is that she simply made a choice not to marry.
That might mean that she’s just never met the right guy.
Or, like just about everything else in the Duggars’ world, it may have to do with religion.
Yes, many now believe that Jana took a vow to remain single in the days when her family was still being manipulated by the cult leader Bill Gothard.
Gothard founded the Institute in Basic Life Principles, which formed the basis for many of the Duggars’ bizarre beliefs.
The guru later resigned in disgrace following dozens of sexual harassment allegations, but insiders say his teachings continue to shape Jim Bob’s worldview.
In the recent Amazon documentary Shiny Happy People, Jill Duggar revealed that Jana was selected to work closely with Gothard while she was still in her teens.
Disturbingly, Jill noted that the decision might have been a result of Gothard’s known preference for blondes.
In her recent memoir, Jill went into greater detail about Gothard’s instructions to unmarried young women.
“We were encouraged not to just sit around waiting for our future mate to show but instead to occupy our time in ways that distracted us from constant thoughts of marriage,” she wrote.
“Mr. Gothard even taught that it was best to make a vow of single service, committing a specific number of years to serving God while single. His teaching,” Jill continued.
Earlier this week, that passage sparked an interesting conversation on the r/DuggarsSnark subreddit.
“Do you think Jana has taken a vow of single service?” one user asked in reference to Jill’s remarks about Gothard.
“I think Jana has what she needs. She stays busy at the house, she has Laura and I assume other friends, the greenhouse if that’s still going,” one commenter wrote.
“She seems content with how things are. Being single gives her the freedom to travel to or with all of her siblings.”
“Yes! And a vow of singleness would really help excuse her desire to live an independent life,” another added.
“Nope. As has been discussed here a billion times, she probably just doesn’t like her options so far,” a third chimed in,” a third chimed in.
“At home she has her beautiful garden, her greenhouse, her curtained off section of bedroom and younger sisters to do all the chores (which there really aren’t that many of anymore). Getting married would be a huge step down.”
We might never know for sure why Jana has decided to remain unattached.
But she likely dodged a bullet by refusing to be corralled into an arranged marriage by her overbearing father.