Last week, Jana Duggar celebrated her birthday.
Along with her twin brother, John David, Jana turned 28–not a milestone age, but a very big deal to Duggar fans, nonetheless.
Unfortunately for Jana, her birthday is a subject of fascination for reasons that aren’t entirely celebratory,
Jana is still single, which is a fact that seems to astonish many fans of her famous family.
John David is unattached as well, but as a man, his love life–or lack thereof–is not as heavily scrutinized.
Women in the Duggar family are taught from a young age that procreation is their primary reason for being.
Several of Jana’s younger sisters have already married and started families of their own, which is one of the reasons that fans are baffled by the fact that Jana remains childless.
It’s an unexpected situation, to be sure, and while there are many rumored reasons circulating around social media, it seems Jim Bob is just as baffled as anyone else when it comes to why Jana is still single.
Over the weekend, Jim Bob appeared at an event organized by the Institute for Basic Life Principles in Kilsyth South Baptist Church in Kilsyth South, Victoria.
Amateur video from the event shows the Duggar patriarch uncomfortably joking about Jana’s refusal to marry.
“And Jana is–actually, back in the U.S., it’s her birthday,” Jim Bob says in video of the speech.
“Jana is 28-years-old and still single, so she’s still praying about the one.”
On Reddit, most Duggar fans were quick to defend Jim Bob’s sense of humor.
“I wasn’t there but I assumed it was just a dad joke. He makes a lot of them especially on the old episodes of the original show,” commented one user.
“Women have a biological clock. Men generally don’t. It’s more notable for a woman to be single and childless after a certain age. This is not unique to the Duggars,” wrote another.
At least one fan, however, was quick to point out the insensitivity of Jim Bob’s remarks:
“What I do wonder is–what’s Jim Bob’s angle with that joke? Is it just a standard-issue dorky dad joke that he’s too oblivious to realize could be seen as hurtful?” the Redditor wrote.
“Does he know it’s a sensitive subject, so he’s trying to diffuse it with humor? Is ol’ JB a little salty that lovely, talented Jana isn’t playing along with the real Duggar family business: marrying off its children for profit?”
We may never know just what’s going on in Jim Bob’s head–and that’s probably a good thing.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most famous family.