Why Are We Rated PG?

Of the three episodes on the TLC miniseries on large families, Kids by the Dozen, two were given the rating of PG rather than G. The Arndts (the first episode) was rated G. Last night’s episode featuring the Heppner family and next week’s featuring our family are both PG. Why?

The reason is because…both families share about unmarried pregnancies. Miriam Heppner was very open about being a scared teenage mother 27 years ago when she and Spud conceived their oldest. As it turns out in the show, their oldest comes home at Thanksgiving and, with the TLC cameras rolling, lets everyone know that she is pregnant. Miriam and Spud responded with an incredible amount of love to the situation, but the disappointing reality of it is shown. Jemima, their oldest, is a beautiful young lady who, like Spud said, will be going through some tough times. She likely doesn’t doubt her parents’ love for her, though.

Our life story is similar. Wendy was a teenage mom who gave birth at age 15 and 18. Both children are now adults living fruitful lives, ages 23 and 20. When the cameras were rolling at our home last September capturing all sorts of fun things like folding laundry, shopping, riding around in our bus, and preparing for our birthday bash, we felt led to be even more transparent. We shared about our oldest daughter who, like her mother, had a child out of marriage. Needless to say, we shared all and (we are grateful) our daughter agreed to tell the story. Unlike the Heppners, though, our response to Alicia was not nearly as loving and nonjudgmental. Our story had an unwritten end to it, one that included a dark separation that was nothing to be proud of.

Revealing this was incredibly risky, you can imagine, but we believe God pressed on our hearts to be open with this. The blessings that have come out of this have been amazing. We have begun a miraculous reconciliation with Alicia that can literally be called a mountain-moving experience. Our next two daughters, Alissa and Cynthia, have journeyed with us in a more relational way in understanding conflicts between judgment and love. Our risks were humiliation and shame, but God has honored our stepping forth with a renewed vision for parenting and His Greatest Commandment.

So, that is why “parental guidance” is suggested. Like the Heppner’s broadcast yesterday, the majority of the show will not be consumed with the “mature” content. There are a lot of great shots the camera crew took, so I do hope you and your entire family watch the program. This PG rating we wear as a badge of honor, for it is a real story that we hope can touch the hearts of millions of real families in similar situations. All in all, as the Heppners displayed last night and the Arndts the week before, the love for our children no matter what choices they make when they start off in life is what matters most.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • Kendra Neal

    I just wanted to say that I have watched the 2 episodes so far and will be watching your family on Monday. I also was an unmarried woman when I gave birth at age 18. I had a healthy baby boy on Oct 21, 1990. I did choose to give him up for adoption, but I know God willing I will see him one day here on earth. I have since married and now have 3 sons with my husband. We are hoping to add at least one more to our family. THANK YOU for portraying the “real life” of families then and now.

  • Chris Jeub

    Wow, Kendra, your testimony is sure encouraging! Thank you for sharing with us. We believe great things are coming from simply being real.

  • http://www.imasupermom.blogspot.com Kristi

    I am REJOICING with your family over your new, adult relationship with Alicia! I get teared up just knowing that your family is “together” again!!! Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow!!!!! I can’t tell you how happy I am- there are no words- just know I have a big dopey smile on my face everytime you talk about her now! What a blessing this taping was for your family especially! God works in amazing ways!!!

  • http://www.6littlelambs.blogspot.com/ Renee

    Thank you Jeubs for being “real”(and Heppners too!) I do love seeing families like the Duggers and the Arndt’s. And I know they are “real” and not perfect. However, I think your lives will speak to more people about the wonderful grace and mercy of God and that there is always hope in Him.


  • Debi

    Hi, I just wanted to say that we have been watching this series and really enjoy it. We currently have 6 boys ages 9, 8, 6, 4, 3, 9mo, and are ready and praying for more.
    We also started out with an out of marriage pregnancy, but were married when our son was 2 months old and will celebrate out 10th anniversary this June. God is so good.

    Blessings to you and your family.

  • http://www.panclaninmn.blogspot.com Beth Pankratz

    I sure agree with Renee, being true and honest and showing that our “Christian” lives are not perfect, but yet showing love by working it out speaks LOUDLY to our world. I have not been able to see the shows yet,as we do not have cable, but we soon thanks to gadgets.
    Blessings to you, Beth mom to 10

  • H

    Came across your site today while looking for information on the Heppners – my DVR recording of their episode didn’t work completely, so I missed the end of their show!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your episode and thank you in advance for your openness – it really is a gift that you have allowed the world to see the cracks in some of your relations that, ultimately, have led to stronger ties. This is what impressed me so much about the Heppner episode – their ability to talk about having had some very, very rough times, but having made it through and being the better for it. This, to me, is what makes them a remarkable family, far more than the volume of children… it’s the grit and tenacity of the love that is so valuable to me, as a random viewer. There’s an ancient Greek saying that “the cracked vase lasts longest,” and I think this is true – because you use it as a daily part of your life, and you tend to its weaknesses, thereby making them stronger, rather than letting a perfect, unmarred vase sit unused and unattended on the shelf.

    My husband and I have only been married a few years and have just had our first child. I feel blessed that I got to watch my own parents muddle and slog through some very difficult periods. They remained together when most people would have quit, and thier love now is so undeniably wonderful and worth it. It’s this kind of very real modelling that helps to teach us to stay in marriage – that the difficulties make it ultimately all the better, as long as both people are willing to work on it and make the marriage worth it.

    Thanks again in advance for the honesty in your show and please pass my gratitude along to the Heppners as well!

    – H

  • Chris Jeub

    Wow, H, you hit the nail on the head! Our hope is that people see the Greatest Commandment living itself out in our lives: loving God and loving others. Thank you for your encouragement!

  • http://www.athirdculture.com A Voice

    I just watched your story tonight. I too want to thank you for being open and real. As the “Alicia” in my family (minus any real mistakes), I am very glad to hear that you as parents followed God’s leading and reached out to her, and that the relationship is being rebuilt. May God bless your family.

  • Mel Durham

    I was awed and impressed by your honesty, faith in God, and the love you have for your family. I’m a single Mom, but my son was born in wedlock. Unfortunately, God’s plan for our family has led to what I hope is a temporary separation from my husband (until he can get his ducks in a row and hopefully God will lead him back to me and our son.) We had planned on having more children, but it wasn’t meant to be. We suffered two losses and our little angels are watching over their big brother, Mommy & Daddy. Hopefully, one day soon Daddy will make better choices and become part of our lives again. Your family is the very example of God’s bond with us as his children. Many Blessings, Mel & Tommy; age 7

  • http://yahoo Jack

    What a great show you had last night. My children ages 13,10,9 sat in amazement (and silence)for your entire show. We home school our kids too. It’s nice too see home schooling getting a positve spin for a change. I’m sure your story touched many hearts last night, I know it touch mine. Thanks

  • Jill

    I really enjoyed your open honest show! It warmed my heart so to see you start to reconnect with your oldest daughter. Everyone makes mistakes and it takes a big person to see past that and realize that they ARE NOT just their mistakes- they are still the people you love. I only have 4 children and am overwhelmed by laundry alone- so I am amazed at how you do it all! Thank you for sharing your story! And I want to come to the Birthday Bash! It looks like fun!

  • Heather

    I realy enjoyed the show last night, I was an unwed mother at 16 in the end I gave her up for adoption, it was very hard for me to do. But we are together now, she’s married with two beautiful daughter’s of her own. I have two boys ages 11 and 9. God bless.

  • Heather

    I realy enjoyed the show last night, I was an unwed mother at 16 in the end I gave her up for adoption, it was very hard for me to do. But we are together now, she’s married with two beautiful daughter’s of her own. I have two boys ages 11 and 9 that I am raising on my own, and have been since 1998. God bless.

  • http://l Lex

    my only question what was soo bad that you cut alicia out of your lives.. it does not seem that very christian of the family.

    [Chris Jeub: You’re right, separation is a sad thing and I believe it disappoints God. However, the reunion is great victory, it is hard to focus on the failing in this time of joy. Alicia is back, and God taught us both many great things through the trial.]

  • tina

    May God Bless al of you. How do you stay sane and continue to both look so young?

  • http://jonsrib.blogspot.com 31Girl

    I have not seen this on TLC yet but I will be looking out for it.

    I was pregnant at 17 and unfortunately did not feel like I was strong enough emotionally to have a child at that young of an age. I had an abortion 11 weeks into the pregnancy. I really wish that I could have mustered up the courage to tell my parent’s that I was pregnant. I know they would have at first been dissapointed but then love would have won out in the end. Life is such a precious gift from God – I’m only sorry that it took going through all of that for me to see it.

  • Melanie

    What a great show.. I cant believe TLC are only making 3 episodes.. This should be regular show. I am a single mother of 4 children. I was also 15 and 19 when i gave birth. Still many people dont understand how i do it somethings.. (Teenage pregnancy/parenting ,feeding them, take them on vacation etc..) I would love to know however what Christams entails for a family so large.. We need more shows like this to give other people ideas on how to budget their money better.. cook for larger crowds etc.. People these days are spending way too much money on things

  • lisa

    hi there watched your programme on the Discovery channel here in the UK – my husband and i have 5 children (#6 due in august) our first 3 were born before my hubby and i were married 6 weeks after making the Lord our LORD plt so many changes, hubby and i are convicted to let God decide the size and spacing of our family, something which many of our friends and relatives struggle with even tho they all admit we are good parents who love God. Have been homeschooling for 3 years now – and i really admire wendy and yourself – keep up the work, the honesty and transparency – praise God for families like yours who inspire families like our and let us know “all things are possible with God – amen

    love and blessings to you are yours
    lisa and terry
    children jack 9 mollie 7 lucy 5 hannah 3 and adam 2

  • Jen

    My mother recorded your show so our children and I could watch it. WOW! My husband and I had a child before we were married. Almost 9 years ago. I think it’s good to be honest about it. =) We have 6 children so far. I can’t wait until we have a dozen!
    =) Jen – mama to 6 so far.

  • Bonnie

    My husband and I met the Heppners at a MACHE convention about 15 years ago. We had 5 children at the time. We had never met anyone named Jemima before. My husband liked the name so well that he said if we ever had another girl we would name her Jemima. Our seventh child (third girl) is Jemima due to our having met the Heppners! Our Jemima has 4 younger sisters and a baby brother (yes, that makes 12). Our two oldest children are married and our first grandchild is due June 19, 2007.
    I was unable to see the whole program on the Heppners. Is there any possibility of the episode being aired again?

    We’ve been told that all the Kids by the Dozen episodes will be re-aired several times in the coming months/years. Check TLC’s website for updates.