references to God out of their hit reality TV series, Jon & Kate Plus
8. But the couple still manages to share their faith with viewers.
reference to God,” said Gosselin, whose book, Multiple Blessings: Surviving
to Thriving With Twins and Sextuplets, released Tuesday. “It is many times
edited out, which is [TLC’s] prerogative. We had a really hard time with that at
first, and challenged them about it. “But then the e-mails starting coming in
where it would say, ‘We knew you were Christians when we went to your Web site,
and we were right.’”
Debuting in April 2007, the Gosselins’ show is the most
watched program on TLC and chronicles their atypical life in central
Pennsylvania, raising sextuplets—Aaden, Joel, Leah, Alexis, Collin and
Hannah—plus twin daughters—Cara and Mady—who are now 4 and 7-1/2 years old,
family attends an Assemblies of God church. “If you edited all of our faith out
of it and just saw a family—who through thick and through thin is sticking
together in marriage—we always say that is so much better than what you’re going
to see on TV anywhere else nowadays.”
fans, including a woman who contacted her family earlier this year because her
daughter had ovarian cancer and her dying wish was to talk to Gosselin.
young mom, same age as me, and she had two young kids. I fought it for a few
days. … I knew that God was telling me, ‘You must call her, you have no choice,
you need to.’
her. She was an amazing woman who found humor in everything. … As she laid on
her deathbed, I was able to lead her to the Lord that night. I knew I needed to
do it and she was very accepting. She went to heaven less than 24 hour
care of her daughter’s small children. “A few months later, the grandmother
called me, and the 7-year-old found out that he was dying of cancer,” she
recounted. “It’s so horribly awful, and he passed away this summer.
would have met them any other way, and that is how God chooses to use us. Three
people coming to the Lord through our show is all worth it.”
The Gosselin family are media darlings, appearing on Dr.
Phil, the Today show, The Oprah Winfrey Show and Good
Morning America. Zondervan released the Gosselins’ book, Multiple
Blessings: Surviving to Thriving With Twins and Sextuplets.
Meanwhile, the couple speaks in churches—a ministry that has increased with the
growing popularity of Jon & Kate. But having a reality show also
means the Gosselins seem to live in a fishbowl.
“If you’ve seen our show, anytime that I lose my temper, I
just don’t like to see it,” Gosselin said. “It’s hard, but we’re being real, and
that was the goal of our show. … It’s an amazing story that we have eight
healthy, beautiful children, but it’s not all hearts and flowers and happy,
smiley, giggly all the time. I don’t care what family you are. That is not real.
If that’s what you’re seeing, it’s not real all the time.”
Having up to eight TV crewmembers filming at their house for
sometimes 12 hours also presents spiritual challenges for the family. “The
greatest challenge is putting God first all the time, our family second and not
allowing work or the demands of the show to tear us apart,” said Gosselin, who
has been called “the busiest mom in America.”
“I firmly believe that the enemy’s main goal is to rip us
apart as a family,” she continued. “We have felt ourselves being pulled that way
because critical people—Christians included—will say: ‘[The show] will tear your
family apart. Why are you doing this?’
“And our answer to that is, ‘We believe this is where God
wants us to be, what God wants us to do.’ It is a daily struggle, but any job
would be. We assess each situation, asking God for His help in each decision. We
will keep our eyes on Him, although we are not perfect.” —Eric