During her appearance on the Wednesday, January 10, episode of “The Unplanned Podcast,” on which she appeared alongside her husband, Derrick Dillard, Jill, 32, responded to the question of whether being a member of a family belonging to the Institute of Basic Life Principles — a controversial religious group — felt like being a “perpetual teenager.”
“I think that that was very much part of this IBLP culture,” Jill explained to hosts Matt Howard and Abby Howard. “They had these seven basic principles, and I think that the main pillar was this principle of authority, where it’s almost like this umbrella of protection they talk about where you have God, and then you have, like, the parents, and then you have the government, and, like, the kids under that,” Jill explained.
She continued, “It’s just like this ranking system, and if you’re not abiding by your parents’ authority forever, then you’re getting out from under their blessing. And if you’re out from under their blessing, then you’re opening yourself up to evil, and bad things happening.”
Jill said the feeling of being under her parents’ thumbs continued well into adulthood, adding that Michelle, 57, and Jim Bob, 58, led her to believe that later misfortunes, such as a car crash, “could be as a result of not obeying” them.
When asked if her brothers were held to the same standard as the couple’s daughters, Jill replied that the rules were “the same in that they were expected to get blessing for decisions, especially major decisions, like buying a house.”
“They had to get a blessing to buy a house from your dad?” Matt, 25, asked.
“Yeah,” Jill replied. “It would be looked down upon if you did not get your parents’ blessing in any major life events. So like, to date someone, for sure to marry somebody, but like, if you were gonna stop having kids, you should probably get their insight on that.” She added that she had to ask her parents before going “against the grain on anything,” citing wearing pants as an example.
In Jill and Derick’s memoir, Counting the Cost, which was released in September 2023, Jill revealed Jim Bob’s reaction to her wearing pants for the first time. After sporting a pair of leggings in public shortly after giving birth to her son Samuel in 2017, Jim Bob confronted Jill about her fashion choice – a moment she wrote made her cry with embarrassment.
“Pops had told us ever since we were little that we needed to be able to stand up for our convictions, even if others disagreed,” she continued in her book. “Why couldn’t he see that by deciding to wear pants, I was doing exactly what he taught us? All my life I’d been trying to show respect to Pops, but when was he going to show the same to me?”
During a September 2023 interview with Today, Jill described her current relationship with her parents as “complicated.”
“We just had to draw some pretty strict boundaries and just put things in a healthier place,” she continued to the outlet at the time. “There just hasn’t been a whole lot of change. And again, we don’t expect people to change. So while I love my parents and I respect them and honor them, I just have to prioritize our family unit and do what’s best and healthy for Derek and I and our kids.”