Before Counting On star Josiah Duggar tied the knot with Lauren Swanson last month, his parents Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar had some advice for the couple.
“Most importantly, both of our families emphasized how important it is to keep Christ central in our marriage,” the couple told PEOPLE Tuesday. “Marriage is a gift from God and putting Christ first is the most important thing we can do to ensure a marriage that is strong, healthy and able to withstand all the ups and downs of life.”
Josiah added that his family also "encouraged me to look for every chance to serve Lauren — to genuinely serve her and put her first, ahead of myself.”
Lauren chimed in, “My parents encouraged me to be Josiah’s biggest fan, offer him support and encouragement. Think the best, never assume the worst. Be his biggest cheerleader.”
The couple wed on June 30 at John Brown University Cathedral of the Ozarks in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
“What a joy it is to be husband and wife," the couple told PEOPLE at the time. “Our wedding day was absolutely perfect!”
"What was even more perfect was to see my beautiful bride walking down the aisle," Josiah added. "We are so thankful the Lord has brought us to this place and we can’t wait to begin our journey as husband and wife!"
The newlyweds first announced they were beginning a courtship in January. Lauren, who is eldest of eight children, was a family friend of the Duggars, even appearing on 19 Kids & Counting prior to the show's cancellation.
"We are overjoyed to begin this new phase of our lives together," Duggar told PEOPLE in January. "Through the years our families’ friendship has allowed us to get to know one another as friends. I can definitely say I have found a great friend … even better than I could have hoped for or imagined."
The couple's nuptials will be shown on the upcoming season of Counting On, which returns Monday, July 30. Also included will likely be John David Duggar's courtship with Abbie Grace Burnett, which was announced four days before his brother's wedding.
“Abbie and I are just so excited, we’ve known of each other for several years,” the 28-year-old said in a TLC video announcing their courtship. “We fell in love very quickly and it’s been a wonderful journey thus far,” he added.
Congratulations to the happy couples!0comments
Counting On returns for a new season on Monday, July 30 at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.
Photo credit: TLC/Andy Henderson