Jinger Duggar is no longer letting her parents' beliefs define her wardrobe choices.
In the TLC reality star's new book, The Hope We Hold: Finding Peace in the Promises of God, co-written with husband Jeremy Vuolo, she writes that she started to "reexamine" the lessons she was taught by her family. She explained, "I wanted to see if the convictions I'd always held were true. I wanted to examine why I believed what I believed, and if those beliefs were supported by the Scripture."
"Growing up, I had a set of standards that I took as givens," Jinger continued. "Now, as I reexamined and compared them to scripture, my convictions were changing."
Her convictions were modified ever so slightly, but Jinger no longer believed pants were inappropriate. As she put it, "Modesty isn't about what you wear. It's about the position of your heart."
She added, "I wanted to follow what the Bible said, and as I searched the Scriptures for answers, I never found a passage specifically forbidding women from wearing pants."
Prior to this revelation, Jinger operated under her mother, Michelle Duggar's, instruction that women should always wear skirts or dresses.
"My mom had always dressed us girls in skirts and dresses, a standard that was taken from Deuteronomy 22:5 (ESV), which says, 'A woman shall not wear a man's garment,' and I never really questioned it," the 27 year old shared. "Modesty was a huge topic in our house, and we believed that wearing skirts instead of pants was a central part of being modest."
This aspect of her upbringing made it slightly difficult to transition to wearing pants, even though she said her heart felt "free." She reasoned, "Still, I struggled with believing something that was different from my family. I knew they deeply cared about their convictions, and I didn't want to hurt them now that I didn't share those convictions."
Moreover, Jinger was concerned that her parents would think she "didn't appreciate how I was raised," even though that was not the case.
For his part, Jeremy recalled feeling "caught off guard" when Jinger began contemplating wearing pants. But he supported her decision to reevaluate her beliefs, writing, "I understood the journey she was on, a journey to ask questions and make her faith fully her own."
The couple's journey of self-discovery comes after they moved to Los Angeles, where Jeremy is continuing his studies at ministry school.
Though they've moved far from the Duggar home in Arkansas, Jinger and Jeremy remain close to their loved ones, who are grappling with Josh Duggar's arrest on federal charges of receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children.
Josh was arrested on Thursday, April 29 and pleaded not guilty to both charges in a federal court the following day. He's since been released on bail under a combination of conditions, including the order that he have no contact with minor children, except for supervised visits with his and Anna Duggar's six kids.
Jeremy and Jinger wrote in a statement, "We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh. While the case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice."
In their book, the couple additionally detailed the fallout of Josh's previous molestation allegations, with Jinger calling it a "nightmare." To read more about their experience, click here.