Growing up as one of 19 children and having your daily activities filmed for a television program isn’t the typical American life.
But for Erin (Bates) Paine and Carlin (Bates) Stewart, it was a weekly reality filled with blessings, life lessons and, of course, a few trials.
UP Television’s Bringing Up Bates began broadcasting in 2014. At the time Erin had been married one year and Carlin was 16.
The series’ eighth season premiered this year.
Although both women are married – and simultaneously pregnant – they still appear on the program.
Bringing Up Bates differs from more mainstream reality programs that spotlight friction, fighting and backstabbing. Instead, Bringing Up Bates follows the lives of parents Gil and Kelly Jo Bates, their 19 children, their sons- and daughters-in-law and 11 grandchildren. The family is Christian.
Carlin said she hopes viewers see the blessings of a big family on screen.
“One of the goals we all had on filming was to show how important family is,” Carlin told Christian Headlines. “We have never pretended to be a perfect family or one that has it all together. We have struggles and arguments and heartbreaks, like anyone else. But my parents tried to instill that we would get through life as a team and with God’s help. They tried to make every moment count, and I think that’s the goal they had in mind when they agreed to film. It’s what we all now remind ourselves of for the reason to film – and that is to show that time is a great commodity and we need to use it loving God and loving others.”
Growing up in a big family, Erin said, meant there was plenty of love to go around. No one was left out.
“Being a part of a big family who loves Jesus and loves each other has made the adventure sweeter and has made the memories stronger,” Erin told Christian Headlines. “There always seems to be love leftover.”
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Source: Christian Headlines