Monday, August 24, 2015

Musing on the Duggar Revelation

Josh Duggar. Ashley Madison. Not an issue I usually address here on my blog, but I feel the need to write about it.

No matter what your opinion of the adultery website or Josh Duggar, this revelation in the press speaks volumes about our society and what we value.

This may not go where you think.

Have you ever been in Anna Duggar's shoes? Maybe not an affair, but have you discovered some hidden atrocity about someone you love and trust? How did it feel? How did you weather the pain of betrayal? Did you feel like it was somehow your fault? Did you question your place or your importance or your value? Did you cycle through the stages of grief, finally arriving at some sort of acceptance--after days or weeks or months or even years of struggle?

Have you ever been in Josh Duggar's shoes? Maybe not an affair, but have you ever been exposed to be a liar? A hypocrite? How did you face your accusers? Your loved ones? The people you had wronged? Did you feel small? How did you feel, knowing you were causing those close to you so much pain--through no fault of their own? Did you question your value, because you had done something so wrong that you felt like you could never recover from it? Did you, too, cycle through the stages of grief, finally arriving at some sort of acceptance--after days or weeks or months or even years of struggle?

The final question, no matter whose shoes you filled:

Were you allowed to weather your struggles in private?

It is not my place to judge the Duggars and their choice to be public personalities. It is not my place to judge Josh's hypocritical public persona and its clash with his private behavior. It is not my place to judge Anna's religious beliefs and whether or not she stays with the father of her children. It is not my place to drag their dirty laundry into the public arena and bash them in their misery.

My place is pity. Not only are they in the worst place ever in their marriage--the world sees and the world thinks they know and the world judges. It's not just the two of them, either. Their kids. Those four innocent children are victims, too. And what about the people who supported his causes--they are victims as well. And his family? No matter your opinion of Michelle Duggar, she is still his mother. How would you feel if this were your son and his family? My heart aches for all of them.

My place is education. Pornography is the black-hole drug of our generation. Seemingly harmless and intriguing and exciting from a distance, it sucks viewers in and forces them imperceptibly down a road that their mind knows is wrong and from which their soul recoils. Yet, the addiction overpowers the will. How can I protect my children from such misery?*

My place is kindness. Isn't that what we would beg for if in their places? What we begged for when we were in their places? Isn't there enough pain as it is?

My place is gratitude--thankful that I have been allowed grace and forgiveness and repentance to take hold in my heart in private. I wouldn't wish this revelation and its aftermath on anyone, and I hope those involved can find the peace they deserve.

Because we all deserve peace and forgiveness and grace.

*I love Fight The New Drug, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to fighting the war against pornography. You can find them at their website or follow them on Facebook.


  1. Beautiful and those were my thoughts expressed so much better than I could have expressed them. My heart goes out to their family that they may heal and become stronger through this unimaginable grief.