I was blissfully unaware of a recent Facebook post gone viral until a good friend informed me of it. And well…I guess you can say it was inspiring.
Unlike myself you have probably seen it. I’m sure you’ve scrolled passed it in your news feed at least once in the last couple days. Maybe you’ve seen the “raise them to think they breathe fire” memes making its rounds. But for those of you who are like me, here is the gist (or read it here). After the news of Josh Duggars Ashley Madison account broke and then his statements confirming his adultery and porn addiction came out, a disgruntled mother of girls (Jessica Kirkland) took to Facebook to unload her disgust on none other then…Anna Duggar. Josh’s wife.
Cheap shot? Ya kinda.
Firstly, let me just say that none of what she says is surprising. Of course, people outside the faith will think Christianity preaches that women are slaves to men and are bred for wifery and motherhood only. When your only picture of Christianity is the one slice of it portrayed by the Duggars (not that I think that’s the message they were intending to give) then I suppose that would be an easy assumption. And of course they think being raised with Christian values equals being indoctrinated. As though secular parents don’t also do this with their own children with whatever philosophy they believe to be true about life.
As a Christian woman I expect the world not to get it. But we don’t always do a good job communicating it.
When we have public moral failings we heap judgement on ourselves and most sadly the truth of the gospel. This is what makes it all so sad. And from what I can tell mom and dad Duggar are well aware of this. So we shouldn’t be surprised by the visceral reaction.
I get her anger. I even understand her desire to instill strength in her daughters as a reaction to this. And this horrible Duggar situation she is ranting about, most of us would agree is appalling. Adultery is despicable. I raise my fist in solidarity and support to a wife whose been cheated on. Not because I’ve experienced it but because of the sisterhood of womanhood. And although Jessica Kirklands post starts off sympathetic it quickly turns far from it. Which is where I lose patience with what she says.
I feel for Anna.
I feel for her so much so that I don’t think she needs to be the brunt of any attack, even random-woman Facebook ones. Calling her stupid (oh sorry “uneducated”) is kinda like telling a battered wife “it was your fault”. Let us not forget that she is the victim in this, and her lack of formal education is not the reason for it. I don’t know her original intentions of marrying into the Duggar family, but assuming it was just purely for fame is a pretty bold assumption.
One that – did I mention? – also makes the victim seem like the guilty one.
I don’t think Josh is evil. But he is very, very wrong. So wrong, that Anna has every scriptural reason to divorce him. She also has every scriptural reason not to (ever read the book of Hosea? or heard the gospel?). And she is the last person who needs to be judged on that decision.
You may think that her decision to stay married shows that she is weak and fearful. And hey – maybe she is. But unless and until you are sitting in on every conversation, fight, mediated meeting and counseling session, I suggest you get down off that high horse before it bucks you off. Hate to break it to America, but Anna’s decision is none of your bee’s wax.
I just wish none of this was needlessly being played out for the world to watch. But I’ve already written about that!
Heres what I hope. For them. And in reflection, for my own daughter…
I hope Anna does breathe fire on Josh. Then I hope his pastor breathes some more fire on him too (if they haven’t already). Surprised? Why would you be? That’s what brothers and sisters in Christ do with each other when we step out of God’s will (Luke 17:3). Both myself and my husband on separate occasions have had the ugly task of confronting friends (with love) because of the sin of adultery. Rebuking is not rosy business. But it is done for the good of each other and because we love our friends. I hope for Josh’s own good he feels the severity of his sins.
But mostly I hope Josh remembers the fiery anger God has for our sin, and in deep fear of the Lord, he repents. I hope the weight of it brings him so low that he remembers why he needed the redeeming work of the Cross in the first place. I hope in true repentance he experiences the joy of grace and reconciliation. With Christ. With his family. And yes, even with his wife.
Because God is good and He can make all things new.
And for my daughter? Instead of training her how to make men cower in fear, I hope to teach her to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove (Matthew 10:16). All we have to fear is God, not any person. There will come a day when I will send my girl out into a world of depraved men and she will need to know how to discern who is sincere and who isn’t. My prayer is she will be wise enough to spot the difference. And if she is still sinned against by a wolf, I will not tell her that she brought it upon herself.
And then I will tell her that she is not beholden to men…or the opinions of women.
She is beholden to Christ.