I know the news on Ashley Madison Scandal had already subsided by now. But I just can’t shake it off my head and I just had to share with you my view on it especially on Josh Duggar and other Christians whose names surfaced during the peak of the controversy.
I have learned about the Duggars way before we had Natalie but then I kind of researched their family while I was pregnant because I so want to have a big family (before!) and I wonder how Michelle and Jimbob actually raised godly kids with Christian values.
And then this scandal happened…
Whatever happened to the years of molding Michelle did during their homeschooling? Not only did Josh Duggar cheat on his wife, he also molested girls including his own sisters. Say what?
(1) This made me realize that we really are sinful people living in a sinful world. No matter how much we show love, compassion and Christ-likeness to our children, eventually they will be exposed to sin and they will have to choose whether they follow the call of their flesh or obey Jesus. Do I allow Satan to get hold of me by allowing and tasting temptation? This is your child’s battle and your salvation as parents cannot be passed on to your children. Again, your children have to choose for themselves. (Just clarifying, I’m not saying Josh is not a believer. I’m just saying children will have their own struggles and stand up for their own faith.)
(2) As I study Jesus’ life, I noticed how compassionate and forgiving He is to sinful people — to the tax collectors, to Mary Magdalene, etc. He never spit on their faces, judged their sinfulness and highlighted His own righteousness. He forgave. But then did you also notice that God despised the Pharisees? Those people who were living a “righteous” life on the outside but filled with filth on the inside? He just loathes these people completely! He hates those people who appears to be so good but doesn’t really follow God with their hearts. Remember, God looks at the heart. He sees not what man sees. He sees our hearts. Was Josh one of the Pharisees? Yes. When he was still living in sin while he was serving in ministry. But when all his secrets came to light, he admitted he was a hypocrite. And I believe that now that the secret is out and that he was apologetic of what happened, crushed in spirit and shameful, I believe he is now a Mary Magdalene, a Matthew or a Zacchaeus. (That is if he really is regretful. And God only knows that.)
(3) Lastly, is there any part in the Bible that says, if a person did so and so to you, do not forgive the person. Mmm.. I’m not sure. I believe God wants us to forgive. Now I am not his sisters or Anna and I know how hard it would be to actually forgive his act of molestation and cheating really. If this was done to my daughter, oh boy, I wouldn’t know how to respond. But in the Bible God wants us to forgive, extend grace. For us who are not even part of the situation, I don’t think we have the right to judge and pinpoint Josh’ sinfulness. Yes, obviously he made a mistake. A big mistake at that! But these mistakes weren’t even done to us. So let us not make it any harder for a person who had failed miserably. Let us extend grace just as Christ extends it to us. Am I saying that we should allow adultery in marriage? Of course not! The temptation of adultery is very real! And what we can do is go down on our knees and beg God to spare our family from it! But to judge other people, I don’t know. I just don’t think that’s how we should do it.
To Anna and Josh’s sisters, it might be a different story. They need to ask God’s direction. Is there a chance for a broken marriage to be whole again? Of course! But it takes a lot of prayer, commitment and hardwork. Not to mention… A big chunk of forgiveness. For his sisters, if this is something that chronically happens to them, they should most definitely protect themselves. If they were still living together in one house and the molestation happened more than once then they should never ever be near Josh. Forgiving is one thing but to be a victim again and again and doing nothing is another. So for them, they need to hear from God. Yes, they should forgive whole-heartedly but there are actions they need to take too and that should be prayed for.
I can say all these things because I am sinful and a recipient of God’s extended grace. There was a time in my life I call “Dark Ages”. This was the 2 years in my life after an overseas mission trip (imagine that) that I went astray. I was in sin and slowly fell away from the church. I stopped attending church, stopped serving in ministry and just stopped being used by God altogether. I was just a broken vessel! Until God used someone to get me out of the trap. Even when I was choosing to sin, God never let me go. He pursued me. He loved me. And you know, He forgave me.
That is why I am here to tell you that temptations are real. They are! Instead of belittling a Christian who messed up… extend grace, love and forgive.
PS: I wrote this several weeks ago but didn’t have the time to post it. I don’t want this to go to waste so I’m posting it anyway..