Is the Church to Blame For Anna Duggar’s Situation?
A woman wrote this to me on Facebook yesterday. All of my responses are in parenthesis next to her comments:
I would love to know your thoughts on this?
Anna Duggar did everything right*.
She was raised in a conservative Christian home. (Yes, she was raised by godly parents as commanded by God.)
She dressed modestly, and when she met Josh they practiced courtship instead of traditional dating. (She dressed modestly as commanded by God.)
She married with her parent’s blessing. (She honored her parents.)
She saved her first kiss for marriage. (She was sexually pure until marriage.)
She became the ultimate submissive wife. (I don’t think any woman is the “ultimate” submissive wife. You didn’t see what their marriage was like behind closed doors, but I do think she is a godly wife to him.)
She spoke honorably of her husband and always stood by his side. (This is an admirable trait of hers.)
When he committed adultery against her, she forgave him and remained in the marriage despite evidence to show the behavior did not stop. (We do not know if his behavior stopped or not. The trial has not happened yet. She does continue to support him, and he still sees his children.)
She became his accountability partner for his addiction. (How is it wrong for a wife to be an accountability partner for her husband? This is a good thing if the husband wants it!)
She gave him lots and lots of sex and birthed seven children for him. (Yes, she probably didn’t deny him sexually as commanded by God, and they believe that children are a blessing from God!)
She clung to her faith when her marriage began to fall apart, and prayed earnestly for her husband. (Just as 1 Peter 3:1,2 commands her to do.)
Anna did everything right*. And yet, tragically, everything went so, so wrong. Five years after his adulterous secret life was revealed, her husband will be tried on November 30th for charges of receiving and possessing child sex abuse material. (And we don’t know the outcome of this trial. If he is innocent, this will be great. If he is convicted, she will have a huge family to surround and support her. She will also have God with her who promises to never leave nor forsake her.)
While Anna certainly is a victim of her unfaithful husband, let’s not forget she is also a victim of a toxic belief system that has been engrained into her by fundamentalist Christianity for the entirety of her life. (So you’re going to take an example of one fallen, sinful man to say that God’s ways are not perfect? What about Josh’s parents and married siblings who are doing great? What about all of the happily married godly couples who are living according to God’s commands? Does this guarantee no tribulation, suffering, or trials? NO! We are promised all of these.)
How many more stories like Anna need to happen before the fundamentalist church realizes that their messages concerning submission, sex, divorce, purity culture, and patriarchy, aren’t working? (They are working in the vast majority of marriages who live according to the Lord’s will. God’s ways are perfect. You want to rid culture of all of God’s ways due to one sinful, fallen man. You must be a feminist and humanist.)
After all, Anna did everything she was told to do to be guaranteed a safe and happy marriage. Perhaps, maybe, the problem isn’t Anna but instead the fact that she married an abusive man and the church refused to give her the support she needed to remain safe? (No one guaranteed her of a safe and happy marriage. She obeyed God. She will reap many blessings. She will reap what she is sowing. This is an eternal principle. Josh wasn’t an “abusive” man. The sisters in their interview said clearly that they didn’t think he was a rapist nor did he molest them. He “mildly touched them over their clothing.” He was a curious young teenage boy. Yes, this was wrong, and it was dealt with but don’t blow it out of proportion in order to make your unbiblical point.)
When will the church face the fact that the good/godly actions of one spouse cannot change the abusive behavior of another spouse? (Oh, but it can! Read 1 Peter 3:1,2. “Abusive” is way over used these days. Anna never has felt endangered by her husband. He is in bondage to his sexual desire as many men these days are, but she would never say she was abused by him. People like you LOVE to overexaggerate in order to destroy other people’s lives.)
When will they realize that the brazen promises of the purity movement and courtship movement are flawed and empty? (Nope. Being sexually pure before marriage is and will always be God’s best.)
When will the church start telling women like Anna that there is nothing a wife can do to make her abusive husband change? (This isn’t true. Women have won their disobedient husbands without the word by their godly behavior. Carefully read 1 Peter 2 and 3. Isn’t it interesting how feminists always use the word “abusive” in order to pound their point? )
When will they tell her that giving him more sex will not cure his addiction? (I doubt anyone has told her this. Sex doesn’t cure addictions. Jesus Christ cures them!)
When will they tell her that practicing courtship will not divorce-proof or affair-proof her marriage? (No one told her that either.)
When are they going to start telling her that his abuse is not her fault? (How do you know she believes any of this was her fault? You don’t. You have made that up. )
When are they going to tell her that by leaving an abuser and protecting her kids, she is not breaking her marriage vows; after all, he was the one break the covenant? (She is protecting her children but even the judge has allowed Josh to see his children. He must not be abusing them. Have you ever read the story of Hosea? I encourage you to read it.)
When are they going to tell her that God cares about her safety and her children’s safety, and that He created divorce as a means of protecting the vulnerable? (God’s Word never states that divorce is a means of protecting the vulnerable. In fact, divorce was only given for hardened hearts. Anna’s heart is not hardened. She keeps eternity in her vision. She’s fighting for Josh’s eternal soul. It’s a spiritual battle. She understands this.)
Until the church starts changing its message to these victims and stops pointing the blame on them and telling them that they just need to submit more, or pray more, or give him more sex, women will continue to stay in these abusive marriages, believing that it’s God’s will for them and they have no other choice. (We are only responsible for our own behavior and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. We aren’t responsible for our spouse’s. Anna is storing many treasures in heaven. Her children are being modeled faithfulness in the midst of great tribulation.)
Josh Duggar is not the only one who needs to be held accountable for their actions, the church does as well. (Churches need to actually speak the Truth of biblical womanhood to women, not the garbage you’re spouting.)
~ Emily Elizabeth Anderson
* Right as in what the church told her what was the “right” thing to do in order to please God. Which in reality, is not healthy or safe or true at all. (Anna is greatly pleasing God! God has never promised us a life without trials and hardships, but He does promise that He will never leave nor forsake us. Anna is a godly example to us all.)
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
1 Peter 3:1,2
9 thoughts on “Is the Church to Blame For Anna Duggar’s Situation?”
This entire long nonsensical comment by the deluded Emily Anderson is a gigantic straw man logical fallacy. By and large Christians experience the most success and satisfaction in marriage.
There have been sinners who rebelled against Gods divine commands since Adam and Eve. That does not negate the great rewards to be reaped by being obedient.
Also, even the secular world knows Emily’s comment is rubbish.
Unwin, a British Agnostic anthropologist wrote in 1934, “Sex and Culture”, showing that only societies that confined sex in heterosexual marriage did well in the long run.
Emily Elizabeth Anderson doesn’t know what she is talking about at all. She seems to be projecting her own purity failure onto scripture. She is projecting which telegraphs to the rest of us that she herself is/was sexually impure. She needs to deal with her own impurity through the blood of Christ and stop attempting to throw stones at others. We are told all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Without Jesus, we would ALL be damned. She is not righteous on her own without Jesus.
She is also wrong on putting a formula on behavior. No where does God (or the purity culture) say that if you love God and are a good wife you will reap a happy marriage. In fact Jesus told us the opposite in that he said “in this world you will have many troubles but take heart, I have overcome this world.”
As difficult as a situation this is for any wife, I believe Anna is more able to handle it than most. She grew up with a righteous father who had a thriving prison ministry. She knows deviant behavior and the demons that men often give into. She has known of them from a young age and seen where Christ can still prevail.
Finally, I used to know the Duggars including Josh and Anna. Emily has no concept of the strength of their family and their support system. Emily appears to be a vicious woman caught up in her own sins, trying to bring others down to her level.
This is one of the best biblical rebukes I’ve seen given toward Anna and Josh’s situation. Lori, everything you said was absolutely biblical and true. I pray for Anna and Josh and their marriage and I’m honestly grateful for her witness and for your willingness to speak biblical truth toward worldly lies.
May the Lord bless you both.
Has it ever occurred to this person that Anna genuinely loves Josh?
To quote the very immoral tv show Friends, ‘He’s her Lobster’
Now the Lobster in this case may have a ton of personality flaws (Key Word ‘May’ as I seem to hear a lot of accusations but not see much of anything interesting as far as proof)
But hey that’s between Anna and Josh. Really, this has nothing to do with Church, God, Christianity, Family…This is between Anna and Josh and other people need to keep their noses out of it.
In fact, other people sticking their Dirty Little Pig Snouts into other people’s relationships are why MOST divorces happen.
The cheating, yes. That is between them. The other stuff, not so much
When situations and illegal inclinations are acted upon, especially if there are children being harmed in any way, it does become other people’s business.
everything is just a shape a form an identifier to let others recognize me as me.
but then what am I? is this me? my true self? my fake self? what is it that I am?
nobody understands me!!!!
Shadrach, Meshak and Abednego come to mind here. God didn’t save them from the fiery furnace – He let them go right down into it. But He saved them *in* the fiery furnace.
I don’t know Josh or Anna Duggar. I don’t know anything about them at all. But it seems to me from what I’ve read (not just here but elsewhere online) that people expected Anna’s marriage to be perfect, without trials, because she did everything right. But why would it be? God does not promise us no trials. Why would He save Anna from trials when He didn’t save Shadrach, Meshak and Abednego? If Anna has a relationship with God, then He will be with her in her trials.
And finally, I want to say that even though I don’t know Anna or Josh, or more than the very basic things about them that I looked up briefly, it’s very encouraging to me that Anna is standing by her man, imperfect though he is.
For years, people (not in the church) have been encouraging me to leave my drug-addicted, emotionally abusive husband and don’t understand why I stay with him. Anna’s faithfulness is inspiring.