This morning I set out to discover more about the latest Josh Duggar story. Yesterday I had caught wind of the allegations and I read his response last night. At first I assumed the most positive aspects, “Yay! His dad reported it! The kid repented and got help! Shouldn’t we all just forgive and forget?”
As I read the report this morning, I joined the ranks of people who do not sit well with this latest news. Look, I like the Duggars. I really do. I don’t watch them religiously or anything, but I respect people who want to do their own thing. I watch them with the same interest that I do Sister Wives. I love Michelle’s soft spoken nature, but I want to fix her hair so badly I can’t stand it. (Those bangs!)
What bothers me so much about this latest revelation is this: what was “known” went on in the house for at least a year, on multiple occasions. What was “reported” was not handled correctly. At all. AT ALL. The son did not get counseling, the victims did not get counseling, the police officer (who is serving his own sentence now) did not report it, and the church didn’t respond appropriately.
It is our job as Christians and it’s the job of the church to stand up for those who cannot. PERIOD.
As a parent to a daughter and a son, I understand the trepidation of teaching your child about sex. I do. But I also know that it’s my job as their mother to protect their bodies until they can protect it themselves …even from their own siblings. How can we talk about all lives being valuable when we don’t value the lives that are here on this earth? These girls needed a voice. I just feel the situation was mishandled. Due to the fact that the eldest Duggar didn’t receive any real consequences, I’m concerned that there was never an opportunity for true repentance.
Obviously I’m not there and I’m not a judge, but I would not trust my child to be alone in that situation based on the facts that have been presented before me. Do I believe God will forgive any sin? Wholeheartedly. Do I hope that true repentance has happened? Most definitely. Am I still allowed to be skeptical? You betcha.
This is what I’m most concerned about — I hope and pray the media and people don’t try to list the identities of the victims. I realize that any intelligent person can put two and two together and figure out at least 4 of the victims, but these girls deserve to have their names removed from this context. Trying to label them and hold them up as examples when they don’t want to be the face of this investigation further victimizes them. If one steps forward and presents herself as a face, that’s one thing. We can still bring light to the fact that what he did was wrong without hashing the intimate details of the victims.
I believe that is a good opportunity for us as parents to revisit our parenting in this area. Am I doing a good job in giving my child age appropriate sex education? Do my kids understand that their bodies are theirs? Do they know to report any words or touching that makes them uncomfortable, from anyone? Have I established myself as a safe place for my child? Do I encourage secrets or discourage them? Have I created a home where they are valued and they know their worth?
My heart is broken this morning, because this happens in far more areas and more homes than this media-spotlighted family. We must be advocates for the widows and orphans — which means those who need our help.
What are we doing to be a voice?