My wife and I used to enjoy sitting down each week to watch the Duggar Family on their TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting. Being a Christian family, we were thrilled to see that a good, wholesome, decent family with good morals was finally being portrayed on television. It was so refreshing. We watched the kids grow up like many of you did on television.
I was heartbroken to find out about the molestation charges on Josh Duggar, the oldest of the children. The family did, in fact, admit that they had gone through a tough time, and that Josh had indeed molested several children. There were many opinions, many thoughts, and many disagreements had by many people about the situation.
His wife forgave him. She knew about it going into the marriage. The family stood firm on how they handled it. Would I have done things differently if it were my son? Honestly – I don’t know how I would handle it. But I can’t put myself in their shoes. What a horrible thing to go through.
The Duggar family lost their show over a mistake their son made. Pressure mounted on TLC to drop the show completely, and they did.
Fast forward to today.
A few days ago, hackers claimed they had hacked the Ashley Madison website. This is an online site for people looking to have affairs (atrocious as it may sound) in a private, discreet way. The hackers didn’t get what they wanted from the site, so they released information that is bound to destroy many, many families.
Last night, I saw that Josh Duggar’s name had popped up in the list. All I could think of was “My goodness, someone logged in under Josh’s name so that he might one day get in trouble and they could smear the Duggar name.” Then, I saw that the name was attached to Josh’s credit card, and his addresses in a previous and current home.
Even today, as I saw an article about it – I didn’t want to believe it.
But then, he admitted this afternoon that he had indeed been unfaithful to his wife, and was addicted to pornography. Molestation charges, and now this.
A great family, one that has strong core beliefs, taken down again because of the mistakes of this young man.
So what are my thoughts? I have several on this tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes. Here are just a few:
- The internet is a wonderful tool, but when used the wrong way can destroy lives. Sadly, the Duggar family is now a victim of the misuse of the internet. There are so many sites out there in cyberspace that want nothing more than to prey on you. They want to lure you in – to hack your computer, to steal your information, to steal your bank account, to get you involved in an inappropriate relationship. While it’s great to be able to shop online, it’s far too easy to shop for the wrong thing.
- The internet is not safe. You MUST take precautions to keep your family safe from the web. Many people think an antivirus program is all they need. However, filters need to be used, as well as communicating with your family about what’s out there in the internet world. I was showing my wife the other night a music video to a popular song by a popular artist in which there are two versions – a rated and unrated version. Any child can type in the name of this song, click on the unrated version, and see two popular music artists ogling topless women parading around. It’s just that easy. If you trust your children, that’s not enough – because a lot of time innocent searching can lead to terrible things.
- Don’t be absorbed. The internet, your laptops, your smartphones, your tablets – can suck you in and not let go. Click on this, go here, search here, and before you know it you’ve spent 3-4 hours on Facebook. You see a link to a place that links to this place or that place – and you wind up seeing an advertisement for love, for intimacy, for something you’re searching for. Get off your phones, give your thumb a break from scrolling through Facebook, and have a relationship with your family and friends, not a piece of technology. I know people who spend more time on Facebook than they do anything else during the day. Perhaps it is time to take a Facebook/Internet sabbatical if it’s absorbing all of your time.
- Communicate. Sites like Ashley Madison, along with many other sites – prey on those who are seeking something they are not getting in their own relationships. It might be something simple like conversation, or it could involve sexual intimacy. If you are not getting something you are wanting out of your marriage – COMMUNICATE! If sex isn’t occurring as frequent as you’d like – COMMUNICATE! If you’re uncomfortable with something in the bedroom – COMMUNICATE! You can not over-communicate in your marriage. Many extra-marital affairs occur because a husband or a wife is not providing something in the relationship. Instead of thinking you can only get that something somewhere else – COMMUNICATE!
- It’s easy to judge from afar – but don’t. I have tried my best in this post to steer clear of judging the Duggar family, but instead tried to look at what caused the most recent problem in the first place. Sin is real, the struggle of pornography is real, the desire to run around and have fun is real for so many people. I would dare say that most of us would not want our dirty laundry popping up on what’s trending on Twitter. Instead of judging them, or anyone else – pray for them. Pray that your family will avoid these kinds of situations. Pray that you can be a light in a dark world. Pray that Satan’s dart won’t pierce us all.
Bottom line – there is now a very broken family, a young man who will pay for his mistakes, a wife who is very much so heartbroken and shell-shocked, 4 young children who will always know the mistake their father made, a mother and father who are now wondering where they went wrong – ALL because of this mistake.
Temptation is one of the strongest things in the world. May God give us all the power to look it eye to eye and say no.