An Uncomfortable Conversation

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Should I or shouldn’t I?

Should I share my heart and thoughts about the Duggar situation as so many others have?  Or should I just stay silent?

This blog was always meant to be a conversation of the heart … what you and I might talk about if we were sharing a cup of tea across my cluttered kitchen table.  And, I suppose, if we had an opportunity to share an hour and a cup of tea, the topic of the Duggars might come up.

So I will share my tender insight and leanings as I consider all that this Godly, yet so human, family is going through.

Dear Josh Duggar … Thank you for owning your sin.  Thank you for confessing that what you did was wrong and that you wish that you could take it back.  Thank you for being a man and for sharing a heart of repentance for the world to see.

Not many men do that.

What you did was wrong … it was shameful and it was sin.  You have called it such and have asked for forgiveness from your parents, from the girls who were the victims and from the Lord.

You are forgiven.  Now love your wife and your children.  Be a man of honor and virtue.  Show the world how a forgiven man lives.

Stay humble.  Stay in a relationship with a Christian mentor. 

Whether your face is ever on TLC again or not really doesn’t matter in the eyes of the Lord.  You have been forgiven.  Live like it!

May I share with you one of my favorite verses, Josh?

“He has shown you, Josh Duggar, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

Dear Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar … What were you thinking?  Knowing that this troubling event was a central part of your family’s story, why did you go on a reality TV show?  Did you really think that the media, who loves to throw stones at Christians, would not find out about this incident in your family’s life?

What were you thinking?

I love your family, Jim Bob and Michelle … I have so enjoyed observing the unbridled enthusiasm of your young boys … the musical giftings that you all share … and the sweet spirits of your girls.  I have actually loved watching you parent and discipline this tribe of world-changing kids that you have been given.

I love the convictions and the high-standards for dating that you have espoused!  What a breath of fresh air you have been in this world of compromise and sex-driven culture!

But what were you thinking?  Did you not know that the pain of this sordid event from your family’s past would someday rear its ugly head?

However, as the parent of 5 now grown children, I can’t imagine what your heartbreak has been over this situation.  None of us can imagine the emotional torture that this situation has instigated within the walls of your family home.

I am praying for you, Jim Bob and Michelle, as you travel these difficult roads of youthful sin and permanent pain.  I am praying that God will give you the strength and the insight to love well, to forgive completely and to use wisdom as you figure out what’s next for your valuable yet vulnerable family.

May I share with you one of my favorite verses, Jim Bob and Michelle?

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

Dear Girls … I don’t know your names.  None of us really knows if you are his sisters, his cousins or simply family friends who were taken advantage of by a 14-year-old boy.  We can assume but we truly don’t know and don’t need to know.

I don’t need to know your names or have your faces plastered all over the media to have compassion toward you.

I have a feeling, however, that I do indeed know your hearts.  It’s just a guess … but a wise and caring guess … that your hearts are healing.  I have a feeling that there is a bruised spot where your purity used to be.  But I passionately hope that the place of bruising and pain has been covered by the power of a Christ Who heals.

I hope that you have been in counseling with trained, Christian professionals who can bring you to a place of sexual health and restoration.  Please know that I am cheering for you and praying for you.

I am so sorry that you have had to walk this road … not only of being taken advantage of physically and sexually … but also of being taken advantage of by the circling buzzards known as “media”.

I hope that you will forgive the media just like you have forgiven the one who touched you inappropriately.  The media is guilty of touching your lives inappropriately as well. 

Forgiveness is never easy, is it?  But I can tell you this, forgiveness doesn’t change the events of the past but it does indeed change your future.  The thing about forgiveness is that it is undeserved.  If the person who took advantage of you “deserved” to be forgiven, there would be no forgiveness needed.

Forgiveness is always when the innocent one lets the guilty one go free.

It is a powerful truth that although forgiveness does not have the power to change the events of the past it does indeed have the power to change our perception of the past.  Forgiveness extracts the raw pain from the undeserved and vicious treatment experienced in the past and then gifts the forgiver with a rare diamond known as “hope”.

You will be as healthy as your choice to completely forgive.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

This is my verse and my prayer for you, dear girls:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” – II Corinthians 1: 3 & 4

Dear Media … Dear Facebook Fanatics … Dear Opinionated Gloaters … Let it go.  Let this family heal in peace.  Let. It. Go.

My father always used to remind us, “There but for the grace of God go I.”  Perhaps that would be a nugget of wisdom for you to consider as you gleefully hang the dirty laundry of a precious, yet imperfect, people up for the entire world to see.

Dear Friends and Readers … God’s forgiveness is more abundant than we can begin to imagine.  We serve a God Who is well-able to take what the enemy meant for harm and for evil and to use it for good and for glory.

Will you join me in praying for this family?

“Father God, we lift up the Duggar family to you today.  We ask you to redeem this situation as only You can.  We ask that Your purposes be accomplished and that Your healing power flood the hearts of this family.

Father, we refuse to throw stones knowing that none of us has lived a perfect, unmarred life.  We have caused pain time after time after time to those we love.  We ask You to forgive us for the pain that we have inflicted upon other’s hearts, bodies, minds and lives.

In the powerful Name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.”