My One and Only Post on the Duggars

Every week, there seems to be a new hot button topic that polarizes people and gets the internet town square to buzzing. The style of some is to post their thoughts quickly to be on the cutting edge of those topics but I generally do not. There are two reasons for this. First, I find that my opinion means little most of the time to the real issue at hand. Second, I like to find out more details before I form much of a view on anything. While more information could come out that changes my view on this, I feel for the most part that I have enough to share to anyone bored enough to read.

I will start out by saying that I am not a die hard fan of “19 kids and counting”. My wife and daughter watch it from time to time but it’s not my cup of tea. I share many similar, Biblical beliefs as the Duggars but how we express them and live those beliefs out tend to be different. I’m not a hater of the show per say but not a fan either.

I also want to say I have strong feelings when it comes to child molestation. In my calling, I am in community with all kinds of people including those who have been victims in this area. It is heart breaking and vile. I am clear whenever I am starting to give pastoral care with a family that things they tell me stay with me unless someone is getting hurt and then I’m the first to reach out to the authorities. In one such situations, it was shared to me that a child was being abused in this fashion. The father is in prison today.

Then I would share this. I am a strong believer that God can change people when they are repentant. There are those who have been abusers before that have come to the Lord and found forgiveness and healing. There are ripple effects they still have to work through because of those past abuses. There are realities that they caused to others they still need to respect and work through. However, there is forgiveness from God and a new life they can have.

So, that’s the foundation. Let me move to the Duggars.

After taking some time to read the news reports, listen to the Duggar’s interviews and shift through the conversation on social media, I believe the following….

– When Josh was a teen, he had the type of curiosity that many boys do at that age and handled it badly. It was not at the same level of devastation as rape or other child molestation accounts that many deal with and carry. It was however wrong and calls for help, concern, boundaries, and accountability.

– He brought it to his parents even though his victims (at the time when he first came to them) were unaware. He knew it was wrong, he was struggling, and asked for help.

– His parents did help. It might not be at the level or in same ways others wished they did. It might not be what others think should have happened in the hindsight. However, they did more than many parents would in this situation. As one who does pastoral care in family ministry, there are so many who would handle this much worse by saying “Boys would be boys” and look the other way which is devastating.

If you read the articles and listen to the interviews, they made many great steps to safe guard their other children and to get Josh other help. Could they have done other things that you wanted them to do? Sure. I think they should have bought in children’s services right away and be working together. However, in the long run …. according to those who are living the situation instead of watching it on TV …. Josh is healed … the victims have healed….. and the family has healed…….

So that all said, I feel for this family I don’t know and have my differences with. I feel for parents who tried their best in a heart breaking situation. I feel for the daughters who clearly say that this was in the past and now have to relive it all again as people attack their family. I feel for the babysitter that we have heard nothing from and I don’t know how she feels about all this. And yes, I feel for Josh. With what we know at this point, it appears he made some horrible mistakes as a kid, got help, got forgiveness, and moved on in life in a productive way.

Not all abuse situations are the same or have the same outcomes. My prayers go out to and my heart breaks for those who have been victimized.

So, there are my thoughts on the Duggars. Just another random voice added to the mix.

When it comes to mix…

Christians, please be aware of how you communicate on these hot button topics. In many cases I have seen such venom from our community when communicating on social media. We are suppose to be representing Christ not becoming another wall to those who need Him.

Non-Christians, I am not part of your community so what do I know. However, I will throw out this observation from my vantage point. When some pride themselves for tolerance and trash on Christians for their lack there of….. making fun of the Duggars for their beliefs in the midst of their pain…. making fun of the beliefs of Christians….. you are as hypercritical as those you hold contempt for. I think more tolerance is being offered on both sides of the table than being given credit for. I also think people not showing tolerance on both sides of table is happening as well.

Prayers for better and loving conversation on these important and life changing realities. Prayers for people and families effected by this sin. Prayers for people moving forward from the past. Prayers for the Duggars as well.

About Tom Hypes

Tom Hypes is an ordained Pastor who has served in churches and the camping ministry for over 25 years. He currently leads at The Shepherd's Fellowship and volunteers at Leapin' Outreach (clothing ministry), Marion County Citizen Circle (helping clients with transitions from prison to community), Kirkpatrick Food Pantry, and ministers in the local nursing homes. He has also contributed to Group Magazine, CBA Marketplace, and Youth Worker Magazine. He serves in his ministry in the partnership with his family; wife Jenni, son Ryan, and daughter Emily.