Josh Duggar and Finding a Faithful Spouse
It is all over the news that Josh Duggar of reality TV fame has added adultery to his list of sins. What a hypocrite. He has checked into a rehab facility now.
First, I don’t care if his parents have 25 children. One hundred years ago it was not uncommon for people to have a dozen children. Nineteen was uncommon, but wasn’t a reason for the family to be turned into a freak show on reality TV. Hopefully most of the family is made up of nice people who try to behave like the Christians they claim to be. If there are 25 or 30 of them now counting all the children, in laws, and grandchildren, then it is highly likely there will be a hypocrite in the bunch. So what happened to Josh to make him turn out the way he is?
Is his wife at fault? Could she have kept him faithful if she had been a better wife?
Are his parents at fault? Could they have done a better job when he was growing up?
Is the legal system to blame? Should they have punished him more early on? Why wasn’t more counseling required?
Is advertising at fault? I mean, you can’t even go through a check out line at a grocery store without seeing what amounts to pornography.
I will go out on a limb here and say none of the above. Josh is a hypocrite because that is who he is. Until he truly decides to rely on Jesus Christ to help him become a better person, he will stay a slimy hypocrite.
Here is the truth. No one, and I mean no one, can pick a faithful spouse with 100% certainty. BUT, you can be a faithful spouse. That is really the bottom line. You are responsible for your own actions. What you do is your choice. If you are blessed with a faithful spouse then thank the Lord. If your spouse is not faithful then the blame rests squarely on him/her. There are no actions on the part of one spouse that give the other spouse permission to cheat!
In the Bible there is the story of Gomer and Hosea. Gomer was a cheating wife. She went from loved and cared for wife to temple prostitute. How did Hosea respond? He didn’t go out and take on a floozy of his own. He stayed true to God. Eventually he even took the hussy back! I am not suggesting that everyone needs to reconcile with a cheating spouse. But a cheating spouse will put the ‘wronged spouse’ to a test. If they go out and pick up whoever will go home for the night then that person was a cheater at heart as well.
Be faithful to marriage vows yourself regardless of what you spouse does.
Jerry and I have been married 44 years now. It has been a faithful marriage. Jerry either spends his time working or with me or possibly hunting with one of our kids. Jerry has no inclination to cheat. I don’t take any credit for that. He is a faithful husband because that is who he is. He has been blessed with a wonderful near perfect wife….. but, it would not have made a difference in that matter. He chose to follow the instructions in the Bible on everything. He is faithful to me because that is a choice he made before we even met. I thank God for him, but I do not take any credit.
If there are any people reading this who have a cheating spouse I can tell you flatly that you do not get any of the blame. It isn’t your fault. There is no excuse for cheating. Cheaters come up with a reason to cheat. That is what they do. I don’t know of anything that would make it easier, but I do know what would make it harder. It is made harder when the offended spouse takes part of the blame or when family and friends put blame on him/her. The important thing to remember is that a cheating spouse does not give the other spouse a free pass to cheat also.
If you know someone facing a situation like this they need you to be a friend. I will say flatly not to be overly friendly with a person of the opposite sex. Ladies encourage other ladies. Men encourage other men. It is also a very bad idea to have ‘pity parties’ where women get together to talk about how awful men are, or men get together to talk about how difficult women are. A cheating spouse really tests everyone in their circle of family, friends, church, and work. What the cheater did was a gross sin. How every Christian responds is a test for each Christian.
I never met the Duggars. I think I saw them once in a grocery store parking lot somewhere in Arkansas, which is sort of like an Elvis sighting. I don’t know and I really don’t care. Maybe I saw a group of the Rainbow People. These people are only the subject of this article because of their recent notoriety relating to Josh Duggar being a hypocrite instead of the practicing Christian he claimed to be. Non-Christians love trash like this. In response I wanted to say something to all people who have faced a situation like this, or family and friends who have watched someone else go through this.
Until the cheater actually repents restoration of fellowship to even friends – much less their spouse – is not really possible. It is the same with all sins. It can’t be fixed until the sinner is willing to acknowledge wrong doing and turn from it.
Committed Christian should keep their focus on obedience to God in all circumstances. The sin of one person never gives another person a reason to sin. That means no grumbling or complaining; no gossip; no jealousy; no anger; no bitterness; or any other thing that would cause God to be ashamed of our behavior. It also means to continue giving thanks. Obviously no one is required to give thanks for something like a cheating spouse. Continual thanks should be given for the blessings of God that never change, and for the blessings of each day. It is easy to overlook the blessings of eternity and the daily blessings when overwhelmed with a tragedy or sadness. That is probably why God instructs us to give thanks in everything. He is reminding us that His love and care are with us no matter what we are going through at the time.
Repent of your own sins.
Don’t take on blame for the sins of others.
Be forgiving as that is required of God.
Forgiveness, while a definite command, does not equate with restoration of fellowship. The decision to restore fellowship in any situation is dependent on the actual repentance and turning from sin of the offending party. It requires the offending party to set a new and lengthy pattern of right behavior. For serious matters actual Christian counseling is probably necessary.
Once again, you are responsible for your own actions. No one is excused for sinful and bad behavior because of the behavior of someone else. Have a reverent awe of God, love Him, and keep His commandments. That is the pathway to a life that is blessed by God.