What If It Were Your Child?….

My Facebook feed this morning is full of posts about Josh Duggar and allegations that he molested several people when he was fifteen. Response goes from “Hang him at high noon” to “that’s what you get when you lead such a sheltered life”.

Now let me be totally upfront. I do not watch 19 Children and Counting and never have. For one, we don’t have cable and for two, I have three kids of my own, why would I need to watch someone else try and raise hers?  So I don’t watch the show. I will say, I don’t agree with a lot of the Duggars religious views either and that’s another reason I have never watched the show.  But I do have an opinion on the situation.  What if it were your child?

I have three children and one thing I know is they are all sinners.  I have been blessed that they were easy kids, incredibly easy teenagers and adulthood has had only a few trials along the way, but for the most part, I am an incredibly proud mom of three amazing kids, as I am sure Michelle Duggar would say about nineteen.

But I do know that just because they haven’t given me a lot of problems, doesn’t mean that they are perfect. Far from it.  They are human and they make mistakes, so I asked myself “How would I want people to react if this were my child.”   First off, Josh has apologized, so I would want people to take his apology on face value.  I would want them to be gracious and forgive my child.  And I would want them to allow him/her to move on from their sin, because Satan loves to keep us trapped in guilt about our sin, for it is there that he can get us to repeat it over and over again.  In forgiveness and moving forward, we can learn from the mistakes of our past and move on.

If you ask me how I would feel, I would be angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…..

Then I thought of my friends whose children have done things that disappointed them over the years:

The mom who told me her young teenager was pregnant. As she told me her story, she wasn’t looking for my judgment, she was looking for me to have the grace to love her anyway.  She was angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…. But she also loved her child very much and I reminded myself that while my 15 year old wasn’t making me a grandmother, he/she was still not perfect and so I prayed for my friend and her daughter and allowed them to move forward. That was all she wanted from me.

Then I thought of the friends whose children have told them they were gay. Again, she was angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…. But she also loved her child very much and I reminded myself that while my child wasn’t telling me he/she was gay, he/she was still not perfect and so I prayed for my friend and her child and allowed them to move forward.  That was all she wanted from me.

Then I thought of friends whose children have done stupid stuff that landed them in jail.  Again, she was angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…. But she also loved her child very much and I reminded myself that while my child who had committed a crime, he/she was still not perfect and so I prayed for my friend and her child and allowed them to move forward.  That was all she wanted from me.

It’s easy when it’s someone else’s child to say, “I’d kick them out” “I’d call the police” “I’d hang him at high noon”, but in reality, when it’s our own children, we are angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed, confused…. But we also loved our children very much.  And all we want from other people is forgiveness, grace and the chance to move forward.  It’s hard to say what we’d do in the situation and I just thank God that I am not the one dealing with this particular test.

So Michelle, I don’t know you, but I do know this much, your heart is breaking from this news. You are probably angry, bitter, afraid, frustrated, sad, disappointed and confused. But I do believe that our God can forgive all things. 

To the fans, when you put a fifteen year old on a pedestal, don’t be surprised when he falls off. Don’t kick him while he’s trying to get back up.  To the naysayers, why do you watch a TV show if you hate the people so very much?

Now you may ask, but if he committed a crime, shouldn’t he pay. Yes, he should. But remember, if he robbed a bank at 15, that would be removed from his record at 18.  All would be forgiven….

Ask yourself this: “What if it were my child?….”

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