My husband and I were talking about the latest christian sex scandal *sigh* again Josh Duggar is the news. If you haven’t heard, a (gag me) popular site that links up people seeking other cheaters; Ashley Madison, had a huge data breach. Tons of private info was leaked online. Josh Duggar was one of literal millions seeking affairs.
It’s a very public display of moral failure. Especially since Josh had been espousing family values with the Family Research Council. The biggest failure isn’t to his public image, the Duggar brand, his career- it is to his wife, Anna, who is now dealing with the pain of betrayal and the humiliation on a national stage.
Tim and I prayed for them. We don’t judge Josh because while what he did was incredibly wrong- we all have that potential inside of us.
I think there were two things that ‘allowed’ this to happen. First- Josh has been in the public eye since his teen years and has probably felt pressure to keep up a good christian front for the sake of his family. So when he started dealing with pornography addiction he kept it quiet instead of seeking help before it turned into adultery. I also think that Satan targeted this family in a big way because they have such a huge platform for their Christianity. In Josh’s own words, he had allowed the enemy to build a fortress of immorality in his mind.
We need to be willing to ask for help even at the sake of our ‘image’. So often a moral failure seems to come ‘out of nowhere’. In reality, Satan has been chipping away at that person’s defenses for years under the cover of their ‘good christian’ front and it was a carefully orchestrated fall.
The Bible says that our enemy is cunning and that he sets snares and pits in our path.
The best way to avoid falling into one is to have a degree of transparency and accountability in your life. A close friend, Pastor, prayer partner, or best of all- your spouse.
Tim and I have really opened up communication about our areas of stuggle this past year. And we are closer and stronger than ever.
We all struggle. You are not a freak. But God doesn’t care so much about your ‘front’ as he does what is going on in your mind and heart. “You desire truth in the innermost being” Psalm 51:6
There needs to be a daily coming before God and his Word. We need to be honest with ourselves. There are some temptations that we can’t avoid but there are many that we can. Don’t overestimate your own strength “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Cor. 10:12
What the enemy means as a ways to bring you down, God is allowing as a test. If HE is allowing the test he has given you the means to overcome it.
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Cor. 10:13
Another biggie is appreciating your spouse and not taking them for granted. Making it a practice to focus on their good qualities and being thankful for them is huge in strengthening your heart against temptation.
Marriage is such a gift. God even used it to illustrate Christ and the church. If you are married then God has given you this person to experience physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy with. Make sure all those important needs are being met according to each other’s needs.
Allowing God to direct your steps is huge too. God is not going to lead you into disaster. Many end up there after ignoring many warnings signs along the way.
As Josh is finding out, in his words, “You get to choose your actions, but you don’t get to choose your consequences.”
That is why it is not unwise to consider carefully what would happen if you cheated. Who it would affect and how. I have three kids and I want them to grow up in the very best environment- with parents that love Jesus and each other. More importantly, I love my husband and I really think I would rather die than betray him like that. And most importantly I have a God that loves me and is for me that I do not want to let down.
The amazing thing about the Gospel though- is that there is hope and redemption beyond the pain. We’re praying God keeps them through this and they come through humbled but strengthened. God can take our heep of ashes and make a crown of beauty. He’s just amazing like that.