Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Different Perspective on the Duggar Situation

I have only been watching the Duggars for a couple years.  I have been fascinated with their lives and their family.  I admit I was pretty shocked to hear that Josh Duggar molested his sisters when he was a teenager.  I have read many comments online saying what a slimeball Josh Duggar is/was and how their family is in a cult and that Josh's victims will be ruined for life because of his abuse.  I have read that he has apologized and his sisters have forgiven him.  From what I have read online, people have said that they couldn't possibly have forgiven him, that they were coerced into saying they did to protect their family image.  All of this may be true, I don't know the Duggars personally, so I can't say.

But I do have a few things to say on the subject.  Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident.  And I have read reports citing as many as 1 in 3 women will be abused in their lifetime.  So, these are high numbers.  Chances are good that if you are reading this, either you or someone you love has been sexually abused.  And it is my belief that these statistics are low because many instances are never reported.

Like many of you, I was sexually abused as a child.  It was by a babysitter.  I didn't report it because I didn't want to get anyone in trouble, and of course, there was shame about what I had done/been forced to do.

I am not going to lie and say there were no repercussions.  It was a secret I didn't want brought up for years and didn't even tell my parents about it until I was an adult.   And I probably wouldn't have told them ever if it hadn't been revealed by my sister who also was abused by this person..  I didn't want them to be hurt or maybe think they did something wrong by allowing this person to babysit for us.

 Psalm 61:1 is one of my very favorite verses in the bible. It speaks of Jesus and his redemption:

 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Ah,  friend-- good news to the poor means that Jesus died for your sins and mine have been forgiven by Jesus.   He died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world.  When I accepted Him as my Savior, my sins were forgiven and placed on Him.  No longer am I dead in my sins, but can know they are forgiven and will have eternal life with my Savior.

I have given my life to Christ and with it, all of my hurts.  That includes the pain of sexual abuse. Jesus says through the prophet Isaiah that he was sent to bind up the brokenhearted.  Psalm 147:3 says: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Sometimes, people who are sexually abused are held captive by the memories of what they endured.  I am not saying that is wrong.  I think it is a natural reaction.  Satan would love for us to be bitter about what happened and let it ruin our relationships.  He is a deceiver and a destroyer.

I have completely forgiven my abuser.  When I think of her, I feel no malice.  I only feel sorrow for the fallen world we live in that led her to hurt me in the first place.  I pray for her salvation and that she has repented of her sins and has given her life to Christ.

 I believe that if Josh Duggar has TRULY repented of his sins and humbly asked forgiveness, the Bible tells me:  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

I don't know if the Duggar sisters have truly forgiven their brother.  But I know that it is possible with Christ's help.