Religion, Legalism, Bad Parenting and Anna Duggar

Some may wonder where I am going with this blog post because I mentioned Anna Duggar instead of Josh Duggar in the title, but the fact of the matter is that Anna and her children are the ones getting lost in the shuffle with all the upheaval concerning Josh.  I have read differing post concerning this situation that have varied from he is scum to those that make excuses for his behavior concerning the molestation of his sisters and now his unfaithfulness to his wife.  As a dad with two daughters, my heart breaks for Anna Duggar because she is caught in a trap with her four kids that has been created by her parents and fostered by a religious view of Christianity that is legalism run amuck and a religious system that treats women as if they have two purposes in life:  Have children and obey the husband no matter what the circumstance.  Well, here is my take as a dad first and as a pastor.

As we continually hear in the news about Josh Duggar and his sad, but yet dark exploits, I believe his wife Anna is the one getting lost in the fray of the circus that has become the Duggar clan.   In the heartbreaking case of Anna Duggar, there are a lot of contributing factors.  I think the demeaning of women under the disguise of christianity, deciding that turning wives into baby factories because it is somehow the biblically proper way top structure the family, legalism because of the bondage that this brand of “christianity” supports and the complete failure of Anna Duggar’s parents to prepare their daughter for a real world that does exist outside their small-minded view of the way things really are outside their religious compounds are all things that contribute to the sad case of Anna Duggar.  As a dad, because frankly I was called to be a husband and a dad before I was called to be a pastor, Anna was not treated as a precious gift from God by her father.  A religious system that teaches and insists that it’s young women remain largely uneducated and not allowed to make decisions without approval from there husband is really no better than the religious system our country is at war with in the sands of the Middle East.  As a dad, my goals for my daughters are to be exactly what God designed them to be and for them to strive to reach whatever goal they set for themselves.  I want my daughters to be able to excel apart from and without taking a backseat to any man.  The bible declares in the book of Genesis that the wife was designed to be a helpmate not a slave or indentured servant to the husband.  It means that she is a partner, an equal partner in this business called marriage.  The sad thing about the whole situation with Josh Duggar is not the fact that he is a sex offender and an adulterer (those things have been well established), but is Anna Duggar who is trapped because her parents decided that since she was a young lady, education was not a premium along with job training was not necessary and all this I’m sure is their mindset because of some erroneous  interpretation of scripture.  I could not watch “19 Kids and Counting” because what I saw under the disguise of authentic christianity was a father/husband who really did not care much for his wife or her health because having 19 children is not the best thing for the human body.  I also saw a dad that through a misguided interpretation of scripture basically cut off his family from the real world.  Anna Duggar is a product of this mindset and it is sad that now, even with the family defending Josh’s molestation, she see’s no way out of this situation.  First, let us look at it from a scriptural standpoint.  If we examine the scriptures closely, we see that the word of God teaches that in the eyes of God male and female are created equal.  We also see that Christ placed a premium on being faithful in marriage.  While I think divorce is a disease that is eating away at the very foundation of our families and in turn our nation, as a pastor I am not blind that scripture does permit divorce in cases of adultery and desertion of the other spouse.  In addition if we use common sense and no the sense of a Pharisee, I believe Jesus would never instruct a woman to stay with a husband that had molested children in addition to cheating on his wife via the internet.

In closing, dad’s let me encourage you in a couple of areas where your daughters are concerned:

  1.  Model a loving partnership with their mother
  2. Give them a role model to pursue in a husband
  3. Encourage and push your daughters to be well educated and pursue academic excellence
  4. Instill in your daughter that while there are definite differences in the sexes, but this does not and should not hinder them in pursuing their life goals.
  5. Make sure you DO NOT place any higher restrictions on your daughter or wife than scripture does.  The grace of the New Testament is a freeing grace for men and women.
  6. Make sure your daughters have the life skills to survive in a world with or without a man.
  7. Finally outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ make sure your daughter knows her worth is not measured in the world’s standard of beauty or what some modern day, religious pharisee says she must or must not do, but rather is measured in the light that she is a child of the Most High God!

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made….” – Psalm 139:14

Rejoice,

Keith

This poor girl, Anna Duggar, was left uneducated and left to the mercy of a religious system that says she MUST be subservient

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