But did you realize it wasn't his victims who exposed him? My guess is that it was completely forgiven by them. Maybe not completely forgotten--because who can? I know because I forgave my own offender and don't hold it against him. I believe there was someone in the police department who was jealous for the attention this family gets in this small town. Someone who despises Christians and had the attitude, "Let's see how you deal with this!" They may have even gotten paid for the information. It may have been someone who'd also been abused and was "standing and speaking for all victims everywhere." Someone who wanted to see the Duggars fail.
But let me tell you what will happen. The Duggars will stand. Oh...they'll have to take time to re-group, love on one another, find Josh a job, etc. But their character will shine. TLC would be crazy to take them off the air, but if they do, it won't matter. Their lives aren't about television...television was just a medium to get their message out. And now they'll get a bigger message out: Christians aren't perfect. They mess up. But this is what forgiveness, restoration, and unconditional love look like. They will stand for TRUTH.
Here's what I'd want Josh to know. DON'T FEAR!! We believe in you. Your past does not define you. I don't know of ANYONE who would want their 14-year-old behavior displayed for the world to see. And the piranhas who are feeding on you, least of all. They will accuse you of hypocrisy, but their own accuses them loudly. And remember this, Josh...what comes against you measures the stature of who you are intended to be. Your place of pain will become your place of reign. (Living Life By Design taught me these things last weekend.) Your brothers and sisters in Christ are standing behind you. Those of us who have endured some persecution and understand where you are, have got your back. You are not alone! What Satan has intended for evil, God will use for good. Watch and see....
By the way, as a parent of adult children of my own, I want to commend Jim Bob & Michelle. You are great parents. You handled this situation with Josh all those years ago with great integrity. You didn't cover it up, hide it, minimalize it when you found out about it. You included those who needed to be included and got counseling for all involved. And you put boundaries in place to protect your children. For those looking in, your encouragement to your children not to kiss before marriage makes perfect sense now. The things I said to Josh, I'd say to you: Your place of pain will become your place of reign and what comes against you measures the stature of who you are intended to be. You are great parents.
God, please bless the Duggar family. Let them know they're not standing alone. Press in to each of them today and give them great hope, truth, unconditional love, fearlessness, and vision for who they are. Give them Your promotion, Father. Bless those offended all those years ago. Fill their hearts with peace and forgiveness--again. And Father, please let the person in the police department who exposed this find You and find forgiveness. In Jesus' name, Amen.
And do not [for a moment] be frightened intimidated in anything by your opponents adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance salvation, and that from God.
**The first reports online were that someone in the Springdale Police Department supplied the information to inTouch Magazine which made it appear someone in the police department was eager to share the information to the media...and upon which I based my information. Since then, it's been reported by inTouch Magazine that they received the report through a Freedom of Information Act request. I'm thankful no one in the police department was at fault and sorry for my conclusions without those pertinent facts.