After it was revealed that Josh Duggar molested five underage girls when he was a teenager, wife Anna Duggar made it clear she was standing by him. Then, after incriminating evidence was released this week, Josh confessed to living a “double life” that involved cheating on Anna. Although Anna hasn’t commented in one way or the other about the latest revelations, many are wondering if it will be enough for her to consider divorce. The answer, insiders say, is no.
“Anna will not leave him,” a source told People, explaining Anna will likely try to “absorb some of the blame.” The source added, “Maybe not publicly, ever, but privately, there will be some suggestion of whether or not she should have been more aware of the pressures Josh was under, of the issues he was facing, and how she could have better counseled him or helped him… Divorce is not even something that will be discussed.”
To understand that, we have to understand more about Anna’s religious beliefs. First and foremost, she is a Christian who strives to follow the Bible’s teachings — and the scriptures largely ban divorce. Here is Jesus’s teaching in Mark 10:7-8, which is echoed in other pars of the Bible: “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
However, Matthew 19:8-9, Jesus made one exception: “Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.'”
Because there are many different factions of Christianity with a number of different policies on divorce, it is also important to note Josh, Anna and the rest of the Duggar family follow the teachings of Bill Gothard as outlined by the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). On the IBLP website, there are a number of articles that shed light on their policies about divorce, including one titled “Can a hopeless marriage be restored?”
Ron came clean with me and confessed his hidden moral failures. He first told me that he had experienced moral failure for many years by watching pornography in hotels while traveling for business. Then he told me that he had been unfaithful with at least four different women in the early years of our marriage…
Satan had him bound with guilt from the adultery and had pulled him into continued failure with pornography. Throughout our married life, I continually asked Ron if he was failing morally and if there was anything wrong, but he always said no. Now, at last, he was being honest. After he came clean, I also confessed my failures to him.
The woman explained that her husband’s confession opened them up to experiencing God’s “mighty work of restoration in our lives.” She added, “Ron and I now feel like newlyweds! We have experienced so much healing, and for the first time, we truly love one another. We are trusting the Lord to restore the years that the locusts have eaten.”
In another article — “Is it possible to forgive an unfaithful husband? — a woman said she wasn’t as instantly forgiving when her husband revealed he “had been unfaithful during our engagement, had lied to me our entire marriage, had experienced constant moral failure, and he still continued in the sins he confessed to me.” She said she became angry and vengeful and initially wanted a divorce. However, she was then advised by a friend to take a look at herself…
I called her, and she listened as I poured out my frustration and anger toward Marc. After I was finished, she said in a very gentle and quiet voice, “Well, Dana, what about your own sin?”
Her question shocked me—my sin? My husband was the horrible sinner who had hurt me so badly, and I was the innocent victim! Now she told me to look at my own sin? In my mind, my sin didn’t even begin to compare with what Marc had done. I became angry as she gently told me I needed to take my eyes off Marc and put them on myself… Gradually, God revealed my own sin to me, which was just as bad as my husband’s failures.
By turning to God, the woman said her “impossible and miserable situation” was turned into a “beautiful relationship that is filled with joy.”
If those testimonies are not enough, the IBLP also offers a “Rebuilder’s Guide,” which “provides solid footings to those who have failed in their marriages and are seeking to build afresh God’s way that which human love alone could not sustain.” It includes chapters on “Rebuilding a Clear Conscience and a Forgiving Spirit,” “Rebuilding Your Marriage” and “Rebuilding Past Failures Into a New Life Message.”
Although the People insider didn’t reference IBLP, the person seemed to echo the concept of “rebuilding” with help from God.
“In the end, Josh and Anna will pull through this, Jim Bob and Michelle will weather this and they will give a lot of praise and glory to God for helping to strengthen their bonds to each other and to Him,” the insider said. “This will be seen as a test, and they – all four of them – will be determined not to fail.”