While many have turned on Josh Duggar and his family in wake of the molestation crimes he committed as a teenager, his sister’s father-in-law is standing up for the Duggars.
Michael Seewald, father of Jessa Duggar’s husband Ben, posted an essay to his website on Monday (May 25) defending the the family, specifically parents Jim Bob and Michelle, and how they handled Josh’s molestation of five underage girls.
“Are Jim Bob and Michelle to be scolded for raising their children with high moral standards and this moral failing evidence that they are legalistic hypocrites? No,” Seewald writes. “…Yes, we should constantly be learning and growing as parents and change when we see a better way, yet no parenting method is without flaw.”
Seewald makes it clear that he does not condone Josh Duggar’s actions, but has faith that the Duggars turning to the Lord was the right way to handle the situation. When Jim Bob and Michelle were made aware of Josh’s actions, they did not take him to police, but rather sought counsel from their church elders. Under that advisement the Duggar parents sent their son to work for a family’s friends remodeling business for a few months.
“In the end Josh sought forgiveness from those he wronged, repented of his sins, and came to trust Christ as his Savior. He has to the present day attested to the reality of his repentance and faith by living above reproach,” Seewald says. “In their efforts to salvage the wreckage that these transgressions brought, and bring healing to all involved, Jim Bob and Michelle are to be commended.”
Seewald also uses his essay to chastise those who have judged Josh Duggar in light of the lack of legal consequences for these crimes. Outside of the remodeling work, Josh Duggar did not receive any certified counseling or face any legal punishment for his crimes.
He says though, Duggar is a repentant sinner and therefore forgiven, along with “homosexuals, self righteous church goers” and “the proud.” He says:
Though consequences are sometimes necessary and desired to uphold civil society and to bring temporary justice, Jesus forgives repentant sinners, real sinners: murderers, thieves, child molesters, homosexuals, self righteous church goers, the proud, liars, scoffers, atheists, hypocrites, and any other sinner or combination of them all.All that is required is to come to Jesus confessing that you are a sinner and with faith that his death will avail for you. He will receive you and begin the process of salvaging your life for his glory.
Seewald did use part of the essay to encourage victims of abuse to speak up and remind them that the trauma they have suffered is not their fault.
“Finally, a word to the millions of muted victims of sexual abuse all over the world. It is not your fault. No matter what the abuser may have said, you are not the one to blame. Do not keep silent if you are being abused, tell someone you trust, a parent, a teacher, a friend, anyone is better than silence.”