Brother Standing Up For Anna–Josh Duggar’s Wife

10489858_10154379216970441_6313737274309562544_n“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – I John 1:8-9, KJV

Anna Duggar’s brother, Daniel Keller, apparently took exception to the quoting of the above verses by a member of the Duggar clan recently on Facebook (story here). Anna Duggar is the wife to the disgraced Josh Duggar and mother to his four children. The above verses were posted on Facebook by one of Josh’s sisters. The context of this exchange is over the recent admission from Josh Duggar that he has been unfaithful to his wife (after the Ashley Madison data dump exposed him).

I am tackling this story for two reasons:

  1. It provides an opportunity to correct toxic, (un)Christian responses to infidelity. Namely, Daniel Keller correctly contends a verbal confession after getting caught does not constitute true repentance in and of itself. The thief caught red-handed will do the same. More is needed.
  2. It provides an excellent illustration to others that infidelity impacts more than just the couple. Daniel correctly contends this has impacted his own family bringing shame upon them as well. Adultery and infidelity causes much collateral damage.

Point #1:

I do not know for certain how Daniel Keller interpreted I John 1:8-9, but I have a reasonable guess from the comments he posted on that Duggar family member’s Facebook feed. The sense I get is Daniel is responding to a strain in Christian circles that thinks forgiveness means no consequences for sin. It is often coupled with the idea that “we’re all sinners” and utilized to shutdown legitimate concern/criticism from the victims of said sin.

In direct response to the quotation of I John 1:8-9, Daniel Keller wrote,

“You have to confess and forsake your sin to have mercy. Not sin confess and repeat.”

He is correct in stating this. Scripture is clear in its warning about those who continue in sin (see Hebrews 10:26-27). It is not a pretty sight. God’s wrath and hell-fire are in store for such people.

While Josh confessed the sexual sin of molesting multiple girls as a teenager, he kept his roughly three years long Ashley Madison adultery-seeking accounts secret at that time.

This was calculated. And it was not just one act or slip up. This secret life of infidelity was maintained for years. Plus, he created two accounts with AM alone! Finally, he was working for the Family Research Council; so, he was surrounded by resources to help him deal with such a sin problem if he was willing to forsake his sin. He chose infidelity, secrecy, and sin instead.

Many here can testify such a premeditated pattern is common to adulterous spouses who make multiple choices to be unfaithful to their spouses (see post here). My ex-wife kept her illicit relationship hidden for months even going to marriage counseling with me during the time she was involved with the Other Man in secret. Such depravity is not unique to Josh Duggar.

Next, Daniel Keller responds to a commentator who points to King David’s forgiveness over committing adultery with Bathsheba as example setting for Daniel and Anna. His response,

“Confessing and getting caught are two different things. You want to know what happens when you cover ur sin maybe you should go read ur bible instead of beating people over the head with it.”

This exchange misses the point that King David still suffered incredible consequences for his sin. This included having to live with the knowledge that his son died because of his sin. Plus, he suffered when his son Absalom rebelled and did all sort of horrible things culminating in his own death, again.

The forgiveness piece King David received was that he was not put to death on the spot as was his due (see Deut 22:22 and 2 Samuel 12:13). Such forgiveness did not remove the consequences for such sin in King David’s life.

In addition, I agree with Daniel Keller here that getting caught and confessing is not the same thing as freely confessing. The later makes the confession suspect as far as it relates to true repentance. When you are caught red-handed, it looks foolish to deny your sin.

Make no mistake: Josh Duggar was caught red-handed with the Ashley Madison data dump. 

Point #2:

While I do not encourage name-calling, I can empathize with Daniel Keller in regards to his anger. He has a legitimate reason to be angry. Josh Duggar has dragged his family through the mud by choosing this awful path of sin. Plus, he has cheated on Daniel’s sister for years. 

Those are real boundary violations and wrongs.

It is good Daniel is angry. The anger I see in him tells me that he dearly loves his sister, Anna. It is a healthy, righteous anger to have about these matters even if his expression is not “perfect” as far as the name-calling piece is concerned.

Plus, this anger demonstrates–once again–that infidelity impacts more than just the couple. It has ripple effects throughout the extended family. Such sin is not a private matter. It causes real community damage.

Josh Duggar did not “just” betray his wife, Anna, through being unfaithful. He betrayed Anna’s family as well–to name one community negatively impacted by his sin.

Adultery is truly evil (see Duet. 22:22). And this rather public expression is one way to help us see that.

Finally, whatever Anna decides regarding her marriage, I hope she is well supported. If she decides to stay–as the reports indicate she will–I hope she is not shamed for that decision. It is hers alone to make as she is the one who has the live with the consequences.

That said, I am glad she has a brother in Daniel who is willing to give it to her straight plus provide a way out–or just breathing space–if that is what she wants as well.


4 thoughts on “Brother Standing Up For Anna–Josh Duggar’s Wife”

  1. Thank you for this! I have several Christian friends who are posting on Facebook about how poor Josh Duggar is being picked on just because he is a Christian. Oh give me a break! I think Josh Duggar deserves what he is getting. Maybe it is God’s vengeance, maybe it is not. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it totally turned Josh around?! I pasted this post beneath all those friends who are crying for Josh. I hope they read it.

  2. It’s nice to know that Anna has a brother who has the clarity to see through this mess on her behalf! I was hoping her Mother and Father would step up to the plate for her, but I don’t think they have the guts to challenge the all powerful, clean cut Duggar clan. It’s sad. Thank God her brother has a spine. I have a feeling he will be watching out for her like a hawk! She needs someone who can defend her and her four kids!

  3. Thanks for another great article, DM!

    Also, I wanted to share what a Georgia mom wrote regarding Anna Duggar.

    A Georgia Mom’s Open Letter Regarding Anna Duggar


    I know everybody is laughing about this Josh Duggar story. Oh, a DUGGAR on Ashley Madison, it’s so rich! I wish more people would talk about Anna. I normally keep things light on Facebook, but let’s talk about Anna. Let me tell you: Anna Duggar is in the worst position she could possibly be in right now. Anna Duggar was crippled by her parents by receiving no education, having no work experience (or life experience, for that matter) and then was shackled to this loser because his family was famous in their religious circle. Anna Duggar was taught that her sole purpose in life, the most meaningful thing she could do, was to be chaste and proper, a devout wife, and a mother. Anna Duggar did that! Anna Duggar followed the rules that were imposed on her from the get-go and this is what she got in reward- a husband who she found out, in the span of six months, not only molested his own sisters, but was unfaithful to her in the most humiliating way possible. While she was fulfilling her “duty” of providing him with four children and raising them. She lived up to the standard that men set for her of being chaste and Godly and in return, the man who demanded this of her sought women who were the opposite. “Be this,” they told her. She was. It wasn’t enough.

    What is Anna Duggar supposed to do? She can’t divorce because the religious environment she was brought up would blame her and ostracize her for it. Even if she would risk that, she has no education and no work experience to fall back on, so how does she support her kids? From where could she summon the ability to turn her back on everything she ever held to be sacred and safe? Her beliefs, the very thing she would turn to for comfort in this kind of crisis, are the VERY REASON she is in this predicament in the first place. How can she reconcile this? Her parents have utterly, utterly failed her. Think of this: somewhere, Anna Duggar is sitting in prayer, praying not for the strength to get out and stand on her own, but for the strength to stand by this man she is unfortunately married to. To lower herself so that he may rise up on her back.

    As a mother of daughters, this makes me ill. Parents, WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS. Boys, men, are born with power. Girls have to command it for themselves. They aren’t given it. They assume it and take it. But you have to teach them to do it, that they can do it. We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this. That they don’t have to marry a man their father deems ‘acceptable’ and then stay married to that man long, long after he proved himself UNACCEPTABLE. Educate them. Empower them. Give them the tools they need to survive, on their own if they must. Josh Duggar should be cowering in fear of Anna Duggar right now. Cowering. He isn’t, but he should be. He should be quaking in fear that the house might fall down around them if he’s in the same room as she. Please, instill your daughters with the resolve to make a man cower if he must. To say “I don’t deserve this, and my children don’t deserve this.” I wish someone had ever, just once, told Anna she was capable of this. That she knew she is. As for my girls, I’ll raise them to think they breathe fire.

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