In the wake of news leaking out about Josh Duggar’s sexually deviant behavior as a teen, there has been a frenzy of angry and arrogant responses from liberals and tabloids, ministries and mommy bloggers, and just about everyone in between. With the many varying opinions about what should or shouldn’t have been his parents’ response to Josh’s admittedly “inexcusable” acts as a teen, one thing becomes clear: These issues aren’t cut and dried.
Without knowing the individuals personally or the details of nuanced conversations and counseling that occurred with Josh Duggar, many judgments are unfair, at best. At worst, many of them are rooted in falsehoods — falsehoods that can tempt the parent of any teen to lose heart. The first falsehood we’re going to look at is this one: “People Can’t Change for Good.”
This is, perhaps, the most flagrant and commonly held myths of our time — and it has emerged repeatedly in articles, blog posts, and discussions on social media relating to the Duggar scandal. Perhaps we can blame Freud and modern psychology, which claims absolute jurisdiction over the hearts and minds of all people.
While many claim that people can’t change and “sexual predators” require official and continual “treatment” by psychotherapists, God’s Word says something different: God’s Word is both necessary and sufficient in dealing with our naturally sinful, immoral hearts (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As we renew our minds with Scripture, God uses it to do more than “rehabilitate” us — He transforms us, from the inside, out (Romans 12:2)!
Because we can so easily be deceived (Jeremiah 17:9), God has given us others within the church body to instruct (or counsel) and rebuke (or admonish) us, to show us real life examples of Christian living, and to hold us accountable (Colossians 3:16, Titus 2:1-8, Hebrews 3:23-31).
If you need a case-in-point, the Apostle Paul is an obvious one. In 1 Timothy 1:15, he refers to himself as “the chief of sinners” — and he isn’t overstating the case. Before he came to Christ, he actually murdered Christians. (1 Timothy 1:15) Arguably the most influential human being in the early church, God clearly transformed this one-time enemy of Christ to one of His biggest supporters.
The truth is that we all started out as enemies of Christ (Romans 5:10) — but the good news of the gospel is that God can change our hearts when we turn to Him in repentant faith.
In fact, David is often referred to as “a man after God’s own heart” because of his willingness to repent after sins he committed even as a God-trusting adult. The sexual and violent acts he committed had some big-time consequences for both him and others — but they did not keep him from being fully restored to God and used greatly by Him.
Parents of imperfect teens, be encouraged: God can truly transform hearts and lives.
- Sobering Realities Amid the Josh Duggar Drama
- Confronting Falsehoods Surrounding the Josh Duggar Drama, Part 1
- Confronting Falsehoods Surrounding the Josh Duggar Drama, Part 2
- Confronting Falsehoods Surrounding the Josh Duggar Drama, Part 3
Image credits: Top © Arthur Hidden Photography/Fotolia; 2nd © Pressmaster/Fotolia