Josh Duggar’s past two years of scandals are just not going away. It’s recently been revealed that he’s expected to have to spill details of his secret online life when he takes the stand in an upcoming lawsuit. Viewers are also waiting to see if Josh will be allowed on-screen when Counting On returns with focus on more of his younger siblings’ love lives. This week, Josh’s father will attend a religious conference to talk more about Josh and what steps the family has taken in the past two years to bring the situation under control.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar may have handled Josh’s earliest incidents, when they learned he had molested several young girls, in the least public way possible, but they’re not keeping quiet about it anymore. Now, two years after the release of police reports detailing the series of events, the Duggar family is taking Josh’s problems to the stage. Those two years haven’t been quiet, either — since then, Josh has been hit with the release of his name on the rolls of an extramarital dating site, and most recently, he will face a lawsuit from the man whose photo he used on dating sites. Matthew McCarthy says being associated with Josh Duggar has harmed his reputation.
Earlier this month, a pastor at a church that hosted Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as speakers at a couples retreat revealed that Mr. Duggar had spent part of his speaking time talking about a wife’s duty to provide her husband with sex and that Mrs. Duggar had chimed in with the same. The pastor went on to clarify their speech, saying that women’s’ “self-centered narcissistic view” of ownership of their own bodies was one of the greatest sins.
“The Bible says your body is not your own, sister. It is your husband’s.”
Now it seems that being open about Josh’s tribulations is working for the family. At the Big Sandy Family Conference this week, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are scheduled to speak five different times over the four-day event. Their topics include Pursuing A Dynamic Marriage and Choosing To Become Debt-Free, but Mrs. Duggar will also be speaking on the topic Grace Sufficient, and the couple will speak together on Trusting God No Matter What.
What does all of that mean with regard to Josh?
Jim Bob Duggar’s speaker profile on the conference site describes his planned talk in this way:
Developing a family ministry through a Reality TV series only compounds and magnifies the challenges. Listen as Jim Bob shares what God has brought them through in the past few years and how God is at work in their home.
There’s no doubt Josh has had an impact on his family’s ability to promote their beliefs through their reality show over the past few years. However, they have managed to hold on to the medium, even if under a new name and with some restrictions. 19 Kids & Counting may be off the air, but Jim Bob and Michelle have appeared regularly on Counting On, the reality show that was promoted as focusing on the older Duggar kids (except, of course, Josh).
The couple’s shared speaker profile (Michelle Duggar doesn’t get one to herself, despite being listed as a solo speaker at the Mothers’ Session) is slightly more vague, promising that the couple will discuss their ‘joys and trials’ and ‘their lives tak[ing] unexpected turns.’
Now, Josh is out of rehab for what the family called a ‘sex addiction,’ and may be edging his way back into the spotlight. The difficulties imposed on the family from his indiscretions and alleged crimes are likely not at an end, though, especially with a court date still looming. It’s not clear if those ‘unexpected turns’ are over for the Duggar family.
Still, addressing publicly how Josh Duggar’s past few years of secrets and revelations affected the family seems to be the new way of handling the whole thing for his parents, and they will continue the trend this week in Big Sandy, Texas, at the International ALERT Academy.
[Featured Image by Josh Duggar/Twitter]