Anna Duggar’s divorce from Josh Duggar seems like a given to many considering the scandal surrounding the Duggar family. But the Duggar family would prefer the healing of their relationship rather than the destruction of their marriage. Considering these beliefs rest on the Bible, what does Jesus say on the matter?
In a related report by the Inquisitr, it is claimed that Josh Duggar cheated on his wife Anna with a porn star named Danica Dillon. While the Duggar family has not confirmed or denied these allegations, Josh has publicly apologized for being caught using the adultery website Ashley Madison.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife,” Josh wrote on the Duggar family’s website. “I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him. I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions.”
Regardless of this apology, many have advocated Anna Duggar’s divorce from Josh. For example, the Huffington Post wrote this open letter to Anna.
“You are God’s image bearer, wonderfully knit together, lovingly created. I believe fully in the sanctity of marriage vows, but when a marriage is built on lies and deception, and the vows have been broken, there is no marriage, and there is no obligation to ‘save’ it.”
Similarly, Hollywood Life has publicly urged Anna Duggar to either divorce Josh, or at least make certain he is treated for his porn addiction.
“Anna Duggar, if you are determined to stay married to Josh Duggar, then you must convince him to get very serious professional therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in sexual issues. It’s very clear that the treatment that Josh received after he molested his sisters and another young girl did not resolve any of his problems. He and his parents, Michelle and Bob Duggar, may have done hours of praying, but it’s obvious that prayer on its own, hasn’t cured him of his sex addictions.”
Porn addiction is quite the problem in the Christian world. Expastors notes that 50 percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women say they are addicted to internet pornography. In addition, a survey taken by Pastors.com revealed that 54 percent of Christian pastors struggled with porn, and “nearly 20% of the calls received on Focus on the Family’s Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.” Other surveys put the numbers even higher, claiming 63 percent of Christian pastors struggle with sex addictions.
Put in this perspective, Josh Duggar is not alone. Like many Christians, the Duggar family does not believe in divorce, although their church apparently allows for the option if Josh were to fail to improve after many counseling sessions.
In the Bible, Jesus makes it clear that Christian divorce should not be taken lightly.
“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 sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.’ – Matthew 19:8-9″
The word translated as “sexual immorality” here is the Greek word porneia, from which the word pornography is actually derived. The Greek word’s literal meaning is debated among Christian scholars, but Jesus also clarified this statement in a quote from Luke.
“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. – Luke 16:18”
Matthew 5:32 also echoes this statement, except the caveat about adultery or sexual immorality is also included. Many believe the exceptions should be interpreted to refer only to the innocent party. Still, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that Jesus hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and that reconciliation and forgiveness should be the aim of a Christian (Luke 11:4, Ephesians 4:32).
[Image via TLC]