Since Josh Duggar’s latest foray back into the lifestyle of a public figure, with his recent announcement that he and wife Anna Duggar are expecting their fifth child, his crimes and indiscretions have been thrust back into the spotlight. Now, it is being revealed that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar may have hinted that Anna was to blame for Josh’s search for extramarital relationships when they spoke at a marriage retreat.
Grace Fellowship Interdenominational announced earlier this year that Duggar family members would join a retreat to speak about marriage. They may have received negative feedback centering around Josh’s problems, because they later deleted a Facebook post about the Duggar family, before releasing a long rant that was also later deleted. Part of that post is archived in a quote here.
In short, it appeared to defend Josh and the Duggar family, warning readers not to condemn others — “…especially when you don’t have any idea what you are talking about!”
Now Pastor Kenny Batson has added to that message in a new sermon that the church says it was “encouraged” to share. The encouragement may have been strong — Grace Fellowship Interdenominational notes that it is the first they have uploaded in a while.
The video is titled “Adultery/Gouge out eye/Cut off hand,” giving the impression that it is meant to take a hard line on adultery — suggesting perhaps Josh Duggar is about to take a verbal lashing — but the contents include a statement from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar that appears to take the blame off Josh and place it on his wife, Anna.
The entire video is a sermon that runs almost an hour long, but the part most directly pertaining to Josh Duggar comes early.
“This message was uploaded because of strong encouragement to do so; deals with the severity of allowing compromise in our Christian lives”
The video opens with Batson discussing adultery and sin. At about 10 minutes in, he has been warning that the Bible orders couples not to “deprive one another” of sexual relations. Then he speaks about the Duggar family, saying that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar joined the church for a marriage retreat recently. He says at the end, Jim Bob Duggar turned back for one more message — and it turns out to have been Michelle Duggar’s standard warning to women. Though she doesn’t mention Josh or Anna Duggar directly, Mrs. Duggar speaks of a woman’s duty in marriage.
“At the marriage retreat — Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar helped us do it, and at the end of it, they were getting ready to go home, and Jim Bob caught me out in the hall and says, ‘You know what,’ he says, ‘I have to go back in here and do a little more teaching.'”
In this extra session, Batson says, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar had a focus.
“What they talked about was this matter right here. Intimacy in marriage. And Michelle said something that I’d never thought, I mean I knew of it but I never thought like she put it. She said ‘Ladies, your husband can get his laundry done by other women, he can have his meal cooked by other women, he can have all kinds of things done for him by other women, but there’s only one woman who can meet that strong need he has that god put in him, and its you. Only you, lady.'”
Michelle Duggar has said this before — her blog carried it as “Marriage Advice For Newlyweds,” even as everything about Josh’s secret dating site accounts was being revealed to the public.
“And so be available, and not just available, but be joyfully available for him. Smile and be willing to say, ‘Yes, sweetie I am here for you,’ no matter what, even though you may be exhausted and big pregnant and you may not feel like he feels.”
In the sermon, Pastor Kenny Batson adds to Michelle Duggar’s message.
“It is one of the greatest sins of women today, is a self-centered narcissistic view of how they are to have control of their bodies. The Bible says your body is not your own, sister. It is your husband’s.”
Later in the sermon, at about 28 minutes into the video, Batson addresses the title. If anyone thought it would be a rebuke to Josh Duggar, the pastor disabuses them of that notion, assuring listeners that God never meant anyone should literally gouge out an eye or cut off a hand to prevent sin, but instead that one should get rid of temptations, such as internet access and apps or programs that enable adulterous thoughts, such as Snapchat or Instagram. Josh Duggar deleted his Instagram account just under a year ago.
A few minutes later, Pastor Batson also speaks of secret email accounts and alternate social media accounts used to keep affairs hidden from a spouse — again, something that sounds like a direct reference to Josh Duggar. Radar Online published details in 2015 about Josh’s secret Facebook account, kept under an alias.
While Josh Duggar was never directly mentioned in the sermon, there’s no question that his past is a subject of public conversation at the moment, and Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s special effort to address a woman’s obligation to provide her husband with sex regardless of her own feelings during this recent marriage retreat was made central.
This is, again, something Michelle Duggar has addressed before, but in this case, there are a few key points. Jim Bob Duggar seems to have been the driving force, announcing that the couple would return and speak on the matter. Also, the timing seems relevant, with this address to women coming right before Anna and Josh Duggar announced publicly that they would be bringing another child into the world.
[Featured Image by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images]