Josh Duggar turned 30 years old this week. Last few years, the Duggar family kept the celebrations on their Facebook small, in fear of drawing negative attention from the 2015 scandal that got 19 Kids and Counting canceled. But this year, after the arrival of Josh and Anna’s fifth baby, the family decided to make multiple posts about his birthday.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the parents of Josh Duggar, took a big step this week when they wrote about how appreciative they are about all the healing and restoring that they were able to do since the scandal.
“We had a great time at Josh’s birthday party yesterday,” they wrote on a post that gave the fans a peek into his party. “Josh & Anna have been blessed with 5 wonderful children and they will celebrate 10 years of marriage later this year! We are thankful that God can heal and restore. His goodness is immeasurable. We pray that God will continue to bless Josh & Anna and their family as they seek to follow Him!”
Despite their efforts to focus on how far Josh has come since 2015, Counting On fans were fixated on another element in the picture. They quickly spotted a couple making out in the center of the picture and began wondering who that could be.
In the beginning, many thought that it was “Josh and Anna kissing,” but others were quick to point out that it could not be them as they are sitting on the right side of the picture.
Soon, others started guessing who the mysterious couple could be.
A fan wrote, “The back of that head looks like Gil Bates!”
“It’s not Gil and Kelley Bates,” another responded. “I also don’t see any Bates kids in this picture. There are other friends of theirs there, but not any Bates.”
“It’s the Swanson’s, Josiah’s girlfriend’s parents,” a fan took a guess. “They just had a baby a few days ago.”
“It’s Joy and Austin kissing,” another commented.
With the scene-stealing kiss going on in the center of Josh’s birthday party picture, there were much fewer comments on how shocking it is that his family forgave him for molesting four of his younger sisters and cheating on his wife, according to Us Weekly.
There still were a handful of fans that thought that the Duggar family is taking the wrong approach in this circumstance. One fan, in particular, wrote about how Anna Duggar should have left him.
“Just because you forgive, doesn’t mean you go back to the person,” a fan wrote. “He has done awful things and re-offended more than once in adulthood. That’s not changing, that’s staying in a disgusting state of mind. Even if he has changed since all of this and truly reconciled with God and his family, it doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen again. I pray it doesn’t for the sake of himself, his kids, and family. I hope he truly has changed and will never re-offend again. But, she honestly should leave him. You don’t stay with a multiple offender person. You just don’t.”
However, many others were in support of Josh and Anna staying together, saying that they are “beautiful,” “amazing and awesome” and that they should “keep up the good work.”
Josh Duggar and his family are still not featured on Counting On.