It’s Not Your Fault

We are being bombarded on every side by stories of the demise of marriage.  Just looking at the newsfeed on a popular social media sites I can’t help but notice couple after couple either splitting up or dealing with terrible, devastating issues.

It really isn’t a surprise to see the stories coming out of Hollywood or Nashville.  Marriage has become an institute of convenience.  It is an okay place to camp out until someone decides that he or she has fallen out of love.  Then it’s over.  Why stay when staying makes you unhappy?

The most sad story to come out this week has to do with a marriage that is almost certainly still together.  It is the news about Josh Duggar and his infidelity and pornography addiction.

I am not a huge Duggar fan.  I have watched their reality show on TLC.  My kids have watched it.  It is a safe program for them and it is interesting to see a large Christian family and the way they do life.  I don’t agree with everything they believe but I believe them when they say that they are trying to illustrate Christ to America.

I guess that is why their oldest son’s confession is so devastating.

Craig Gross from XXXChurch recently wrote an article entitles “The Only Thing That Still Surprises Me”.  This is a Christian pastor who has been involved with porn stars and addicts, mourning spouses and women trying to escape the porn industry.  I’m not surprised that he isn’t surprised by the rampant sexual and marriage attacks we are facing in our North American culture.  Especially among Christians.

The enemy is gunning for us and we are failing big time.

Christian marriage is supposed to be an illustration of God’s love and His nature to the world.  It should be a picture of safety, of respect, love and faithfulness.  It should not involve other lovers or pain.  But that is the picture Christian marriage is showing this week.

I am not a professional psychologist.  I have no credentials behind my name.  I am a wife who has survived my husband’s pornography addiction.  I have not completed hours of counselling or even attended a support group.  I jokingly say I have the biggest porn library because of my extensive collection of books about pornography addiction.  I have read a lot.  I have heard a lot of stories.  And I have been someone with a story about porn and sexual addiction.  I wasn’t the addict but I was affected all the same.

It breaks my heart to think about what Anna Duggar, Josh’s wife, is going through.  It breaks my heart because I know.  Our stories aren’t the same but I know.  If there was one thing that I would tell her, if I could just have a chance, it would be this.

It’s not your fault.

It’s not your fault.

It’s not your fault.

Anyone can blame you but it’s not about you.  It’s not your fault.

I haven’t read that much about the Duggars and their reaction to this.  Just enough to know that Anna will likely stand by her man.  But the articles I have read have also suggested that she is somehow responsible, at least partially, for her husband’s actions.  And she seems to believe it.

I can easily see why Josh Duggar got caught up in the pornography trap.  He and Anna moved themselves and their growing family of 5 far away from a close-knit family and support system to a different part of the country for a very different kind of job.  The stress must have been intense.  Going from a home where media and computer use is strictly monitored to have carte blanche to do whatever you want could lead the most devote, contentious person astray.   Time and time again, the story is always the same.  Pornography usage often takes a person much farther than he or she ever dreamed he or she would go.  Even into someone else’s bed.

I understand.  I don’t condone it.  But I understand.

I hope and pray that there are some wise, godly women in Anna’s counsel who are speaking words of love and grace and hope to her.  I pray that she will see that she is not responsible even while she has to deal with the public humiliation, shame and the inevitable broken relationships.  I hope and pray that she knows that she isn’t alone.  Not only is her Father God right there beside her, listening to her prayers and her tears for her family, there are women who have been there.  They know.  I know.

I don’t believe that Anna Duggar will ever hear this message from me and that is okay.  What I pray is that someone will.  Someone will finally understand, maybe for the first time, that–

It is not you fault.

 It is not your fault.

 It is not your fault. 

Pour it all out, all the guilt and shame and pain, at the feet of the only One who will understand, my Saviour Jesus.  He knows.  He cares.  He will never fail you.

And believe, finally, that it is not your fault.