I have friends whose lives have been forever changed because of a marital affair. Anna is in a no win position. Leave the husband she's loved and made a family with or believe Josh to be truly repentant and climb a steep mountain of reclaiming trust and intimacy. Josh's choices are no better. Even with true repentance making that believable and living his changed life out will always bring with it doubt and speculation. Brokenness shatters the glue that makes their marriage unique. We should be praying for them and the strength of marriages everywhere.
The fact that there is a website to seek out an affair makes me want to puke. The lures of our cultural are real. And this is what each of us shares with Josh Duggar.
What we will look at, click on?
Social media is a sleeping giant in all our homes.
"The devil doesn't come to you with his red face and horns, he comes to you disguised as everything you've ever wanted." Unknown
Our computers, phones, tablets, and/or print media can make the bad look good. If we don't keep our guard up at all times we are all at risk for character death.
Living control and restraint to look away from what might be wrapped interesting or intriguing is critical because the temptations of the flesh are plentiful and words/images linger addictive like nicotine. Josh Duggar admitted his struggle began with pornography. Something I imagine was difficult to say but can easily believe. Nudity excites the senses and contorts what God meant for gift in the marriage relationship into a "right now" want to be conquered.
In the book Pam Stenzel and I wrote for teens on the risks associated with modern media and its affect on integrity and relationships, Who's In Your Social Network, we have a whole chapter devoted this topic.
You might be surprised to hear that-
- 47% of Christian marriages report pornography a "major problem in the home" Family Safe Media
- Every second an average of 28, 258 Internet users are viewing pornography Family Safe Media
- The average teen spends 1 hour and 40 minutes per week viewing pornography Clean Cut Media
- 1 in 5 teens has sent or posted nude/semi nude pictures or videos of themselves Sex and Tech: Results from a Survey of Teens and Young Adults
And that last stat came before the advent of Snapchat. Thank you, inventors of imaging users think disappear. This doesn't lead to better decision making and, I would guess, spiked that last number higher.
Josh Duggar's confession shouldn't have us pointing fingers or casting stones. No. It should drive us deeper in prayer. We should be pointing the finger back at ourselves asking (whether married or single) Are my choices honoring of God's boundaries? And, if you are a parent of a middle schooler on up, Am I having the necessary conversations with my child to help prevent this pain?
Because if we don't, our marriage, our child, could be next.
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