Pray About the Girls

I am feeling it’s time to begin to step back, to begin to pray for the Duggars.  It is time to take stock of what we have learned/are learning/ will continue to learn.

One of my Fellow Moms wrote me on Facebook about a blog post I had written earlier that day: The Emperor was always naked: Duggar trauma.  First, let me say why I chose that title for my blog post.  The obvious is the reference to the children’s tale of the Emperor’s new clothes.  The Emperor is a vain and imperious man, which is easily made gullible by two greedy “cloth merchant/tailors”.

First off, there is JimBob as the Emperor, thinking that he, chosen by God, can do no wrong and, therefore, is all wise enough to know when he is being conned.  TLC, who are acting like the cloth merchant/tailor, having been lulled in by the Emperor’s story of ordained love and pure family, sees dollars signs.  So the Emperor and TLC were conning each other.

What TLC never saw was the Emperor was always naked.  He just hid his “sin” very well with a family dressed in the magic cloth of sanctimoniousness.

Now that we have spewed our bile, it is time to look back to see what it is God is calling us to do.  The Fellow Mom I mentioned brings up a very important point: the girls.

Well said, Patty. [Refering toThe Emperor was always naked: Duggar trauma] I noted earlier today that I took a mild interest in them; more from the stand point of how does a family that largely do life? Natural curiosity. I have not, however, viewed them as “not Christian,” but what you say really made sense and gave me an “aha” moment. I suppose I never paid much attention to their religious vitriol because I knew they were more extreme. It’s sad; I do feel somewhat betrayed because despite the extreme views they have, I wanted to believe that their hearts were in the right place. But yeah, the reactions have been less than desired. I mean, the sisters? That’s incest, and old or New Testament, that is an issue not taken lightly. Forgiveness and healing is important, and I pray that the girls who were violated can find some peace somehow. But getting peace means they need to have a voice, and sadly like so many other abused women, their voices are being silenced.

The girls are being overlooked as we rain down all our frustration and righteous indignation on the Duggars.  All of that will not be/is not/can not be helpful.  Now comes the time to step back.  Ask God, go to reconciliation, for all the unkind, unChristian thoughts we have had over the Duggars. For all the gleeful thoughts over their misfortune.

I have worked with many moms in crisis, with children sexually abused and know that the first response, after getting the abusing child in therapy, is to tend then to the abused victim.  It is very disturbing that, from what I know, Michelle has not gotten counseling for those girls. As her daughters experience life, issues will come up for them many of them revolving around trust, and self-worth.  For those who believe that self-worth is a code word for selfishness, consider what the Bible says about it. 

We are all made in God’s image.  God desires nothing more from us than to have a relationship with him.  He has died for our sins, given us grace and mercy, and provided the Holy Spirit to advocate for us.  All of this would not be done for someone worthless.

If they do not get counseling, and not the type that blames/shames the girls, but real Christian counseling that speaks of God’s Grace/Mercy and healing; these will girls may act out sexually. Their thinking being that they are created to be a boy’s/brother’s/man’s play thing because they are sinful, so, why not, what are they for anyway. Or they become sexually repressed, so fearful of that aspect of their life they can not become intimate with their husbands. Sex becomes a dirty duty instead of the God intended deep communication of love and trust. Both of which were destroyed by the molestation. And believe both were.

Let’s say the girls do marry and begin to have issues. If they turn to mom, and I have seen this happen as a social worker for Catholic Social Services; Mom is not going to want to hear it. Her reaction will be just to forget it’s over.

AND the most likely reaction from Mom, Michelle, is to forget it ever happened.  This will silent those girls for a long time, perhaps a life time.  And this code of silence is used by mothers who may have known or did know, as Michelle surely has, as a way to control the girls; to keep the facade that all is well/perfect.  It is used by the abuser to protect themselves from being caught.  It is the ultimate tool of control.

It is also the great soul killer.  When you are forced to be silent, you are compelled

to deny what happened to you.  The Duggar sisters would begin to think that “it” never happened.  Or that “it” was their fault so be quiet, so no one hates you.  As they deal with the aftermath of what their brother did to them: they lose all faith in man and God.

All in all not a very good scenario.

Is a spiritual director working helping moms find God in the everyday. She has been a spiritual director since 1998: worked as a Director of Religious Education for Holy Cross Parish(2000-2005), was Director of Project Rachel, a healing ministry for Post Abortive women(1999-2000). Patty worked a social worker for Catholic Social Services (1988 - 1995) Then studied for spiritual direction at the Dominican Center of Religious Studies, DeWitt Michigan

She is married 20 years and has four children

She has a BS/BA in social work from Aquinas College, CSD Certified Spiritual Director

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