I’ll be honest, I have nothing to say about Josh Duggar, his misdeeds or his family.
It’s all been said…vehemently.
Some of what has been said has been reasonable, helpful and redemptive and some of it has not.
And so I sit on the sidelines, having some opinions, but fearing that my opinions are not well-informed enough, not helpful enough to share, and wondering who is really qualified to make definitive statements about this bizarre situation.
But I will tell you, this whole situation has given me pause as a father to give very serious thought about what I will tell my son about life, about sin, and about sex. We Christians complain that the public schools are pushing sex ed. earlier and earlier, but few of us are willing to have the kinds of conversations our children need. This is not an awkward ten minutes at the kitchen table, done because we find out our kid is already messing around. This is a conversation that deserves to be thought about for the ten years leading up to it.
If my son were old enough to have the talk, this is what I would tell him, in light of how Josh Duggar’s life has fallen apart.
Impurity Is Not From The Outside World
Son, your mother and I can do everything in our power to shield you from the influence of the world. We could lock the doors and homeschool you, cut off the internet, and become hermits. Guess what? Sin and temptation will still come into your life, because it does not come from the outside world, it is born in the human heart. Jesus said so, but a lot of people, Christians even, ignore what Jesus said.
Some people make a big deal about staying “pure” at all costs.
Other people, Christians even, say that “purity” is unattainable, because we are just animals.
The truth is somewhere in between. No one gets to their wedding night pure. We all come to the wedding as sinners, with baggage and history. But we all have choices to make which will impact our spiritual health.
Some parents will lie to their children and tell them they are perfect. Other parents are delusional and believe they can “shelter” their children from the corrosive effects of sin. Your mother and I can do no such thing because you inherited a sinful heart from both of us. It’s genetics.
No Woman Is Responsible For Your Actions
Son, being a man means taking responsibility for your actions. You are responsible for your grades at school. You cannot blame your teachers for being unfair. Some parents tell their kids that bad grades are the teacher’s fault. These kids are being set up for failure and disappointment in life.
Likewise, you cannot blame any woman for your wrongdoing in relationships. Women are just as fallen as men, but that does not mean they are to blame. Some men and boys are taught to think that women are responsible when they are raped or abused by men. These men are being set up for lives of frustration and misery. They will dispense their own misery on women, but it will not make them feel better.
If you victimize a woman, physically, mentally or spiritually, that is on you. There is nothing she did to deserve it.
Yes, There Is a Double Standard. Deal with It.
Son, the world will tell you that there are no rules to sex and relationships.
Do whatever feels good. You were born with these “impulses.”
They will tell you this, except if you cross certain lines. Then they will wreck your life. It’s funny how the world works. It takes very few things seriously, but every once in a while, you’ll find that there is a line that the world takes very seriously. Don’t find yourself wandering haplessly over one of those lines.
The fact is that morality is a part of all sexuality, even if the world only recognizes a tiny fraction of it. But all sexual immorality has consequences, in your body, in your heart, and maybe from the outside world. You were born with a mind and a conscience and you have the power to make choices. You are not a victim. You are not an animal.
Rule Over Sex, or Let It Rule You
Son, like all things in life, be it money, career, relationships or anything else that is desirable, sex has the potential to bring great fulfillment to your life or great misery.
You can rule over sex, or let it rule over you.
You can be a “victim” of your own impulses. You can let money control your life. You can destroy your relationships. Many people make bad choices, and then spend too much time covering them up or blaming others.
That’s no way to spend your life.