Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Letter to Anna Duggar


In September, we posted a letter to Anna Duggar, written by a blogger named Dana, who calls herself a "fellow traveler." (Click here to read.)

We received such an influx of comments (nearly 500) from ladies who were incredibly encouraged by Dana's sincere words of advice, that we have decided to post another letter. This one comes from a wise blogger named Lori Alexander, whose joy is to teach women how to be godly wives and mothers.

Dear Anna,

Truthfully, I debated whether or not I should even write this letter. I can't even begin to comprehend the pain you must be going through. I grieve with you along with many in the body of Christ. I've been mentoring women for ten years so I am simply going to encourage you with counsel from our Creator. I try to use biblical wisdom since it is our only source of Truth.

In 1 Peter 2, we are told of the sufferings of Christ and we all know how horrible they were; none of us can imagine the pain and suffering He endured especially since all the sins of the whole world that have ever or will be committed {adulterers, addictions to pornography, homosexuality, liars, fornicators, gossips, etc.} were laid upon Him in our place for all who call upon His name. He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls {1 Peter 2:24, 25}.

The next chapter begins with the word "Likewise..." and it addresses wives. Just as Jesus suffered, wives may suffer under a disobedient husband. Your husband has been terribly disobedient and you have suffered greatly. Jesus understands your pain. He has been there. He is with you now for He promises that He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.


This chapter goes on to explain to wives who are married to disobedient husbands that they MAY win them without a word by their chaste behavior. From what I have watched of you {this is simply going to my observations of the small glimpses I've seen of you on television}, you appear to be a godly woman with a meek and quiet spirit who loves her husband. If you are, I will encourage you to

continue on trying to win him without a word by your godly behavior since no man's methods can improve upon the Lord's. However, it is NOT your responsibility to make Joshua into a godly man as I wrote extensively in my post about wives NOT bearing the responsibility for their husband's godly behavior. We are ALL given a free will to choose to walk in the Spirit or to walk in the flesh and your husband chose to walk in the flesh. This chapter in I Peter goes on to encourage women to continue to be in subjection to their husbands without ANY fear in verse 6; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

A good friend of mine whose husband was deeply addicted to porn told me she believed the lie that her husband looked elsewhere because she wasn't good enough, pretty enough, sexy enough or because her body is not what it used to be before she bore children. Most women are highly insecure about their appearance and a feeling of inadequacy is almost always their first line of defense. Your husband did NOT fall so deeply into sin because of you but because He allowed the enemy a foothold in his life long before you were married.


I was encouraged yesterday to hear a report that you would not seek divorce. I have never encouraged a woman to get divorced and I never will since marriage is a model of Christ and the church and He will never divorce us. He continues to be faithful, even when we are not. Please, don't hold onto bitterness but forgive as the Lord has so graciously forgiven us. It may take a lot of time and prayer but with Christ ALL things are possible. This will be a huge witness

to a watching world of God's patience and love for His children the church. You are showing Christ's love and forgiveness to a wretched sinner as we all once were before being washed in His blood and made new creatures in Him. He now even calls us saints!

You are not alone, Anna. There are many men throughout the centuries who have fallen into sexual temptation and sin. This is definitely their battle but this doesn't give your husband an excuse for his sin. It is a good thing that this evil was exposed since sin grows in the darkness but we know that God disciplines those whom He loves. We will pray that this is God's discipline on your husband's life to turn it around and be sold out for Jesus.

There are many women who are praying for you and grieving for the pain you are in. We will continue to cover you, your children and the whole extended family in prayer for it hurts them all. Continue to rest in the Lord's loving arms and seek solace and guidance from Him and His Word. God heals the brokenhearted as well as the broken. He is a good and just God. You are a beautiful woman and God will walk with you through every step of this journey. He most likely will be carrying you.

In Christ's love,
Lori Alexander


Visit Lori at lorialexander.blogspot.com.


Photos courtesy TLC, duggarfamily.com

163 comments:

  1. WOW thank you Lori for that wonderful letter. I needed to hear those words back in 1981. I'm a divorced woman who raised her son alone. He is now 34 (almost 35) married and has 3 children. Thank you again and Anna, I love you! Hang on.

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  2. Wise words. Satan looks for Godly men to tempt. The world judges Christians by a higher standard and rejoices when a Christian fails. What the world doesn't understand is that Christians do not profess to he without sin or flaw but that they are covered by the blood of Jesus and the Grace given to us by God. Anna, you will come through this fire. My daughter has gone through a similar experience where her wonderful, Christian husband totally bought into this world's lies and abandoned her, their children. And God. She's slowly coming through. He, on the other hand, is not. He is still buying Satan's lies and living outside God's kingdom. I pray for peace and wisdom for you and the whole family. And that you can forgive what he has done, make wise choices concerning the rest of your life and for your children. God brought you to this fire, He will bring you out of it. He has a plan and purpose for your life even if it's difficult at this time to see what that is.

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  3. I totally agree with this letter to Anna. For I am also a Christian. Marriage can only survive with the love of christ. Many prayers to Anna and Josh. For god knows the plans he has for you.

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  4. Why isn't divorce "allowed?" What if each party truly happy apart, as well as the children? I simply don't understand why conservative Christians believe two must stay married "no matter what." Just doesn't make any sense at all.

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    1. Have you read the Bible before? The answer is found there.

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    2. If a spouse commits adultey the Bible DOES allow divorce.

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    3. The Bible does allow divorce bc of adultry.

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    4. Divorce is "allowed". It's not a command. As Christians we choose to obey and live to glorify God. Forgiving others when we have been sinned against is one of the greatest ways to display Jesus to them. Marriage is not about being happy... it is a reflection of the covenant God made with us sinners, to restore us into a relationship with Him. I pray for healing and restoration in Josh and Anna's marriage. God will and can bring a new joy (not so much happiness) in reconciliation. Anna said it best, she made a vow before God first, then Josh and she will live that out. What a testament to her faith. It will be a long hard road... forgiveness doesn't mean trust. Trust must be rebuilt and that will take time. May God pour His unfailing love on all (men and women) who are walking the same road as Anna.

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    5. I agree. Sometimes it is emotionally, mentally and/or physically healthier for a wife and children to be permanently apart from a husband. Sometimes divorce is the best outcome for a very bad situation. It doesn't mean that a woman who goes through with a divorce is not a Christian.

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    6. "Matthew 5:32King James Version (KJV)

      32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication....".

      KitKath1024, it is allowed in this particular case. Her statement is her opinion, not Bible. If you look in the above cited verse in a Bible, you will find that it is allowed biblically in the circumstances of unfaithfulness.

      Personally, I feel a letter like such is an opinion being used as a reason.

      This is her personal al life, we have no right to give an opinion on someone else's life decisions. Especially not one of such importance.

      I am replying mere to the fact that the Bible does not expect any partner in marriage to stay married when unfaithfulness has occured.

      Just keeping it Bible!

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    7. To the person who wrote "marriage is not about being happy": do you really think God would want us to not be happy?
      This is so twisted!

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  5. Wow! What a well written, beautiful missive for Anna to read and be encouraged.
    I feel uplifted as a wife by reading it!!!

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  6. I don't believe in divorce either but I feel that this is a problem of Josh's and even God can't change someone who does not or cannot want to be changed. I feel sorry for Anna that she got involved with him without knowing all the details of his past and his problem was not dealt with at the time in the right way. I also dislike the people coming out of the woodwork for fame claiming Josh did something to them. I feel bad for the children both Josh's sibling and his kids they are being punished for what he did and For what His parents did to cover this up. I would like to see more of the Duggar family without Michelle and Jim Bob and I pray that Anna can get her life together and start a new.

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  7. Thank you Lori for these encouraging words. It is like you were writing them for me Too . I'm with you 100% on all you said for that is what the Bible says. I'm sure you'll get a bunch of criticism for your letter but the word of God is TRUTH and we must follow it if we want to be found righteous before God.

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  8. Beautifully written for a woman that deserves so much more than what she is bearing. Anna, you will continue to be in my prayers, I grieve for you the loss of what you thought you had in a marriage, but I also have faith that your joy will come in the morning. God will reward your faithfulness.

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  9. Wow! What a blessing to Amna, the family and anyone else going through a similar situation.

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  10. Thank you for writing this letter Lori. I am sure it will be a blessing and tool for more women than you might have intended. When we place GOD first in our lives lean on him for comfort and guidance the rest of our lives fall into place and follow the path he has planned for us. As you said we are keeping the whole family in our prayers. Sin is like a shockwave it doesnt just effect the sinner but everyone around them as well.. God bless you all.

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  11. Watching the episode when Jessamine was having the baby and Anna was visiting her and Josh`s first home, I watched as she tried her very best to stay strong at one point fighting back the tears. I fought them with her. Without having a deep personal relationship with GOD, I don't know if she would be as strong as she is and I feel so sad for her and the situation she has been forced to deal with. I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers.

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  12. While I believe that Lori's letter was indeed full of good and Godly advice, we must also remember that the Bible allows for divorce on this one ground: adultery. MUST she divorce? NO! But if a woman, after doing as the Bible says in living a quiet chaste life in her husband's presence, finds he is still continuing the sinful behavior, divorce is not wrong. There are men who believe that if the wife remains faithful and loyal, then they can continue to do as they please. I pray this will NOT be the situation for Josh and Anna, but we must acknowledge that, while forgiveness is available, we still must face consequences for our sin. I pray for Anna and her children, that God will give wisdom and comfort and direction. SHE must be sure her children have a Godly example in their father as well as herself. Knowing that children often see their Heavenly Father through the actions of their earthly father, it is vital that her children be her primary concern in decisions going forward.

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    1. This is the most amazing response I could read. Thank you.

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  13. Homosexuality is not a sin!

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    1. The Bible says otherwise.

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    2. It is. God destroyed an entire city in the book of Genesis if not fully then at least partly for this very thing. Not because He hated the sinners but because He hates the sin. And Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a women, both of them have committed an abomination:" and in Romans 1:26-28 & 32,"For this cause God gave them up into vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (verse 32)Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." There are other verses as well.

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    3. Yes it is.
      1 Corin 6:9-11
      Leviticus 18:22
      Romans 1:26-28

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    4. No it's not.
      It's just a normal trait.
      I do have a question for those who say it's a sin: like it or not, homosexual people exist. So, in families with a lot of children, how could there he no homosexuals?
      What would you do it your child was homosexual?

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    5. Being a homosexual or having those tendencies is not the sin. Acting on them is the sin.

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  14. awesome words of wisdom ! prayers for sweet anna's family ; god will make this trial a blessing :) keep standin on god's promises sweet lady lots of love and prayers

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  15. Some useful lessons but I'm very concerned at the message that divorce should never be encouraged. It absolutely should be an option in cases of spousal abuse.

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  16. That was a very beautiful and encouraging letter, I do hope Anna reads it! <3

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  17. lt is a beautiful letter full of love. l could stop there but l must speak out as a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of my father. l fear that Josh will abuse his daughters. He has skated past sexual touching of his sisters, then adultery, without any kind of punishment or being held accountable. This has taught him that he can get away with abuse of any kind without consequences.
    l understand Anna loves her husband and you all love your son. l still love my father, but should Anna trust her husband around her little girls? l would not risk it. Head in the sand is a very poor way to live life with little girls to protect.
    l do trust that God will heal Josh, but only if he desires it. But without any consequences for his heinous deeds.
    l pray for Josh and Anna and ask that God deal with them and give wisdom. l can not speak for God, only for myself.

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    1. Exactly. Sometimes you can't change people it has to be a choice that things are important to them and the value them more then they enjoy sin.

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  18. What an encouraging letter! So different than what many people have said because it's based on the Word of God!

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  19. with God and that wonderful Duggar family hope you can find in your heart to forgive Josh in time.

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  20. You look AMAZING Anna!Love you!Have always been a huge fan of yours!2016 will be better than 2015 for you!

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  21. My heart bleeds for you when I watched you talk about what happened with Josh.It broke my heart!You are so beautiful kind and sweet!

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  22. That's a great and encouraging letter. Anna is the true essence of Gods work. Even tho I don't know you personally Anna I wish I was more like you in a lot of ways and I'm 62.

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  23. This is a beautiful letter. A pray that this situation is a ministry in the making. With such easy access to porn, I wonder how many men like a Joshua there are out in the world. Men used to rely on going to the local EZ Mart to get a porn magazine. Now, with the advent of the cell phone they have access to the whole world sitting right in the palm of their hand. The Internet is our modern day golden calf. Anna, I know this has been hard on you and your children. Remember what Corrie Ten Boom once said 'There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still.' I know there are women in a similar situation that are watching you. You may never know how many marriages God used you to save based on the example you are setting. I am reminded of the quote from the movie Fireproof....never leave your partner when you are in a fire. You truly are exemplifying an extension of God's love. Remember how Jacob's son Joseph was betrayed. His story srarts in Genesis chapter 37. Read how he delt with that situation even after his troubles were compounded after the initial betrayals from his brothers. I would even suggest studying these chapters in The New Matthew Henry Commentary. I hope this will be an encouragement to you. I pray that over time your marriage becomes stronger and better than ever. I pray that it is completely restored much like the ralationship with Joseph and his brothers. When the prodigal son was in the pig pen and God opened his eyes and he returned to his Father's house...the father didn't yell and scream and say where have you been you worthless pig! He received him like Christ receives us. He forgave him immediately and showered him with love. I love you and your family. My motto here lately is that what seems to be an obstacle to us is an opportunity for God. God's glory should be our ultimate goal in life. Hang in there! Love Amanda.

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  24. Wow,I'm so glad I read this letter to Anna. Fortunately I've not had to Baer the pain of infidelity, though I've have my own cross to baer in life and through God's love and mercy I've come out of the fire stronger, wiser, and more aware of people I've let in my life, I have nothing but the up most respected now for Anna BC she has handled this horrible situation with grace and humility and I tip my hat to you Mrs. ANNA Duggar your a beautiful woman inside and out. This letter has taught me a lot, so thank you for sharing, and I will forever handle horrible situation that may come my way in a much better and godly way. ANNA you may not know this but your actions during this hard trial in your life has giving me a new understanding on the power of love and the grace and humility to be able to handle such situations. Thank you all and sending many prayers to you all! Keep your head up Anna!

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  25. I am so thankful that God gives us people like Lori Alexander to help us take the focus off of our problems and to place it rightfully on Jesus. Thank you for your wise words, Lori. I'm sure that they have helped and encouraged Anna, as well as myself.

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  26. Dear sweet Anna, I am praying for you & your family to get through these sad times with your husband Joshua. You are so loving & forgiving to your husband. We are all sinners & we know Jesus died for our sins & Joshua sins too. I am praying for Joshua to turn away from his sins, & return to Jesus Christ again. All things are possible with God.

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  27. Wow beautifully said Lori, and to Anna keep up the good work and know you are loved and appreciated. Prayers to you and your families. Blessing.

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  28. Well said truth for us all Lori, thank you for taking the time to be a loving obedient encourager full of His wisdom!!

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  29. Wow no words need to be added

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  30. "I have never encouraged a woman to get divorced and I never will since marriage is a model of Christ and the church and He will never divorce us."

    This is a perfect set-up for spousal abuse with the woman feeling she has no way out and has to take whatever her husband dishes out! How can any religion condone this?

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    1. Christianity doe not condone it. That is why divorce is permitted in cases of adultery. It is people's twisting Scripture--usually for the benefit of the man and abuse toward the woman--to justify their actions. God is a loving Heavenly Father--Jesus is our sacrificial lamb--to give us abundant life. If one spouse chooses to break vows we are not obligated to stay and suffer.

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  31. Wow, Lori. God is truly reaching out to Anna through you and many others. I have never been married but I feel so much for Anna and all the Duggar family. I am a woman and had sexual sin in the past that God delivered me from but which I regret to this day. Thus I sympathize some with Josh; thankfully my sin was not broadcast in the media. With much prayer.

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  32. So absolutely beautifully said and so right. Thank you for posting this. Continued prayers for Anna, the children and the entire Duggar family. Kathy

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  33. Impressive. Extremely hard to follow. I give credit to those who have the strength. I would hope I could.

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  34. Wonderful counsel! I too have always been not good enough and my husband's deceitful behavior with porn and alcohol further convinced me of that fact. People who say "don't take it personally" have never walked that path.

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  35. Bless your heart Lori. That was beautifully said. I believe the Lord used you in this message to Anna. I am praying for Anna.

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  36. I understand God is there for you. However, Josh has done too many things over the years. Please do not stay. You deserve someone who takes their vows to heart. He does not.

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    1. I agree. Leave now, hold your head up and heal. Don't make those children live in that unhealthy environment. You will never trust him another day and your children will understand that. You can certainly forgive. That doesn't mean you have to tolerate his behavior. God bless Anna

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    2. I disagree. Would God forsake even 1 of us? She vowed for better or worse! Josh can come back from this. He can be healed and become a better man through God's grace. Anna do what God puts in your heart to do!!!

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    3. Exactly. I agree with both of you.
      One thing is forgiveness, which is necessary to move on. They are 27, life has to go on, so you have to find a way back to positive thinking and to a friendly relationship.
      This doesn't mean, though, that it's a good thing to stay together. A betrayal of this magnitude should end the marriage right away, in my opinion.
      No good will come to the children from having a mum who subdues herself to a man who wasn't able to respect her. What kind of example are they setting for all of their kids?

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    4. Yeah but Josh vowed to be faithful and was not.

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  37. Wow very great letter to read fm Lori thank you for it it is encouraging and I will still pray for you Duggar family extended and Anna and kids

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  38. These were overwhelmingly encouraging words for me to read. I am going through a similar ordeal and found this letter to be the best source of comfort I have found thus yet. I hope Anna feels the same serenity and encouragement I felt.

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  39. Set boundaries. Be careful to allow Josh back into your home (or bed) until there is absolute proof of change. No matter how loving or forgiving you are, it cannot change Josh. Remember, this goes a lot deeper than just porn addiction. Josh was pretending to be someone he wasn't to a LOT of people. The Bible speaks of a person who has a deceptive heart and a seared conscience. My husband too was a practicing Christian. And, like you, I just wanted things to go back to the way they were. They never did. Be wise, be cautious, be strong. And ask God to guard your heart. Blessings.

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    1. Lori's letter is lovely and encouraging, but I just kept thinking, "Where are the boundaries???" Anna, God created you as an entity unto Him. You have free will, too. You can wisely choose what is best for you and your children and nobody should stand in judgment of you--and that includes legal separation, and hopefully it won't come to it, divorce. For years your husband has behaved deceptively; a consistently honest life will be a long and difficult path.

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  40. Anna, this is a wonderful letter to receive...what a gift of wonderful words of love. My husband and I experience infidelity on his part with no less than a woman from our church...We have been married and divorced 2 times and a trying to give it a go again. I am forever changed.... I wish I would have trusted God more....now one of my adult children does not believe in God and the other is headed to prison for many years....My faith is strong now...but not with out many brutal battles. Be encouraged you have much support...Blessings to you and your family

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  41. I know this has nothing to do with Josh and Anna but I would hope the writer of the letter would not encourage a wife to stay with a man who beats her. She said she would never encourage a woman to divorce her husband. I would hope that would be the exception. No woman should ever stay with an abuser.

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    1. I really wanted to speak up on this. I have seen this idea (wives of abusive husbands should be permitted a divorce) twice in as many days. So, it is with the most gentle and sincere of intentions that I would like to share another perspective. I married an unsaved man during a period that I was not attending church myself. He began cheating on and off very soon after. Then the emotional abuse started followed by intermittent, physical abuse. We were about eight years into the relationship (five married) when I was ready to call it quits. But I had recently started attending services again and decided to make one phone call for guidance before I did. That call changed the course of not only my life, but the lives of my husband and children as well. I was told that the Bible never tells me that I have to physically stay in a situation that will cause me harm. But it does not allow for divorce. I began to pray and ask for answers. I was personally lead to stay physically as well. The verse in 1st Peter the letter references was a big one for me. I could not stand the idea my husband could spend eternity in hell. I am happy to say that my saved husband and I recently celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. Our marriage did not suddenly turn perfect overnight, but I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be. I needed to have faith that he would keep me safe. And that was the one aspect that did change overnight. My husband has not not laid a hand on me in anger since that day eight years ago. God can do amazing things if we can humble ourselves and be available for Him to use.

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    2. She urges separation but not divorce

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  42. I needed these encouraging words, Thank You! This Feb I will be married for 13 years and we have 4 amazing children. I just recently found out that my husband has been having a secret affair for the last 4 years in our home with our children there with my cousin. I can't even begin to explain the hurt and pain not to mention confusion this has caused me. How did this happen? We were involved in the youth ministry music ministry and always opened our home to anyone who needed a friend. I have battled with a lifetime decision that needs to be made. Everyone says I have grounds for divorce but I'm with Anna, when I stood at the altar I meant what I said when we vowed before God and family. I wish I could speak to Anna and Michelle personally, I have so many questions and need so much advice and I trust your Godly advice because you have displayed such a Christian spirit. I want to see my husband saved truly honestly saved and if that means I sacrifice my feelings then that's what I'll do. Thanks again for sharing this!

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  43. @Small Town Hoosier Girl I completely agree. My Jesus--My Savior--has done just that--saved me. Part of that salvation includes being set free from abuse. That is why God's Word says it is permissible to divorce in cases of marital unfaithfulness. It is Anna's choice to stay, but it is not Scripturally wrong if chose not to.

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  44. Wow, I hope women who read this will be inspired to be there for their husbands, through thick and thin. The easy way out nowadays is divorce, which is an abomination to the LORD. As wives we are called to be our husband's help meet and when we serve our husbands and honor them, as hard and difficult as it may be, or how awful of a husband they are, we honor God. As Anna mentioned she made a commitment and vow to not only Josh, but to God on their wedding day...she will not break that and I am extremely proud of her.
    Well done Anna, keep on keeping on:)

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  45. This touches my heart. I have such a long way to go towards a joyful, forgiving spirit, at time it seems impossible-I know that's what Satan wants me to think. I try, over and over, to counteract that thought with this one, "if God be for us, who can be against us?" Love and prayers to sweet Anna.

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  46. I am deeply concern by this letter. So does this that a woman should stay in am abusive marriage no matter what ? That a woman should stay with a man that does not respect her and makes her feel miserable ? I honestly think that this such a wrong message to women. Maybe someone can explain it to me but i think that women should learn to stand up for themselves. Anna deserves better !

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    1. I couldn't have said it better.
      There is forgiveness in life but the fact that we are speaking about women needing to stay with their unfaithful husbands "to save them" isn't quite that comforting.
      For example: what it the situation is reversed and it's the wide who cheats. Would you still say the husband has to stay and put his feelings aside?

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    2. Thank you! I was concerned as far as the contents of this letter too, especially the fact that so many posters find it to be inspiring. I wonder what the counsel would be if the genders were reversed and the wife/mother was unfaithful. Would the husband/father be encouraged to forgive and keep his marriage together? I think the decision for whether to stay in her marriage or not is between Anna and God alone. She needs to figure out what is best for her children and for herself. Forgiving Josh does not mean that she needs to keep her marriage together if that is not the best thing.

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  47. This is my first time ever responding to a blog post. I am praying for you too Anna. All the way from St. Augustine, Florida. I love this note of encouragement for all of us young wives.

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  48. I agree with you. My husband was unfaithful when we had been married for 4 years and he was a ministry. He lost everything to do with his ministry. I forgave him and never mistrusted him, with God's help, At 5 years of marriage, I became pregnant with our daughter. At around my 5th month, he told me he had contracted an STD and I had to go to the health department to be tested. I was too humiliated to go to my OBGYN. Thank, God, I did not have it and I stayed with him another 8 years, but I lost all respect for him and we divorced. After many years I remarried a wonderful man who treats me like a treasure, and I thank God for him everyday. I am sure some men who are unfaithful change for the good, and although divorce was never how I imagined my life,
    I am the happiest I have ever been.

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    1. Good for you! I'm sorry for the pain you had to endure, but your story is an example of how starting from zero again can actually be the best way to do.
      Anna is still 27, she still has her whole life ahead of her. It only she could see it too.

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  49. Anna, I am so thankful for your faithfulness to your husband. Always seek the Lord in all that you do, I will continue to pray for you. You are such a great testimony!

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  50. The Bible teaches that it is permissible to divorce in the case of adultery. So the choice is between you and God as to what is best for you and your children - whether to leave or stay. I know of some couples who stayed together after an affair/s and God helped them to work it out and the husband totally repented of his affair/s. In other cases, the person who had the affair/s eventually returned to committing the same sin again and again. I pray that the Lord would give you wisdom and speak to your heart as to what to do.

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  51. Anna is such an inspiration! So steadfast and loving. Josh is soooo very blessed to call her his wife.

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  52. Marriage is a legal contract, and the way that Anna seems to view it--a spiritual contract with God. This is where it gets tricky. If one person breaks the contract knowingly, and signs that contract knowing they will not follow it, then was there ever really a contract between you and your spouse in the first place? Wasn't it just you and God all along? God will tell you to do what is best for your soul. Your contract is with Him.

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  53. What this young woman does or does not do regarding her marriage is up to her and her alone. People should stop bullying her with their opinions.

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  54. Anna,

    An overwhelmingly beautiful show of support on your behalf. I have been married to my husband since I was 16. We have dealt with infidelity numerous times but, neither gave up. The last time my husband actually got into a serious relationship with another woman but, for the 6 months we were apart I prayed and never lost faith that everything would work out and the Lord kept his hands on our marriage. Unfortunately, my husband found out he had cancer along that time he also found out that she wasnt up to the task of taking care of him. Blessed is the person who can go through all of these things and still have love for the Lord. My husband and I have a better relationship now after 21years than we ever have. To the person who said that physical abuse is an excuse for divorce I have to say I dont think so. I believe that the power of prayer is wonderful. The Lord will take care of His children who are faithful to Him. Stand strong and steady for the Lord and anything that you go through will be taken care of by the Lord. I love the Lord and He has brought me through many many things. Through sexual abuse as a child through other abuse and through many many other things. I am still here. I believe all the trials and tribulations that I have been through has just been building my testimony and allowing me the knowledge to help others who go through the same thing. I am praying for you and your family and I applaud you for not seeking divorce. God Bless.

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  55. Anna God is with you, loving you through this. My husband was unfaithful while married to me, an fathered a child. I forgave him an stayed in the marriage. I wanted my children to have their father around
    to raise them. Besides my children saw what it was like to forgive their dad. That was important to me. He has been deceased many years now, I don't regret my decision, good luck Anna in whatever decision you decide. We Are with you:-)

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  56. I really really really hope that Anna gets the chance to read this.Very wise words indeed.

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  57. This really added meaning and I hope that Anna stays true to God and helps her in this time of great trod for both herself and 4 little ones as well!
    Blessings,
    Madison Schroer

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  58. Wonderful letter. Full of encouragement. Yes, we are praying for the whole family, especially you, Anna. Lois in Kansas!

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  59. Well said and I especially appreciate the fact a husband must change his ways to grow closer to God from within and his actions.
    The woman can't take any responsibility for their choice.
    Josh has a sickness, one that destroys everything good around them until they work at leaving the darkness and cherish what stands before them.
    Some can take these steps while others fall repeatedly or just decide to give in to the sickness.
    It is painful to live through and trust developes slowly and guarded out of self survival and protection of the innocent, our children.
    I pray Josh follows the right path and it is possible to rebuild without malice or blindness.
    Our God will continue to bless, protect and guide Anna.

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  60. How sad is it that one of the anonymous commenters on this post says she was never good enough? I don't like to see that, and I'm sure Ms. Lori Alexander did not intend that to be a consequence of her letter to Anna. But it is. Let's encourage that woman: you are good enough. You have always been good enough. Don't let anyone tell you different. Have and keep faith!

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  61. Dear Ellie. I do hope that you and many of the other readers would not agree with the line in this letter about homosexuality. Josh made a conscious choice to do wrong ....sexual orientation is not a choice and is part of what makes all of us unique and made in God's image.

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  62. Dear Anna, I admire you for standing behind your husband and allowing God to work in his heart. You are an inspiration to many of us. God bless you and your family!

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  63. My family is praying for you Duggars! God bless,
    Brianna Kappes

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  64. I doubt if Anna reads this but it is for the commenters. Anna knows she has the right to leave Josh. And it will have to be her choice not the media's or even the Duggar clan. I thnk she will make the best choice for her family. God is so faithful.

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  65. Anna, GOD bless you, l believe that Josh can be helped so that you both can on to raise your children. I hope that your love for GOD and each other will give you strength to put your lives back together. GOD be with your whole family.

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  66. Wonderful words of encouragement!
    Lori, thank you for writing this letter.
    Praying for Josh, Anna, and their children.
    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 KJV

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  67. Lori has neglected the most important part of St. Paul's letter. He tells men to love their wives as Christ loves the church.
    Josh did NOT love Anna with a sacrificial, unconditional love so Anna is not required to be subservient to him or even to stay married to him!
    I completely disagree with Lori's interpretation of the bible!
    I will continue to pray for Anna too - that she will have the courage to protect herself and her children from a VERY evil man. She can love Josh, pray for Josh, and witness to Josh without living in his house and risking her children's physical and emotional health.

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    1. Josh will have to answer to God on his actions. Anna will be judged by God on her actions.

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  68. very good advice Praying for you and your family

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  69. Is it true that Josh is ready to claim or prove that he was never in Philadelphia on the alleged dates that his "affairs" happened? If so, then what "unfaithfulness" did he confess to in the open letter his parents published on their website?

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  70. Thank you, Leslie. I have found in my work with many difficult marriages that the miracle of the cross still holds true today!

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    1. Who's Leslie?
      Ms Alexander, a commenter said above that marriage is not about being happy. Do you agree?

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    2. A wife's job isn't to make her husband holy but happy. Women have a tendency to want to change their husband through nagging and trying to control. This will never lead to a happy marriage. However, happiness is not the barometer on whether or not one should divorce their spouse as many do today. This is why there are so many divorces. It's a commitment to God until death do you part, regardless of whether or not you are happy.

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  71. Yes keep dreaming of a guy in the sky what a fairytale

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  72. If a wife is being physically abused, she needs to call the authorities and have him locked up. Then pray for his repentance and transformation which only God can accomplish.

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    1. Yes, in a perfect world Lori. However, not every man will be open to God for that repentance and transformation. Then what? I'm sorry but I believe you are over simplifying potentially very complicated situations.

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    2. True, Kate, but God doesn't say to get divorced if there is not repentance and transformation. "What God has joined together, let no man tear asunder."

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  73. Thank you. I definitely prayed for wisdom before writing this letter.

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  74. When we have the God of the universe living inside of us, the same One who raised Christ up from the dead, we have hope.

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  75. She needs to call the authorities and have him locked up. Then go to the Throne of grace and plead for her husband's soul since he is in bondage to his sin.

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  76. I would be happy to help you walk this difficult journey, Kimberly. Email at laalex2@aol.com if you would like.

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  77. Testimonies of restored marriages will always bring tears to my eyes since it is an example of God's unfailing love towards us. Thank you for sharing. It was absolutely beautiful!

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  78. Yes, Jesus said divorce was permissible in the cases of fornication but only because of the hardness of our hearts. His perfect will is that we will be vow keepers until the day that we die.

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  79. You are a faithful wife who is storing her treasures in heaven; the only place where rust and thief will not destroy. You are correct; there is no where in the Bible that states that abuse is a reason for divorce. I do teach if a wife or children are being physically abused, the authorities should get involved but then his soul needs to be covered in prayer so he won't spend eternity in hell.

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  80. Anna, you seem to be such a kind person with a big heart. I know you have stated that you have forgiven Josh. However, you have a responsibility to protect your children. Please....as you travel this new road in your marriage, that you keep a watchful eye over your children.....and remember that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with love and respect by Josh.

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  81. Matthew 19New International Version (NIV)

    Divorce
    19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

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  82. My prior comment didn't get posted. Not sure why, as I always color within the lines. I don't have the energy to repeat what I took the time to write before, but I really hope this post does not give people the impression Christianity mandates that a woman stay with an abuser, because that is NOT what the Bible teaches. A wife is FREE to LEAVE an abusing husband to protect herself and her children.

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  83. KitKath,

    The Bible states, "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." This is His perfect will for us. Yes, He allows divorce in the cases of adultery only because of the hardness of our hearts {sin and rebellion}. He has loved and forgiven us for every single sin we have ever committed, therefore, we should do the same for others, especially the one we have made a vow to love through good times and bad times. This has nothing whatsoever with being "happy." It's all about wanting more than anything to obey the Lord.

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    1. Amen true happiness which is joy comes from submitting to God's will. What the world offers is fleeting pleasures not happiness.

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  84. Christian or non-Christian alike being faced w/ a very bad heart breaking choice rather to stay in a broken marriage and trust like this a very hard choice to anybody to make. hope wish the best for anna only in what ever she may choose remains true to herself only and no one else

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  85. I agree with the poster a few comments ago -- husbands are called to LOVE their wives. Way too often the christian community puts such pressure on wives to be the fixer of the marriage. "She didn't submit enough," etc. God didn't say our submission, or us stuffing our hurt, or anything else has the power to change our husbands. Only Christ can. That means sometimes we have to get out of the way to let that happen.

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  86. Don't go starting with your "Homosexuality is not a sin", Lori is speaking in accordance with what is written in the Bible, not passing judgement.

    I admire and respect your strength and conviction Anna Duggar, may God and Christ guide you through this and strengthen you still further.

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  87. In the bible it states that if your spouse commits adultery....than u are allowed to divorce....people need to read their bibles better!!

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  88. Unlike Dana's letter, I think this one is simply terrible. Anna may be able to forgive Josh eventually, but she will never, ever forget what he has done. I would not trust him with my children for a moment. The bible does allow for divorce on the grounds of adultery. From personal experience I can say that every time she is together with Josh sexually, she will be thinking of his betrayal. No amount of prayer can erase those thoughts. BUT, it is Anna's decision and hers alone. Letters like this don't help.

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  89. Wow..While I know realize this letter is meant to me an encouragement to Anna, the decision is Anna's alone. If she decides to stay now but leaves later that is her decision and not Lori's, mine, or anyone else's. I would hope that she would be encouraged through this difficult time in her life no matter her decision. Also, to "never have encourage a women to get a divorced" and "never will" is extremely dangerous. A member of my family, like thousands of women, was killed through an act of domestic violence. Her two young children found her body, witnessed her laying in a pool of blood with gun shot wounds. They are still trying to grieve and heal. You can not tell me she was right to stay!

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  90. @Anonymous
    Exactly! The safety of her daughters should be her first priority. That is why I lost all respect for her when she said she was staying with Josh.

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  91. Where are the statistics about how many wives are killed each year by abusive husbands? Don't neglect that. It's too important to ignore.

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    1. Thank you..According to several different organizations, 1 in 4 woman and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence that results in severe physical injury.

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  92. Very bizarre that she would "never encourage a woman to get a divorce." What about cases of abuse? We are commanded by God to "guard our hearts." According to the Bible, a woman is entitled to leave (and should leave for her own sake and the safety of her children) in some circumstances.

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  93. @Anonymous You say that divorce is the easy way out. I find that both insulting and appalling. Divorce for a Christian woman--who has honored her vows to her husband and God--is a very, very difficult decision to make. Divorce is permissible due to marital unfaithfullness for a reason. And...God never expects His Daughter to stay in an abusive situation. Would you expect your daughters to stay in abuse? What kind of father would expect their daughters to be treated with such disrespect. My Heavenly Father certainly would not. Adultery is abuse--both mentally and physically. Anna did not break her vows to Josh or God--Josh did. I would be more proud if she chose to be the example to both her sons and daughters that our loving Heavenly Father is not only a forgiving God, but a just God. Divorce is not the easy way out--but sometimes it is the only way out.

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  94. This could be more complicated than being mended by sweet words of togetherness forever. Anna has a serious job to discern the best course of action for her life and her family.

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  95. @AnonymousLori says these are "exceptions" and that domestic violence is very rare. She said she doesn't teach about exceptions.

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  96. I can surely understand this woman wanting to keep her family together in a reconciled life past this. But frankly there is an issue of possible STDs. How does the couple get back together with a fear like that hanging over them?
    Recidivism seems to be the other issue with Josh. Best wishes to Anna in facing facts and responding in love and in wisdom.

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  97. I just want to clear something up for those claiming that Bible allows divorce in the case of adultery. I think many are confused because God commands us to forgive and only allows us to divorce. That means forgiveness takes precendent over divorce always in fact God hates divorce. The passage in question in which Jesus speaks is not about a spouse who has confessed and apologizes for such a sin working to do better in the future. For if we confess and repent God forgives us and cleanses us. So that the spouse who was betrayed in such a case must forgive. Jesus specifically commanded us to forgive our borthers and sisters who have sinned against us 70 times 7! That's a whole lot of forgiving.

    In that passage Jesus was speaking of a wife or husband who leaves their spouse, that's why the word used is fornication, in such a case the spouse abandoned really has no choice but to move on since their spouse has left them. This is a scenario in which the adulterous spouse has not repented and refuses to reconcile in such a case divorce is merited but if one's spouse aks for forgiveness and is willing to take steps to restore the marriage the Christ-like thing to do is absolutely without a doubt to forgive and work on rebuilding that relationship. Just as God shows mercy on those who confess and repent, we must show the same mercy to those who confess and apologize to us, to those willing to humble themselves and take steps to reconcile their wrong doing. Therefore in Anna'a case I believe she is doing the right thing, so long as Josh has not abandoned her and is in sorrow of his sin and gets the help he needs.

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  98. Trial separation until trust is rebuilt. This protects the children and gives both parties time alone that they both need to grow and recover.

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  99. I am a devoted Catholic Christian, and I believe 100% in the indissolubility of marriage. Once we give our lives to a person who was ready to be faithful to the vows at the time they were said, that person is our spouse for life, regardless of future new tendencies toward sin, violence, and unfaithfulness. However, I would like to add a thought I had as I was reading your letter. I believe that legal divorce can be sought, and in fact, might be necessary in cases where the wife/husband/children are in some form of physical danger from abusive actions of a spouse who is committing them. This could afford some legal protection for the non-abusive spouse and their innocent children. In some cases, it may be irresponsible not to pursue divorce, especially if the children are in danger. However, this being said, unless there can be grounds for an annulment (meaning that the marriage vows given before God were, in fact, invalid to begin with, one spouse or other had no intention of keeping one or more of them AT THE TIME of the marriage, or in the case of a previously unknown or unrevealed impediment to the marriage), the non-abusive spouse should remain faithful to the abusive spouse by not engaging in a romantic/sexual relationship with anyone else, as the spiritual (sacramental, as we Catholics call it) marriage still exists between the two in the eyes of God. A chaste life spent in prayer and supplication for the change of heart for the estranged spouse not only serves as a beautiful example of faithfulness to the children of such a couple, but will bring us closer to Christ, as we are acting in the same merciful manner that He does when he deals with us, His sinful children. In conclusion, you are absolutely correct in saying that God does not divorce us. But I would say that He does allow us to protect ourselves and our children from harm when we can. Prayers that Anna will never be faced with this decision in light of Josh's former commissions of sexual abuse.

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  100. Marriage is about mutual respect and love, not martyrdom. A spouse that persistently deceives and hurts the other is not respectful and is not providing love. Anna is obviously free to make her own choice to stay with Josh, but I do not agree that it is any spouse's duty to remain in a manipulative, abusive, hurtful, or one-sided marriage. Beyond hurting themselves for no reason, they are also teaching their children that is acceptable behavior from a spouse, which it is not.

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  101. To those who are mentioning homosexuality as a sin, or acting on it being a sin, please take a moment to research the numerous churches that do not accept that same idea. Remember, your church's viewpoint is only one of many in the world.

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    1. I agree completely. My family and I are Lutheran and our male Pastor is engaged to the man who teaches my children's Sunday school class. They are one of the most godly couples we know and our congregation is blessed to have them. I understand that not every Christian denomination agrees but I think we all need to accept that different Christians have different views.

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  102. You can't really be a homosexual without having acted on it. There is a notion in our times that there is a "type" of person, homosexual, when no such thing exists. A "gay person" is no different the you or I as the enemy tempts all of us with sin and we all struggle with temptations of all sorts. The Bible says that temptation does not come from God so we know that if someone has a desire to sin that they were not created that way but rather they are that way as a result of being in sinful world and being the son of Adam. Many of us desire to fornicate, to commit adultery, to lie etc... But that does not mean were are specific category of person, liar, theif etc... we are just fallen. It is more appropriate to refer to "gay people" as persons suffering from same sex attraction, it removes them from the cafegory of "other" and places their desire in the proper context something they are dealing with but not WHO they are. ALL of us are children of God and all of us have sinned so if we don't normally refer to ourselves as liars, theives, adulterers etc... there is no need to refer to people suffering with the temptation to commit homosexual acts as a "type" of person distinct from those of us who do not.

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    1. Yes and Amen--so beautifully said:)

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  103. Hope things work out for Anna, but would be cautious with the fact that she has daughters, also she would be part of lawsuit, that is pending against Josh, and how will he now support his family with no job house and trust issues any employer would have with him

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  104. @Eden Grey
    You may not want to call it "type", but being homosexual is just a caracteristic of some people. Like fat/thin/blonde/brunette/tall/short/extrovert/introvert...
    There have always been homosexual people in history, just as well as people who cannot conceive, and people who don't want to have children.
    If you believe that being a homosexual is being a fallen sinner, you should also believe that for example cancer is a divine punishment. Do you?

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  105. @Anonymous

    New International Version
    Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

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  106. heard anna is going to have baby 5 is that true?

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    1. Probably not. The Duggars announced back in august that Josh would undergo "long-term treatment" I doubt he's out of rehab yet and don't think he will be anytime soon.

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  107. @Anonymous

    WOW. That's all I can say.

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  108. @Anonymous The Bible says what the Bible says. If some pastors want to pick and choose what to teach, they'll answer to God for that.

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    1. It's not picking and choosing what to teach. It's interpretation of a book written over 2000 years ago by men, not by God. The God I believe in is not rigidly judgemental. He is all loving. All Christians are headed to the same destination. Some of us are just following different paths to get there, same God, different way of interpretating Christianity.

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  109. I am deeply troubled by those who blame Satan for the cause of one's sinful actions. This is clearly blaming something else instead of holding a person accountable for his or her sin. Grave ones in this case. People know the difference between right and wrong, and people are very well aware when their actions are wrong. Josh Duggar knew what he was doing, and actually, he knew better. Believe me, any person who spreads the word of God, acting as a disciple of Christ, and chooses an evil life will answer. Even if your sorry. Consequences. It's not as easy as so many Christians make it out to be. And as a Christian myself, blaming Satan is wrong in my eyes. Lets see if my post makes it. It might be too negative.

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    1. Exactly. Everyone has temptations. Josh decided to act upon them. He is an adult responsible for his own actions. His own decisions. He decided to bend to his own temptations. All Christians have temptations but you learn how to deal with them. You hold yourself responsible for your actions. Which is something he did not do.

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  110. I agree with this and I also slightly don't. the reason I don't is because the author of the letter says that she would never encourage divorce, but I believe there are certain circumstances such as mentally and physically abusive situations & a few others I don't think appropriate to talk about here on this site.
    Having said that I do wish Anna the best and the rest of the family and they are in our famil's prayers

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  111. @Anonymous
    Given that Josh has been moved from her one month after their baby's birth, I really don't think she's pregnant... Come on, people, don't believe everything you read!

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  112. @Anonymous
    Amen. I think that considering "sinful" every human experience that is a little different from the one that was prescribed 2000 years ago to a society living 3000 years ago in Palestine (what is written in the Bible) is a bit misleading.

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  113. I am so impressed with Anna. What a godly beautiful woman. May God continue to strengthen and encourage you Anna. So many women young and older are praying for you and learning from your strength. Our hearts break for you. May you have such strong deep personal healing from God our comforter.

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  114. Hi everybody! I just wanted to take a minute to thank Ellie for publishing comments that she probably disagrees with. It's very honest and mature of you and I appreciate that you leave space to a fruitful debate!

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    1. I agree! Thank you Ellie for printing comments from different view points. It useful to see every point of view, even the ones I don't agree with.

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  115. There is another viewpoint here and it is personal, there maybe an element of what Josh perceived as not getting from Anna which unwittingly led him to look at other people. This doesn't mean that Anna shouldnt have some reflection on their behaviour together as a couple and be responsible for her part in that.
    However, Josh is the one who took action - and by the sounds of it went way over the line.
    If Anna chooses to stay I wish her all the happiness for their future, if she chooses to leave I still wish them both happiness. Anna in being a strong woman and mother and Josh to get real help, proper counselling without the religious spin on it.

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    1. Not a popular stance, but I agree. Not Anna's fault but there was a reason he looked elsewhere. I could be as simple as he wasn't ready to wed so young and inexperienced. The family needs to find out WHY Josh strayed. Don't necessarily chalk it up to "addiction" right away.

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  116. Dear Anna,
    I kicked my husband out after 13 years of marriage. He had finally taken his addiction from online portfolio to having affairs. We separated right after the adoption of our 3rd child. That was October. Divorce was final January. Every day I sat the kids down to pray for their dad. I knew his heart was soft to God's calling. February our youngest daughter had to have a simple surgery that turned out with her needing a blood transfusion and hospitalized for 2 weeks. During that time I went to her room one evening to find him there. I felt God was with me. We went to cafeteria to eat. I began to tell him hevery needed to get help to be there for his kids but more importantly to get right with God. He said he couldn't afford it. I told him I would pay all his bills. He immediately picked up the phone and broke off his current affair. He got help and we remarried on Easter! I asked God to help me forgive completely and never bring the past to condemn. 12 years have passed, our youngest daughter is in heaven and we are still in love! God can cure any disease, mend broken hearts, and provide forgiveness that lasts. You can do this only if his change is real and he commits to discuss his temptations with you to prevent a fall. Kaylinsangelcare@gmail.com

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  117. I found Dana's letter, in Sept., beautiful and encouraging. I found this letter disturbing. Anna needs support, not chiding that she should never consider divorce. The Bible allows divorce in the case of adultery. It does command it, but it does allow it. Anna should be emotionally free to make this decision for herself--and for the good of her children.

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