In light of the further fall of Josh Duggar this week, many have asked what his wife, Anna, is going to do. Will she leave him or will she stay? Many of the sites I've seen and the comments made have urged her to take her kids and leave him. Regardless of the committment they made to each other when they married that divorce was not an option. Many of the individuals, upon hearing of her plans to remain and work through the gaping wound his infidelity (and other sexual sins) has rendered upon their marriage, have openly scorned her choice.
Even fellow Christians.
"The Bible gives clear recourse for divorce if a spouse is sexually unfaithful," they say. While it is one of the Biblical reasons for divorce, I think it's dangerous for us to urge other Christians to take this step. I would never encourage a fellow brother or sister in Christ to consider divorce unless their lives -- or their children's lives -- were in real danger, as in the case of abuse.
Anything else can be healed. Anything.
I'm not saying that a marriage broken through infidelity will ever be what it was. Once something has been broken, it is never the same again. But we discount God's healing grace if we believe He can't restore shattered lives. Because by encouraging our fellow Christians to divorce cheating spouses, that's exactly what we're saying. That there's nothing God can do to save the people, save the marriage, save the family.
There are many marriages that have been touched by infidelity. Marriages that, with God's grace and marital counseling, develop into a relationship that is even better, even stronger than it was before the unfaithfulness. There may have been people encouraging those women to leave their husbands, as many are doing to Anna. The biggest difference between them, however, is that she is living this heartbreak, this nightmare in front of an entire country of people waiting to cast judgment upon her, her marriage, and her family. Some say they deserve it for putting themselves in the limelight. Friends, nobody deserves that.
Our response to Anna Duggar and other women like her should be one of love. We should pray for them. Pray for the unfaithful spouse's repentance. Pray for the broken family to be restored. Pray for healing for all. Instead of ridiculing her for her commitment to her husband, or encouraging her to leave him behind, let's affirm her decision to try and repair the marriage, praying and believing with her that all things are possible in Christ Jesus.
Including the restoration of a broken marriage.