Former family values advocate and reality television star Josh Duggar entered a long-term treatment center days after he confessed marital infidelity as a customer of the Ashley Madison adultery service.
Duggar checked himself into an undisclosed treatment center Aug. 25 for an unspecified amount of time, his mother Michelle Duggar blogged Aug. 26 at duggarfamily.com.
“For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery,” she wrote. “We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change. In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to [Josh’s wife] Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future.”
Josh Duggar has insulted Christianity, his mother wrote.
“As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear.”
It is the 27-year-old Duggar’s second time entering a treatment center for sex-related failures. In 2003, His parents checked him into a private home operated as an unlicensed, Christian treatment facility after he admitted to improperly touching five underage girls as a teenager. Four of his sisters were among those molested, it was revealed in May.
Josh Duggar’s actions have led to the cancellation of the once-popular “19 Kids and Counting” reality show on TLC and his resignation as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council family values group.
His parents continue to voice their faith and their gratitude for public support.
“During this time we continue to look to God. He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family,” his mother said in the latest blogpost. “We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh.”
Josh Duggar admitted to marital infidelity in an Aug. 20 post on the family website after a massive Internet hack revealed he was among some 37 million Ashley Madison subscribers. The original blogpost perhaps hours earlier also included a confession to a pornography addiction, it was widely reported, but the mention of porn was removed from the admission the same day.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” the revised post reads. “While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife. I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”
In May, he admitted to news reports he molested five girls when he was 14 and 15 years old.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably, for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” he said. “I confessed this to my parents, who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities, where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
Anna Duggar, his wife of seven years and the mother of their four children, the youngest only five weeks old, supported her husband in her last public statement about the ordeal.
Concurrent with Duggar’s May confession, his wife said on the family blog that she knows “who Josh really is – someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended. [He is] someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right.”
In June, his sisters Jill (Duggar) Dillard and Jessa (Duggar) Seewald identified themselves publicly as two of the girls their brother molested.
His parents are slated to participate in an upcoming TLC documentary on child sexual abuse produced in partnership with RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. “Breaking the Silence” is set to air Aug. 30 at 9 p.m. Central on TLC.
(EDITORS’ NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor.)