A post on August 25, 2015, reports that suburban Atlanta mom Krammes Kirlkland penned a lengthy open letter on Facebook on August 20 that has gone viral after she expressed horror over Anna Duggar’s situation. In the post, Kirkland asks that more people talk about Anna, as she is in the “worst position she could possibly be in right now” because she’s following the rules that had been laid out for her.
“Anna Duggar was crippled by her parents by receiving no education, having no work experience (or life experience, for that matter) and then was shackled to this loser because his family was famous in their religious circle,” Kirkland writes. “Anna Duggar was taught that her sole purpose in life, the most meaningful thing she could do, was to be chaste and proper, a devout wife, and a mother.”
Tragically, Krammes Kirlkland is right, to some degree. In far too many homes, Christian young ladies are being limited in life by well meaning, but misguided parents who believe that a woman’s place is in the home, and never in a respectable profession. And it gets worse. Some fathers are teaching their daughters that even if a man abuses them, they should endure betrayal, and even verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. They must become a suffering “missionary” in their own home, or even a martyr, for the cause of Christ. One missionary serving on a Caribbean island told me that even if his daughter was being physically beat up he would tell her to return to the marriage and endure the beatings. That is foolish and evil counseling. It is not the will of God, or even the example of Christ who withdrew from violent situations prior to His appointment at Calvary.
With all of that being acknowledged, something should be said about Anna Duggar. Specifically, Anna may not be as helpless as Krammes Kirkland and others believe she is. Her child rearing and household management skills, along with the ability to be part of a popular television show for many years, should impress business owners if she ever went looking for a job. I think Anna would do very well in whatever chosen profession she wished to go into. Most women have marketable skills despite lack of college education. Work skills can be acquired. My own mother was divorced twice before I was ten, and still managed, by the grace of God, to rear three children under less than pristine conditions in Dallas, Texas in the 1960’s. She did this by hard work, careful management of her limited resources, and instilling values in her children. My three sisters went on to do very well in life financially, to their eternal credit.
In this discussion, it must be remembered that Anna Duggar is a Christian woman, and Christian women tend to look at life from a different perspective. Some will suffer a tremendous amount of personal shame and abuse as they reflect the matchless love of Jesus. The Bible says that “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). A godly woman wants to reflect that love.
In a self-centered, narcissistic driven society, looking out for number one is not a Christian world view. Playing the victim card is not necessarily healthy, though it is understandable, nor is wallowing in self-pity the will of God. It is reprehensible. There is redemption for those who abuse women, provided there is genuine gospel sorrow, repentance, confession, and renewal by the Holy Spirit. What is certain is that a man who is not fundamentally, and profoundly different, on the other side of any form of spousal abuse, does not deserve a Christian woman, or to be near children. Children are not safe around brutalizing personalities who snap and snarl, ridicule and torment them due to unresolved personal inner conflicts and lack of manly Christian gentleness.
Some men, unwilling to repent, or be different, are relieved when their Christian wife leaves them, and takes the children. They simply do not want to be too close to someone trying to be good, and decent, and holy. Honorable standards can be mocked, or diminished, at will once the family is gone. Such a sense of relief is just sinful nature being natural for what fellowship has darkness with light? (2 Cor. 6:14). The honest answer to the rhetorical question is, “None.”
The conclusion of the matter is that Anna Duggar probably knows what she is doing. She knows her limitations, and her options. If the situation does not change, if the public shame, and open repentance of her husband is not genuine, she still has other avenues open to her. In the end, there is no man who is a match for a woman whose mind is made up. Men may think they can do what they want without consequences, or accountability, but they are foolish to think that way. Sin has a saturation point. Christian women know when that saturation point is reached and react to it, trusting in God to be their true Protector and Provider.
If Anna Duggar would like to be as loving, understanding, forgiving, and longsuffering as God is with fallen humanity, good for her. She will be fine in the Lord. Anna Duggar is no cripple. No Christian woman is a cripple whose confidence is in the mighty Lord God.