It’s hard to believe but it’s already been six months since Josh Duggar entered rehab. Regardless of anyone’s opinion, the nature of his problems, and his subsequent absence, must have been especially hard on his wife and children.
Last summer, a number of revelations shocked longtime fans of the Duggar family and their TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting. Once a member of a family associated with Christian values and outstanding morals, the struggles of Michelle and Jim Bob’s eldest son, Josh, became the subject of public scrutiny.
First came the news that, as a teenager, Josh had sexually molested several girls, including his sisters, Jill and Jessa. The family admitted that the abuse had occurred but insisted that he had received the psychological and emotional care he needed and that they had all moved on and forgiven him.
Just as it seemed like things were settling down, activist group, Anonymous, released the names of people who had subscriptions to Ashley Madison, a website dedicated to helping married men and women commit adultery. Josh Duggar was found to have two paid accounts.
In a public statement, Duggar admitted to being unfaithful to his wife, to molesting his sisters and to having an addiction to pornographic material. Not much later, he entered into a faith-based rehab facility.
Working on Trust
The Duggar family have openly discussed their feelings about Josh returning home to his wife and children. On their official website, they released the following statement:
“Josh has completed his residential rehabilitation program. We are so thankful for everyone who worked with Josh in this program. It was a crucial first step in recovery and healing for Josh. Josh has now returned to Arkansas, where he will continue professional counseling and focus on rebuilding relationships with his family. We look to God for help and guidance and place all of our trust in Him. We are forever grateful for the love and prayers offered by so many and hope you will continue to pray in the days ahead.”
His sister Jessa explained to People magazine: “I definitely have forgiven Josh. It is a process, though, that you have to work through in your heart and trust is not quickly rebuilt. It is something that takes a while. We love him very much, though, and we are very hopeful for the future.”
For now, 19 Kids and Counting has not been renewed by TLC but, in addition to the special, Jill & Jessa: Counting On, the network plans to launch a new series for the family. Of course, this has created some backlash among viewers who feel that the family should be removed from television entirely.
Counting On premieres on March 15 at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.