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Anna Duggar’s decision to stay with her husband Josh has sparked a heated debate among mothers. (Photo: Instragram/Josh Duggar)
An open letter written by one mom about Anna Duggar – lamenting the scorned wife’s decision to stay with her husband and encouraging all moms to teach their daughters to “breathe fire” – quickly went viral this week and has inspired a huge response online. While some moms are quick to applaud the author for her strong stance, others say the criticisms should be isolated to Josh Duggar and that Anna should be lauded for her bravery and family values.
The letter, originally posted to Facebook on August 20, has since been taken down, but an article about author Jessica Kirkland’s note has sparked a passionate debate. Commenters on Yahoo Parenting’s Facebook page are coming down on both sides of the issue — some celebrating the message that mothers should teach their children “independence and strength,” while others say Kirkland is too quick to judge and that she should instead support Anna Duggar, whose husband Josh was outed as a paying member of the cheating site Ashley Madison mere months after news broke that he had molested five young girls as a teenager.
“What a double standard to criticize Anna’s role and her convictions when in all honesty, it takes a mighty strong woman to be devoted to her husband and raise her four children… any woman who looks down on Anna for this being her sole role, is no better than how a male chauvinist acts towards ‘a woman’s role.’ Anna’s parents didn’t fail Anna, Josh did!!! Hold the criticism to where it should be focused,” wrote one Facebook user.
Added another: “Perhaps we should teach our [sons] to respect, cherish, and protect the families they create rather than looking for ways to lie, cheat and avoid responsibility.”
Some commenters turned quickly to religious values to defend Anna’s decision. “I think you people are very quick to judge someone when you don’t walk in their shoes,” said one user, referring not just to Kirkland but to other commenters on the Yahoo Parenting Facebook page. “Many people who claim to be Christians have stepped outside of their marriage but the key is forgiveness, and then let THEM FIGURE OUT THEIR MARRIAGE.”
But another user took issue with the argument that Anna had to stay with her husband for religious reasons. “Being a good Christian doesn’t mean to be a doormat! I feel bad for her. It’s 100% her parents fault! Where would she go? If she had family support, she could leave this sorry excuse of a man, go to school, get an education!” she wrote. “She needs to understand that she can live without a man.”
The debate has brought up questions regarding marital responsibilities, and the role of parents in a child’s decisions. “Anna is not trapped, she’s committed and there is a difference. I believe they can still have a good marriage and raise their family. Everyone quits too [easily] today,” wrote one user. But another countered: “We need to raise our daughters to be able to take [care] of themselves. They do not need a man. They want one to love them, share a life with them.”
And in response to those who say the fault lies with Anna’s parents, another mom had a reminder: “You remember one day when your children do something wrong and someone says it’s 100% your fault. We raise our children according to God’s word but no parent intends for their children to be hurt.”
It seems the one thing all commenters can agree on is that parents just want what is best for their kids. How we make that happen, on the other hand, is likely a question that will long be up for debate.