Even the most devout of believers have a crisis of faith from time to time.
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are no exception—in an exclusive interview with Popdust the 19 Kids and Counting stars open up about their struggle with faith as well as parenting and how they would react if one of their children walked away from the church.
Popdust: Have you ever had a crisis of faith?
Michelle Duggar: I think everybody has crisis in their life and we’re going to turn one way or the other….and so I do share with my kids on a regular basis how God’s words say very clearly, all that matters is when we are going to come up to a crisis and we are going feel like we hit the wall and at that point in your life, where are you going to turn?
And I think any of us can say there are times where we feel like we are overwhelmed, we hit the wall…you know physically, emotionally… and I think for us, when you think of the situation with our sweet Josie was a major hurdle in life, you know, a premature baby and not knowing if she was going to live or die… and all that.. and then with Jubilee, where we miscarried Jubilee at four or five months along, and the death of a baby… you just ever expect the death of a baby….for a child to go before you… that just is not what you would expect.
So those are definitely a crisis but I think through that it has strengthened our faith and drawn us closer to God because we’ve clung to the word, to the bible, to the truth that we base our lives upon. God’s word is the truth and it’s for life and when we have a question we go to the word of God and search through the scriptures to find answers to our questions.
Popdust: How would you react if one of your children decided to turn their back on the church? Could you see that ever happening?
Michelle Duggar: There are three things we work at as a Christian, as a believer who is born again and is walking in a relationship with God—our flesh… we war against the flesh because the flesh wars against the spirit… then there’s the world… then there’s Satan…. and those three war against the spirit..and I think we are in a battle. As a believer, it isn’t a cake walk.. we are in a battle.. and it’s in our mind.. it starts right there.
And then when we bring those thoughts to the Lord Jesus Christ on a daily basis.. we are talking… we are walking in a relationship with the lord…it doesn’t mean we are not going to fail .. people will fail because we are human… and, people often say ‘oh your children, they are so sweet…they’re just such good kids’ and i always say, oh wait a minute! If you see anything good it’s God… anything else is us… and so I know the scriptures are very clear about how man will often fall but he gets back up and so I’m not thinking, we realize, there’s nothing perfect in us…there’s only one perfect and that’s the Lord Jesus Christ.
We want to grow in our walk with God and be more like Christ. But if one of our kids stumbles and falls in life, then, hey, that is life.. we are human… we are not perfect.. But to totally turn away from God, and to not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.. I really believe that if a person takes a faith in Jesus Christ they are born again… you can’t be unborn..
Jim Bob Duggar: But we would still love them..
Michelle Duggar: Oh, we would pray for them.. we would be there…we would love them unconditionally, like God loves us.
Jim Bob Duggar: We have friends whose son got mixed up with the wrong friends ….started drinking then doing drugs..then went to a drugs rehab center … so we have tried to help walk them through this and I’ve gone over and talked to this young man.
Michelle Duggar: With one of our sons even, he went over and was just really talking and encouraging..
Jim Bob Duggar: Some things that we do that have helped, besides taking our children to church, we’ve given our children opportunities to minister to others. Like, two of our daughters and two of our sons have been on the local volunteer fire department, so they’ve seen the consequences of people who have been driving drunk, and they’ve seen the car wrecks and the consequences of all these wrong choices..
Michelle Duggar: They’ve even gotten called out to someone who had OD’d…and you realize that when they’re out there in the realm of all that… they realize the consequences.
Jim Bob Duggar: Just two weeks ago we had four of our kids who went down to the Florida state prison and volunteered for a week to do prison ministry speaking to these people who have made wrong choices in their lives and they spent a whole week down there and they actually went in the prison cell and were there for a whole day with a lot of the women in there.
Michelle Duggar: I think it kind of boils down to… the real basic thing is… do you want to make right choices in your life? Most people would say ‘oh yeah, I want to make right choices’ and that would mean…making the right choice is turning your heart to God. And that is what I have said to my children for year… and if you choose to turn and make a wrong choice doesn’t mean you are rejected.. we… you know, God loves us.. we love our family, children, everyone, and it’s a choice.. everything we do is a choice.
Jim Bob Duggar: True joy comes from helping other people and that’s what we try to give our kids, the opportunity to serve other people.. and that’s where true joy comes… instead of being served yourself.
You can catch a new episode of 19 Kids and Counting tonight on TLC at 9/8 central.