Jessa Duggar's Father-in-Law, Michael Seewald, Pens Essay in Wake of Josh Duggar Molestation Scandal: 'I'm Rooting for You'
The famously conservative Duggars seemed to be models of wholesome family life, but son Josh was hiding a dark past: He allegedly molested five young girls as a teen. Subscribe now for an inside look at the Duggars’ dark family secrets, only in PEOPLE.
Michael Seewald – the father of Jessa’s husband Ben Seewald, 20, and six other children – posted an essay titled “Grace Greater Than Our Sin” to his family’s blog Sunday, explaining why he is rallying around his family members and forgiving Duggar for his actions.
“It pains me to see that they are now having to relive the nightmare that had been laid to rest well over a decade ago with Josh’s repentance and reformation,” Seewald wrote, “but I feel compelled to bring some context and reason to the bloodletting that many are engaging in and to come to the aid of our dear friends and family.”
Seewald went on to explain in more than 2,000 words why Duggar should not punish himself forever and that the victims involved should “not be lost in all of this.”
“Sadly, this type of thing is all too common. Victims of sexual abuse of any kind often suffer greatly for many years as a result of these sins,” Seewald said. “We should not downplay the seriousness of these offenses particularly, nor gloss over the pain and confusion they often bring, sometimes for a lifetime.”
While some fans have criticized Duggar’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, in the aftermath of the molestation scandal for not publicly disclosing the situation sooner, Seewald said that they are also not to blame and acted as “godly parents should.”
“How many of you would broadcast the sins of your children to the whole world? Would you be willing to publicize your own darkest moments?” Seewald, a devout Christian, asked in the blog post.
“Yes, we should constantly be learning and growing as parents and change when we see a better way, yet no parenting method is without flaw. The heart of the matter is do you have a good relationship with your children? From my perspective, this is where Jim Bob and Michelle excel.”
The father of seven also detailed his beliefs that all humans are sinners, and Josh “sinned because like all of us he is a sinner.” He encouraged Duggar to “hang in there.”
” … the shame you feel is legitimate, yet Jesus took your shame as he was punished in your place,” he said. “Rest in his forgiveness and grace. Remember that he gives you his righteousness as a covering for your shame,” he said.
“Let this trial in your life build humility and grace. Don’t be angry at the world for their hatred of you. Show them through your love for them that it is Jesus Christ that made all the difference in your life. I’m rooting for you.”
Allegations that Duggar molested young girls as a teenager made headlines last week, although rumors of his actions popped up online as early as eight years ago.
He acknowledged them in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, stating, “I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends.”
“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,” he continued.
Josh Duggar Speaks Out About Molestation Reports
The scandal has begun to affect the 19 Kids and Counting personality’s career. He resigned from his position as executive director of Family Research Council Action, a Christian lobbying group based in Washington, D.C., and TLC pulled the show from its schedule amid the reports.