…if their home church, or some prominent national parachurch ministry like Focus on the Family, could reach out to Jon & Kate Gosselin and get their marriage back on a sound footing? Or, perhaps a good outcome would be for the Duggars to become a mentor couple for the Gosselins?
I've been watching the show for about a year. Having kids around the same age, I've enjoyed it. But I'm going to stop watching now. No more Jon & Kate. Why? Because it has become clear that the popularity of the show is feeding their marital problems. If I continue to contribute to their ratings, then I become a part of their problem. I just don't think that those of us watching can claim “innocent bystander” status.
TLC should (but won't) cancel the show now—immediately—or they bear some of the responsibility for damaging these children's lives. The Gosselins should refuse to tape any more shows as of right now, and perhaps good sense will overcome the love of the spotlight, and they will.
The deeper story is that the very complementarian Duggar family, strange as they must appear to American society, seem to have a strong marriage and are doing just fine. The much more “modern” Gosselin family appears to be in the midst of severe relationship trouble, with strong hints of divorce on last night's show and rampant allegations of infidelity. The Gosselins have experienced a role reversal in the past two years, with Kate going on the road to promote her newfound celebrity while Jon quit his job to stay at home and play Mr. Mom. The curt discussion of the arrangement between Jon & Kate on last night's episode clearly reveals how disastrous this role-swapping has been to their relationship.
Both the Duggars and the Gosselins make clear their church-going ways in their respective TV shows. On the line in the Gosselin saga is the question of whether Christianity has any answers for these sorts of problems. If the Gosselin family goes under, the clear message taken by a watching world will be that Christian marriages are no better suited to survive than are the marriages of those who do not know Christ. Indeed, this is the message that the world has already embraced not so much by looking at their TV screens as by looking up and down the block in their neighborhoods at the families in our churches.
The Bible does have answers for keeping a marriage healthy, and the Duggars are living out some of them in front of America through their own show. If they, or somebody else, could point the Gosselins to repentance, the granting of forgiveness, and the adoption of biblical priorities for their marriage, the wonderful message communicated would be that Christ has the power to turn people around from any unrighteousness. That kind of message does much to glorify God.