Now, Michael Seewald, father of Jessa’s husband Ben, is speaking out on the matter, while cousin Amy Duggar continues tweeting messages of peace.
In an essay titled, “Grace Greater Than Our Sin,” Seewald asks readers to remember the victims, while forgiving Josh and supporting the Duggar family.
Seewald wrote, "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, 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."
The father of seven insisted the victims should "not be lost in all of this."
"Sadly, this type of thing is all too common,” he said. “Victims of sexual abuse of any kind often suffer greatly for many years as a result of these sins. We should not downplay the seriousness of these offenses particularly, nor gloss over the pain and confusion they often bring, sometimes for a lifetime."
Seewald stands behind Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who are accused of knowing about the alleged crime, but not reporting it to police until a year later. He justified their actions, saying they acted as “godly parents should,” then asked, "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 added, “No parenting method is without flaw.” He then honed in on Josh’s actions, saying he “sinned because like all of us he is a sinner.”
“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 continued to show support, saying, "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."
While the Duggars initially responded to the claims on Facebook, they have since gone silent... except for cousin Amy. She posted images on Twitter and Instagram with the message, "Peace Be Still," she also retweeted a message that said, "Faith does not mean trusting God to stop the storm, but trusting him to strengthen us as we walk through the storm."
On Thursday, Josh wrote on Facebook, "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” he said. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. 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."
The 27-year-old, who has resigned from his position as Executive Director of the Family Research Council, added, "I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy and redemption.”