A clean joke to entertain Michelle Duggar
Duggars family photo (YouTube)/Jail bars (Shutterstock.com)

According to this news item from Raw Story, Michelle Duggar is having a hard time now that her show has been cancelled.

According to In Touch, which broke the Josh Duggar molestation scandal that led to a flood of advertisers abandoning the popular Christian family show, the mother of nineteen wrote that she has been crying and dropping off to sleep from exhaustion.

“It was 1:00 AM in the morning as I stood folding laundry with tears streaming down my cheeks,” Duggar wrote. “Feelings of being overwhelmed flooded my mind. I cried aloud, ‘LORD I NEED YOUR HELP, I can’t do it all! I feel so inadequate! Diapers, dishes, laundry, meals, cleanup, school lessons, baths, hugs, kisses, correction…’ My list seemed to go on and on.”

I come not to gloat about her pain. I sympathize with her. Having one million kids sounds hard enough, but add to it having to be married to a misogynist choad who thinks women are chattel and having to please him by talking in a singsongy voice to indicate maximum submission? Forget it. That does sound like hell on earth. Most women in her situation would be crying every day and perhaps gnawing their leg off to get out of the chains.

But the whole thing does remind me of a joke I once heard. I think this is how it went:

A very religious woman was once young and engaged to man who kept going on about "headship" and how a woman's place is in the home and how true love means being forever "open" to childbearing.

She expressed her concerns to a friend. "You don't need to marry him, sweetie," her friend said. "He sounds like a nightmare. Don't believe all the hype that says you have to get married before you're 22 or no one will want you. Hold out for someone better!"

But our young woman simply smiled and said, "I believe the Lord will protect me."

As she was contemplating her future, she went to her doctor. "I've got some birth control pills for you, if you want," he explained. "Or, if you want even stronger protection against unintended pregnancy, here's an IUD. It's a smart move. You don't want to have a bunch of kids, especially right away, tying you to this man. Especially if you're worried about the future."

But our young woman simply smiled and said, "I believe the Lord will save me."

As she left her doctor's office, she ran into her neighborhood divorce lawyer. "Hey, I heard you were having second thoughts," he said. "But if you do get married and change your mind down the road, don't hesitate to give me a call. Getting women out of bad marriages is my job, after all."

But our young woman smiled and said, "I believe the Lord will save me."

Years later, as she is piled chest-deep in dirty laundry while her 19 kids are running around screaming and her husband is telling her to drop what she's doing and get to the bedroom for another bout of wifely submission, she cast her eyes to the sky. "Lord God in heaven, why didn't you protect me?" she cried.

And God came down from heaven and said, "I sent a friend. I sent a doctor. I sent a divorce lawyer. I don't know what else you want me to do!"

For those who haven't heard the original, here you go.

Update: Apparently, her sad story of having to do laundry as some godawful hour is from many years and many kids back. However, the moral lesson about taking the help that actually exists remains the same.