While Jinger Duggar might enjoy a well-deserved reputation as the most rebellious of Jim Bob and Michelle’s offspring, those who know the family best say it’s Josiah who has most tested his parents’ patience over the years.
Though not as well-known — and certainly not as scandal-plagued — as some of his most notorious relatives, Josiah has broken with his parents’ ultra-conservative views in a number of significant ways.
These days, he’s happily married and expecting his first child with Lauren Swanson, but back in 2015, Josiah made waves when he became the first of his parents’ kids to break off a courtship prior to marriage.
Josiah dated Marjorie Jackson while still in his teens, and the relationship ended abruptly not long after the couple went public.
Obviously, there’s nothing at all unusual about that scenario, but in the Duggar’s world, a courtship between two young people — especially one that’s been announced to fans — is generally taken as an indication that a wedding is on the way.
However, that didn’t turn out to be the case for Josiah and Marjorie, as they called off their romance under mysterious circumstances after just a few months together.
Some say Marjorie was using Josiah for fame, and he became irate when he found out.
Others claim she called it off in order to distance herself from the Josh Duggar sex scandals.
Whatever the case, when he married Lauren in June of 2018, the Duggars were keen to push the “happily ever after” narrative for Josiah.
But the truth of his situation is much more complicated …
Following Swanson’s heartbreaking miscarriage earlier this year, the couple is once again expecting.
However, that doesn’t mean Josiah has settled into the life of quiet domesticity his parents had hoped for.
Last year, a former employee of the Duggars’ spoke with The Hollywood Gossip and told us that Josiah will be the next to “break out” and rebel against Jim Bob, just like his sister Jinger.
Now, the same insider tells us the situation is soon to come to a head:
“You need to keep an eye on Josiah,” says the source.
“He’s not mentally stable. Something is gonna crack soon, mark my words," the insider adds.
"Josiah has always been a ninety mile an hour kid. When he posted on Facebook under the name of Matthew that should’ve told you something."
The source informs us that, prior to his relationship with Lauren, Josiah had been posting on Facebook (in violation of his parents’ rules regarding social media) using the alias "Matthew."
The now-deleted account featured posts that were secular and often flirtatious in nature.
Such content would not have sat well with Jim Bob, who reportedly caught wind of the account and forced Josiah to delete it.
It may have been at that point that Jim Bob decided Josiah needs to be married off ASAP:
"It is possible that the marriage was a set up between [Lauren’s father] D. Wayne Swanson and Jim Bob," says the source.
The informant also tells us that there’s significance in the moniker that Josiah selected for his online alter-ego.
Matthew is Josiah’s middle name.
But it’s also the gospel book that gave rise to the quote that’s most often used to highlight Jim Bob’s hypocrisy:
In Matthew 19:21, Jesus tells his disciples, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
That philosophy doesn’t exactly jibe with Jim Bob’s lifestyle as a "high-class hoarder" and hyper-ambitious media mogul.
Could Josiah Matthew Duggar have intended for his screenname to double as a subtle shot at his materialistic dad?
We may never know — but it seems certain that father and son are not getting along these days.