Over the weekend, Disney Channel alum Tiffany Thornton married Josiah Capaci, a Gospel Light Church worship pastor. The pair announced their engagement in April after dating for a couple of months. Just five months later, the couple has made it official by walking down the aisle—but not without setting the record straight about their love for each another in a way that leaves fans scratching their heads.
Back when she announced her engagement, Thornton preemptively explained her feelings for Capaci, knowing she'd face criticism. Fans of her show, Sonny With a Chance, weren't upset by her choice in beau; there was skepticism about the relationship because Thornton's first husband, Chris Carney, died tragically in December 2015, less than 18 months before her new engagement.
Now the 31-year-old mother of two is back in defense mode—and fans are questioning some of her words. In a post on Sunday, the day after the wedding, Thornton professed her love for Capaci and for God:
"This. This is love. That all encompassing, enduring, accepting, near perfect love," she began. "The kind that trumps my need to snap back at people who have the audacity to comment on my Instagram about whether I loved my first husband or not. But let me take a moment to explain something to you. There is no timeline for grief or for when God moves in your life in undeniable ways. There are a lot of people who think it isn't good to be transparent on social media but I say forget that. I'm going to be open and honest because God wants me to. It's part of my testimony and it needs to be said."
She continued, "I was a mess yesterday during our wedding ceremony. So many emotions flooded my heart as I walked down those balcony steps to the arms of my gift from God. I thought of Chris watching us and knowing he would have loved the choice I made, for me and for the boys. I thought of Chris's amazing parents sitting front row and how much of a blessing they have been and will forever be in our lives. How happy they are for the boys and I and how much they already love Josiah. I am so completely humbled by the love I receive from this man. Jo came along EXACTLY when God knew I needed him."
The beginnings of Thornton's post may have turned some critics into supporters, but what came after has created a new stream of disapproval from her followers: "It wasn't my choice to fall in love so quickly after Chris passed but I was growing so comfortable with being alone that it was becoming unhealthy," she wrote. "Looking back now I think God saw that if I went too long without love that it would become increasingly difficult for me to submit to the authority of a husband after being set in my own ways."
Commenters took that piece and ran with it. Instagram user @bettygoodyear wrote, "I'm sorry but, no. Alone too long? Like what a year? Lmao. Also 'authority of a husband'…yikes."
Posters like @moirajuliet took the criticism a step further: "I am thrilled for you that you found somebody new to love and to share your children with. Truly. But you condemn mockery and judgement while committing both," the user began, going on to quote part of Thornton's post. She continued, "There are plenty of women, both married and single, who make amazing contributions to this world without submitting to anyone. It's not 'unhealthy' to be comfortable being alone. It's quite unhealthy to 'submit' to the authority of anyone. Mutual respect is one thing. Submission is another."
The backlash to Thornton's post comes almost exactly a month after Miranda Kerr came under fire for her suggestion that women should dress up for their husbands. In an interview in September, she said, "My grandma taught me that men are visual and you need to make a little effort. So when [Evan] comes home, I make sure to have a nice dress on and the candles lit. We make time to have a nice dinner together."
Regardless of the backlash, Thornton seems to be enjoying married life once again. On Monday she posted a photo with her "bestie" and has yet to comment further on her marriage to Capaci.