I got the official word today. The rumors are true. Another husband and wife team whose ministry I respected and from which I benefited greatly are separated and probably headed to divorce court. That theirs was a marriage and family ministry only makes it worse. And I am sad. I'm not shocked. It no longer surprises me when seemingly great marriages flame out or crash on the rocks of sin and rebellion. But I am still grieved. I am grieved because I hope that Spirit empowered love and romance will conquer sin, betrayal, lust, and foolishness. Yet more times than I'd like to count, seemingly "good examples" fall and fail. I can count the examples of people I personally know in the church and only have a couple fingers left. Among them are people who taught me, mentored me, and served as pastor to me.
Sadness therefore grips me again today, reminding me of old scars even as fresh ones are inflicted. Yet from these things, I also gain a warning and renewed commitment. The warning echoes back through time, from an older man who taught me about David (and later fell into David's sin) that "Satan is willing to wait 50 years if he has to, in order to take a man down." Our Enemy is indeed patient, and unrepentant, private, "little" sins and darkened corners of the heart have a way of revealing themselves publicly if the wait is long enough. I remember too what the Scriptures say: "Let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall." And I tremble with fear, knowing that many better men than I have fallen victim to selfishness, pride, and sin. So I, like Billy Graham said, "run scared" and try never to put myself in a situation where temptation can run wildly into life destroying sin. And I also renew my commitment, both to my bride and my Lord and King. There is no greener grass, and I will rejoice in the wife of my youth until the day we die, till we are no longer young, till we can't see, hear, or eat with our own teeth. By God's power and through His great grace, we will make it, loving each other before the Lord until the last breath.