Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Was a Two-Faced Pastor

     I've learned that as I share out of my brokenness, it connects with other people's pain and they can relate and hopefully start to heal. I want to state that I am a better husband, father, and minister now more than ever, but the road to today was not easy for my wife, Marty, and me.
     Pastors aren't perfect. They're actually human, fallible beings that sometimes make mistakes. They struggle with sin issues and temptation, and sometimes they even give in, perhaps a lot. That was my story, and I didn't know how to change. During adolescence my fantasy world was an escape from the pain I experienced as an awkward teenager and from the dysfunction of family. It came with me into adulthood and eventually into my marriage. I tried to live a pure life. I thought an accountability partner was all I needed but I still couldn’t get out of my cycle of sin. And when a computer entered our home, pornography eventually did too.

     I would preach about sexual purity but struggled to remain pure myself. I tried to break free. I made promises to God. I made vows, and I would have streaks of success whether for weeks or months, but eventually I always seemed to return to my cycle of sin and repentance. After asking God’s forgiveness I felt I could go on with my ministry because everybody sins and God does forgive, but this was no way to live the Christian life. Why couldn't I stop a behavior that was killing my spirit and drying up my marriage? Why was I living in direct contrast to my own morals and ethics? I couldn't take it any longer.
     Several years ago, circumstances in my ministry and personal life made me come to grips with my hypocrisy. I confessed everything to my wife. I had been in denial for years but we began, together, the long hard road of recovery.    
      We're all broken, and this is what my brokenness looks like, but I’m thankful. I’m thankful for a wife who was willing to stand by me as an imperfect man in spite of all the pain I have caused her. And I’m thankful for my God who did some spiritual plastic surgery on me, for this pastor who used to have two faces now only has one.