Ministry Mixed with Alcohol & Adultery

My husband has been gone for 3 years due to alcohol and adultery. He had been a pastor for 15+ years before his fall. But it was during this time that God began to show me my failures and all I needed to do. To start with, I was the contentious wife.

Today I knew I needed to write because this week my husband has reentered our family! He has suddenly cancelled the divorce and wants to reconcile!! Our separation has been very public because of the pastorate, but God had set it up this way in order to put our restoration front and center even though it was something our entire family wanted to hide from. In just two days He has begun to pour His healing oil over our lives and it’s just so wonderful!

Even I'm a little unsure of the steps to take next, GOD isn't! I believe He will direct both of us because it is very complicated! Right now I am devouring your wise woman book. And today I received an unexpected amount of money and I know it was so I could send this as an offering of praise to the Lord, and in thankfulness to a faithful, faithful God who led me to you!

As you may already know, we have been married for 25 years, but most of it was a very painful time. We spent the past 15 years in ministry, being pastors of many small churches, and it was just three years ago when it all came crashing down.

I knew my husband had been drinking off and on our whole marriage. Then he got heavily involved in pornography, which probably is what led to the adultery. It was then they found out that the church removed him when it was all exposed, and that’s when the church sent him away for treatment. We never chose to separate, as church leaders the decision was made for us. And even though people were happy (and I was too) that he was sent to three treatment centers, he was later kicked out of every one of them.

No matter what happened, I was determined to hold it all together and publicly stood (silently) with my husband, at the church we were pastors of, and then again in our small town before all the religious people who mocked our family, saying we would never be healed from this. I rallied with our kids and we prayed for Dad’s freedom and deliverance. In the end I had to sell my home, and move into a rental house alone without my husband. I also went back to work and began to be both Mom and Dad to my kids.

After two years of separation while in these treatment centers, he came back to our town attempting to mend our home. It all fell through as he fell into adultery again, and actually moved into the home of a drug addict. The adultery, this time, was very public and the kids and I tried to deal with the pain and shame. People cheered us to go on and dump this man! And if that were not enough, I was warned by many authorities not to allow the kids to see him as he was living in such deception and sin. I was told again and again that the environment was not safe for the kids, and that’s what caused a huge amount of anger on his part, and when he filed for divorce.

I was devastated! I had stood by him when others wouldn’t and in the end he blamed me. I was then court ordered to attend “parenting after divorce” classes. And it was in that class that a woman gave me your web site and information! Praise God for His timing!! I was at a legal and spiritual crossroads and was seeking God's intervention to know what to do. That night I took the information home and devoured it, and then I ordered the Membership packet of resources. God used Erin's books to open my eyes to the real truth. Though my husband and I were ministers, I had been blinded for 25 years!! First, I was blaming my husband for the sins in our marriage! Now, for the first time I could see the light!! Reading Erin's books and due to my repentance was the turning point of my restoration!

As I sought the Lord, He showed me that, believe it or not, I was the problem... not my husband!! I WAS the contentious woman described in Proverbs and my husband would rather live on the corner of a roof! Unfortunately that is where my husband was now living. I repented before God and wrote a letter asking my husband to forgive me for my sins.  

In the past I always tried to "fix him" and not once did I look at me. Believe it or not, the letter was returned to me unopened with a stamp that it was "unable to deliver." I knew the address was correct, but I also knew God's timing and His plan was crucial.

Later God revealed why I wasn’t supposed to contact my husband. I made an “exception” to what you teach since my situation, I felt was so different than most. And little did I know it was right when I was trying to contact my husband that my husband had gotten in a fight with the other woman! Not only that but he got a DUI and spent a weekend in jail. Then he had his license taken away and his car impounded. When he came back to his rental room—he contacted me.

He told me he had found a strong church and had enrolled in a Freedom in Christ retreat weekend. During that retreat the Lord set him free from the deception! The blinders came off, and he called me crying. I told him about my letter, and he said that he forgave me and that’s when he shared about the timing of my letter had it come when I wanted to send it.

The next day, he got a ride to our city and came to our house and showed the kids the legal document that he was canceling the divorce and going to ask God to restore our marriage! We all hugged in the kitchen and he prayed, "Lord heal me. Heal my wife, heal my son, heal my daughter. Heal our home."

The very same week that my husband called to meet with me that he had cancelled the divorce and moved home was the same week you assigned me an ePartner!

I know it was God’s timing for my husband to be able to move home once I learned that I cannot fix anyone—not me, not my husband and not our marriage! Now, I lay myself down every day before the Lord for HIM to heal me and change me and restore me. HE is the one who can and will do it for all of us!! Terri in Minnesota, RESTORED

Now for the rest of my testimony…

Four years after our restoration, my husband went out drinking one night—took the car my 17 year old son was driving—(my husband had lost his license again) and he was picked up and got another DUI, which resulted is his going to jail.

The good news is that this is what my husband needed to change and the change I guess is going to take about a year. The court says he will be given at least a year in jail; we will know for sure in about 3-5 weeks while he waits for sentencing.

Once again I am choosing to stand strong amidst a lot of public humiliation. This time my own family has turned their backs on me. They say only if I divorce him will they support and rally for me. But, if I decide to stand by him—I will do it alone.

But I know I am not alone! I have a faithful God! I am going to stand and see His salvation once again. God gave me this promise that proves this was necessary to heal our entire family and have room to make the changes in my husband (and of course more in me).

“‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the LORD of hosts” Haggai 2:9.

God told me He needed to restore every bit of our marriage and our home. He has led me to go to the jail to see my husband as much as I can, and my husband also calls everyday so we pray over the phone together.

~ Terry in Minnesota


Ministry Note: Terry is not alone. Often after a restoration God has to get the attention of the husband just like He got with us. Not surprisingly to me any more, but there have been MANY men who have found themselves in jail AFTER restoration to complete the work that sometimes only comes through this kind of refining!


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By the Word of Their Testimony (Book 3): Nothing is Impossible with God


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Restoration Journey and experienced a RESTORED MARRIAGE.