In our Sunday worship gatherings with Renovo (our house church family), we dedicate time each week to hear each other’s stories. We encourage and edify one another by sharing how God is working in our lives.
On Sunday, John (not his real name) shared how God has used Renovo to redeem his marriage to Jane (not her real name). After six years of marriage, John began an affair with Jill. Jane discovered the affair and confronted John, but he continued to see Jill. In the years that followed, Jane struggled with depression and anxiety. If not for her concern for their young son, Jane would have divorced John.
In 2015, John and Jane’s son was diagnosed with a serious medical condition. John and Jane had to work together to save enough money to fly the three of them to Barcelona where he could see a specialist. At a café in Luanda, Angola, the day before they boarded the plane to Spain, our teammate Danny had a chance encounter with John, whom Danny recognized from John’s job as a bank teller in Huambo. John explained the reason for their trip and Danny promised that our group would be praying for their son.
Several weeks later, Danny found John at the bank and asked about his son’s recovery. Danny also invited John and his family to worship with us on Sunday. John, Jane, and their son joined us, albeit out of a desire to express gratitude for our prayers. To their surprise, they found a group of Christians unlike any other they had known. Each person spoke openly about his/her own struggles and our Bible study invited every participant to share a thought on how to be obedient to the biblical text. John and Jane continued to meet with us each week and they gradually opened up more and more about their own trials. They expected to hear harsh words of judgment, but instead they found a Christian family who shares the truth with much love. They found a church who accepted them as broken people (aren’t we all!) while also believing they could be made whole again.
Since John and Jane joined us for the launch of Renovo in February, John has not seen Jill. John called and ended the affair after recognizing how his sin had impacted all his relationships, especially his relationships with God, with Jane, and with his son. John has made a number of intentional steps toward rebuilding trust with his wife, including counseling as a couple with our teammates Danny and Katie. John and Jane have a difficult road ahead as they work to rebuild a healthy marriage, but they have found joy once again in serving God together.
John sees God at work throughout his story. John admits his sin and the effect of his actions. They were a broken family because of John’s sexual immorality, but God is working to restore them to Him and to each other. I am thankful for both John and Jane. I admire John’s courage to confess and turn away from his sin. I thank God for Jane’s grace and forgiveness.
Let us each hold marriage in the highest honor. And where we find broken families, let us work toward reconciliation and redemption by speaking the truth in love.