Lyndon and Sharyl Allen: A House Divided
By Audra Smith Haney
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“He was funny, different articulate,” Sharyl Allen said.
“Really drop-dead gorgeous and interesting,” Lyndon Allen said.
A couple of years after meeting in a Bible study, Lyndon and Sheryl Allen wed with great expectations. But during the first year of marriage, both discovered that marriage was harder than they ever imagined. Lyndon says, “It was tumultuous. The first year of marriage really set the stage for the next twelve.”
Both were children of broken homes. Lyndon was raised by a single mother. Since he had no father as a role model, he had big questions about manhood and marriage. “My idea of marriage was…’just get married, because then you’d be more of a man.’”
Sharyl adds, “My mom was very a very strong woman so for me, I had a very difficult time respecting men. I would react verbally. I would cut him with my words.”
During their first year of marriage, Lyndon quit his steady job to pursue a career in the music business. Providing for his family became harder and finances were tight. “I was jobless, you know, not focused, and we had a kid. And out of my wife’s mouth comes the following words. ‘If you were a man, you’d have a job by now.’ And I just went BANG emotionally. I put up an iron curtain around my heart towards her.”
As the years passed, Lyndon and Sharyl had 4 children, but grew further and further apart. Sharyl explains, “Our fights were pretty intense. We were like oil and water a lot of times in our personalities.”
After 13 years of marriage, the family moved to Nashville to pursue Lyndon’s music career. Though he had achieved great success in the industry over the years, his marriage was at a breaking point. “I just stopped emotionally investing in her and protected myself,” Lyndon said. “I stopped talking to Sharyl. Everything she did made me irritated. ‘This family was getting in the way of my musical pursuit.’ That’s what started to ring in my head.”
“I was hopeless. My focus was, ‘certainly God wants me happy and I am not happy in this marriage.’ The answer to me was another relationship.” Sharyl started having an emotional affair with a man she met through her kids’ after school activities. “I was willing to pay the cost, to do whatever it took… if that meant losing my kids… That hunger, that fantasy was so strong in me that I was willing to lose it all.”
One evening while Lyndon was traveling, Sharyl invited the man over to their home, and the two kissed.
When Lyndon returned, he sensed something different. “So I came home from that kinda feeling ‘something’s going on’ but couldn’t put my finger on it. It all came to a head when I spoke to her best friend and she told me.”
“He confronted me. At first I denied it,” Sharyl said. “‘No, there is no one else.’ He just kept saying, ‘I know there is. I know there is. Just be honest with me.’ So, I said, ‘Okay. Yes, there is someone else. It’s what I want.’ And I think at that moment I realized that it’s really not what I want. What I want is a good marriage, with Lyndon, the father of my kids.”
Lyndon reacted calmly, but two days later, his true emotions rose to the surface. “He sat down on the love seat where I was laying down,” Sharyl said. He said, ‘what are you thinking about?’”
Sharyl’s response was not what Lyndon expected. “’I’m thinking about him,’ “As soon as she said that, all bets were off inside of me.”
Sharyl quickly left the room to avoid Lyndon’s confrontation. “I was washing my face and he came in our bedroom and went into the bathroom. He moved me out of the way and held my arm. He said, ‘We need to talk.’ I was just like, ‘Oh no! It’s over!’”
Her words sent Lyndon into a tailspin. “When she said those words, in slow motion, in my brain, ‘I’m getting a divorce. It’s going away. She says it’s done.’ And I panicked. I said, ‘No you’re not!!!!’”
“He picked me up and threw me across the bathroom. I hit my head on the wall. I’m on my hands and knees, thinking, ‘He is going to kill me.’”
Sharyl tried calling 911 twice, but both times Lyndon hung up the phone in a rage. As a last resort, Sharyl called out for her oldest son. “I said, ‘Leighton, Leighton.’ I was screaming. He came and he saw his mom with this big knot on her head. I said, ‘Daddy just pushed me against the wall,’” And Leighton’s world came crumbling down. It was that moment that I realized, ‘I’ve got to turn this train around.’”
The police arrived and saw Sharyl’s injuries. They arrested Lyndon. “When I was in an isolation tank on my own I could finally hear the Holy Spirit say to me, ‘You ready to do it My way now?’ And I said, ‘Yes, Lord, help.’”
After 12 hours in jail, Lyndon was released. For a month, Lyndon fasted and prayed that God would heal him and restore his marriage. “What motivated me was to honor God - to honor God and honor marriage.”
Around the same time, Sharyl started reading Bible passages on marriage and respect. “He started asking for forgiveness for certain things. It kind of opened my eyes and got my hope meter going again.”
Lyndon saw a change. “So here we are now trying to make a new direction, drawing that line in the sand. Forgiveness and all of God’s word had everything to do with it.”
They both recommitted their lives to God, and just one month after Lyndon’s trip to jail, the two took a couples cruise to the Bahamas. Sharyl tells about an encounter with another passenger. “This lady came up to us and we were just having fun, you know, She came up to us and said, ‘How long have you guys been married? You look like you are honeymooners.’ That was the power of God.”
Today, the Allen’s celebrating 25 years of marriage. Lyndon and Sheryl are in full time ministry and counsel young couples. And this year, their oldest son Leighton, married. Lyndon realized, “Pulling this back together created a foundation for our son to launch into his marriage. I mean, what greater thing can we give him than his parents being intact, in love, in marriage?”
Sharyl sums it up. “When we just believed God at His Word that’s when we saw exponential change in our relationship. That’s when we learned how to be a wife, how to be a husband; when we looked at the Word said and followed what it said. He is the answer.”
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