Healing A Marriage When Trust is Broken
By Tim Smith
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“It’s been 32 years, and I can still tell you exactly what it looked at - 32 years later,” says Chris.
Chris Beall was 8 years old when he saw his first porn magazine.
“It was the craziest thing. There was a kid in the neighborhood whose brother worked at a gas station and brought old issues home.”
As a teenager, Chris started buying his own magazines.
“It wasn’t until the internet came out, in late college, that it was just gas on a fire, because now, you don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to deal with the humiliation of buying something at a store. And that’s where it went from a constant struggle to an all-out addiction.”
Chris met Cindy while both were attending college in Texas.
“I don’t know if you’d call it love at first sight,” says Cindy, “because we had seen each other before, but we knew, that first time spending time together, I just knew. I knew he was it.”
Chris and Cindy married, but Chris’s addiction got worse.
“It finally got to the point where i was looking at porn every day,” says Chris.
“Cindy didn’t fully know, she kind of knew it was a once in a while struggle, but she didn’t know the full extent.”
Chris was a minister of music at his church, and he spent a lot of time alone in his office.
“Most of the time he would view it was at work,” says Cindy.”So I didn’t see him doing it, and I didn’t know it was getting bad.”
“And then it went from looking at images to chatting with people,” says Chris. “And then the unthinkable. Then I knowingly, fully knowing what I’m doing, I met one of them. I can never say that i kept my vow. I broke my promise. I was just in this world of darkness and I hated myself. And then I got up on stage, to lead worship, on Sunday morning, and I was the biggest poser. The biggest hypocrite.”
Chris’s pastor, Craig, encouraged him to be a man of integrity who has no secrets.
“I resonate with everything he’s saying,” says Chris, “yet I’m not that guy. I’m the antithesis of that guy. I was able to deal with it for six weeks and I couldn’t handle it anymore. It was a though the Holy Spirit had put me in a corner and said, ‘We are going to deal with this issue’.”
“He confessed everything to me,” says Cindy. “‘I’ve been unfaithful to you, many times. With different women.’ And I’m just listening. ‘You’re kidding’.”
“This huge weight is now gone,” says Chris, “because for the first time since I was eight years old, I am a man with no secrets. That’s a new feeling. On the other side, I’ve taken this burden, and I’ve placed this burden now on my wife.”
“And if that’s not enough,” says Cindy, “the final part, he just said, ‘And one of the women is pregnant, and I’m pretty sure I’m the father’.” I found it to be the worst day of my life. And the next morning i realized, well, so is that one, and the next one. So it was just a bunch of “worst days of my life” all in a row.
“And there was nothing I could do to make it better,” says Chris. “So for the first week we just sat silent for hours and days and cried and talked and she asked questions and I answered questions.”
Chris asked for Cindy’s forgiveness. Cindy didn’t know what to do, or where to go. Chris told the staff at his church what he had done. He lost his job, but his pastor didn’t lose faith in Chris.
“He was going to lead our church through the truth,” says Chris. “And that petrified me. I’ve never experienced the body of Christ like I did that day. It wasn’t the things they said. There was genuine love. They loved us. I had so betrayed them and they loved us, and that was the first moment that I knew God was up to something great.”
But Cindy still needed time – to think and pray. She left for a few weeks to stay with her mother.
“When I got there, my mother said, ‘Hey, I made an appointment for you to see Brother Dan,’ her pastor. Oh, Lord, really? I have to see someone else tell me to stay married and be a good wife? And he said, ‘What you’ve been through is really difficult. Nobody would blame you if you left.’ I’m like, ‘yes!’ And he said, ‘But…’ and I’m like ‘Oh, there’s a ‘but’ there’. He said, ‘You are not a fool to stay and be a part of the redemptive work in a man’s life’.
“And I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, I trust you God, but I don’t trust him further than I can throw him and ‘once a cheater, always a cheater,’ and I’m going to be a doormat and the world says I’m an idiot if I stay, and God is like ‘Do you trust me? Do you trust me? Do you trust me?’ And finally I just said, ‘Well, yeah, You’ve never let me down. I do trust you.’ That moment His peace just washed over me and I’ll just never forget having this renewed sense of, ‘I think we can do this’.”
Chris also remembers it like it was yesterday. “And before she even said, ‘I’m committed to this marriage’, I could see that God had put that in her heart, and that was a great day.”
Chris and Cindy started over. Cindy forgave him completely, and their trust in each other started to grow again. They had two sons of their own. Chris’s third son lives with his mother.
“After a couple of years, Cindy would just cry because she loved him like her own son. and today, he is not a reminder of my sin. He is a reminder of the redemption of God. He is one of the greatest joys in this whole terrible story. He is the scripture that says ‘God will cause all things to work for the good’ personified. It’s that little boy.
Chris and Cindy will tell you that their marriage isn’t perfect. It’s a work in progress.
“I believe that God is in the business of performing miracles today,” says Cindy. “And my marriage is just that – a miracle.”
“There is no hope for freedom, there is no hope for restoration, until you can just wade in the waters of truth,” says Chris, “which is, you are enough, and He loves you more than anything. And in the midst of that love, have the courage and the trust in a good God, to do whatever it takes to be free, to confess it, to bring it into the light. And then spend the rest of your life, the rest of your life, just loving and earning the opportunity to be one of the great stories of God.”
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