CBN.com Pastor Bruce Allen is part of the inspirational jazz duo of Allen and Allen. The chart topping performers have played at some of the most respected venues in the country, including the world famous House of Blues and NBC's Today Show. Despite his tremendous success, Bruce Allens personal life was not so perfect.
The 700 Club visited Bruce Allen and his wife, Renita, at their home in Jacksonville, Florida. They shared their very private story a story of infidelity and divorce.
"Satan doesnt come directly at you," says Renita. "He comes very subtly, and you ease your way into something. Before you know it, youre out on this limb and you wonder, 'Well, how did I get here?'"
Bruce was busy in his role as a full-time music minister.
"I was running the music department, which was a very large department," he says. "My plate was very full, and sometimes you get so consumed in ministry that you sometimes lose sight of what ministry really is all about."
Renita noticed her husband's busy lifestyle.
"I think there was a point about him being very busy, even though it was all good," she explains. "It was all good busy; it was church activities. He has a huge heart. Whatever anybody needs and whatever he can do for anybody hell do."
But with all her husbands commitments, Renita felt left out. That painful loneliness pushed her toward an affair.
"All of that just kind of crept in together," she admits. "And before we knew it, Satan, at the right moment and the right time, brings someone to you to say the things that you want to hear at the particular time you weren't hearing them at home. Bam! The doors open."
Renita finally confessed her infidelity.
"I confessed and it was very painful. I remember that night. I remember the pain on his face. I remember the pain I felt because I felt like I caused him the pain."
This was Bruce's darkest moment.
"You start questioning yourself and it attacks your ego, your emotions, your self-esteem. And you cry until you cant cry any longer," he says.
Even so, Bruce felt justified in his role as husband.
"I think I probably took a self righteous kind of positioning. I felt like I was a good husband. Im providing. Im bringing my money home. Im not running the streets. Im doing ministry," he says.
Bruce and Renita divorced. For three and a half years Bruce went through intense counseling and some private soul searching. He says he felt God speak directly to his heart.
"I felt God say to me, 'You can either break this up and go on, and you all dont reconcile, and Ill bless you -- and it was just like this, just like I am talking to you -- or you can allow Me to restore things and Ill greatly bless you.'"
Step by step Renita and Bruce began to rebuild their relationship.
"All along I just knew we were supposed to be together anyway," Renita confesses. "I believe God was allowing me to keep confessing His word out of my mouth that we were meant to be together, regardless of what we had gone through, regardless of what was said or what was done. This was always my stance."
"I wanted things to be right," says Bruce, "and I decided that I was going to try and do this Gods way. It just took place in about a month, really. In about a months time, everything just moved in exponential speed. I called her and I told her I was ready to make a commitment to the relationship and that we would be together."
On December 3, 1997, Bruce and Renita Allen remarried. They both think theyve learned some powerful lessons from their ordeal.
"God is merciful and His grace is sufficient," says Renita. "He carries us beyond those choices that we even make, if we come back to Him with a repentant heart and we come back to Him realizing who He is and respecting His position."
Bruce admits that marital difficulties can't be blamed solely on the offending spouse.
As he explains, "When there is disparity in a marriage, when theres a breakdown, the breakdown is not the fault of one person. It is always a combination of the two, regardless of what was done by either. There has to be an introspective look by both spouses."
Renita thanks God daily for His love in her life.
"When you stand firm on Gods Word and you trust Him even through the trials and tribulations, He will restore unto you the things that the devil tried to take away from you. I just thank Him for restoring my family," she says.
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