Authors of numerous books; their most recent, Let’s Get Real (2011) goes with 8-Week DVD series
Regular keynote speakers for Lifeway’s Festival of Marriage
Founders, Stained Glass Ministries
Two children: Cole and Jorja
On Her Way Out, God Found His Way In
The 700 Club
CBN.com -BROKEN PIECES
Dale saw Jena (pronounced “Gina”) at church and knew he had to meet her. After dating for four years, they married in 1988. Dale and Jena had two children and built a house in a nice part of town. They were active in their church; Dale was a deacon and Jena was a soloist. They taught Sunday school together, and from the outside, they appeared to have the perfect marriage. "We were doing things we were told to do," says Dale. "But the problem is with the American dream is this: that you can get so busy chasing that dream you can lose each other in the process." After years of complacency, selfishness and total disregard for each other, Dale and Jena’s marriage began crumbling.
In July 1996, the arguing and fighting escalated so much that Dale packed Jena's suitcases and told her to leave. Both fought for full custody and both wanted to stay in the marital home. The judge made them stay under the same roof pending trial. "For 15 months, he lived in the master bedroom and I slept in Cole's room," says Jena. "Many nights, I cried myself to sleep." Both Dale and Jena tried to conduct themselves as if the other didn’t exist. When they talked, it would turn into a full-fledged argument. “We pulled our children from one parent to the other. We threw things, pointed our fingers and verbally abused one another,” says Dale. Things continued to worsen. They hired private investigators and wore tape recorders to catch the other in incriminating conversation. They tapped phones and kept records to build their own cases. Their house was a war zone, and the casualties were not only the two of them but the children as well.
A month after the divorce, Jena said, “Dale, what have we done? Why don’t you just come home and let’s fix this thing.” The words came spilling out of her mouth. Dale was shocked. At that moment, the Lord melted Dale’s heart. He says the pride, bitterness, anger, resentment and hatred began to peel back, one layer at a time. Within minutes, both Dale and Jena were sobbing uncontrollably. For the next four months, they were in Christian counseling then on December 19, 1997, Dale and Jena were remarried. On the morning of their remarriage, Cole entered the room and said he wanted to pray to receive Jesus into his heart! Not only did the Lord reconcile their marriage, but He also redeemed their son.
LET’S GET REAL
“That was our story 15 years ago,” says Dale. “Since the restoration, the Lord has taken our story and let couples know there is truly hope.” He says it’s important to do the right thing. Make the right choice. “Surrender and obey and God will do His part,” says Dale. Their ministry, Stained Glass, was birthed out of their experiences. They believe the comfort they received in turn must be used to comfort others. “In our case, God was doing a stripping of everything in our lives,” says Jena. One day she had a revelation. Before they could start the renovations in their marriage, there was a lot of stuff to tear out first. “When you are in the middle of a divorce, it’s always the other person’s fault,” she says. “But I had to ask: what part have I played in all of this?” It’s important to have compassion for the other person.
“God can restore,” says Dale. “He is rescuing you so you can rescue someone else.” Dale and Jena both agree that it is hard work. “It’s one thing to stand up and tell people how to do marriage right,” says Jena. “But it’s another to say, ‘We royally screwed it up and this is what happened’’. They believe God allowed them to go through this divorce not only to save their marriage, but to save others too. Their book and eight-week workbook series is the by-product of what they have learned and the biblical way to do marriage right. “We were wearing masks and playing the game,” says Dale. “As we took off the masks, we found other people doing the same.”
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