Lincoln & Lynetta Dent: God, The Ultimate Marriage Counselor
By Audra Smith
The 700 Club
CBN.com - Lincoln and Lynetta met in their high school in Memphis, TN. She was a foster care kid, looking for a father. He was a high school senior looking for fun.
“My first impression of my husband was…he is gorgeous,” Lynetta Dent said. “I met him at his uncle’s nightclub…which I shouldn’t have been in, but in the little towns, you can get into the nightclubs.”
“Even then, she caught my eye,” Lincoln Dent said.” She had a personality, even back then. We loved to party, we loved to dance, party, and have a good time.”
Their relationship remained casual for a couple of years. Lincoln joined the Navy while Lynetta was still in school. They only saw each other occasionally, but during her senior year Lynetta became pregnant with Lincoln’s child. They decided to marry.
“I think the reason we decided to get married is because it is the only thing you know to do and hope this thing works out for the sake of this child, even though we didn’t have a clue what we were doing,” Lynetta said.
“I thought marriage was you just come together, you live together. That is all I saw growing up, just couples “putting up” with each other,” Lincoln said. “I didn’t know how to be a husband. I didn’t know how to be a father. I was lost.”
Linocln and Lynetta both brought heavy baggage to their relationship. Linocln came back from his military service with an addiction to alcohol.
“I was drinking a case a day when we pulled into port, drinking liquor, and even did some drugs, and then I brought that alcoholism into our marriage,” Lincoln said.
“I came from a dysfunctional family with a 95% divorce rate,” Lynetta said. “Not only that, but not knowing my father until later in life, I came in with rejection, I came in with abandonment issues, and I came into this thing very wounded, trying to make it work.”
Within months of saying their vows, the couple was on the verge of divorce.
“Our home during that time was war. It was a war zone, from sun up to sun down. If it wasn’t the alcohol, it was just always something. Again, we were two wounded people,” Lynetta said.
“I heard about people that were married 50 and 60 years, and I am like, I am not going to last that long,” Lincoln said. “Many times I would break down and cry at work, just frustrated. I was frustrated with myself, frustrated with my marriage. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to turn.”
“It was like a theme song in our house ‘we are going to get a divorce,’” Lynetta said. “I think my day to day focus was just my son. I think the lowest point was when my son saw us fighting. Just looking into his eyes and he was like, ‘what is going on.’ He had all this violence around him. That was the lowest point for me where I was like, something has got to change.”
Like Lynetta, Lincoln was at the end of his rope and looking for an answer. One day, he remembered a suggestion that Lynetta had once, flippantly mentioned to him.
“I didn’t know of a counselor, but I did remember my mother talking about Jesus,” Lynettta said. “I said, we could try Jesus. That would go through my head. I am not sure how this Jesus thing is going to work, but we could try Jesus.
“I was at my job and I just broke down and I could work and I called my wife and said, I am ready to do this,” Lincoln said.
“And I was like, ready to do what? I really did think he was talking about divorce because that was all we ever talked about,” Lynetta said.
“And I said, I am ready to give my life to Jesus,” Lincoln said. “We went home that night and we went to our apartment and we kneeled down together and we confessed the Lord Jesus together in our apartment.”
“We just knew that something is better than nothing, so let’s start here,” Lynetta said. “We wept, we held hands, and that is where a new turning point started.”
“The best decision that I ever made was accepting Christ into my heart,” Lincoln said. “It wasn’t an overnight success. It was definitely a process. I began to read the Bible. I began to renew my mind. I saw that life was supposed to be better, especially for marriages. God began to really change my mind, change my habits, and change my actions.”
Today, Linclon and Lynetta have been happily married for 18 years. Lincoln overcame his alcoholism and the couple is in full time ministry. They often share their story and counsel young couples
“Just to have peace in my mind, just to know that God and the whole Jesus thing is real. That is what the process has done for me,” Lynetta said. “It has brought healing to my heart. It has taught me how to love. It’s taught me how to be a wife and mother. There is no war zone. My husband is my best friend.”
“Now, I am tickled,” Lincoln said. “I am happy, I laugh, I have joy, and I have peace. I enjoy marriage.”
I just want to say, if you are serious about making it work, it can work, especially when you understand the grace of God,” Lynetta said. “If He can do it for us, let me tell you something, he can do it for anybody. If you really allow God to come into the picture, right where you are, I’m telling you, there is hope.”
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