Proverbs 31 Ministries is one of the most prominent women’s ministries on the planet today, shepherding countless women in their daily walks with the Lord.
Sadly, Proverbs 31 President Lysa Terkeurst announced in a gut-wrenching blog post that her 25-year marriage is coming to an end. She’s pursuing a divorce after her husband, Art Terkeurst, engaged in an ongoing affair with a woman he met online. Even after finding out about the affair, Art continued his unfaithfulness and substance abuse.
For the past couple of years, his life has sadly been defined by his affection for this other woman and substance abuse. I don’t share this to harm or embarrass him, but to help explain why I have decided to separate from him and pursue a divorce. God has now revealed to me that I have done all I can do and I must release him to the Savior.
This is an especially difficult split given how passionate Lysa is about the institution of marriage. She has counseled and encourage countless women to stay in their marriages, and hoped hers would be a story of redemption. And now, her very own marriage is coming to and end.
Anyone who knows me and Proverbs 31 Ministries knows how seriously I take marriage. I’ve always encouraged women to fight for their marriages and to do everything possible to save them when they come under threat. So, for the past couple of years I have been in the hardest battle of my life trying to save my marriage.
Lysa explains that when she found out about the infidelity, she was extremely hurt but still decided not to divorce him. She tried to restore the relationship with counseling, more time together, trips, and more. But none of it worked.
But sadly, though I have repeatedly forgiven and accepted him back, he has continued to abuse substances, be unfaithful, and refused to be truthful to me and our family.
I believe I have the capacity to love Art and to forgive him, but his steadfast refusal to end the infidelity has led me to make the hardest decision of my life. After much prayer and consultation with wise, biblically-minded people, I have decided that Art has abandoned our marriage. Yet, the Lord has been so faithful to help me at every step of this very painful journey and has now assured me I’ve done all I can do.
I am brokenhearted beyond what I can express. But I am more committed than ever to trusting God, His promises, and His plans, whatever they are from here.
Lysa is displaying some incredible faith in the midst of a terrible betrayal. She went on to assure her readers that Proverbs 31 Ministries, and her, would continue their work seeking to help women deepen their relationship with God, study His Word, and share their stories for God’s glory.
I will continue to do ministry with an even deeper belief in the goodness of our God and a greater empathy for the deep heartbreak that happens to us all in this broken world.
Many people think Proverbs 31 is a picture of a perfect woman; but the Proverbs 31 woman is, at her core, someone who seeks the Lord in everything she does and trusts Him wholeheartedly with her life. Our mission is to meet women where they are in the real, hard places we all experience, and to intersect God’s Word right there. We are simply a group of women sold out to saying yes to God—and He truly does the rest.
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” That’s what the Psalmist wrote long ago (Psalm 27:13) and it beautifully reflects what I’m holding on to in the midst of the deep grief my children and I are now walking through. We have some amazing counselors and pastoral leaders who are committed to helping us pursue healing and learn how to move forward.
What can you do for us? I’d simply ask you to pray. Pray for my precious children and grandchildren. Pray for me. Pray for our team at Proverbs 31. And yes, please, please pray for Art.
I love you all. Most of all, I love the Lord, who first loved me.
Wonderful perspective. This is a ministry that’s done amazing work, and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the future.
Read her full post HERE.