Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Story 3: Justin and Trish Davis: A Pastor's adultery to a ministry saving marriages

Justin and Trish Davis are an amazing couple who have been through tremendous pain and have managed to rebuild what most people would consider impossible to rebuild.

I was lucky enough to hear in person Justin and Trisha share their story.  They came to the community church that I attend in Fort Wayne to share their message and their story.   I was amazed at how open, honest, and deeply vulnerable they both were.  As a part of their current ministry they relive the most terrible moments of their lives...the terrible choices, the insecurities, the terrible sins, the heartbreak, the destruction of their lives and the terror all of it... they shared it with our entire congregation, only to show how through the grace and mercy of God, not only were they able to preserve their marriage and rebuild their marriage, but they now engage in a ministry committed to helping the marriages of others.  

In the true spirit of Kintsugi that is the underlying theme of this blog.  As they shared their story, one could see the shattered parts of their lives,  he cracks and utter brokeness of their marriage and of each of them individual.  But they also provided a rare glimpse of how Christ applies the principles of kintsugi, and not only mends what once was broken, but makes it of greater worth and value than it was before.   In listening to their story, you can see step by step how Christ was the gold glue that brought them back together and see that gold putting it all back together.   And how wonderful it was.

Those of us who listened to them, we all felt for their pain and many of us recognized some of it in our own lives.  But their story allowed everyone to take hope at their message that one could survive and overcome the greatest of sins and brokeness and yet eventually return to be able to experience great happiness and joy.  No matter how much we may have messed up, that we would not be hated by God and our fellowman, but rather honored for the struggle to rebuild.

Justin and Trisha Davis were a young couple who together built a small church starting out with just 12 members.  It soon grew to over 700 members.   But as Justin explain it, his fall was inevitable because his first affair was with the Church.   Committing more and more of his effort to the building of the Church and less and less to the building and maintaining of his relationship with his wife.  The high stress, pressure and expectations of tending to a rapidly growing Church took its toll on Justin and his marriage.   He found comfort in the arms of another woman.  A fellow Christian working on his Church staff.

Their story completely shows the importance of vulnerability and true transparency in relationships.   Lack of vulnerability was an important element that contributed to Justin's downfall.  He writes:

 "If I’m not transparent with you, if I don’t let you into the dark parts of my heart, we can meet every day as accountability partners, and we’ll both feel good about it because it’s the Christian thing to do. As long as I’m withholding truth, I’m not placing myself under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and I’m not allowing God to work in the areas of my life that I’ve withheld from Him and from everyone else.
That was one of the most painful things for my accountability partners. [They said,] “We got together with you every week for two years! Why didn’t you say anything? Why weren’t you honest with us?”
But I felt like, if I share this with him, I’ll get fired, I’ll lose everything. And in the process of not sharing it, I lost everything."

Justin lost his position as pastor, became separated from Trisha.  Their children, family and friends were deeply hurt as well.   His trust as pastor of a large Christian community completely destroyed.  What followed was a journey of tremendous grief, pain, anger, resentment, and brutal self introspection.   But what eventually emerged was a thing of beauty.

A few years later...with Justin and Trish reconciled, the marriage saved and wounds healing, they embarked on a new journey, founding the "RefineUs" ministry.  Here is a link to the webpage of their ministry:   They used their story to give hope and show the way to couples whose marriages were foundering.   The took the courages step of being completely open about what happened in their lives to open the conversations for others in their marriage that need to be had. Conversations about lust, adultery, pornography, abuse and the many other danges that threaten a marriage that are often difficult to discuss.   Their passion is to help save marriages and prevent he destruction of marriages by using the resurrection of their marriage, the application of the art of kintsugi by Christ as a guide to help.

They have also published a book called "Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage just isn't good enough"

There are maxims out there like "cheaters always cheat"  and "people will never change" Those maxims are wrong and do not understand the power of Christ and his healing that is analogous to Kintsugi.   Justin Davis is just one of many examples of the power of Christ to truly and fundamentally change a person.   A changed life does change lives.

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