Bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst has announced she and her husband, Art, will be ending their marriage of nearly 30 years after he engaged in “chosen patterns of behavior that dishonor God and the biblical covenant of marriage.”
TerKeurst, the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries and author of numerous New York Times bestselling books, including It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way and Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, shared the news on social media on Saturday.
The 52-year-old said that though she and her husband renewed their marriage vows three years ago after a “painful separation,” he has since “broken those vows.”
“It has crushed my heart to know he has broken those vows,” she wrote.
“Over the past several years, I have fought really hard to not just save my marriage, but to survive the devastation of what consistent deception of one spouse does to the other. It’s brutal and heart crushing to constantly fear the hurtful choices of someone you love. I’ve had to learn the hard way there’s a big difference between mistakes (which we all make) and chosen patterns of behavior that dishonor God and the biblical covenant of marriage.”
TerKeust, who has five children, said she believes the “wisest (and hardest) choice I can make is to stop fighting to save my marriage of 29 years and, instead, accept reality.”
“While there is clear biblical justification for my decision to end this marriage, I am choosing to hold most of the details private out of respect for our children and grandchildren, and to give space and privacy for my family and me to continue to heal,” she wrote.
In 2017, TerKeurst revealed she would be pursuing a divorce from her husband due to his infidelity and struggles with addiction. In an interview with The Christian Post, she described the experience as an “excruciatingly painful” time in her life. However, the couple renewed their vows just over a year later after working to restore their marriage.
At the time, TerKeurst told CP that while the process of fighting for their marriage was "so, so hard,” it was “one we want to do.”
"And we want to give it the necessary time so that trust can be rebuilt, and trust takes an incredible amount of time,” she said.
Over the years, TerKeurst has openly discussed the emotional turmoil she experienced due to her husband’s actions — and God’s continued presence in her life.
She previously told CP that she strives to share the perspectives and life wisdom that she’s gained to highlight the evidence of God's faithfulness that she’s witnessed “even in the midst of really deep heartbreak.”
“I would just encourage anybody who's walking through stuff — there's someone else who needs to hear your story," she said in a 2021 interview. "I think everyone has life wisdom, evidence of God's faithfulness and experiences. ... And I think when we share our stories, if we focus on those things rather than the details of how we were hurt, that's where it becomes really helpful for other people.”
However, over the years, she kept details of her situation private. And in her latest post, the speaker and author explained that while there is “clear biblical justification for my decision to end this marriage,” she is again choosing to hold most of the details private out of respect for the couple’s children and grandchildren and “to give space and privacy for my family and me to continue to heal.”
“It’s hard to face a future that looks nothing like what I desperately and constantly prayed it would look like,” she wrote.
“I don’t like this reality, but the truth is, relationship restoration doesn’t always work. I’ve cried and grieved over this and waited years hoping this wouldn’t be our story. But even when restoration doesn’t work, forgiveness always does.”
The ministry leader said that despite her circumstances, she has “never been more grateful for the healing redemption God has done in my heart through the power of forgiveness.”
"Bitterness and resentment could be eating me alive. But, miraculously, that’s not where I’m at. With time, prayer, and lots of counseling, my heart is healing,” she wrote.
“Sometimes the culmination of all our efforts and the answer to our prayers is that God restores us in relationships,” TerKeurst concluded her post. “And sometimes He rescues us out of relationships. I don’t understand why circumstances sometimes go the way my story is now going. But I’m standing firm in my faith and trusting God with every step. My family and I treasure your prayers and your compassion.”
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org