A few days after an ordinary Valentine’s Day, Cindy Beall’s life changed forever. She listened with disbelief to her husband’s confession of a pornography addiction, numerous affairs, and the startling news that a woman was pregnant with his child.
How in the world do you rebuild trust when your marriage is shattered?
Well, today on the 4:13 Podcast, you will hear how God’s power can resurrect something new out of the debris of betrayal. Author Cindy Beall will show us how to seek guidance, counseling, and strength when deceptions surface. She’ll give you practical wisdom on how and when to rebuild trust. And, how to protect your marriage from lies and unfaithfulness before they start.
But first, let me introduce Cindy…
Cindy is the author of Healing Your Marriage When Trust is Broken and Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New. Cindy and her husband, Chris, walked through infidelity and ultimately found healing through Christ. They have inspired thousands of couples through their story, and together they serve in full-time ministry as pastors at Life.Church. Cindy and Chris have three sons, one daughter-in-law, and recently welcomed their first grandchild.
Alright, my friends, let’s get right to it! Open your heart because you are about to be flooded with hope.
Jennifer’s Highlights and Take-Aways
I began my conversation with Cindy by recounting her darkest day. Just after Valentine’s Day, her husband confessed he had been unfaithful many times with many women over the past two years of their marriage. This nightmare was compounded with the news that one of the women was pregnant.
In a matter of minutes, Cindy said she went from being a happy, stay-at-home pastor’s wife to what she described as a “damaged woman who wanted to die.”
Cindy was crushed, but in this incredibly painful moment, she called on God.
She cried out to Him saying, “God, why didn’t you spare me?” She said her plea to God wasn’t in anger toward Him—just questioning why He would allow this to happen.
In those dark days following her husband’s confession, she asked herself, “Am I going to stay?”
The good thing was that her husband was broken, repentant, and sorrowful over what he had done to her, the church, the Lord, and his family. So, although it was difficult, she decided to stay and work through the restoration process.
Cindy was comforted to find great support from their church and other pastors in their congregation. Instead of the church kicking them to the curb, they walked alongside them through this tough journey of restoration.
Cindy described that healing from the pain was hard, but trying to rebuild trust was monumental! So she started with her trust in God.
She knew there was only one person who had never let her down, and that was Jesus. So, she turned her heart toward Him and said, “God, I trust You!”
She knew all of the disappointment in her life wasn’t caused by God; it was caused by human beings. And in her heart, she felt like God was saying, “You can trust Me even when you can’t trust him.”
Cindy trusted the work of God in her husband’s life. And every step she took toward repairing her relationship revolved around trusting her Heavenly Father.
It was incredibly difficult—but possible—because God was sustaining her and giving her strength to walk through this hardship while relying on Him.
I’m reminded that with any difficult situation, we can rely on the truth of Proverbs 3:5-6 which says:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Cindy explained that although some people in our lives may be trustworthy, Jesus is truly the only One who will never let us down, so we can trust Him with our whole heart.
Over time, Cindy saw her husband being transformed from the inside out. She could tell his change was not just to please her, but it was a genuine transformation. She knew in her heart that even if she had chosen to leave, he still would have sought Jesus. And that was tremendously helpful in restoring their marriage.
Cindy then described the tough process of her husband confessing his unfaithfulness to both sets of parents. But following his confession, he was met with such grace, and that response aided in their continued healing.
Cindy’s mom showed such wisdom by navigating her personal pain with her own friends instead of processing it all with Cindy. This helped Cindy focus on healing since she couldn’t bear her mom’s sorrow on top of her own.
What a wise and practical example we have in Cindy’s mom!
Another step Cindy and her husband took to rebuild trust was making nothing off limits. Going forward, everything became open to each other—conversations, emails, cell phones, etc. They allowed each other to talk about everything with brutal honesty.
Her recommendation was to “be willing to be as open and honest as possible,” because this openness and honesty became the guardrails that allowed them to regain trust.”
Forgiveness for her wasn’t difficult because she had a best-case scenario of her husband’s repentance. She could see he was broken and knew he had chosen himself over their marriage, so he quickly and earnestly sought forgiveness.
Cindy was able to forgive him, but “forgiveness wasn’t as hard as trust,” she said.
As her pain resurfaced, she had to remind herself that she had already forgiven him. She would reposition her trust in God, and her trust in Him fueled her continued forgiveness of her husband. Then with resettled trust, she could take another step forward.
Cindy and her husband have now shared their story for almost two decades, and with each sharing, God continues to heal her. She said He heals her more and more every time she tells her story.
And God will continue to do the work of healing her heart, because as she ministers to others, she’s doing so from a place of great pain.
To the Wife Who Longs for Restoration of Marriage
So what about those women who find themselves in a similar situation? Cindy recommends two things:
- Focus on Your RestorationNow, this isn’t saying you should focus on the restoration of your marriage! It’s focusing on the restoration of your heart.
Cindy advises that your focus can’t be on repairing your marriage right away. But instead, your first focus has to be on asking God to restore your damaged heart. Then, with God’s strength as He begins to restore you, you can take steps forward and begin the work of restoring your marriage.
- Focus on Your FatherCindy also encourages you to continue to push through—no matter what—in pursuit of God. Become so acquainted with your Heavenly Father that when anything difficult comes into your life, your first reaction is to run to Him—not away from Him.
Keep God as your focus as you endure all of it—the grief, the sorrow, the pain, the disappointment. Keep coming back to Him even when your marriage looks irreparable, or even when trusting God seems impossible.
But what about those women whose marriages are still broken? Many are seeking God for restoration, but are still waiting and wondering if it will ever be restored. Cindy said, “You can only do what you can do, and you trust God with the rest.”
We can’t always know what the outcome will be for a marriage scarred by infidelity, but we must rely on God’s strength to endure whatever lies ahead. And seeking God for the restoration of your heart is critical for your own healing.
Practical Ways to Protect Your Marriage
What about those women who have healthy marriages? Cindy gives us practical ways to protect your marriage from lies and unfaithfulness before they begin:
- Keep Investing in Your MarriageContinue to pour into your marriage every day—keep dating! It’s a daily commitment, and together you need to create guardrails and proactively work at protecting your marriage. It takes an investment every day to meet each other’s needs, but this investment pays off.
- Keep Your Spouse on Your MindCindy’s best advice is to “think of your spouse more than you think of yourself.” She explained that through this, you’re seeking a healthy marriage—not just a good one—because healthy things grow.
I love what Cindy says here because it applies to every relationship we have, including our relationship with God. Healthy things do grow, so let’s focus on a healthy relationship with our Father first and foremost.
I’m grateful that Cindy was so candid about her story because not every broken marriage has to end in divorce.
If you know somebody who needs this encouragement, please share it with them. Cindy may have said things that you can’t say to a friend, and this podcast may be God’s comfort for your friend who needs it.
Here’s the thing though…
Marriage is hard even when it’s good. So, if you are discouraged about the state of your marriage—or lack thereof—begin by trusting your Father! Then follow His leading with an open heart as you take it one step at a time.
Remember, He is trustworthy.
You can do this, my friend! You can take risks, you can be brave, and you can do whatever He is calling you to because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- God is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
- Missing Pieces: Real Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
- Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything Bible Study
More from Cindy Beall
- Visit Cindy’s website
- Healing Your Marriage When Trust is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration
- Follow Cindy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the 4:13 Podcast here.
- Were you encouraged by this podcast? Reviews help the 4:13 Podcast reach more women with the “I can” message. Click here to leave a review on iTunes.
4:13 Podcast: Can I Find Healing in Marriage When Trust is Broken? With Cindy Beall [Episode 161]
Jennifer Rothschild: A few days after an ordinary Valentine's Day, Cindy Beall's life changed forever. She listened with disbelief as her husband confessed to pornography addiction, lots of affairs, and the startling news that a woman was pregnant with his child. How in the world do you rebuild trust when your marriage has been shattered? Well, today you're going to hear how God's power can resurrect something new out of the debris of betrayal. Author Cindy Beall will show us how to seek guidance, find wisdom, and stay strong when deception surfaces. She'll also give you practical wisdom on how and when to rebuild trust and how to protect your marriage from lies and unfaithfulness in the first place. So this is going to be a great story, and it's going to have a hopeful ending. So open your heart because you are about to be flooded with hope.
K.C. Wright: Welcome, welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and Biblical wisdom setting you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Now, here's our girl, Jennifer Rothchild.
Jennifer Rothschild: I'm Jennifer, I'm so happy you're here. That was K.C. Wright, my seeing eye guy, and our whole goal is just to help you be and do more than you even feel capable of as you live the "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13. And, you know, I know that that intro of the podcast caught your attention. The whole story caught my attention, captured my heart. And it's hard. I'm going to be super honest, very hard story. But it does have a beautiful ending. But it's hard when you face or someone you love faces this kind of brokenness. You know, I remember just speaking of brokenness and how it feels. Our little boy Connor, he's a grownup now, but he was about two years old and he had gotten a pink balloon from preschool. And literally, as he brought it home, I thought, oh, no, this is not going to end well, because balloons in the hands of toddlers don't. It wasn't a helium balloon. And so anyway, we get home, we have lunch, he wants to go outside in the backyard and play with this balloon. And I really kept discouraging him because I knew it would pop, right? And so I even said to the little guy, "Listen, if that hits the grass, it's going to pop." And he wanted to go out anyway. So I had told him. So we go outside. And he begins, K.C., to throw this balloon up in the air. And he throws it up in the air and it floats down heavenward and he catches it. And then he throws it up again and it floats down and he catches it. And I'm like, yes. And he throws it up in the air and it floats down to the ground and he does not catch it. And then, of course, you know what happened. It popped into a million pink little rubbery pieces. And I'm standing there waiting to see what he's going to do. And so that little boy, in his chubby little toddler hands, he starts picking up all those little wet rubbery squirmy pieces of balloon. And he grabs as many as he can in his little pudgy hand and he comes straight to me. And you can just -- you know, he's just got a handful of broken pieces. And he puts it right up to my face and he says, "Mommy, fix it." And I loved the childlike innocence of that. Because I knew, you know, of course, you cannot fix a broken balloon. And the truth is, there's some things in our relationships that we cannot fix. Okay? That's just the reality. So I love Cindy's story. And it gives us hope for every broken story. Yet at the same time, we take all the broken pieces of our disappointment, of our relationships, whatever it may be, and we do gather them in our heart and we bring it to Jesus and we say, "Fix it." And, you know, sometimes he does. But sometimes he doesn't in the way we had hoped. And so that's why we need to find a greater hope. Because -- well, K.C., you've said it, God does fix our hearts.
K.C. Wright: Yeah. God always fixes our hearts. And you know listening that my marriage did end in divorce. But God has taken those broken pieces and truly made me stronger. Jesus can heal you everywhere you hurt.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.
K.C. Wright: He really can.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: I am five years down the road from my painful divorce and I can say he's healed me everywhere I hurt. And I know he will do the same for you. I'm so glad Cindy is being so candid with us about her story, because it takes a lot of courage.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, it does.
K.C. Wright: Because not every broken marriage has to end in divorce. And I think this will be really, really good today. So let me introduce Cindy. Cindy Beall is the author of "Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken" and "Rebuilding A Marriage Better Than New." Cindy and her husband, Chris, walked through infidelity, found healing through Christ, and have now inspired thousands of couples. Together they serve in full-time ministry where they are pastors at Life Church. They have three sons, one daughter-in-love, and recently welcomed their very first grandchild. They love working out, traveling to Colorado, spending time with friends, and going to the lake. They sound like our kind of people --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.
K.C. Wright: -- for sure, all except the working out part. I'm just being honest because that's how transparent we are here on this podcast.
Jennifer Rothschild: I'm with you, K.C.
K.C. Wright: So pull up a chair right now and lean in. Here's Jennifer and Cindy.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right, Cindy, we're going to start with a really hard day for you. Let's go back to Valentine's Day. Well, I guess it was a few days after Valentine's Day.
Cindy Beall: Yes. Yeah, it was --
Jennifer Rothschild: And your world got turned upside down. So tell us about that difficult day.
Cindy Beall: Yeah. So it was February 19th, 2002, and my husband and I had just moved to Oklahoma. We had been there roughly six weeks. And I had actually been there only about a week because I was staying behind at our previous place and finishing up those things. And he came home one morning and -- he had, you know, gone to work, and literally within, like, two hours, was back home. And he basically said, "Babe, we need to talk." And if you've ever been the recipient of those words, you know that probably what's coming next is not necessarily good. And so for me, that was the beginning of my nightmare. And he began to tell me that he had been unfaithful to me with many different women in many different places, many different times. It ended up being over about a two-and-a-half-year period of our marriage, so it wasn't the entire nine years that we'd been married. So all of that just was thrown upon me in a matter of minutes. So I went from this, you know, happy stay-at-home mom, pastor's wife, unpacking boxes in your new house, to this damaged woman who -- I basically wanted to die with all of that thrown upon me. And, of course, that's really bad news, right?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Cindy Beall: But the final blow was that one of the women was pregnant, and he was pretty sure he was the father. So that put a new element of pain on top of that, because I thought I'm the one who's going to have you children, only me.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Cindy Beall: Yeah. So that was my day all those years ago.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Well, if anyone thinks they're having a bad day, I think you just gave a lot of perspective. But seriously, as I was listening you to describe that -- and I think many of us who just heard you describe that felt with every revelation the weight of it.
Cindy Beall: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: So I'm curious -- I mean, that's just crushing. And the degree of betrayal that had to just cover you, how did you even begin to start to find your way out of that?
Cindy Beall: Well, you're right, it was the heaviest thing that -- I mean, I don't know. I know there's heavier things out there, but that was the worst that I'd ever, obviously, gone through. And I just -- I wasn't really mad at God necessarily, I just kept saying, "God, I've been following you most of my life." Like I was the good girl, like, I was a pretty good girl. I didn't do a lot of things that in the world's eyes they would say, oh, she was, you know, off her rocker or something like that --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Cindy Beall: -- I was just this great -- I was just a great person. I felt like I was a great wife and a good friend, and I follow Jesus and I loved Him, and, God, you surely couldn't have spared me of this? I don't understand. So that was kind of my thought process. Not necessarily anger, just questioning and trying to grasp what was happening. And so, you know, obviously my husband resigned from the church. I will say that we were at Life Church. At the time my husband was a worship pastor. And Craig and Amy Groeschel lead Life Church, and they have been dear friends of ours for all these years. And what I love about his leadership -- there's many things. But he and the team of leaders did not kick us to the curb. They did not cast us away. They did not say, Hey, you've only been here six weeks, go on and find your own way. They were with us, they helped us walk through the journey of restoration, and they were the hands and feet of Jesus for us. So I can talk about that 20 years -- or 10 years later. Actually, 20 years later. Sorry. Getting my numbers mixed up. I can talk about all of that. But in the moment of trying to figure out am I going to stay, am I going to stay -- like, I didn't know in those early days if I was going to stay the course with my husband. The good thing about where he was is he was completely and utterly broken. Like, he was repentant, he was full of sorrow over what he had done to the Kingdom of God, over the name of Jesus, over the churches he had led at. He was brokenhearted, of course, what he'd done to me, to our kid. We only had one child at the time. And so he was as broken as I've ever seen anyone over their sin.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, and that makes a difference, because you do feel like when there is repentance, there is hope. And I love that the church came alongside you and was part of that restoration. Because I would have thought, Cindy, there would have been days you couldn't even stand on your own two feet through this. And we need each other. But one of the things that I -- as I hear your story too, of course, I think of trust. You know, that's not something we just quickly rebuild. So I'm curious what you did when it came to trusting him again. And also I wonder, did you have any issues with trusting yourself? Because, you know, here this was going on and you didn't even recognize it. So I'm curious what trust was like for you toward him, towards yourself, the whole process.
Cindy Beall: Yeah. So that is obviously the hard -- I mean, healing from the pain was definitely hard, but trying to rebuild trust or having it rebuilt so I could believe in a man again, like, where do you even begin?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Cindy Beall: And so for me, where I started was, okay, there's only one who's never let me down, and his name is Jesus. So I think I'm going to start there. And as God began to show me things -- and I wrote about it in my book really thoroughly about how God led me to stay and be a part of the redemptive work in my husband's life. And so I basically just said, okay, God, I trust you. And he began to just -- I knew that there was -- when I look back on my life, all of the disappointment of my life wasn't caused by God, it was actually caused by human beings. And so I felt like God was like, you can trust me even if you can't trust him. And so as we started the journey toward healing and getting healthy individually, so that then our marriage could be healed, I just began to say, okay, all right, I trust the work of God in my husband. So when my husband would walk in the Spirit, when I knew he was pursuing Jesus, I felt like that was something I could trust. And so everything for me revolved around trusting my Heavenly Father. You know, in Proverbs we're told to trust in the Lord with all of our heart, not trust in our husband or a mother or a sister or brother or best friend. Although people in our lives might be trustworthy, there is only one who will never let us down. And so that was where my trust began, and over time I began to see this man become transformed from the inside out. He began to want purity. Like, he wanted things for his own life, which was helpful for me that he wasn't, like, doing something necessarily, you know, to get me back.
Jennifer Rothschild: Just for you, right, right.
Cindy Beall: Yeah. So it was -- I knew in my heart that had I chosen to leave him, he would have still sought Jesus, and that helped me tremendously.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. Girl, that's like best-case scenario. I mean, it really --
Cindy Beall: Yeah, it is. It is.
Jennifer Rothschild: It really is. But I appreciate what you said, that ultimately with your whole heart, you're doing the Proverbs 3:5-6. You're trusting in the Lord. And then you trust Him with your husband and with yourself and with everyone else. But it wasn't just you, obviously, that this impacted. Of course, most significant impact. But it wasn't just you. So how did your family, you know, your -- you said you had one child. And I'm sure as your family has grown, the grief of it, the humiliation. I mean -- like his parents, the whole deal. How did the whole family transition?
Cindy Beall: Well, I think -- you know, this was way back in the day before there was social media, and so I really -- and, you know, this was 2002. So it was just the beginning -- we still had DSL dial-up Internet. It was just very --
Jennifer Rothschild: What a blessing.
Cindy Beall: Yes, such a blessing. And I'm really thankful that social media was not around then. So we just -- he told our parents -- or his parents, and then he told my mom -- my dad had passed away when I was younger -- and so he began the journey of telling and owning up to it. And I remember when he was on the phone with his dad. He was in our kitchen. I can still see him. I came around the corner, and he was just weeping because his dad met him with such grace. It was a beautiful thing to see and witness. Our oldest son at the time was just barely three, so he didn't really understand anything.
Jennifer Rothschild: Sure.
Cindy Beall: He just would come up to me and I remember him saying, "Why are you so sad for, Mommy? Why are you so sad for?" And then, you know, he asked for a Fruit Roll-Up and that was the end of it. But that was just -- that was how he was processing. And then my mom, I feel like, met him with grace. I feel like my mom did a really great job of keeping her own pain to herself and navigating it with her friends versus putting it upon me and, I can't believe you did this, and why is he -- you know, so she navigated her own pain with the help of her own community, and that was incredibly helpful because I couldn't bear her burden and mine.
Jennifer Rothschild: No. That was generous. What a wise statement.
Cindy Beall: Very.
Jennifer Rothschild: I mean, that is super wise. I hope a lot of us hear that. It doesn't mean she neglected her pain, but she just navigated it with others so you didn't have to bear it. What a good mama. I love that.
Cindy Beall: Yeah. That was really sweet.
Jennifer Rothschild: There's women listening right now who really can resonate with a lot of your story because, unfortunately, it might be part of their story. So how did you, and how does a couple -- and I've kind of asked you this -- rebuild trust? Okay. But I asked you individually about your trust. But how do you as a couple? I mean, did you have any guardrails or guideposts set up to help you navigate building trust as a couple?
Cindy Beall: Yeah. I mean, we just basically -- the short answer is nothing was off limits from each other.
Jennifer Rothschild: Explain that.
Cindy Beall: Obviously, I didn't even have a cell phone at the time, so -- but, like, as we built in the years, like, everything was open to each other, like conversations, emails. Nowadays with our phones, like, we have each other's code, which is pretty -- I'm sure a lot of couples do that. But, like, nothing that I -- if he ever wants to see anything, absolutely. If I ever want to see anything, absolutely. If I ask a question about a relationship he has with a particular person at church or whatever, nothing is off limits. And we talk -- we are completely united. We talk about everything, and we are, Jennifer, brutally honest with each other. Like, there were times where I -- 'cause all of my husband's discrepancies, all of them stemmed from his addiction to pornography. So this wasn't an office romance, this wasn't an inappropriate relationship with a friend. This was pornography that led to chat rooms, that led to meeting up, and that led to him acting out. So that was the progression. And so for me, I -- it was just a different kind of thing to navigate. But I knew that lust was something he had struggled with, which is a very common thing for many of us.
Jennifer Rothschild: Sure. Sure.
Cindy Beall: When we would -- it would be to the point where sometimes those moments of insecurity would rise up and I would know there was a gorgeous woman walking by to park or whatever. And I would just say, How are you doing? Does that cause you -- does she cause you to struggle? And it was just being honest and being okay that his honesty was saying, yeah, she's attractive, but I'm going to work -- you know, or turned his head. Like, I would notice that if I would see somebody and he would turn his head, and I would say, "Are you struggling?" He was like, "Not anymore. I turned my head.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.
Cindy Beall: So it's just being willing to be as open and, you know, honest with each --
Jennifer Rothschild: Brutal.
Cindy Beall: -- other as possible. It's brutal sometimes --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, it is.
Cindy Beall: -- to the point where he would be like, "Hey, you shouldn't wear that dress," you know, because -- I mean, my husband's not a yes-man. But what I appreciate about that is that when he does -- I know when the truth comes, it's from a genuine place.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, it's -- this is really inspiring, Cindy. Because, unfortunately, as you well know, like, addiction to porn has just gone crazy since the access now is so available, and it really is genuinely an addiction for so many. And to see how you guys have done the hard work to live within that reality and for him to --I love that phrase, "Are you struggling?" "Not anymore," because he took action, even with the smallest turn of the head.
Cindy Beall: Sure, sure.
Jennifer Rothschild: I mean, you're really showing the amount of choice that has been involved in moving forward for you guys. So I'm curious for you -- I think I might know the answer, but I'm curious. Does it ever rear its ugly head where you feel like you have to forgive him again? You remember the past, you have to forgive again? Because even though it was so many years ago -- just talk about that process of moving through that pain to the other side of forgiveness and then if forgiveness still is a need sometimes.
Cindy Beall: Yeah. So like you said earlier, you know, we -- well, let me just go back to forgiveness. Forgiveness for me was not difficult in this situation. And I know that a lot of people are, you know, like, what? What'd she just say?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, right.
Cindy Beall: But like you said, I kind of had the best-case scenario. Yes, the situation was terrible and horrific and there was so much pain and betrayal and sadness, and everything you can imagine to navigate, yes, I had to navigate it. But the fact that I had a broken, repentant husband, who knew what he had done and knew that he had time after time chosen himself over our marriage, but the fact that he literally said, "Will you forgive me?" And so for me, forgiving him wasn't as hard as learning to trust him, which we've obviously talked about.
Jennifer Rothschild: Sure.
Cindy Beall: But I will say over the years, sure, there were triggers, there were situations that would come and I would be, like, taken back to that season in our life. And just so that your audience knows, I knew something was wrong in our marriage during that time, I just didn't know what. I just thought it was we're in a bad place, things are not great, we're not connecting. And it wasn't even all the time. It was like, you know, we'd have some bad weeks and then it would be okay, and back and forth. I just knew something was off. And so for me, I just remember one of the triggers through the years that we had to navigate together was when I would call his phone -- because he had a phone where we lived, even though I didn't -- and I would go to voicemail. He would later tell me, "I just had a ministry appointment." Well, what he would confess to me later is that his ministry appointments were when he was off doing whatever he was doing. And so I had to tell him, "I can't get your voicemail anymore." And so in the early days, he answered every time I could call. Which I didn't call a ton, but if I did, he answered. And on the chances that he couldn't, he would call me back. And, yeah, those were some things I had to navigate as we walked through it. But I will tell you, we have shared our story for the better part of two decades, and with each sharing, with each couple we've helped, with each woman I've ministered to with each podcast and the books I've written, like, God has continued to heal me over and over again. Even in this podcast, God will heal me even more. And I think I'm pretty well healed from this, but he will continue to do the work because I continue to minister from a place that was once great pain.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow, word. That's so good. Okay. So what would you say, then, to a wife who longs to trust God with her broken heart and she wants to follow him with hope and into a redemption of what's happened in her marriage? What would you say to her right now?
Cindy Beall: Well, I would tell her ultimately your focus can't be on if your marriage is going to be restored or healed or made better right now, you've got to do the work with your Father to where you're restored and you are made whole so that you can then do that work. And so I'm sure that -- I do know a lot of women who have walked this road, and maybe they're desperate for their marriage to be made new again and to be restored from betrayal, whether it's sexual betrayal or some other kind. And I get it. I get it. I have talked to them and they are waiting and they are waiting and waiting. And, look, you can only do what you can do and you trust God with the rest. And that really transfers to any relationship, teenagers -- can I get an amen for teenagers?
Jennifer Rothschild: Amen to that, right? Yeah.
Cindy Beall: So, you know, I would just say continue to push through and become so acquainted with your Heavenly Father, that when anything difficult in your life comes, your first reaction is to run to him and not away from him.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, trust. Everything you've answered. Cindy, it's so interesting, you come back to trusting God. And I think that is showing the bedrock of your life, the foundation, and why this didn't just totally destroy you. Girl, I am so recommending this book. This is just such a good, substantial, and practical help. But I'm going to ask you the last question here. Okay?
Cindy Beall: Okay.
Jennifer Rothschild: So let's end with you speaking directly to those who might have a great marriage, or at least a stable marriage they believe, but these married people, they are shaking in their wedding bands right now -- okay? --
Cindy Beall: Right, right.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- 'cause they know this could happen to me. So tell them, tell us, what are some practical things that these married couples can do to protect themselves from lies and unfaithfulness?
Cindy Beall: Yeah. I would say the biggest thing is to continue to invest in your marriage every day. We find somebody, we start dating them, and we kind of go through that season of new love, and it's exciting and fun, and we do everything in our power to make them happy, and it's just glorious, right?
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Cindy Beall: But then oftentimes the marriage hits and -- or they get married, and then maybe the investment, it's not as easy, or they don't feel the need to do it as much. But I'm telling you, that is when you must continue doing it even more. And I have seen it over and over and over again, people who just don't invest in their marriage. And what happens is they then go through a hard spot and then they have to react. But if you'll invest daily and make some choices to put guardrails and healthy things in place, then that will be -- that's proactive work. And if you're doing a little bit every day and giving love and meeting each other's needs and, you know, having date nights and traveling together, or even just having time set aside, whatever that looks like for you. But you've got to make that investment because -- I see it with people who invest more into their kids instead of each other, and that can be easy to do. But one day your children will leave home and it will still be you and your husband, and so you've got to make that investment. People ask me all the time, what's your number one piece of advice for married couples? And I always say -- of course, it's Jesus, but that's a given, let's just say that. But the best practical piece of advice I tell them is to think of your spouse more than you think of yourself. And I feel like if we both do that, if I think of my husband, Chris, more than I think of myself, and he thinks of me more than he thinks of himself, we're probably going to have a pretty healthy marriage. And I say healthy. Because people will say, "I've got a good marriage." Well, I don't want a good marriage, I want a healthy marriage because healthy things grow.
Jennifer Rothschild: Did you hear her say, K.C., that we want a healthy marriage, not just a good one, because healthy things grow? I thought that was so good.
K.C. Wright: So good.
Jennifer Rothschild: Because it applies to every relationship that we have. Our people, you know that, including our relationship with God. Healthy things grow. So let's focus on a healthy relationship with our Father God first. Okay? That's most important.
K.C. Wright: So good. I was thinking, listening to her, let the redeemed of the Lord say so. That's what today's podcast is about. She is telling her story for his glory and saying so. And you guys know that Jennifer's favorite way to keep growing in life is by using the Dwell Bible app. If you haven't checked it out, go to 413podcast.com/dwell, or we will also have a link to it on the show notes at 413podcast.com/161. And there will also be a complete transcript of this conversation and Jennifer's highlights and her takeaways.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, we got a lot going on over there at the show notes.
K.C. Wright: It's a blessing.
Jennifer Rothschild: It sure is.
K.C. Wright: It really is, because you can't catch everything --
Jennifer Rothschild: I know.
K.C. Wright: -- and it's all laid out right there in front of you.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Well, our people, this was really some good stuff today. So if you know somebody who needs this, share the podcast with them. Cindy may have said some things that your friend or family member really needs to hear, so this podcast, it could be God's voice, God's comfort for a friend who really needs to hear it. You know, here's the thing, though. Marriage is hard even when it's good. All right, let's just be honest, marriage is hard even when it's good. So if you're discouraged about the state of your marriage, or the lack thereof, I just want all of us to be reminded, we can trust our Father. You can trust your Father. You can take risks, you can be brave, you can be and do whatever God is calling you to do, because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength? I can.
K.C. Wright: I can.
Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I'm praying there's some real healing that comes from this one.
K.C. Wright: I know there will be.
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