Healing After Unfaithfulness in Marriage : Ellen Dykas

Healing After Unfaithfulness in Marriage - Ellen Dykas - 80 - FrontStage BackStage with Jason Daye

Unfaithfulness and betrayal in marriage is incredibly painful. What does the healing journey look like, whether we’re experiencing this in our own marriages or we’re seeing it in the marriages of those we serve? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Ellen Dykas. Ellen is the Director of Equipping for Ministry to Women at Harvest USA. Ellen has written a number of books, workbooks, devotionals and is also a contributor to the Life Counsel Bible. Ellen received her master’s degree from Covenant Theological Seminary and is a certified biblical counselor. Together, Ellen and Jason look at the healing journey for those who have experienced betrayal in their marriages. Ellen also offers some incredible insights of how our local churches can compassionately minister to those who are experiencing this type of betrayal in their own marriages.

Looking to dig more deeply into this topic and conversation? Every week we go the extra mile and create a free toolkit so you and your ministry team can dive deeper into the topic that is discussed. Find your Weekly Toolkit below… Love well, Live well, Lead well!

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Additional Resource Links

www.harvestusa.org – Check out the website today to explore valuable resources, such as blogs, videos, seminars, presentations, and books, all crafted to enhance your faith journey. It provides support for local churches, offers guidance to individuals affected by sexual brokenness, and facilitates personalized discipleship opportunities through one-on-one support groups tailored for men, women, and parents.

Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey: Wives Finding Comfort After Sexual Betrayal – This workbook addresses such issues as suffering, shame, troubling emotions, forgiveness, and the process of rebuilding trust. The content aims to come alongside a hurting wife and minister to her heart, regardless of where her husband is at in the process of repentance.

Leader’s Guide – This guide assists facilitators with the discussion and offers helpful suggestions for navigating complex and deeply personal issues.

www.lifecounselbible.com – The Life Counsel Bible provides Biblical counsel and practical wisdom for pastors, ministry leaders, counselors, parents, couples, and any individual seeking practical wisdom through the application of God’s Word.

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Ministry Leaders Growth Guide

Key Insights and Concepts

  • Betrayal in marriage comes in many different forms. It usually involves emotional affairs, sexual betrayal, and relational betrayal. That betrayal breaks the marriage covenant where husband and wife pledge to be faithful to one another — spiritually, emotionally, sexually, mentally, and relationally.
  • Prioritizing one’s personal relationship with Christ first and then extending that focus horizontally toward their marriage can help safeguard the relationship against betrayal. 
  • Watching over one’s heart and resisting temptation requires a steadfast commitment to walking in the light, often alongside trusted companions beyond one’s marriage. For the men, it means having a couple of brothers to walk in the light with, and for the women, other sisters that they can be honest with.
  • Sometimes, those in ministry lean away from depending on Christ and start relying on themselves. When people around them boost them up, they start believing their own press, which can dangerously lead to pride and self-reliance.
  • There’s a slow step towards coddling sin — taking one’s eyes off Christ, starting to make exceptions, beginning to believe the lie, and feeling that one deserves a little comfort. It is dangerous to make even a little room for temptation.
  • God calls His people to walk in community and in the light with Him. Isolating oneself is dangerous and contrary to God’s desire for His people. 
  • There is no situation where acting in isolation aligns with God’s blessings, particularly in the context of marriage, where the union of a man and a woman represents a profound oneness in life, a deep mutual knowing, and being fully known by one another.
  • The first step to begin the healing journey when one experiences betrayal is acknowledging to God and one’s self that it has happened, acknowledging that it is real and needs to be confronted. 
  • Pastors should reach out and cultivate relationships with those who are wise in the Lord and have some degree of ministry maturity, as well as tapping into resources to learn from those who have gone before.
  • The Lord is intimately aware of the challenges faced by pastors and church leaders — He knows how tiring it can be and the temptations that pastors face as leaders. The gospel is for them, too! God can be trusted.
  • Sometimes, the holiest thing a ministry leader can do is to schedule a day of rest, delegate the sermon for the next week or two, and invest time in nurturing their own spiritual journey while pouring their hearts out to the Lord.
  • Pastors must watch over their lives, their affections, and attachments to people with diligence to uphold their spiritual integrity, protect their families, and resist temptation.
  • Everyone has regrets, but in the end, one must be able to stand before the Lord, giving an account of one’s life with as few regrets as possible.

Questions for Reflection

  • Have I ever experienced or witnessed the complexities of betrayal in marriage? Or, have I ever encountered a member of my congregation who approached me after experiencing betrayal by their spouse? How did I handle this situation? How did it impact the individuals involved and their commitment to the marriage covenant?
  • Knowing that betrayal can be prevented by proactively cultivating one’s relationship with Christ, how am I working towards doing this? What specific actions do I take to cultivate my own relationship with Christ? 
  • If married, how am I dedicating meaningful time and effort to spend together with my spouse? Do I have dates with my spouse scheduled on my calendar?
  • As a pastor, do I have trusted companions such as mentors or brothers/sisters with whom I walk in the light? Does my spouse have this, too? Who are my accountability partners?
  • How do I guard my heart against things that are NOT “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8)?
  • Was there a time when I leaned away from depending on Christ and depended on myself instead? What happened? How did I overcome this?
  • How do I discern the beginning of coddling sin? Am I sometimes too close to temptation? What can I do to prevent this?
  • If married, am I actively nurturing the profound oneness and deep mutual knowing within my marriage, or am I unintentionally allowing isolation to obstruct the blessings that arise from truly knowing and being known by my spouse? What can I do to help nurture oneness?
  • Have I ever faced a situation of betrayal in my marriage? If so, did I take that crucial first step of acknowledging it to God and myself in order to begin the healing process? How have I healed? Is there more healing I need to experience? If so, what steps can I take?
  • As a church leader, how can I take care of myself so I can continue leading my congregation? What things can I do to seek solace in my relationship with the Lord to effectively navigate the challenges and temptations that come with my role?
  • Do my affections, attachments, and relationships please the Lord? Are all of them healthy and appropriate?
  • Are there any specific actions or decisions in my life that I fear to regret when I stand before the Lord and give an account of my life? How can I work towards living a life with as few regrets as possible, aligning it with my values and beliefs?

Full-Text Transcript

Unfaithfulness and betrayal in marriage is incredibly painful. What does the healing journey look like, whether we’re experiencing this in our own marriages or we’re seeing it in the marriages of those we serve?

Jason Daye 
In this episode, I’m joined by Ellen Dykas. Ellen is the Director of Equipping for Ministry to Women at Harvest USA. Ellen has written a number of books, workbooks, devotionals and is also a contributor to the Life Counsel Bible. Ellen received her master’s degree from Covenant Theological Seminary and is a certified biblical counselor. Together, Ellen and I look at the healing journey for those who have experienced betrayal in their marriages. Ellen also offers some incredible insights of how our local churches can compassionately minister to those who are experiencing this type of betrayal in their own marriages. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Jason Daye 
Hello, friends, and welcome to yet another exciting episode of FrontStage BackStage. I’m your host, Jason Daye, and it is a pleasure to be with you each and every week, I had the opportunity to sit down with a trusted ministry leader. And we dive into a topic on an effort to help you and ministry leaders just like you embrace a healthy rhythm for both life and ministry. And we are proud to be a part of the Pastor Serve Network. And we don’t only record these episodes, but our team also creates an entire toolkit for you to help you dig more deeply into the topic at hand. And you can find that at PastorServe.org/network. In that toolkit, you will find a lot of different resources, including our ministry leaders growth guide with reflection questions, again for you to reflect upon and for you to work with the ministry leaders in your local church. And so we encourage you to avail yourself of that resource. Now at Pastor Serve. We love coming alongside and walking alongside of pastors and ministry leaders, and our team of experienced, trusted coaches would love to offer a complimentary coaching session to you. So, if you’d like more information on that, you can find that at PastorServe.org/freesession. Now, if you’re joining us on YouTube, please give us a thumbs up and take a moment to drop your name and the name of your church in the comments below. We love getting to know our audience better, and our team will be praying for you and for your ministry. And whether you’re following us on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform, please take a moment to subscribe to follow so you do not miss out on any of these great conversations. And we’re excited about today’s conversation. I’d like to welcome Ellen Dacus to FrontStage BackStage Ellen, welcome.

Ellen Dykas 
Thank you, Jason.

Jason Daye 
It’s so good to have you with us. Thank you for making the time to hang out with us today and talk about a really important topic. And we’re going to dive into working through the idea of healing when we’ve experienced betrayal and brokenness in our marriages. And as pastors and ministry leaders, we are not exempt from the pain and the betrayal that might come. And we don’t have to look far to see stories. And we probably all know a colleague and ministry that has experienced betrayal in their marriage and unfaithfulness, and so Ellen, kind of to begin, let’s start with talking through some of the preventative things. You know, as we enter into ministry, you know, the enemy is seeking to trip us up to destroy us, to crush us, to distract us all of those things. So Ellen, what are some of the things that we can really do for our own marriages rather to help protect them from, you know, betrayal from from these unhealthy things that might we might encounter?

Ellen Dykas 
Yeah, that’s a very important question. And I think it’s good to even begin that by zooming out a little bit of what are we talking about when we consider this idea of betrayal and marriage. And I think probably most of your listeners right away are thinking about things like emotional affairs, sexual betrayal, which can come in a lot of different forms. And usually there’s relational betrayal that’s happening in these things as well. So I think it’s good to just kind of name that that betrayal is basically a breaking of the marriage covenant where husband and wife pledge to an utter faithfulness to one another, spiritually, emotionally, sexually, mentally, relationally. And so I just wanted to kind of paint that landscape so that we’re all on the same page. Ah, and that people would even know where I’m coming from. So you know, in light of that the preventative measures are going to be in some ways, pretty simple. It’s going to be a proactive cultivation of your relationship with Christ, through your own time with him the scriptures. I think for ministry leaders in particular, there can be that temptation that the scriptures become just your to do list for the next sermon, the next Bible study, the next counseling session. But cultivating your own intimate walk with Christ, and then moving towards the horizontal, if you will, is cultivating your marriage, watering your marriage through time together, dates. I mean, we could talk about that for hours in and of itself. But I think those are the main things or I would say those two and then one other, and that is keeping watch over your own heart, in light of temptations, veering away, and it, it needs to be said is it that means that a ministry leader, and their spouse too, but I’m going to say specifically their ministry leader is that you are committed to walking in the light with trusted companions beyond your marriage. So for the men, that you’ve got a couple of brothers who you’re you’re walking in the light with, for women, other sisters, that you are being really honest about, hey, my heart is being drawn towards this man, or hey, I’ve been drawn to these things online, whatever it might be. So cultivating your relationship with Jesus, being proactive to cultivate your marriage, and then being really honest and ruthless to be watching over your own heart. And walking in the light when there’s trouble spots.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, that’s incredibly helpful. And, as you share those things, it’s not Ellen, it’s not like it’s some, you know, Ellen, what were some great aha moments from, get out the secrets that no one knows about that, like, these are all things Ellen that we talk about in ministry on the regular, right, we talk about our relationship with Christ, our relationship with, you know, our spouse and the sanctity of that, and then, you know, not isolating ourselves being in community with others. So those are the three elements that I think are all important. And it just seems wild to me, Ellen, that these are things that we know are important, these are things that we preach and teach to others, right. And yet we can fall prone to, you know, ignoring them or neglecting them in our own lives. Ellen? And I don’t know that, again, there’s some wild crazy answer for this. But why is it so challenging for us to really lean into these three? very real, very important, all of us would say vital things, those of us who are married and in ministry, you know, specifically, why is it so easy? In some ways to neglect this. Why do you think for those in ministry? Why can we let our guard down? You know, on these things?

Ellen Dykas 
Yeah. Well, again, I think, probably answers coming right away to people’s minds are sinful heart prideful heart exhaustion, or being overworked in ministry, and you just feel like I don’t have time to be tending to my own heart. Like I don’t have time to be tending to my marriage. So there would be those kinds of things. But I think we could summarize some of those up of a prideful self dependence, and a broken heartedness, self dependence. And so pastors, counselors, women’s ministry leaders, elders mean, everybody that would be included here is we can we can lean away from depending on Christ, and we start depending on ourselves, and if we are cultivating or have people around us that are boasting us up, who are boosting us up and we start kind of believing our own press, especially I think, in the ministry world, in the church world. When we allow the praise of people and our position our ministry fruitfulness to essentially displace Christ is our supreme one. It’s kind of a it can be a quick slide or a long slow slide into we’re just not really being honest with ourselves, you know, our hearts are deceitful, easily deceived, and we start making exceptions. We start cuddling with sin like I have never known any ministry leader who overnight walked into an affair or overnight decided I’m going to go pursue paid for sexual encounter or somebody that has an affair. There’s a slow step towards I think a cuddling of sin. And so all of that, I think kind of weaves together for somebody that is married and in marriage, your your eyes are off Christ. And we start making exceptions, we can even start believing the lie of you know what, I deserve a little comfort. What? What’s wrong with a little bit of that online, what what’s wrong with a little bit of extra attention from this woman that I’m counseling, whatever it might be? So i t’s deceitfulness of sin. It’s a blindness. And it also can be a pride of I mean, pride could go in a lot of different directions. But you’re right, it seems so obvious. And let me just kind of close that my thoughts, we can see where this goes, I think what I’ve also what is really important, is that we need to take responsibility for being accountable. So we can all do this, we’ve got a couple of people in our lives, but they slough off, they’re not following up to see how we’re doing in the Lord or to follow up on specific temptations. And so we give ourselves a pass. And so I’ll be honest, even this week, I needed to just walk in the light with my journey companion to say, Hey, this is something that’s gotten stirred up in my heart, I’m just bringing it out into the light, you know, my thoughts have been pure, if you will. But I don’t want to take any chances. But it takes time, and humility to do that. And I’m not setting myself up is a perfect example. Because I’m prone to be lazy. I’m prone to be proud. But especially working in the ministry, I do I have regular examples of the danger of making even a little room for temptation.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, yeah, that is so helpful, Ellen and, and as you’re talking to you that in looking at this idea of, you know, humility, which is huge. For any leader, any ministry leader, and that idea of, of being humble, and being honest with God, and honest with ourselves, I think is the thing, because as you mentioned, we can so easily kind of, you know, justify or begin to try to excuse small things, and then that’s that slippery slope, right? And you’re trying to justify these little things. And, you know, look at all the great things I’m doing for God or, you know, look at all this and, and then that, can you know, the outcome? You know, you can look back and say, How in the world did I ever end up here, right. And so, I think that idea of community and having those people in your life, we see this kind of in all aspects of burnout with pastors and ministry leaders, is those who are experiencing burnout, whether it’s just burning out, because they feel completely overwhelmed. You know, I mean, or it’s a burnout that leads to, you know, self sabotaging behavior or destructive behavior. Regardless, we see, again, and again, there’s this isolation factor, there’s this factor where you’re kind of pulling back, and you’re just kind of doing your thing, and things that are hidden. Like I love the phrase of use multiple times already bringing things to light, I think that’s so important. Because it’s, easier to excuse things, when they’re kind of hidden, when when it’s something that you are the only one has knowledge of right. And so, Ellen, as, as we’re thinking through this, you know, our relationship with our spouse, talk to us a little bit because you’ve counseled for years. I mean, this is this is the heart of what you do this. How does that hiddenness you know, the isolation piece, play into what what are the dangers there? And what what can we really pay attention to? And how intentional Do we really have to be to move out of those isolation pieces?

Ellen Dykas 
Yeah, well, you know, I think a sober, hard word about that is we are living disobediently, really, if we’re isolating ourselves. I mean, God calls us to walk in community to obviously walk in, in in the light with him. But if you think about it, you can’t be obedient to the majority of the New Testament, unless you’re in relationship with other people. And so, ministry leaders do have a unique, I think, in particular pastors, and how are they going to have that community because the reality is sometimes you need people outside of your church context that you’re not leading to be able to do that. But I think that’s one thing we need to really take seriously, is it There’s no place where God would bless somebody saying, I’m going to just do this solo, you know, Lord, just you and I, you’re going to be the only one that knows about me, especially in the context of marriage, where a man and woman come together in a oneness of life of knowing each other, and loving each other by knowing and being known. I think we need to really take that to heart that God’s called us to be not open, open mic time with everybody in your life, but that we are confessing our sins, and sharing our weaknesses so that we can be prayed for encouraged and, you know, the most impacting encouragement comes from people that know the real deal about my life. And you know, for doing interviews like this, and writing articles and doing teaching at different events, I love doing that. But it’s the women that are on the ground with me that their encouragement goes the deepest, because I’m seeking not to hide anything from them. So I think that’s, that’s one thing. But then it also it takes time, it takes time and energy and an effort to cultivate these kinds of relationships. And in the midst of a busy to do list in the midst of the pressures of ministry, I think it’s just an area that people think, you know, I’ve got to write my sermon, I’ve got to write this article, or I need to meet with so and so and so and so to counsel them, like I don’t have time to attend to the issues of my own heart and my own marriage. And yet, that’s not that’s not wise or godly thinking we need to be living out and committed to the very things that we’re seeking to disciple into our people.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, that’s helpful that, you know, some of that some of the dangers that you’ve highlighted there. And some of the preventative measures, I think, are super key and super helpful. I want to shift a little bit into talking through what if we, as a ministry leader, we have experienced betrayal in our own marriages. Because we know this exists, it’s painful. And there are some some nuances to that experience for those who are in ministry as well. So there’s a lot packed in here. So Ellen, I would love just to hear your your thoughts on how do we begin to heal in ministry, when we have experienced betrayal? How do we begin that healing journey?

Ellen Dykas 
Yeah, such a great question. Well, for starters, acknowledging that it’s happened to God and yourself. And I mean, there could be a lot of different nuances here, depending on if the offending spouse if you will, is repentant or not. But first is acknowledging this is real. And I need to face it. And you know zoom again, zooming out a little bit, a part of the kind of preventative measures we talked about, also are going to bear out when a ministry couple faces a crisis, I mean, this would be a major crisis, meaning that if you’re building up community and friendship and relationships, then when crises hit, you’ve got people that you can go to. So another reason why that’s important, because that’s going to be significant in the healing process, but also for the possibility of restoration to happen. So I think it’s facing it, and that it is getting outside of yourselves as a couple you’re going to need to bring other people in, and what I found, and, you know, 95%, of my experience has been with wives who have been on the receiving end of betrayal, but wives are also sexual beings, emotional beings, they’re just as prone to sin in these areas as men are, is that a lot of times when marriage betrayal is brought out into the light, generally, the majority of the focus goes to the spouse that’s been involved in sin. And I will say I think in a unique way that happens when the one who has betrayed the marriage covenant is a man and he’s in a male lead Church, which I am all in support of, but there tends to be the orbit and focus of help goes to that husband, and the wives are often left kind of fending for themselves in the healing process. And so for both spouses, but I’m going to kind of say a particular word of exhortation if I can to the brothers here. If this is your situation, you must make it a priority for your wife, to have the care and help that she’s going to need. It’s not only your process of repentance and healing, but your wife is going to need a good bit of care and comfort as well. So kind of in summary, Jason is acknowledging you have a need, reaching out for the help, and then having a long view mentality, because even if sin is turned from immediately, the broken trust is going to take a long time to be rebuilt. So those would be those would be some starters. And then along with trustworthy helpers, whether if it’s other ministry leaders, lay counselors, professional counselors, to reach out to others that can guide you through this process of repentance and relationship healing.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, that’s good, Ellen. And in that idea of having that kind of team around you have individuals people you can trust to help you navigate is so key and these things. You mentioned something earlier there about repentance. And so and we all know that, that situations like this can arise in sometimes the perpetrator betrayal is repentant. Other times, he or she is not. Help us process through that ladder scenario, when, when the one who has betrayed has just kind of dismissed it and moved on, and is not being repentant is because there’s a, you know, a different type of pain, perhaps that comes out of that. So if that’s the situation for ourselves, or even thinking through as pastors and ministry leaders, you know, people within our congregations that we might be helping minister to when that other person is unrepentant. What does the healing journey, you know, what were some distinctives about that sort of a healing journey that we really need to, you know, pay attention to, or lean into?

Ellen Dykas 
Well, I think it’s recognizing that not all marriages heal from betrayal. I mean, I think that kind of needs to be said, that’s always the hope that that’s going to happen is to spouses, turn radically towards Christ, and each other, for the process in front of them. I think it’s recognizing that not every marriage does survive this. But when that when the offending spouse or the perpetrator, as you said, Isn’t repentant. This is where the body of Christ through the local church, I think, is really called to shine and excel in their love of coming around this couple and let’s think about the example where the, the one that has broken the marriage covenant is the man. I do believe wives are in a more vulnerable place, generally speaking, when they’re on the receiving end of this. But this is really a place where the brothers in the church, the elders, have a unique opportunity to advocate for and protect and care for that woman who sadly, as I mentioned, oftentimes is kind of left on her own and there can be a lot of other unique, really painful dynamics when that leader is a very well loved, charming in public, well spoken person. And the betrayed spouse can be told what he would never do that. Are you crazy, she’s not capable of that. And so both spouses need to be known specifically and pursued and so when it is a spouse that is running away from the Lord, running away from accountability, once again, this is where I believe elders and other church leaders have an opportunity to excel in sacrificial love by going after that person calling them back. But also wraparound care for the spouse that is, has had his or her life completely up ended, most likely, but not leaving either one of them on their own. I did write a workbook with a participant and Leaders Guide called Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey: Wives Finding Comfort After Sexual Betrayal. So it is focused on wives but I bring that up, not so much to you know, push the merge, but a big part If my passion and how I wrote that, this workbook was kind of stemming from this topic that you’ve brought up is that I wanted every page, every lesson in this workbook to apply to a wife in her own healing her own walk with Jesus, regardless of where her husband was at, because a lot of times books that are dealing with marriage betrayal, kind of have an unsaid, or even a spoken assumption that the offending spouse is going to be repentant. But they’re not always repented, at least not initially. And so I will offer that out as a resource that people could find at our website. But I think I’ve kind of summarized some of my thoughts on that this is an opportunity for the body of Christ to wrap around. And once again, if the main person who’s been the income provider, is the one that has broken the marriage through this and potentially loses their position, there’s going to be significant diaconal needs for the family.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, yeah. No, that’s that’s, that’s good. As we are kind of pressing into this just a little bit more, Ellen, speaking to pastors and ministry leaders kind of on a, you know, a general level thinking about ministry in the local context, obviously, people unfortunately, you know, go through, you know, strains and marriage, betrayals and marriage, these types of things. If you were to sit down with with a pastor, you know, maybe a young pastor, who is, you know, in the early throes of ministry, and you would say, from your experience of working in counseling was so many people who have gone through these these situations over the years. What advice would you give to that newer pastor about, you know, what ministry? Or what decisions? Or what things should you have in place within your local church context, to be prepared to minister to people who are experiencing betrayal?

Ellen Dykas 
Yeah. Love this question. So, you know, for starters, to that younger brother, I would say, you need to be reaching out and cultivating relationships with older men in the church who are wise in the Lord who have some degree of ministry maturity, hopefully, that’s available, if it’s not available, then you’re reaching out to your network of pastors. Do not believe, I think the false idea that you need to pastor this on your own. So you need a network of, you know, resources, even like this, this podcast where you are learning wisdom and gleaning from those that have gone before you. So that would be the foundation, but then providing and trying to cultivate that in the local context. And so something that my church has done recently, and we do have younger pastors, they’re all younger than I am, is we we’ve raised up to two aspects of ministry, one is a ministry for women in crisis. That’s a short term, it’s not discipleship, or even counseling, its women in crisis could be marriage could be something else, where another ministry and spiritually mature woman is matched up with them, to walk with them kind of as a compassionate companion for a time. And what we’re talking about would absolutely be a context to say a woman’s marriage blows up. So it’s having women who are also built, being equipped for the works of ministry in your church, not only the men, but the women as well. And then having, you know, targeting maybe one or two or more couples, depending on the size of your church, who have weathered suffering together. It doesn’t even need to be this specifically. But who have weathered suffering, and they’ve come through it stronger in Christ, more humble and wise in the Lord. And you begin talking with those couples of hey, would you be willing to be ready to be called on for other couples in our church that might face this form of suffering? And not for long term counseling, but to even be a safe, comfortable landing place for a couple to even talk about what’s going on? So I think those are going to be key things learning about the impact of betrayal, trauma, sexual infidelity and marriage. And then looking around praying, Lord, would you raise up a couple of other couples who are older than I am who are just more seasoned in life and marriage than I am? To be a part of a team that would really be focused on prayer and encouragement for those that are struggling. I mean, I think those would be my primary thoughts.

Jason Daye 
Yeah. And I love those ideas. Those are great thoughts. And, and I would love for you to share those just a little bit as we’re kind of winding down this conversation. Again, you’ve, you’ve had years of experience in ministry in these, these, you know, avenues, different things, and you’re doing a lot of things working with leaders and equipping leaders as well. I’d love for you to share with us a couple things, one, just some words of general encouragement to pastors and ministry leaders. And just you know, I would love to hear your heart on on kind of the encouragement out of this conversation we’ve had together. And then secondly, I’d love for you to share, how can we connect with you, your ministry, how can we connect with some of these resources that you’ve mentioned, I think that’d be really helpful for for audience. Thank you.

Ellen Dykas 
Thank you. Well, thank you again, for the invitation to be part of ministering to your audience. So as far as encouragement, you know, to the pastors that are listening here, I want to just say, first of all, I so esteem you, and commend you, as I mean, it is a weighty and holy and beautiful mantle that the Lord has placed on pastors to shepherd his people. So I honor you in the Lord, I seek to honor and esteem and encourage the men that I’m under their spiritual authority in my own local church. So I want to just honor you with that, and, and to encourage you that the Lord knows how wearing it can be caring for messy sheep who don’t want to follow your lead. And the Lord also knows the temptations that you face as a leader in light of the things we’ve talked about here. And, beyond that, and I guess I just want to encourage you, sometimes it’s helpful to note the gospel is for you, too. Sometimes the holiest thing you can do is take a day off. Ask somebody else to do the sermon in the next week or two. And you take the time, you need to cultivate your own walk with the Lord and just to pour out your heart to the Lord. And then the more sober encouragement is, watch over your life with all diligence, watch over your affections, watch over your attachments to people, watch over your relationship, of course, with your wife, and your family and your friends. It is supremely worth it because you know when we all go before the Lord, I think there’s going to be very few things we’re really going to be concerned about. But we are going to be concerned about being able to stand before the Lord giving an account of our life with as few regrets as possible. We’re all going to have regrets. So live now in light of that day, and work yourself backward. I’m seeking to do these things myself, and I do it imperfectly, but I’m seeking to be faithful to these very things so in light of that a part of my faithfulness right now is serving with the ministry I am with as Director of Equipping for ministry to women, our ministry is Harvest USA harvestusa.org. We’ve been around this is our 40th year of ministry, we focus on Christ centered, biblical counseling, discipleship and church equipping regarding areas of sexuality and gender. Want to just, we seek to point to the person of Christ and the gospel so you can check out a lot at our website. I’ve written a lot of articles and many books and discipleship curricula. We have discipleship workbooks for parents, men, women and wives. And we have a youth oriented workbook as well. So yeah, check us out on our website, and let us know how we can serve you.

Jason Daye 
Awesome, excellent. Ellen, thank you so much. And for those of you who are watching or listening along, we will have links to Harvest USA. Some of the resources that Ellen had mentioned as well in this week’s toolkit for this episode. Again, you can find that PastorServe.org/network, find links to all of those great things there all those great resources that Ellen’s offered. Ellen, thank you so much for making the time again to hang out with us to share and just to really speak into a topic that is it’s never like, you know, the fun the yay, let’s talk about this topic, but it is so crucial. So people Yeah, exactly. It’s what people are experiencing what people are facing. And if you’re not facing it yourself, there’s someone you know someone you love someone you care about, who’s facing it, at some point in your life. And so for us to understand these things, as pastors as ministry leaders as brothers and sisters, we’re serving on the frontlines of ministry, first to understand it for ourselves. But for us to understand these, for those that God’s entrusted to us, right to serve and to minister to So, Ellen, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us and for the ministry that you are doing there at Harvest USA.

Ellen Dykas 
You’re welcome.

Jason Daye 
All right, God bless you.

Jason Daye
Now, before you go, I want to remind you of an incredible free resource that our team puts together every single week to help you and your team dig more deeply and maximize the conversation that we just had. This is the weekly toolkit that we provide. And we understand that it’s one thing to listen or watch an episode, but it’s something entirely different to actually take what you’ve heard, what you’ve watched, what you’ve seen, and apply it to your life and to your ministry. You see, FrontStage BackStage is more than just a podcast or YouTube show about ministry leadership, we are a complete resource to help train you and your entire ministry team as you seek to grow and develop in life in ministry. Every single week, we provide a weekly toolkit which has all types of tools in it to help you do just that. Now you can find this at PastorServe.org/network. That’s PastorServe.org/network. And there you will find all of our shows, all of our episodes and all of our weekly toolkits. Now inside the toolkit are several tools including video links and audio links for you to share with your team. There are resource links to different resources and tools that were mentioned in the conversation, and several other tools, but the greatest thing is the ministry leaders growth guide. Our team pulls key insights and concepts from every conversation with our amazing guests. And then we also create engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process, providing space for you to reflect on how that episode’s topic relates to your unique context, at your local church, in your ministry and in your life. Now you can use these questions in your regular staff meetings to guide your conversation as you invest in the growth of your ministry leaders. You can find the weekly toolkit at PastorServe.org/network We encourage you to check out that free resource. Until next time, I’m Jason Daye encouraging you to love well, live well, and lead well. God bless.

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