Dr. Paul Tripp has weighed in on the divorce of his friend and fellow pastor, Tullian Tchividjian, lamenting that "there are times when the trust is so deeply broken and patterns so set in place" that it is best to simply "cry out for God's grace, rest in the truths of the gospel and with a grieved heart, move on."
Last Thursday, Tchividjian, who is the grandson of the Reverend Billy Graham, petitioned for divorce from his wife Kimberly Tchividjian after admitting to having an extramarital affair and resigning from the Florida megachurch he pastored.
After revealing he and his wife both engaged in "inappropriate" relationships and stepping down from his position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in June, Tchividjian spent time in "intense counseling" with Dr. Tripp and spoke openly about his flaws, explaining that he decided to allow the public to watch him in his "broken and weakened condition" so that they can better understand that Christianity is "good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good."
In an article published on his website, Dr. Tripp shared his thoughts on the difficult situation shortly after the news of Tchividjian's divorce was publicized.
"I wish we lived in a world where pastoral counsel and heart, life and ministry restoration could take place in private, but those days are regretfully long gone," Dr. Tripp wrote, explaining that he decided to post the statement to "mitigate any unnecessary and unhealthy speculation regarding the details of the situation."
"Sadly, there are times in this broken world where things that have been damaged by sin don't get put together again. So, we groan, reminded that sin still lives inside us, that we live in a shattered world and that God's work of redemption is not yet complete," he continued.
The popular speaker and author explains that it "has been with sadness that I, along with others, have come slowly and cautiously to the conclusion that his marriage is irreparably broken."
Over the past six months, Tchividjian has been "committed to dealing with the issues of his heart and to restoring his marriage," Dr. Tripp asserts. However, despite such attempts, there "are times when the trust is so deeply broken and patterns so set in place that it seems best to recognize that brokenness, cry out for God's grace, mourn, commit to forgiveness, rest in the truths of the gospel and with a grieved heart, move on," he writes.
"I remain committed to Tullian as a brother and counselor and I will continue to give him the gospel as he now deals with what we together hoped and prayed would not happen," Dr. Tripp concludes.
Tullian and Kim Tchividjian married in 1994 and have three children. According to Florida law, for a marriage to be dissolved one party must establish that the union is "irretrievably broken."
Shortly before the news of his divorce broke, Tchividjian told The Church Boys podcast that he is currently experiencing the "darkest season" of his life.
"I'm 43 years old and have never experienced a season this dark before," he said. "I am experiencing the weight of the law. I've lost everything - book deals cancelled, lost my job, all my speaking engagements canceled, reputation soiled - I mean everything."
When the scandal first broke in the media, Tchividjian said that he was "very, very" isolated and saddened by the reality of his actions.
"My sin and by badness is being broadcast through the world, seemingly on a daily basis," he admitted. "I feel like crawling into a hole and dying on most days."
However, he explained that he is now finding grace and redemption, resting in the truths of the Gospel and relying on the counsel of older, wiser Christian men.
"I can only hope and pray that, in time, as God heals me and as God reveals more of himself to me that I will - by his grace - emerge from this healthier and more humble and more excited about his amazing grace and outrageous mercy than I ever have before," he said.
Tchividjian said that he is thankful for God's grace and forgiveness and that he will allow the public to watch him as he journeys through the process in an effort to "practice what I have been preaching."