Marriage Ministries Pioneer to Divorce and Remarry -1/16/02

Smartmarriages ® cmfce at
Thu Jan 17 18:41:46 EST 2002

subject: Marriage Ministries Pioneer to Divorce and Remarry -1/16/02

from: Smart Marriages

Diane ... Did you see the story below? It was on Thursday's (1/16) daily
e-mail notes from the Charisma News Service. I don't know the people
involved or their ministry but it sounds, at least in part, as though the
man fell for some of the reasons he would have counseled others against.
Ray Martin
This one reminds me of what Bill Hardiman said at a Smart Marriages
conference keynote - it's on our web site on our Marriage Quotes page:

> As we work to strengthen marriage on a societal level, we must not neglect our
> own marriages. What good will it be for a man if he strengthens all the
> marriages in the community and loses his own way?
> Mayor Bill Hardiman, chair, Greater Grand Rapids Community Marriage Policy
> **************** 

LEAD STORY: by Andy Butcher

Marriage Ministries Pioneer to Divorce and Remarry

Marriage Plus Ministries founder Ray Mossholder says he has failed

The man widely regarded as the father of Christian marriage ministries is
filing for divorce from his wife of 42 years and plans to remarry. Ray
Mossholder, whose Marriage Plus Ministries (MPM) is credited with saving
more than 11,000 couples from divorce, says he is "ashamed and disgraced."

Mossholder, 64, announced the news of his marriage break-up in a letter to
supporters in which he referred to "the story of the shoemaker who was so
busy that his own wife had to go without shoes." He added: "I have been that
shoemaker. I make no excuse for it. I won't even blame the devil for what
has been my own fault."

MPM was the first ministry of its kind when Mossholder founded it in 1971.
He has written three books including "Marriage Plus" -- endorsed by the
likes of Jack Hayford and Pat Roberston -- and spoken at seminars across the
country and in more than 20 other countries. Mossholder and his wife,
Arlyne, were board members of the National Association of Marriage
Enhancement, and had been heard by millions on their radio and TV

The ministry was born out of struggles in the early years of the couple's
marriage, when he almost left for another woman. They shared the testimony
of their healing, but Mossholder wrote in his letter that he was "often
hypocritical when I talked about how great [our marriage] was. What I taught
was truth; however, it seemed that we were never able to apply it in our own

Mossholder said the marriage had "dissolved in words that killed whatever
reserve we had to continue together...I am ashamed and disgraced before
you." He had failed Arlyne, God and his supporters, he said. "I know I am
violating my own teaching on divorce. I don't feel I deserve heaven. I can
only hope for the blood and grace of Christ to be sufficient." Mossholder
asked people to forgive him and pray for them both, signing off as "your
broken friend."

Terry Kirk, pastor at the Mossholders' Central Christian Assembly of God in
Baltimore, Md., said he had reacted with "shock and disbelief" when told of
the split. He also felt "great sadness for the potential fallout that it
could have not only to his family, but to the kingdom of God."

Mossholder told Charisma News Service that unfaithfulness was not an issue
and that he was seeking a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable
differences. He had developed a "close friendship" with a woman through his
ministry but had not left his marriage for her. "The problem was not another
woman. The problem was a marriage that ultimately I could not live in." Now
that he has decided to end his marriage, he and the other woman plan to
marry after she gets a divorce.

The Mossholders have three grown children and eight grandchildren. They also
took in and raised several other children. Mossholder has moved to
California and left his wife to close down MPM.

Arlyne Mossholder said her husband's departure was "heartwrenching, not only
personally for our family but for the ministry." She added: "It is
absolutely horrendous to see the unraveling of a man, a marriage and a

The Mossholders' eldest son, Tim, dean of students at a Christian college,
said his father had suffered a number of ministry setbacks over the last 18
months. "The final chapter has not been written," he said. "We are believing
that God will intervene in his hurt and pain and frustration."

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