Pastor, writer and wife of ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ author Rick Warren, Kay Warren is one of the most recognizable women in the evangelical church. Her inspired teaching and writing on the gospel is a blessing to millions, with her book ‘Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough’ helping millions find true fulfilment in Christ. In many ways, she and Rick are an extremely successful ‘ministry couple.’

But things were not always easy between the two of them. In a recent article for Christianity Today, Kay opened up about her past pornography addiction, her experience of childhood sexual abuse, and how her experiences deeply affected her marriage. “The deepest place of confusion and internal struggle for me as a teenager was finding pornography at the home of neighbors where I babysat. I was both fascinated and repelled by this forbidden material,” she writes.

But Kay kept on going back to the same material every time she was at the house and developed a fixation with it. “I was hooked. The good girl who loved Jesus with all her heart had a secret fascination with pornography, and the shame about killed me,” she discloses. Even after marrying Rick, she struggled with her pornography use. “What made it worse was that everyone considered us the perfect couple,” she writes.

“On our second wedding anniversary, we moved for Rick to pursue a master’s degree in theology so that he could become a senior pastor. We still had massive problems with sex, communication, and money, and we were in marital hell.”

So, how did things change?

Well, by hanging on. By keeping on. By clinging to their faith, and always being willing to forgive each other for their shortcomings. “We’ve beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union. We’ve weathered my breast cancer and melanoma. We’ve survived the mental illness and suicide of our son Matthew,” Kay writes. “And now we know. We know we are the best thing that has ever happened to each other.”

“I’m a better Christian, a better woman, a better mother, a better friend, and a better minister because of Rick. He says he’s a better Christian, a better man, a better father, a better friend, and a better minister because of me.”

“The shrieks of iron sharpening iron have often sounded like gears grinding on bare metal, but the result has been profound personal growth in both of us.”

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