Carl Lentz, the former pastor of Hillsong NYC, took to social media recently to express gratitude toward his wife, Laura Lentz, for staying with him despite his infidelity toward her a few years ago.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, Lentz wished Laura a happy birthday “week” in light of her 45th birthday and thanked her for standing by his side.
"Happy 45th birthday WEEK Laura Lentz," he wrote. "To watch my wife weather these storms of life in the past few years has been inspiring. It would have been so easy and understandable for her to have walked out and ended our marriage. Yet she chose the harder road. The one that has included so much pain as she has had to endure the consequences of my decisions."
In November 2020, Lentz was fired from Hillsong NYC due to leadership and moral issues. At the time, he confessed that he cheated on Laura. His confession was confirmed by a Muslim designer named Ranin Karim, who publicly stated that she was in a months-long affair with the former pastor.
In Lentz’s post, he refuted claims that Laura was “complicit” regarding the affair, including some who “fabricated lies about her.”
“My addictive patterns and sin were cyclical and hidden, not constant,” he said. “That leaves room to fortify excuses and, at times, make somebody question the reality they see when they see it. What she did was challenge me constantly, hold on to her faith, and even in the aftermath of so much disaster, her strength has not wavered.”
Despite losing friends over the years, especially “at our lowest,” Lentz commended his wife for courageously enduring a lot of this road on her own."
"Somehow, she still loves people. … I've watched her make new friendships," he continued. "I've watched her fight for her trademark smile and kindness. [I've] watched her start multiple businesses. I've watched her still choose to believe the best in people, and despite [what's] happened to her, still stick with people when they go through hard times."
"People have asked Laura why she stayed with me. Including me!" Lentz said. "And I'll let her tell her own story and give her own reasons, and all of it is gonna help a lot [of] people. ... But she told me one dark day that she loves me and has empathy for the true roots of my dysfunction."
According to The Christian Post, he noted that Laura gave him a "firm ultimatum" and told him she believed he could “change and heal.”
"That kept me going when I couldn't see the light ever coming through the clouds," he added. "Those clouds have broken, we are on our feet, and I [don't] take for granted that I get to celebrate this birthday as her husband."
“Thank you, Laura, for holding our family together when I could not. I’m grateful for how you have trusted God, and I love you. Happy birthday!!” Lentz concluded.
Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Charley Gallay / Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.
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