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November/December 2006 Issue

Affair Ministry Emerged from Brokenness

By Carey Clark

After 18 years of what he would have said was a happy and fulfilling marriage, Brian Bercht nonetheless had an affair. Four years later Anne Bercht of Abbotsford, B.C., published her book My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me (Trafford, 2004). She wrote the book after her husband shared his secret.

“One of the first things I did [after he repented and told me] was go to my local Christian bookstore with a hooded sweatshirt and dark sunglasses looking for a book that dealt directly with affairs,” she says.

She didn’t find one.

The book is just part of a ministry (www.beyondaffairs.com) the couple created to break the silence on affairs in Christian marriages. Their Passionate Life Seminars cover topics like building a passionate marriage and how to recover from an affair.

“No one talks about it,” Brian says. But a lot of people do it, according to Peggy Vaughan who works with the Berchts. Some estimate cheating affects as many as 80 percent of marriages, says Vaughan.

The Berchts have been on the Oprah Winfrey Show among others. They reach both Christians and non-Christians, both survivors and those looking to prevent affairs in healthy marriages.

“You need to develop the skills to do marriage,” says Anne.

Most couples believe an affair could never happen to them. Brian believed that a couple of months before he started seeing the other woman.

“Christians aren’t aware of how easily they can get caught up in an affair, how subtle the temptations are,” he says. Most believe the myth that affairs happen only in bad marriages.

The Berchts believe they are proof that this commonly held belief is not true — and proof of the healing power of forgiveness. “We now have a deeper level of honesty than we ever thought possible,” Brian says. “I would never go back to the way things used to be.”

The greatest reward they gain from their ministry, which includes private and group coaching for couples impacted by affairs, is seeing lives changed. They often see couples whose marriages were headed for divorce “and now they’re so in love and they can’t imagine living without the other person.”

Other articles
Nov/Dec 2006 Issue

Cover Story
Called Into The House

Featured Articles
Native Suicide: A Challenge to the Church

One Youth's Life or Death Struggle

From the Editor
Called to Respond

Kingdom Matters
Affair Ministry Emerged from Brokenness

Family's Story Tied to Mercy Ships

Phone Ministry 24/7 

Splat! Paintball with Christian Love

The Gathering Place
Responding to Distortions

God at Work in Denominations
God Uses Willingness to Serve

A Church You Should Know
Eglise Nouvelle Vie

Ask a Theologian:
What DNA Matter Did the Baby Jesus Have?

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