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Personal Testimony

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Personal Testimony of Dr. Don Dunlap

Family Counseling Ministries -

I became a Christian in high school through the outreach ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.  I was immediately challenged to begin the process of personal evangelism, discipleship and ministry equipping.  Within a few months of my sixteenth birthday, I came to believe that I should prepare for pastoral ministry.

After completing my undergraduate degree I attended Seminary in order to become equipped with the necessary knowledge, resources, and skills to effectively minister God’s Word in pastoral work.  During my final year at Seminary, Debbi and I were married.

Like many young men, I came to marriage thoroughly unprepared for the responsibilities I had assumed.  Although my wife and I were both committed Christians, neither of us possessed a very clear understanding of how to apply the Scriptures to our daily lives.  Soon after we were married we began to experience significant conflict.  Unresolved bitterness and resentment began to surface dramatically.  The conflict culminated in near-divorce.

Throughout the course of our marriage we have experienced the consequences of the absence of a strong biblical foundation in our formative Christian years.  Our problems continued to intensify and in the end, I was unfaithful to my wife. Only by God’s grace and the loving intervention of godly counselors, was my marriage salvaged. 

I often express to counselees that I wish I could sit before them on the basis of a successful life, marriage and ministry.  Such, however, is not the case.  The truth of the matter is, I sit before them with a message of failure and weakness.  Praise His name that He is a God who makes Himself strong in our weakness.  Where there was brokenness and humiliation, He provided forgiveness and restoration.  My greatest hope lies in the Scripture that promises, “God comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort others with the comfort we have received.” 

I know the pain and heartbreak of a difficult marriage.  And I know the miracle of God granting beauty for ashes.  He has given Debbi and me success in our marriage relationship as we have cried out to Him for help, sought godly mentors and became accountable.

For the past several years I have met weekly with group of Christian men.  I have submitted my life, my marriage and my ministry to their scrutiny and their prayerful support.  I thank God for their consistent and continual encouragement. 

The ministry of Dr. Howard Hendricks has significantly impacted my life.  His life and his teaching ministry have given me a blueprint for how to be the spiritual head of my home, how to love and cherish my wife, and how to raise my children in a godly manner.

I remain in the debt of Dr. Jay Adams.  His books have provided the theological basis for my ongoing counseling ministry.  His life and mentoring provided the example of a loving, nurturing pastor, for which my family and I are profoundly grateful.


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