In a June 2013 Ebony Magazine article we learned that Tina Campbell, one half of the dynamic music duo, Mary Mary, had been effected by marital infidelity when her husband Teddy chose to have an affair as Tina traveled ministering and making money through the music group. In the Ebony article Tina Said this:
“Once I became aware [of the affair], I initially wanted to kill my husband,”...“I was considering adjusting the will, the living trust and all that kind of stuff. I did physically try to stab him. Several times…I never got to the point of physical harm, not really, but my words…My words hurt.”
In some of the most recent episodes of the show "Mary Mary" played out on We TV, we actually find out that that Teddy did not stop at one affair, but actually had multiple affairs. It seems that this particular revelation was progressive one for Tina and only served to add to the pain and anguish that she experienced. She even recounted that because of the ongoing revelations that she was being killed "over and over again" and had much anger towards Teddy because his confessions seemed to free him, but tie her up at the same
According to a Euro Web article over the issues as they were coming out, Teddy, in a post last year on facebook asked for fans to fast and pray for he, his wife and their marriage. In an interview he also confessed the following:
"My struggle, was with sexual immorality but my wife struggled with anger, rage, unforgiveness, pride, just to name a few, for over 2 decades. The devil wanted to use strongholds that took hold of our lives in our childhood, to remain and destroy us as adults. So now instead of being mad at each other we’re mad at the devil and we’re ready to fight."
I am not going to get deeply into what he was actually suggesting in that post, but it seemed like he was attempting to provide a rationalization for his behavior. I'll just say this: I don't believe that Tina's "anger", "rage" and or "pride" was a justification for Teddy's infidelity as he seems to suggest, but I can give him a "man up" for taking the blame and stating that he had a long time struggle with sexual immorality. That thought is confirmed by Teddy in one of the most recent shows as he blames himself totally for the breakdown of his marriage and his actions which contributed to his wife's instability.
Tina Campbell Is Not Alone:
There is an alarming number of the increase of women who have experienced adultery by the ungodly decisions of their spouse and a number of men who are experiencing the same. As the 2013 EurWeb article reports, although Tina and Teddy are highly visible individuals, they are certainly not alone in their struggle and fight for marital survival. Eur Web states:
"The Campbells are not the only couple in the gospel industry to face extra-marital woes before the public. From Juanita Bynum and Thomas Weeks to the Tye Tribbett and DaTruth love triangle, in recent years the reality of well known Christian leading imperfect lives has come to the fore."
I would add the further highly visible sins in the former marriage of Dietrick Haddon who blamed singer and music associate, Issac Carree for sleeping with his former wife Damita and contributing to destroying his marriage. Then we can all remember J. Moss and the resultant child born of infidelity leading him to go through his own personal restoration process.
No matter how scandalous any of this may sound, the fact is that Tina and Teddy are not alone.
This is one of the only cases among religiously centered folk being played out on TV. One would think that would be a negative. In most cases it is a negative. However, what this recent season has allowed us to see, in open sight, is the depth of marital sexual sins and immorality and I believe the people of God need to see and be confronted with this up close and personal because we are suffering as a church community and practicing bad behavior and perpetuating sins such as Teddy's with very little response and even less commitment to repent and do better.
What the most recent season of Mary Mary has allowed us to see, is that adultery has a cost and that it is real. Adultery is not an issue to play with nor is it something to be taken lightly as we see that it is among many of the Black gospel elite from music to ministry and everything in between.
When adultery happens, there is a tearing of mind, body and even soul. Not to mention the dreaded diseases that could potentially occur as a result of such actions and sins, the truth is that a person's mental stability is effected and torn when infidelity happens. There are 2 elements to this. The mental stability of the victim and the mental stability of the offender as I will discuss later.
When adultery occurs, the victim (innocent spouse), suffers of a certainty. As Tina displayed there are all sorts of emotions and thoughts on how to resolve the problem, and a person's thoughts are all over the place. One can know the WORD, but one MUST know GOD and the realness of the WORD to get through this sort of personal attack.
Initially, Tina conveyed how she was tempted to hurt Teddy and did not want Teddy around or in her environment. At first I was critical of her statements towards this end, but I stand shamed of my initial criticism. Tina's reactions were real emotions and experiences of those who have been victimized. Those in her situation do good and need everything within themselves to make it from day to day, yet alone to be criticized for their response to having their world turned upside down. To criticize them is to victimize them a second time. Shame on any of those who stand back with the answers to all life's ills, while the victims suffer and seek refuge trying to hold their lives together.
Ultra-Religious, Pious or Facilitators Of Unrighteousness?
One thing religious leaders can do is stop telling them that have been defiled in this manner to simply pray or read their bibles. Prayer is always in order, but that misses the point. There are some times that burdens are so heavy that one does good to know who they are from day to day, and during those times, the prayers that are laid up are the ones that will be effective or called upon to take those who have been victimized by adultery through their storm. This is an ultra-religious position and provides no insight or feeling into the situation and how to address and resolve the connected issues.
One can be so passive when it comes to adultery that one could actually be a facilitator of it as well. Adulterers tend to hang around and hang out with those who are comfortable with their actions, flirtations, and advances. If adulterous friends are comfortable hanging out with you, it could be because they find solace in your silence. Sometimes being "normal" and the desire to not "rock the boat" is a signal of acceptance to those who are adulterous in their hearts.
Sentiments to "just get over it" many times come from the male religious authority or establishment. What I have found is that many males in particular miss the connection between adultery and the frustration experienced in part because of the way we are wired. Men normally do not associate sex with the highest emotions, committed love, or lasting presence. In fact the world teaches men the opposite. Sex is for immediate gratification and personal standing and getting "all the women" is a sign of potency, virility and ultimately acceptance within the world. Kirk Franklin recounts these values to be the view of sexuality for him as he was growing up. Sex was a way for him to show the world who he was, and the more sexual partners, the more important he was. To men, sex is tied more closely to a bodily function and serves the males needs. This is in part why most pornography displays that sex is over when the man or male is finished. In fact the whole industry was created to serve the sexual desires of men, as opposed to that of women. Sex as a self-serving value is an attitude that has also crept into the church and is reinforced by leaderships failure to act when adultery has occurred, especially when the adulterer is a male.
On the other hand, sexuality and the use of sex within the lives of most normal psychologically structured women is tied more closely to emotion, feelings of commitment, and stability. This is why adultery is a particularly brutal psychological force to a woman. Similar to helplessness of a rape or other such horrible violations of a person or individual, when adultery happens, the innocent spouse ( in this case the female) is left to pick up pieces and try to make sense of what seems senseless. There is usually an atmosphere of despair, loneliness, isolation and hopelessness. "What does all this mean?" and "Where did I fail?" are the questions that usually come up. In short, adultery is an ultimate violation of not only confidence, but the sacred union which God himself has consecrated. It is a violation of trust and a defilement of the spirit of a person and countless individuals in the path and wake of such sins.
I commend Tina for standing and enduring her situation. I commend those around her, her family, for supporting her through what she went through and experienced. I and we were all blessed by her courage and even her ups and downs served us, shook us, and made us to see ourselves in a greater way.
The second element involved in adultery and adulterous relationships is the element of mental instability of the offender (one who actively commits adultery) Mental instability begins with the one committing and considering committing the sin. It is a mentally unstable person that considers that defiling the marriage commitment is somehow a "minimal" act, or something that can be easily fixed or repaied and is on par with or to any other sin. It is not:
1 Cor. 6:18 ~ Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
"sinneth against his own body"
I have long taught that sexual immorality is a sign of low self worth, and low self value and actually revels a self destructing nature and exposes a person who is attempting to harm and damage themselves. In sexual immorality the same elements that exist in suicide. Those elements are usually 1- isolation, 2- secrecy and 3- a cover up.
In most cases people who either commit suicide or attempt to commit suicide, first isolate themselves, then deal in secrecy and cover their actions to the point that when a suicide occurs, folk are surprised. In some instances of deep marital infidelity one of the persons, either the offender (the one who committed adultery) or the victim (the innocent spouse) tries to commit suicide as a result of the revealed actions. This is not unusual.
This is why I term sexual immorality as not only a matter of spiritual stability and strength, but also a matter of mental instability.
Larry Stockstill in his book, The Remnant Restoring The Call To Personal Integrity, [Charisma House 2008], points out that there are some estimated 380,000 churches in America with an estimated 20% of them with leaders who are in situations of personal sins most of which are driven by infidelity and sexual immorality. This would mean that there are some 75,000 churches who are suffering at the hands of sexually immoral leaders and pastors.
No wonder that the American church is sick and in need of help and restoration, and the people within those churches are so desperately in need of deliverance and a breakthrough. With over 75,000 congregations undernourished by spiritual malpractice and sins of their leaders, and certainly not being fed by God, but being fed at the hands of flesh, practice and organizational doctrine and habit at the expense of holiness, we are in trouble and appear to the world to be rotten on the vine.
Adultery is also a sin in which God has reserved for judgement for himself:
Hebrews 13:4 ~ Marriage is honourable in all, and the
bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
We are told in 1 Corinthians 6:3 that we shall judge angels. However, noone will be involved in the judgement of the sins of adultery but God himself. I believe the reason is because this sin has such a far and reaching and even lasting impact upon the community, family and world as I will now discuss.
With Adultery Everyone & Everything Is Effected
What Tina's situation has shown is that infidelity effects everything. Children are effected. Careers and career decisions are effected. Ministries and the content of ministry is effected. Churches are effected and everyone who looks to the individuals who have committed such sins are effected by the sin.
The pain of sexual infidelity cannot simply be reasoned away, and noone knows the time limits when trust will be restored and when hearts will be healed as a result of infidelity and sexual sins.
For the leader considering going into the other woman's bed, you need to consider this:
Proverbs 5:3-6 ~ 3- For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4-But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. 5-Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 6-Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.
The adulterer CANNOT know the ways and the reason of woman with whom you are considering committing adultery with. It is IMPOSSIBLE. She knows the devastation and the feeling of adultery, yet she turns all of her knowledge off to be with you in an adulterous situation. You cannot fathom what that is. I am convinced that a man does not have the capacity to perceive what that is.
The trial of Tina Campbell has afforded us a glimpse into something that as church folk don't always want to see. We consider that looking at such things is a mark of failure, and it would be if we were to simply stop there.
Secondly, we act as if we believe that a simple prayer, baptismal formula or some other enlightened understanding of scripture will simply settle all issues and heal all people. Although all of those things may be a good start, unfortunately settling all things by the implementation of one of these things is simply not the case. We must reach out and heal the hurting and side with them who have been victimized.
On the show, Tina encourages Teddy to receive counseling with her. That is certainly a start, however, what is noticeable is the lack of pastoral council. The pastor should be the one taking the lead because he delivers the message of healing. I don't know who their pastor is, but he should have more of an influential and direct role in bringing and delivering healing for this family.
My prayers is that they will all be healed and that men, women and families who have suffered because of adultery will be healed. That is my prayer. In Jesus name!
Boundaries In Marriage~ Henry Cloud
Reignite Your Marriage In 2 Days ~ Smalley Inst.
Forgiveness & Restoration After Adultery ~ Marriage & Missions Intl.