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Leaving the pastoral ministry was a traumatic experience. But God used my experience of failure to teach me something about hope.

My personality is much like Simon Peter's: bold, driven, impetuous, with a must-be-right attitude and the need to win at all costs. This gradually eroded my relationship with my wife, Fay, and in 1970, all communication broke down. We couldn't talk about anything without my having to prove she was wrong and I was right. Inevitably, she responded by withdrawing into silence.

This especially troubled me because as a pastor I believed I had no business leading God's church if I couldn't lead my own household.

In desperation, we sought marriage counseling, where I began to discover something I had never understood: I behaved as I did to protect myself. I was most secure when I was competing and wining. I couldn't admit I was scared and so tried to win by intimidation

The day this became clear to me, I had just returned from a week-long encounter group. I had listened ...

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