FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Love Renewed: Henry and Christin Borger

with Henry and Christin Borger | June 20, 2013
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What could a couple of divorce lawyers have in common with FamilyLife’s mission to strengthen marriages? A whole lot, after they experienced the transformative power of Jesus Christ in their marriage.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • What could a couple of divorce lawyers have in common with FamilyLife’s mission to strengthen marriages? A whole lot, after they experienced the transformative power of Jesus Christ in their marriage.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

What could a couple of divorce lawyers have in common with FamilyLife’s mission to strengthen marriages?

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Love Renewed: Henry and Christin Borger

With Henry and Christin Borger
June 20, 2013
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Bob:  Christin Borger’s life was fine, with one exception. Her marriage was miserable.

Christin:  I knew I had a huge hole in my heart. I was trying to fill that hole with kids, community activities, all sorts of things. I could not fill it! We had just built our dream home. I walked in; and I remember thinking, “What have we done?!” I was still unhappy!

Bob:  This is FamilyLife Today for Thursday, June 20th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. If Christin and Henry Borger’s marriage had continued in the direction it was headed, they would not be married today. But God had other plans for them. Stay tuned.   

[Recorded Message]

Bob:  And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. I think there must be something wrong. We are onboard the Love Like You Mean It® marriage cruise. For our listeners—who are listening—this was actually recorded back several months ago, when we were together with a bunch of friends, who are with us here today. Welcome to all of you. [Applause]

Dennis:  Bob, this actually brings new definition to the concept of “Don’t rock the boat,” because this boat is rocking right now.

Bob:  It is kind of swaying. I said I think there must be something wrong, and it has nothing to do with the boat rocking. It has to do with the fact that it’s been about an hour-and-a-half, and I’ve had nothing to eat! [Laughter] I’m just going, “Something is wrong.”

Dennis:  It is the “Eat Like You Mean It” cruise—there’s no doubt about it.

Bob:  Yes it is “Eat Like You Mean It”.

Dennis:  Well, we have a pair of guests that we just met, here on the cruise, Henry and Christin Borger. Welcome to our broadcast.

Christin:  Thank you.

Henry:  Thank you.

Dennis:  Glad you’re here. Now, this is interesting because you’re both prosecutors by profession. Not really, you’re attorneys by profession.

Christin:  We’re attorneys.

Henry:  Attorneys.

Christin:  We’re both attorneys.

Dennis:  But you can prosecute and persecute daily, not only at work, but at home.

Christin:  Yes.

Henry:  Very true.

Christin:  I have been told, at times—not in the past several years, but before—“Take me off the witness stand, and stop cross-examining me.”

Dennis:  I told an attorney, just a few minutes ago, here, on the cruise, “You can win the argument and lose the case.”

Christin:  Mm hmm.

Henry:  Absolutely.

Bob:  I have to tell you guys because I’m just sitting here, looking at my wife who’s looking up at me, because there was a time, early in our marriage, where she excused herself from the stand, and went back to the back bedroom, and locked the back door. I thought, “How immature of her to run away when all I was trying to do was have a discussion.” Later, she pointed out that I was not particularly interested in a discussion. I was trying to get to a verdict. So, I’ve been right where you are. I understand.

Dennis:  Yes, no doubt. Well, you guys have quite a love story; right?

Henry:  That’s right.

Dennis:  How did you meet?

Henry:  We knew each other from high school. Christin was three years younger than I was. It’s a small high school—so you know everybody. We went different directions. We both had been married before. Actually, I have a son from a previous marriage. We went into the practice of law together in our home town. That’s when things took off from there.

Bob:  So, you became law partners before you had any romantic interest in one another.

Henry:  Yes.

Bob:  When was the first time, around the office, Christin, that you started to go, “He’s really kind of cute,” or, “…nice,” or whatever it was that you thought?

Christin:  Well I think I fell in love, first, with Henry’s intellect. I love his voice. We would sit there and debate—which later, when you’re married, together, and having a disagreement—that can kind of be difficult. But we love to talk. We love to discussthings. We love to debate. So, that grew naturally from there.

Bob:  And for you, when did you first start to entertain romantic thoughts toward Christin?

Henry:  Well, it really was just a function of spending so much time with her and just starting to see her heart. She was and is the most giving person that I think I’ve ever, ever met. She’s always looking out for everybody else, and I just became attracted to that.

Bob:  Anything going on, spiritually, in either of your lives, at this point?

Henry:  Spiritually, there was nothing going on in my life. My background is—I am the child of a parent, who each left their marriage—had an affair. My father had six children. My mother had three children. They each left their marriages—came together. I am one of one or one of ten, depending at how you look at it.

Dennis:  Wow. How did your first marriage end?

Henry:  With an affair.

Dennis:  You or her?

Henry:  Me.

Dennis:  Lost hope?

Henry:  Umm--

Christin:  That’s how our relationship began; so—

Bob:  Got it. Okay; alright.

Henry:  So that’s part of—

Christin:  He didn’t want to say it, out of respect for me.

Henry:  That’s part of our story that we have a very difficult time with—is that our marriage started with an affair. We struggled with that.

Christin:  But we’re family law attorneys. We see people every single week, seeking a divorce. We have to go deep with those people and tell them: “Listen! Don’t do what we did.”

Bob:  Wow.

Christin:  Our story has progressed from there—where Henry and I struggled, and struggled, and struggled. We’re two attorneys, we were a blended family, regular marital issues—there were a number of different things. About three-and-a-half years ago, we separated for about five months. I guess your question was, “Where were we, spiritually, back then?”

Bob:  Right.

Christin:  Henry was not anywhere. I had been raised in the Methodist church—singing in the choir, going to youth group—but it was all about good works. There was no relationship at all. Gradually, through our marriage, it was easier not to go to church—not to pursue that. It was easier, within the context of our marriage. So, I really fell away from church altogether.

But when we started having significant problems and really talking about separation, I had said: “I’m going to church. I’m going to take the kids.” Henry said, “Can I come, too?” So, we started—that was in January of 2010—we started going to church. Our pastor is somebody we knew from high school—somebody I graduated from high school with.  We started going to church every Sunday together, no matter what. Even when we separated for five months, we went to church every single Sunday together.

Bob:  When did things progress from “We’re going to church,” to “There’s something here that I have to deal with—the reality of who God is, my own sin, my need for a Savior”?

Christin:  Well, during that time period, I knew I had a huge hole in my heart. I didn’t know why. I knew I was unhappy. I was trying to fill that hole with kids, community activities, all sorts of things. I could not fill it! We had just built our dream home. I walked in; and I remember thinking, “What have we done?!” I was still unhappy!

We ended up separating during that time period, quite frankly, because of me. My heart was just hard. I couldn’t see my way through anything different. So, we separated. I ended up going on a mission trip through a group called Meeting God in Missions. I was in the Dominican Republic. For the first time, I truly accepted Jesus Christ.

Bob:  You understood the Gospel.

Christin:  Yes. When we were down there in the Dominican, I had people coming to me saying, “I feel I’m supposed to talk to you about your marriage.” “What?! I just want to deepen my relationship with Jesus Christ.” I came home—surrounded myself with mature believers—knew I needed to do that. Somehow, through this women’s Bible study, we always talked about my marriage. But then, Henry had already accepted Christ, at that point—

Henry:  Right. Well, my—

Bob:  Yes, tell us how that happened.

Henry:  Sure. For me, I never dealt with the failure of my first marriage. When it came to me—that I was going to lose another marriage—and, now, I was going to have a child from my first wife, and we have a child together—as an attorney, I saw, every day, people that were living this and what it was doing to their children, and their families, and their next generations.

I, literally, was broken to the point of saying, “I just can’t accept that!” So, I went to church and I saw this woman—I couldn’t even tell you who she is—but I saw her just fall on her knees, up at the altar. I just wanted it. All of a sudden, something inside of me came over me, and I just wanted that faith. I wanted that belief. I wanted that power. So, I just gave my life to God, at that point.

I know it totally shocked her, at times, to hear some of the things that would come out of my mouth or see some of the things that I was doing because I had railed against organized religion for 40 years of my life.

Dennis:  Like what would come out of your mouth?

Henry:  Before or after?

Dennis:  After. [Laughter] I’m not interested in before.

Bob:  This is Christian radio. We don’t want to hear the before, bro.

Henry:  Well, when I would say to her, “Let’s pray about it.” She looked at me like—

Christin:  Well, remember when Erin was involved in a skiing accident? Henry went down on one knee and started to pray. I said, “What are you doing?” This just was not my husband! He had never done this before. Where was this before?! My heart was hard, right then; and I didn’t understand. So, it took awhile for God to work on my heart.

But we both watched the movie Fireproof, independently, of each other. He didn’t know I was watching it. I didn’t know he was watching it. We watched it at the same time. It convicted me. I fell to my knees, crying, and crying, and crying, and crying. We just knew—we knew, “God hates divorce, and we don’t want to leave this legacy for our kids.” That’s what we knew. We didn’t know how to put it together. We didn’t know anything else.

We had been meeting, during that time period, once a week. We were running a business, had two children, very involved in the community. So, we had been meeting, once a week, over food in a local restaurant: “Bring your agenda. I’ll bring my agenda. We’ll talk to try and get through things.” Through those meetings, Henry said, “I would like to go to a marriage retreat.”

Henry:  I said: “I’d like to find some help. Would you go with me?” She said, “Well, if you do the research, we can look at it.” So, of course, the first thing I did was I texted our pastor. I said, “I’m looking for a Christian marriage retreat, seminar—something.” “I’ll get back to you.” We love our pastor, but I knew that meant, “I’m not getting a text back.” [Laughter]

Christin:  Well, there just wasn’t —. There was no ministry—there was nothing, in our community, for marriages—nothing!

Henry:  There was nothing—where we’re from. So, I, literally, got on the internet and started looking. I found—I don’t remember the names of the other ones—but I found—

Christin:  There were three.

Henry:  Yes, there were three total. I found the Weekend to Remember®as one of the three. I printed off all the information. The next time we met, I showed up with the information. I said: “Here are three of them. Take a look at them. Tell me what you think.” I think we both realized that that was the one we wanted to try. So, we headed off to Pittsburgh; but that was the start of it.

Christin:  We had reconciled, at that point. We were living back at home. We had reconciled the month before. Like Henry said, we had no idea—no idea how to put it together.

Henry:  We were living in the same household again, but there was not—

Bob:  There was still isolation.

Henry:  There was no intimacy. There was no passion. There was no looking at each other like, “This is God’s perfect gift!” [Laughter] There wasn’t.

Dennis:  Yes, no doubt. So, what happened at the Weekend to Remember?

Henry:  At the Weekend to Remember—

Christin:  It was amazing.

Henry:  I remember, after about halfway through on Saturday, I just looked at Christin and I said: “I have never been so intellectually stimulated in all my life.” I’ve been to college; I’ve been to law school. I just had never been so challenged and so reached, intellectually. I said: “I never knew any of this. I didn’t know that there was a plan that God had designed for marriage.”

Christin:  We really felt so stupid!

Henry:  We did. [Laughter]

Christin:  Really, because we used to like to think of ourselves as intelligent people—we walked out of there, saying: “We know nothing—nothing! How did we even function before?”

Henry:  Right.

Christin:  And we told them, there, at that conference, “The world needs to know this about marriage!”

Henry:  We did. That’s exactly what we said.

Christin:  “We need to get this out!” They said, “Well, funny you would say that. We just developed The Art of Marriage™.” We said, “Well, we’re going to buy it!” We brought it back to Warren, Pennsylvania. We’ve—the first time we showed it at our church—

Dennis:  Well now, wait a second. You were separated—

Christin:  Yes.

Dennis:  —hardened—

Christin:  Yes.

Dennis:  —crusty—

Christin:  Yes.

Dennis:  —you know—no hope.

Christin:  Yes.

Dennis:  You come to faith in Christ.

Christin:  Yes.

Dennis:  Now, you’re on a jet sled. You’re talking about reaching your community.

Christin:  Yes.

Henry:  Right.

Dennis:  What happened?

Christin:  Well, when God gets a hold of you, He gets a hold of you. I’ll tell you what! God gets a hold of you, and I’m a type A-plus personality. So, the combination together—


Bob:  I had no idea. [Laughter and applause]

Christin:  Oh-h-h-h.

Bob:  So, you buy the Art of Marriage, and go home, and say, “We’re doing this at the church.”

Henry:  Well, not immediately. We were still working through some of our—and The Art of Marriage really wasn’t even out, at that point.

Dennis:  Had you moved back in together?

Christin:  Yes.

Henry:  Yes.

Christin:  We moved back in the month before we went—we moved back in—in September. We went to Art of Marriage in October of 2010.

Bob:  Went to the Weekend to Remember.

Christin:  What did I say? Oh, Weekend to Remember, I’m sorry, yes.

Henry:  Yes—Weekend to Remember—right.

Christin:  So, our first showing of Art of Marriage was your kickoff.

Bob:  2-11-11; February—

Christin:  Yes.

Dennis:  There were 700 events that weekend.

Christin:  Well, we had over a hundred people there. [Laughter]

Christin:  On the evaluations, person, after person, after person said, “I think that just saved my marriage.”

Bob:  Wow. [Applause]

Bob:  You’ve done it a couple times since then; right?

Christin:  Yes.

Henry:  Three total, and we’re scheduled again to do it this fall.

Christin:  Three total. Then, we said: “Alright, that’s a great event. It gets people stirred up; but what’s the follow up? What’s the in between? What comes after that?” So, what we started doing at home—we were making our own plan. We did not know how to do this, at all. I love the sound of Henry’s voice—love the sound of Henry’s voice—so we decided that we would read together. He would read out loud to me. The very first book we chose was Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages. We did Kevin Leman’s Sheet Music. Now, we’re reading Sacred Marriage. Good stuff.

Dennis:  Good stuff. Tell us how your practice has changed.

Henry:  Well, it’s interesting because this is probably not the best business model, if you want to be a divorce attorney or family law attorney; [Laughter] but people come in the door to talk to us about divorce. We tell them: “Well, we’re not going to do that. We’re going to talk about reconciliation.”

Now, that’s a great story; but you have to understand that the people that are coming to us are broken people. You’re seeing every variety of brokenness, you know. You’re seeing spouses who are in situations where they’re married to a drug addict, who is spending all the family’s money on drugs—on bath salts, or crystal meth, or that kind of thing. You’re seeing where you have the spouse in jail. You’re seeing, certainly, where people are finding out their spouse is having an affair. They’re getting hit by the two-by-four that, all of a sudden, the spouse wants a divorce.

I wish I could sit here and say to you every one of these stories is a success story, but they’re not. But are we giving all of these people hope? Are we giving them resources? Are we trying to show them that there’s another way; and are we trying to say to them: “Look at us. We’ve made a mess—in a couple different ways, in a couple different marriages, in a couple different times. Is there hope for you? Absolutely, there is.” We have, hopefully, helped a fair number of people put their marriages back together.

Christin:  And that’s what a lot of people really want to hear—is just that there’s hope—

Bob:  That’s right.

Christin:  —and to be encouraged, and to know: “We’ve been through a lot of fires, and we’re there, and we’re in it; and there’s a God that wants to help them.”

Dennis:  Yes, there sure is; and He’s using you. I was thinking, as you were talking—it’s talking about being a new creation—if anyone is in Christ. It says, “All of this is from God, who through Christ, reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that Christ [God] was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”

Henry:  That’s good.

Dennis:  You were reconciled to God; then, to each other—

Henry:  That’s right.

Dennis:  --and, now, you’re attorneys who are helping people experience reconciliation—vertically, with God; and horizontally, with others.

Bob:  That’s pretty cool.

Dennis:  It is cool. What do you think? [Applause]

Dennis:  Thank you guys for sharing your story, and thank you for reaching out to your community. I have a feeling you’re going to impact tens of thousands of lives through your story in the coming days, months, and years. God’s going to use you in a great way. Thanks for being on FamilyLife Today.

Henry:  Thank you.

Christin:  Thank you. [Applause]


Bob:  Well, we’ve been listening as Christin and Henry Borger shared their story onboard the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise, back a couple of months ago. One of the things that stands out to me about this story is—here’s a couple, who is still fresh in their walk with Jesus. I mean, these are not veterans, who have been at it for decades. These are people who have been walking with Christ for just a couple years now; and yet, they recognize the transforming power of the Gospel, and they want to see other couples impacted by what they’ve learned by attending a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway, and now in hosting an Art of Marriage weekend getaway for couples.

I don’t know how many of our listeners know about The Art of Marriage; but it’s a Friday night/Saturday video conference that you can hold, anywhere in your community. Lots of people do it in churches, but you can do it just about anywhere—two sessions on Friday night; four sessions on Saturday. You invite people to come; and they get a chance to hear from folks like Crawford Loritts, and Dennis Rainey, from Voddie Baucham, Paul David Tripp, and Al Mohler. There is just a great lineup of Bible teachers who are included in The Art of Marriage. Then, along with them, there are testimonies and dramatic pieces and some humor. It’s pretty compelling—the six sessions on video—really unlike anything you’ve probably ever seen before in terms of marriage ministry. It’s so easy for a couple to host one of these events.

The reason I’m talking so much about The Art of Marriage is because, this week, we’re asking listeners to join with us, over the summer, and host one of these events in your community. If you will call us at 1-800-FL-TODAY and let us know where you’ll host the event and when you’ll host the event, we will send you The Art of Marriage event kit—with the DVDs, and the workbook, and everything you need to make it work—we’ll send it to you free. We just ask that you’d cover the cost of the shipping and the handling.

So again, give us a call at 1-800-FL-TODAY and say, “We’re ready to do what the Borgers have done and host one of these events in our community.” Call 1-800-FL-TODAY and let us send you The Art of Marriage event kit. Then, pray with us that there might be more than a thousand of these events taking place over the next three months—between now and the end of September. That’s our hope, and that’s our prayer.

Now, we want to quickly say, “Thank you,” to those of you who help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today. We’re grateful for your partnership with us. You help us pay the bills; and there are bills that come in, every week, related to producing and syndicating this daily radio program.

This week, if you can make a donation of at least $25 to help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today, we’d like to send you a six-CD set—messages from the very first Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise. All you have to do is go to Click the button that says, “I CARE”. Make a donation of at least $25, and we’ll send the six-CD set from the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise out to you. Or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY. Make your donation over the phone, and ask for the six-CD set. Again, we’re happy to send it to you. We’re grateful that you listen to FamilyLife Today and that you’re partnering with us in this ministry.

And we want to encourage you to be back with us again tomorrow, when we’ll introduce you to another couple we met onboard the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise—Denise and Randy McGarvey. They’ll be here to share about the dramatic work that God did in their marriage. I hope you can join us for that.

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. See you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today

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