[05.15.08] South African pastor Ray McCauley said he and his wife, Zelda, have no plans to divorce.
The leader of Rhema Bible Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, one of the nation’s largest churches, told his congregation in early May that he and his wife of eight years had endured a very difficult time in their marriage, but that their relationship was on the mend. “We went through a time when Zelda was totally exhausted and stressed out and we were both very busy, and that took its toll,” McCauley told Charisma. “Christians are not exempt from marriage problems, but by choosing to stick to God all things [can] work for good.”
In addition to fatigue, both McCauleys attribute their marital difficulties to spiritual warfare. “I’ve never experienced such an attack on marriage in the spiritual realm,” Zelda McCauley said. “Looking back I now realize I tried to take on too much, and I got burned out. I wanted to save the world because coming from a disadvantaged background you feel everyone’s pain and you empathize.”
The couple said they sought Christian counseling, and a Rhema spokesperson said no divorce papers were ever served. Zelda McCauley said she felt that many people around her, including Christians, seemed to take delight in their marital difficulties. “I was shocked that people would rather see you get divorced than be married,” she said. “But God came literally at the midnight hour, and I realized it wasn’t about me. It was about the devil always trying to pull Ray down.”
Ray McCauley and his first wife, Lyndie, divorced in 2000 after 24 years of marriage. Lyndie McCauley, who relocated to the U.S., told South African media that her marriage was “emotional torture” with “absolutely unbearable” pressure. She later told Charisma that her ex-husband was “an angry man … who loses his temper a lot.”
Ray McCauley married Zelda, a former model who has reportedly been twice divorced, in 2001. The couple say their marriage is now better than ever. “The enemy is against marriage—especially Christian marriage, which is a strong spiritual bond and God’s institution,” Ray McCauley said. “However, when you seek God’s face in prayer, have godly, prayerful people around you, and protect your spirit by keeping a positive attitude around you, you can also overcome. Today, Zelda and I are more blessed in our marriage than ever by the grace of God. He has done an amazing thing in our lives.” –Janet Sebastian