He always loved school, in fact this was his one place where he excelled.
He always loved books, and had an endless curiosity about learning new things.
Becoming a teacher was a thrill of a lifetime, with a father a teacher, and aunts who were teachers; it seemed like the perfect profession to follow in his father’s footsteps. He married a teacher and this new partner was a excellent fit; both he and his wife were frequently commiserating about the challenges of getting young minds fired up about learning.
New jobs arrived and a move to a new location, where additional education was encouraged.
Then the baby came.
But education for him was still number one. When the job suggested further training, he jumped at the chance to return to school, that place where he excelled. One additional degree was completed and whew that was over.
Now he saw a chance to go further, all the way to a terminal degree.
That love of school was stronger than anything. About this time, the association with a church was getting weaker and weaker. He had been taught to go to church but it was done more as a duty than anything, a habit , the idea was that it was good to be “religious.” Now with the pursuit of an additional degree, things had to be put aside–church…..and eventually family.
His wife knew that he was going in the wrong direction.
He knew he was going in the wrong direction but he was not listening to others. He was not listening to that very small voice that said “you need to give up on this. Your family is more important than this additional education.” He ignored that voice. He said to himself, “This is important.” “This is what I have to do.” “I want this.” The voice said, “This is not necessary.” “You don’t really have to do this.” “This is something you want.” Then the conclusion….”You’re being selfish.”
All this fits Chapter 6. Pastor Idleman says that people in denial disagree with the voice. They argue their position in their own mind, justifying their actions and they convince themselves that they are right. People in denial defend their actions. When others say to the denier that things are not right, the denier gets defensive and may even avoid people or places where their acts are questioned. People in denial distract others from the reality that they are experiencing. They may point to successes or accomplishments, never pointing to the costs that are incurred for those successes or accomplishments. He got that terminal degree.
He almost lost his family.
Almost is a word that holds out hope.
His story continues later in the week; later in Chapter 6.