Brandon and Jen Hatmaker

Popular Christian Author and TV Personality Jen Hatmaker Files for Divorce

By Julie Roys

Popular Christian author, speaker, and TV personality, Jen Hatmaker, has filed for divorce from her husband, Brandon.

The 46-year-old mother of five filed papers on August 21 in Hays County  22nd District Court in Texas.

Hatmaker announced the divorce on Instagram Monday.

View this post on Instagram

I first thank you for the kindness you have shown these last two months. We are in a moment with no handbook and without a single clue how to navigate this privately, much less publicly. I don’t know how to hide grief, so I haven't, and I am grateful for your absolute decency these last few weeks. I don’t know how to say this, and I still cannot believe I am even saying it, but Brandon and I are getting divorced. Although the details are ours alone, this was completely unexpected, and I remain stunned as we speak. I am shocked, grief-stricken, and broken-hearted. . Although this community is impossibly dear, beloved to me, in case you are an interloper who revels in the pain of another, I beg you to spare us your cruelty. We have suffered so greatly. (Hateful comments that harm our family will be deleted.) The kids and I are getting away to retreat for awhile, and I ask for your kindness…and for some room to breathe. Please respect the privacy of our children and our extended family. Our loss is not for public devouring. We are real people managing this in our real life in real time, and we are doing the absolute best we know how to do. . If you pray, pray for us. Hold us so dear to your hearts. We have felt your prayers these last few weeks. We have experienced your mercy. Thank you for being good to us. Know that we are deeply surrounded by love and have not been alone a single second in two months. Please help protect us and keep us safe as we try to heal and rebuild. . Yours, Jen

A post shared by Jen Hatmaker (@jenhatmaker) on

Jen and Brandon Hatmaker have been married since 1993 and have five children. Their family was featured on the HGTV show Your Big Family Renovation, a reality TV show that features the couple fixing up homes for large, growing families. 

The Hatmakers also founded Austin New Church in Austin, Texas, where Jen Hatmaker remains on the board.

On July 31, Hatmaker revealed on Instagram that her family was in a painful place and requested prayer.

“In short, we are deeply hurting in our little life,” she wrote, adding: “Our family is navigating an unexpected crisis, and I’ve taken a step back from socials and work to help steer toward healing and wholeness. Please know that everyone is safe, and our kids are okay.”

View this post on Instagram

Hi. It’s been quiet here. I’ve been quiet. In short, we are deeply hurting in our little life. As I’ve written, there is a difference between secrecy marked by shame, and privacy marked by discretion, and we are in the second category. Our family is navigating an unexpected crisis, and I’ve taken a step back from socials and work to help steer toward healing and wholeness. Please know that everyone is safe, and all our kids are okay. Also know that our community and family has radically cared for us, and we are surrounded by love and support. Jesus loves us. We are not alone. . Please don’t worry but please do pray for us if you pray. A request: don’t pry or ask or push, even out of sincere concern. Please don’t blow up our phones and inboxes and DMs (or our friends’). Just hold us close to your heart in great love. As I reengage our online community here, I’ll be whatever I am that day, so thanks for the space to be a human person. I’ve always known you were a soft place to land. Thank you for loving us in all things, at all times, through all moments.

A post shared by Jen Hatmaker (@jenhatmaker) on

Hatmaker has been a controversial figure in evangelicalism since 2016, when she affirmed gay marriage and said she believes gay relationships can be holy.

The move prompted LifeWay Christian Resources to discontinue Hatmaker’s best-selling Bible studies and also prompted backlash from some of her followers.

In June of this year, Hatmaker revealed that her daughter, Sydney, was gay and that the family had known for years about their daughter’s orientation. Hatmaker said in a podcast that it’s “not enough” for pastors and Christians to love LGBT people; they need to also embrace their lifestyles.

In an Instagram post about two weeks ago, Hatmaker talked about being on her porch with some of her best friends, “trying to keep a lid on my emotions and be fun for a change.” Hatmaker said one friend talked about being in the navy and looking for a lighthouse on shore.

“(A)t first all we could see was one tiny light, usually a lighthouse,” Hatmaker recalled him saying. “Then a few more lights would come into view . . . And before long, the whole city was in view and we were home . . . 

“You can probably just see one tiny light right now, if at all,” Hatmaker continued. “But keep watching. Keep going. You’ll soon see more lights and more land and more signs of life. . . . That far away small light is on solid ground, and we will get there d–mit.”

(This article has been updated.)

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