Ex-Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz's Wife Breaks Silence Following Cheating Scandal, Says She Does Not Want To Be 'Judged'
Laura Lentz, the wife of ex-Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz, is marking the couple's wedding anniversary by breaking her silence on her husband's controversial cheating scandal.
On Wednesday, May 5, Laura posted to her Instagram for the first time since October, the month before her husband's scandal made headlines. While she did not explicitly reference Carl in her lengthy post, Laura alluded to family conflict and resilience.
"There are many symbolic meanings to these amazing trees," the brunette beauty wrote alongside the photo of a blue sky with multiple palm trees. "A few that have resonated with me during this season of my life: they are strong, can weather the biggest storms, they always grow upwards. Freedom, righteousness, reward, resurrection just to name a few…"
On the day that the couple should be celebrating their 18 years of marriage, the mother-of-three explained she took a break from social media in recent months because it was "not good for [her] soul."
Laura added that she's had to block and delete more users than she can count in light of her husband's scandal. Despite the unkind words from haters, Laura seems to be thinking positively.
"Trolls are cowards, SOME 'Christians' are anything but kind, gracious, or loving…but that won't stop me from growing upwards & getting stronger," she continued. "I have learnt a lot about myself over the past few months. Now more than ever I know the kindness of God, His grace, forgiveness & strength."
And while her family's struggles have led to "true friendships," she told her 312K followers that this journey has marked the end of others.
"I will not forget who abandoned us, but I choose to keep my heart free of bitterness & remain thankful for those that have stayed & loved us. I don't want to judge others nor do I want to be judged," Laura insisted.
She ended her post with a quote her friend once told her that stuck with her. "I would rather be accused of being too gracious toward someone, over being accused of judging someone too harshly," the quote read.
To conclude, Laura said she wants to be "known as a woman who sees the good in people & truly loves people unconditionally," before adding the hashtags, "You Can Only Change You, "Love Wins" and "Grow Upwards."
Laura's post comes months after Carl was fired from Hillsong Church, after being with the church for 10 years, last November due to "moral failures," Brian Houston, the megachurch founder, confirmed at the time.
Carl — who was previously pals with Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin — later admitted that he had been "unfaithful" in his marriage to Laura via Instagram. About two weeks after making the shocking announcement, a woman named Ranin Karim claimed to be his mistress in an interview with Vanity Fair.
Despite the claims, Laura "has stood by his side," as she and Carl were "working very hard" to save their marriage amid the turmoil, OK! learned. At the time, the Lentzes were reportedly going through "intense" counseling together.
"His wife is a boss and yes, realizes this was a major miss in the trust of their relationship," a friend of the couple dished to PEOPLE in November. "He loves how she cares for the kids. She is incredibly kind, smart and has always been supportive."
One month after Carl was fired, Houston was allegedly heard saying in a leaked audio that Carl took part in multiple "significant" affairs before the church let him go.
Carl eventually sought "treatment at an outpatient facility that specializes in depression, anxiety and pastoral burnout," a source told the outlet in December, adding that “he wants to be better for his family and is dedicated to doing the work.”