My full name is Paul Christian Sullivan. I was born in Cumberland, Maryland in 1952 and lived most of my childhood in the nearby college town of Frostburg, Maryland. For most of my career, I have been an attorney, litigating nasty insurance-related disputes. For the best part of my life, the latter years since age forty-five, I have lived as a Christian and continue to grow in faith each day. I serve as a court-appointed and private mediator and lead a marriage ministry called Marriage Miracles.
I graduated from St. Michael’s Elementary School in 1966, Bishop Walsh High School in 1970, Mercersburg Academy in 1971, Washington College in 1974, and the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1977. I have been licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. More recently, I have attended Antietam Bible Seminary in Hagerstown, Maryland.
I have experience with marriage and divorce both as a litigator and personally. I now live in Hagerstown with my beloved wife, Cynthia Kelly Sullivan. I am a father, a stepfather, and a grandfather. I am a member of three churches, St. Michael’s Church in Frostburg, MD; McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers, FL; and Ringgold Church of Christ in Hagerstown, MD. In each denomination I am spiritually fed in different ways.
Throughout my life God has changed me, molded me, and allowed me to draw closer to Him. At age five, I began to follow self-imposed patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms as an outgrowth from emotional trauma. Over the early years, these patterns made complete openness mostly impossible. That changed later in life through my relationship with God. I searched for the source of my failures rather than holding onto my old “looking good” stories. The latter coping mechanism placed fault mostly on others but rarely on myself. Eventually I recognized my harmful behavioral patterns and their roots, and I took corrective action. Slowly but surely, I realized that my secular lifestyle would not only lead to spiritual death but that a new life could blossom through God’s love and grace. After failure in two marriages, I finally admitted I couldn’t do it myself and pleaded for Christ to help me. He answered me with a thirst for the boundlessly available living waters of the Word.
So, in short, this book is one of the results of the Holy Spirit taking my broken spirit and guiding me to turn the ship around in a troubled storm that thrashed, crashed, and submerged my heart for more than forty-five years. Through the study of Scripture, the seven elements of God’s Design for Marriage emerged and became vividly clear to me, and I understood why marriages are more likely to fail if a couple does not embrace and live within God’s Design for Marriage.
Many of us learn only the hard way. I, for one, learned through the horrendously painful process of mistake and failure. My prayer is that I might help someone else learn without having to go through the emotionally devastating and destructive process of divorce, which requires years and years of healing.
This is my first published book. Thank you for reading this one. There will be more, God willing.