Marvin Sapp Talks Suicidal Pastors And Seeking Professional Help: ‘Honestly, That’s Probably The Only Reason I Didn’t Take My Life’

January 28, 2014  |  

In the Christian community, suicide and thoughts of suicide are discussions that are often avoided. And when they are discussed, people often receive responses like, “You aren’t praying hard enough,” or questions that would imply that the sufferer is somehow not sufficiently grounded in their spiritual walk. However, the truth of the matter is that mental health struggles are very real, and accepting Jesus Christ doesn’t always erase those struggles. Christian recording artist and pastor Marvin Sapp recently opened up about the mental health taboo in the urban community and the latest occurrences of pastors who have committed suicide.

“I can be honest and say I absolutely understand what these men of God have gone through,” the widowed father of three told The Christian Post. “The pressures of pastoring and being in the public eye, losing someone you love and all of that. I find after reading through their stories that all of them are similar to mine in one way, shape, form, or fashion. If it’s the pressure of ministry, if it’s the pressure of losing a loved one, whatever it may be.”

Marvin went on to say that he can relate so much, that he often examines their situations and questions what it was that kept him from caving under pressure after the death of his wife, MaLinda Sapp, who died of colon cancer back in 2010.

“I look at their situations and I say to myself, ‘What was it that caused me to stand, even when I could have folded just as they did?’ People always say the pressure will cause a pipe to burst.”

It turns out that even though he questions how he made it through, he already knows the answer. Surprisingly, it’s his late wife’s advocacy for psychological well-being.

“One of the greatest blessings of being married to MaLinda Sapp is that my wife was a licensed psychologist who was also a college professor in psychology and who was a major advocate for mental health on the board of a mental health hospital here in our city.”

Because of MaLinda’s work in the field of psychology, Marvin and his three children naturally went to counseling after her death.

“Being a pastor is pressure because we have to counsel people,” he said. “Honestly,” he added, “that’s probably the only reason why I didn’t take my life, was because from day one, and even now when it’s necessary, I make sure I go and sit and have a conversation with my doctor.”

It’s great that he’s speaking out about such an avoided subject.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

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