“I’ve always been larger than life, not just in personality but size,” said Scott Sengbush. “At six feet seven inches, I always got made fun of and teased. So, I tried to find my worth in being the jokester and trying to make myself the center of attention. The other side of that was that I always found my value in who I was with romantically. Even though I would have a girlfriend I really liked, I was always making myself available to other people emotionally or physically. And I did that from junior high until I was 28 years old. I didn’t respect or fully care for the women I was with. At the time I wouldn’t have said I was using them, but looking back, I know that I was. I would’ve said, ‘No I’m a good guy. I’m a Christian. I’m nice to everybody. I treat people well.’ I was never mean, but I used flattery as a tool to get people to like me.
“In addition to finding my value in women, I also struggled with an addiction to pornography for most of my life. In fourth grade, I discovered pornography and was immediately addicted. It got so bad that I would watch porn at work as an adult. That’s how much the sin held me. It became such a daily routine that I couldn’t get out of it. I have heard that pornography ‘trains you out of monogamy,’ and that was so true for me. I always thought I would never cheat on a girlfriend, but I did all the time. I was continuously breaking women’s hearts by using other women. It was terrible.
“Over time, I would go through peaks and valleys in my faith. I was baptized at 16 and was very involved with youth group as an adolescent, so I had some knowledge of Christ and the Bible. I recognized that my actions were sinful, but I wasn’t mature enough in my faith to address it. I would push it aside and think, ‘I’ll be forgiven later for this.’
“In 2014, I started dating Melissa. We came to The Porch, a ministry for young adults at Watermark, and the speaker gave a message about dating intentionally, and it just slapped me in the face. I believed the world’s lies about dating and sex, and this message was a wake-up call. Melissa was very convicted by it too. We kept coming back to learn more about dating in a way that is honoring to the Lord. As we grew in our relationships with Christ and our knowledge of the Bible, our dating relationship started to look drastically different.
“When we went to Merge, Watermark’s ministry for seriously dating and engaged couples, I finally learned that I couldn’t do it on my own without Jesus. I can’t be the perfect husband. I will fail my wife no matter how hard I try if I don’t have Jesus guiding me. Through Merge and joining a community group after Melissa and I got married, I was challenged to read my Bible every day, and I fell more in love with Jesus through His Word.
“A couple years later, I went on a trip to Israel. Several parts of that trip pushed my heart to trust Jesus in different ways. I don’t think you can go into the empty tomb (Luke 24:3) and not have your emotions stirred. I was in all these places that I had read about in the Bible, and Jesus felt even more real to me.
“At one point on the trip, we were stuck in a rainstorm. While stopped in a small coffee shop for shelter, I noticed a sheep herder directing his sheep up a steep mountain. There was a little baby sheep bleating and clearly scared. The shepherd walked down, picked up the sheep, and walked it up the hill. I had a breakdown moment. It was like Scripture coming to life. The shepherd just left the 99 for that one sheep (Matthew 18:12-14)!
“That trip is a small part of my story, but God used it to help me see how the Lord had been working throughout my entire life. I looked back and could see when He sparked my interest, when He filled my head with knowledge from the Bible, and then how He continued to transform my heart and draw me closer to Him.
“Jesus saved me from myself. Left to my own devices and to the world, I would just be another cog in the wheel that contributes to the destruction of our culture. The blindfold has been taken off my eyes. I was a sheep led by wolves, and now I am a sheep led by the Good Shepherd (John 10:11). I believed the lie that the world was better, but when I learned God’s Word for myself, I found freedom. My curiosity has helped me dive even deeper into the Bible when I am struggling with sin, whether it be lust, pride, ego, etc. I still have the tendency to be sinful, but the difference is that now, with Jesus, I am grieved by my sin (2 Corinthians 7:10) and washed clean (1 Corinthians 6:11).”