Chris Pratt engagement to Katherine Schwarzenegger is a great reminder about the power of second chances

The announced engagement of actor Chris Pratt to 29-year-old Katherine Schwarzenegger has elicited the usual Hollywood headlines heralding the latest high-profile union.

But there is a story behind the story – and it’s one that should encourage anyone who has made a mistake and is seeking a new beginning in life.

At 39-years of age, the television and big-screen superstar’s first marriage to actress Anna Faris officially ended this past October after 9 years together. The couple, parents of a young son, had previously announced a formal separation a year earlier.

In recent days, Pratt has been vocal about his Christian faith, telling supporters at the Teen Choice Awards this past August, “I love God and you should too.” While accepting the “MTV Generation Award” in June, the actor passionately stated, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.”


Just days earlier, Pratt had announced plans for a 21-day commitment to prayer and fasting, a tradition deeply rooted in biblical teaching. In doing so, there is every indication that Pratt has recommitted his life to his strong Christian faith.

Monday’s Instagram engagement announcement alluded to Pratt’s and Schwarzenegger’s spiritual compatibility. “I’m thrilled to be marrying you,” the "Jurassic Park" actor wrote. “Proud to live boldly in faith with you. Here we go!”

Sadly, Hollywood divorces have become both standard and sensational, filling gossip pages and employing paparazzi since even the earliest days of the silver screen. So, it should be welcomed news when a couple expresses love and devotion toward each other – news that leaves us with hope that it’s a love that will last.

From where I sit, reconciliation is always the ideal and should be the first response to marital discord. Divorce is a personal tragedy. At the same time, remarriage can be a very delicate and complex thing and one that should always be undertaken with the benefit of Godly counsel.

Most of us will never be in the Hollywood headlines like Pratt or Schwarzenegger, but all of us have or will find ourselves in the middle of a tough time. As my pastor friend once observed, “You’re either in a crisis, heading into a crisis – or coming out of a crisis.”

The same wind blows on all of us. This is the reality of life. The key, of course, is not what happens to you – it’s how you handle the adversity.

Rather than brew in bitterness, Chris Pratt has chosen to recommit his life to God. There are indications he has confessed and owned up to his part of his failed marriage, a key to healing and a fresh beginning.

Prior to marrying my wife Julie, I had made my own share of blunders in dating. But I am the proud benefactor of my wife’s redemptive second act, a very difficult but ultimately God-honoring journey that has resulted in our happy 18-year marriage and three wonderful boys.

Long before we met, Julie met and married a young man while she was still in college. Family and friends had advised against it, but when you’re young and you think you’re in love, you’ll often fall deaf to wise counsel.

It wasn’t long before she regretted her decision. They were soon divorced, and she was faced to deal with the embarrassment and stigma of a failed marriage. She had every reason to be angry. Nobody would have faulted her for lashing out. She was rescued by her father, a pastor, who refused to say, “I told you so” – and instead said, “I love you no matter what.”

She quickly regrouped and reoriented. But she also came to appreciate her role in the bad decision. She decided to take blame where blame was due and examine her flaws, instead of harboring resentment. Julie rededicated her life to Jesus, enrolled in seminary and quickly graduated with her masters. We met soon after.

Second acts are some of life’s most glorious and wonderful turns. It was the late author F. Scott Fitzgerald who once poignantly wrote that we should, “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”


He was right.

As a person of faith, I am grateful that God is the great giver of second chances. Whether you’re Chris Platt in Hollywood, my wife in a small southern college town or someone who is need of a new beginning in a job or some other aspect of life, if there is breath in your lungs, it is never too late to start again.