Christian author Matthew Paul Turner announced on Friday that he's gay and divorcing his wife, fellow writer Jessica Turner.

Turner, the author of bestselling children's books, made the announcement on social media.

“Dear friends, I have difficult news to share,” he wrote. “After much thought, prayer, and counseling, Jessica and I have made the decision to end our marriage. While we’re best friends and thoroughly love doing life, parenting, and pursuing our dreams together, ending our marriage is necessary because I am gay.”

"[As] someone who spent 30+ years in fundamentalist/evangelical churches, exploring God through conservative theologies, I’ve lived many days overwhelmed by fear, shame, and self-hatred. But for the first time in my life, despite the sadness and grief I’m feeling right now, I can say with confidence that I’m ready to embrace freedom, hope, and God as a gay man."

The couple married in 2004 and have three children.

“I fell in love with [Jessica] 17 years ago and still love her deeply,” he wrote. “Despite her own grief and pain, she has loved and encouraged me to be fully me.”

According to Religion News Service (RNS), Turner has previously described growing up in a conservative Independent Fundamentalist Baptist home. He said that his church was not accepting of same-sex relationships.

“Though my own faith evolved long ago to become LGBTQ+ affirming, my journey toward recognizing, accepting, embracing myself took much longer,” he wrote.

In a Facebook post, Jessica Turner, the founder of the blog The Mom Creative, explained that the couple had been working on their marriage for more than a year.

Turner is the author of 16 books and previously worked at Christian magazines Crosswalk and Relevant.