The Case of Wandering Eyes
My husband Mike, worked as a deputy sheriff for fifteen years of our marriage. The pay was good the hours were not. Family life was in constant flux as Mike’s hours changed month to month.
One month he was up before dawn and home for supper. The next month he worked swing shift, three in the afternoon until eleven at night. It was rare for him to be home before midnight. Then there was graveyard shift. Graveyard was our least favorite. He left home around ten o’clock at night and didn’t return until eight the next morning. We put aluminum foil on our bedroom windows to keep out the sunlight so he could sleep during the day. Still, with two active little boys in the house, it was not quiet.
Mike and I are morning people. We are up before dawn and to bed before the ten o’clock news. The constant changes wore him out. So the hours were a challenge, but there was a 1department policy that came close to ending our marriage.
Deputies were not to talk about their work at home or with others outside the sheriff’s office—a confidentiality policy. That was all well and good for the department, but not for us as a married couple.
My husband lived a double life. On the street he was dealing with the worst of society. He wrote reports on child abuse, domestic disturbances, and mental health cases. Drug addicts and drunks were daily fare. In our county, the deputies were also responsible to investigate and write coroners’ reports. For eight to ten hours a day he lived in a war zone.
At the end of his shift he came home to a wife who was living another life. Her days spent with two rambunctious boys looked like See’s candy and roses, compared to his.
When I shared my struggles they were met with silence. To him they were not worth mentioning. I had nothing to complain about. He just finished a coroners’ case on a two-year-old child drowned by its mother. Case closed.
Communication was limited. I felt like a single parent. I wanted more. I needed more.
When the boys were eight and six, I volunteered to be a campfire director for the church that summer. I grew up loving to go to camp and wanted our boys to love it too. At the camp we met Ron (name changed to protect the innocent). Ron loved to play his guitar, sing camp songs, and worship. He volunteered to help me with the campfires. What a great idea!
During the week we had wonderful times planning the song lists and chatting about our lives. Some evenings we’d stay up late talking about God and discussing Biblical texts. Ron loved talking with me. I started having dreams of what it would be like to share life with Ron. Though there was never more than a hug between us, I started thinking on more serious terms.
When I went home, it was difficult to return to the ‘case closed’ policy. My fantasies about Ron grew until God used His word to show me what I was doing.
I opened my Bible one morning to Matthew 5. When I got to verse 28, I stopped. My eyes blurred with tears as I read it again. 2“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
The nouns and pronouns changed and the sword of God’s word pierced my heart. Here I was, “Mrs. Haveitalltogether,” committing emotional adultery in my heart. “Jesus, help. What was I thinking? Forgive me. O God forgive me. Help!”
I cried and cried, cut to the core. To dishonor Mike and God in this way was unforgivable. My facade of perfect performance was over.
That next Sunday, after confessing all this to Mike, we were in church. My least favorite elder was speaking. I sat with arms folded, weighted with guilt. My eyes stared at the floor as the message stretched over the usual forty-five minutes. I whispered, “Can’t you hurry up? I want to go home.”
Then, without missing a beat, the elder spoke. “If you would have been the only person on earth when Jesus came, He still would have gone to the cross for you.” I didn’t hear the rest of the message. Tears flowed unstopped. Love came, wrapped me in His arms, and forgave me. He washed me in His mercy and gave me courage to begin anew.
I left church that day knowing that while Mike may not be able to hear me, God did. He loved me, He heard me, and He cared, even about the little things.
~~How About You?~~
Do you have a spouse who can’t hear you? Or how about a boss? Don’t let those needs go unmet. God is available 24/7/365. He will come to your aid, if you ask for His help.
David was caught with wandering eyes that led to greater sin. God called him to account with His word through a prophet. Here is David’s declaration and prayer.
Psalm 55:16-17 “As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.”
Psalm 51: 9-12 “Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”
If you find yourself sliding onto this path of temptation, offer this prayer and call upon God rather than giving way to wandering eyes. There is always a way of escape—Him.
1When I shared this post with my husband, I learned that his silence was NOT department policy at all. His comments: “You asked me not to talk about my cases with you. They were too disturbing. You couldn’t get the pictures out of your head, and some of them put you in fear for my safety.”
As I think back, I don’t remember asking him to do this, but do know that it does sound like me. If we are watching T.V., and a child is put in danger, or someone is physically or verbally abusing another, I either turn it to another channel or leave the room. The details of child molestation, paint pictures in my mind that linger for days. The mute button on our remote gets a lot of use.
Thus, I realize now that my sensitivity caused much of the silence and also kept Mike from having an outlet. I asked him to forgive me. (We can be so blind to our weakness and can be so quick to place blame elsewhere.) I am so grateful for a forgiving husband and forgiving God.
2 This verse also applies to what we put before our eyes—movies, internet porn, magazines, etc. What brings titillation in the moment can destroy flesh and blood relationships forever. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we are in Him, we need to walk in the light.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.” Matthew 6:22
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