Men, Stop Cheating
I know what’s going on out there in the kingdom of dudes. You’re saying, “Scott, turn in your man card. You’re fighting for the other side.”
Well, after my last article, Why Men Cheat, I can see the confusion among my counterparts. Based on the Page Views (a record high) and the clicked Likes and Comments (zero) I knew the message had touched a nerve. The intention wasn’t to be controversial, but to call out for men to commit to marital purity.
Isn’t it weird when guys start talking about martial purity?
I spent 12 of my 25 year law enforcement career working undercover. Do you know the first thing you’re taught to ensure success and survival as an undercover drug agent?
How to lie.
Your life depends on it. The reality of it, is that after day 1 or day 4,380, lying is tough.
Don’t think so? Then try making up an entirely new identity, and run with that story for a while. Your name, where you live, went to school, what you do for a living, etc.
Need added pressure? Imagine that drugs, weapons and violent felons are involved, and only want to catch you in a lie to kill you.
The reality of it all is that if you are cheating on your spouse, you are, in fact, living an undercover life of lies. I’d almost be willing to say that the consequences are as high if not higher than my undercover operations.
You risk losing your wife, kids, career, family and friends, yourself and most tragically, your relationship with God.
There are clinical studies showing that exposure to working in an undercover capacity may create a scenario very similar to Dissociative Identity Disorder. It’s commonly referred to as multiple personalities, but to be more specific in the cases of purposefully assuming an alternate identity, it’s a detachment from what is reality, and an attachment to what is contrived.
I recall almost two decades ago while working with the DEA, someone very close to me confronted me. They said, “You’re acting just like them.”
Those words stung, and to this day I’ve never forgotten them. Because in fact, I had begun to emulate the violence-loving lifestyle of the vicious felons I hunted. I’d taken on their persona through speech and thought. I think it was Elmer Fudd who said to “Catch a rabbit, you must become the rabbit.”
The source of the concept of double minded was James. He mentions it twice in the bible. The Greek word he used was dipsuchos which means, “a person with two minds or souls.” This term is only mentioned in the two verses below, but the concept of living the lie is referenced throughout God’s word.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8
The first reference warns us of the condition we shall hold if we attempt to live the double life. No matter how much you think you’re in control, or how good you have it with the family on one side and your mistress on the other, you are unstable. The colored glasses you’re using to see the Pollyannic world you’re existing in, has everyone else noticing it but you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.James 4:8
An important distinction is that most men who cheat are not evil. They are wounded.
Trust me, I’m not a tree hugger and don’t skip around complaining because I didn’t get enough love as an infant. But I have come to a spiritual understanding that wounds are as real as they are perceived to be real.
Men are trapped in the culture of silence. We liken it to a medal of honor, when in fact it’s a rotting albatross strapped around our neck. Sooner or later, our emotional wounds have spiritual, physical and emotional consequences. If held in darkness, these injuries manifest themselves as sin, addiction, suicide or depression to name but a few.
No matter how tough you are or how hard you struggle to avoid them, they are like a debt owed. Your emotional bills will come due. How will you pay up? Through prayer, healing, confession and recovery, or with compounding a sin interest until your despair is greater than your hope?
The Devil’s Strongholds
There is a powerful resource for men struggling with sexual sin – The Conquer Series: The Battle Plan For Purity explains the enemy’s efforts to chain you down to the lies of the deceiver.
He’s a master at planting seeds of doubt in your spirit. You’re not good enough, you don’t make enough money, your car is too old, you weren’t a good athlete, you’re not popular or there’s always someone better waiting to do you in. Any of these sound familiar?
You must identify your addiction triggers before you can begin to develop a structured plan to defeat or avoid them. Is it porn, a movie, an image, a memory, someone at work or the gym that lights your fires of fantasy?
A rational plan is going to help you identify them. You can’t change what you don’t understand. It was Sun Tzu who said, “Know thy enemy, know thyself.”
The most powerful stronghold over you is what has wounded you, and yet remains unresolved. It might be something that happened decades ago, but the pain remains as deeply rooted as the day it occurred. Do not believe the lie that time heals all wounds. Time only makes them hurt more.
You have to bring light to what hurts you before healing can begin. I’ll share something I’m working on right now, and I’ll be totally transparent, it’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.
Men, I want you to do this and keep it to yourselves. This is for you to discover the source of your agony:
Make a list of the 10 worst moments in your life
Pray over this list and ask God to begin to restore you. Speak forgiveness to those who caused those hurtful moments. Believe the truth of God’s word to heal you and you will soon experience the desires of your heart begin to shift.
Ask God to erase your cheating life of double-mindedness, and to shift your desires toward faithfulness to the one woman you swore a holy oath to love, honor and cherish.
Fight For Surrender
Men, this is a topic God has seared into my heart. While at the peak of my professional career as a city chief of police, I thought only the sky was the limit. A bigger agency, an elected office, another national committee or consultant position, you name it, and it was all within my grasp.
Then God whispered, “Follow Me.”
I walked away from the only job I’d had as an adult. A career that I was good at and loved doing. I’d started as a rookie patrol deputy with a borrowed badge and worked my way through the ranks of a large, nationally accredited law enforcement agency before being confirmed as a city’s top cop.
On August 28, 2015, I retired from law enforcement. It was completely unexpected, and when hounded by the media for a reason, I only offered one – God called me into His service. This was one of the headlines.
It’s not been easy, but God has shown me that the only way to truly follow His lead is by surrendering to His will.
In this order:
As always, nothing I share is from a place of judgement. It’s out of the love God has planted in my heart for men to fight for their marriage. It’s the amazing gift you can give your children.
Lead from the front,
Men, Get Your Mind Right: Stop Cheating