We’ve seen it in the news again, haven’t we? Another public figure has been caught in sexual sin and it has resulted in an amazing amount of press. Its like we as a society enjoy watching others as they fail…and we can wrongly and sometimes smugly think, “this would never happen to me.”
When leaders fall, as we’ve just seen with a state governor caught in adultery, they leave in their wake so many wounded and shattered lives. A wife, children, staff, constituents, friends, all betrayed by someone they care about and had every reason to expect to be trustworthy. Yet, out of his own brokenness, selfishness and sin, he drifted off the mark to the place where he put everything at risk. I can’t tell you how many wives have asked me how did their husbands drift so far, as to put everything and everyone around them in such peril and pain. What we know is that this drift or shift does not happen overnight. It is gradual, insidious, subversive…almost impossible to discern. Over time, what someone thought they’d never do becomes normal, OK, and part of a secret separate life.
Most wives notice. They see that something is wrong, something is different. They may ask and then receive any variety of responses such as “I don’t know what you are talking about; things are fine!”, or “How could you suspect me of something like this! You’re paranoid!”, or “You’re crazy, jealous, imagining things.” One good thing about disclosure: it does validate the spouse’s intuition or “gut feeling” that something was wrong!
As sad as I am about hearing about one more Christian public figure falling into sexual sin, I do hope it puts a spotlight on the dangers and realities of the great trauma that affects those close by, and that it might increase the public’s awareness of the damage caused by sexual infidelity, addiction, and sin. I hope it helps others look at their lives and how they may have let their moral boundaries slip to the place where they are in danger. I hope my male friends pay attention and guard their hearts. I hope they don’t fall into the trap of thinking “it can’t happen to me.” It can.