Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s a matter of life or death.”
In my law enforcement career, confidentiality truly was a matter of life and death. Taking that concept a step deeper, was the tricky process of managing confidential informants, or CI. These were people who provided intelligence or set up drug deals in exchange for cash or a reduction of criminal charges.
Over the course of my years working undercover in several multi-jurisdictional drug task forces, I managed thousands of CIs, and other people who provided sensitive data about crimes and criminals.
I recall a conversation with a rather arrogant businessman. He was anxious to flaunt his influence. I simply shared with him that over the past 25 years, my job was to collect and in some cases, protect the deepest and darkest secrets of my jurisdiction.
The best way to describe what happened next was to think of the cartoons where the person deflates and zips around the room like a balloon.
But seriously, confidentiality has always been mission central to me. From privacy screens on my office desktop monitor, to screen locks on my cell phone, I kept everything buttoned down and deleted three times.
The first time Leah mentioned something she’d seen on my cell phone while it was unlocked and I was reading it, I was appalled. I never held my cell so someone else might see it. Although it was just a news article, I was indignant about my privacy being violated.
I didn’t argue. I just resolved to be more careful to hold the screen closer, and not access my cell when she was around. It wasn’t about hiding the content. It had become a matter of principle, and by God, I had every right to a reasonable expectation of privacy.
After all, I’d spent a career ensuring citizens, and even criminals maintained that right. Why weren’t I entitled to the same protections?
The next time she mentioned content on my cell, I’d had enough of her invasions. For the flash of a moment, I considered moving out. I’d show her what it meant to respect my privacy. Me and my cell phone were going to make ourselves a happy, private home.
I’m blessed to have a Godly wife is all I can say.
The reality greater than not having, needing or being entitled to privacy is that worrying and wondering destroys a woman. What I saw as her being nosy, was her worrying why we weren’t sharing a transparent relationship. What I saw as malicious attempts to violate the sanctity of my cell, was her wondering what was more important on that device than the woman I swore before God to love, honor and cherish.
Allow me to say this once again; I’m blessed to have a Godly wife.
It never became a battle of wills, but a conversation so that I came to understand why what I did made her feel the way she had.
Feelings of respect are vital to a man. Had Leah given me an ultimatum to crack the code or else, I probably would’ve taken the “or else” option to protect my sense of entitled privacy just to “show her.” Did I tell you I also have a patient wife?
I sent her an email with 7-7-7-7.
I know it’s not an unbreakable password, but it kept the screen closed most of the time. Besides, Max likes to get into my cell to look at his pictures, and unbeknownst to us, he’d already figured it out.
I can tell you that sharing access to my cell’s passcode, computer code, and all of my social media and email passwords has been liberating. Yes, even Facebook!
The concern is understandable. Smartphones store emails, images, texts and photographs collected over the course of years. If you’re worried that your spouse will find something troubling from your past, then delete it. This is illustrative of the dark chambers we keep in our hearts and minds to conceal secrets and sin.
Secrets are the chains used by the devil to strap men down into sexual bondage and sin. The irony is that we want to be manly, men. God made us to be strong, and tough and leaders, but we surrender that divine calling to satan for the sake of one old girlfriend’s contact number, or a few pictures of the girl you dated before meeting your spouse, or the naughty text message you scroll through when bored at night or curious in the afternoon.
It’s time to come clean.
Go through your phone, computer, or whatever item you “protect” with a password and wipe it clean of anything you wouldn’t want your wife, your children, your folks or God to find. Trust me, it will be discovered.
Without prompting, hand your spouse a spreadsheet with all of your access and account information.
Is it easy to surrender your right to privacy? No, not at all.
But once married, and fully committed to becoming one with your beloved, did you really think you had a right to privacy? No, not at all.
This goes for men and women of course, but guys seem to cling to their “rights,” more desperately than women. Men grow up with this honor code of keeping secrets and that loyalty to others trumps love for their wife.
Honestly, it’s stupid. It’s also why so many couples divorce, and so many more men are nowhere around to help raise their kids. They’d rather spill the beans to their bro’s about their latest secret then come clean with their wife to save their marriage and family.
Men can be mighty men, but we must seek a life of purity, and live as conquerors for Christ, their wife and kids. In that order.
My passcode is 7-7-7-7.
Be Mighty Men of God,