When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he has taken. – Deuteronomy 24:5
I’ll confess, it was work that contributed to my divorce 20 years ago. I was commanding an undercover drug and violent crimes task force. The years spent with the DEA during the turbulent 1990s was a rush like I’d never known. It was to say the least, addictive.
My then wife, first worried about becoming a widow by line-of-duty death, but soon learned that becoming a police widow was also horrible. Grieving the “always-absent living” was more than anyone should have to bear.
While I was too busy working myself up the professional ladder, my family had jumped off the personal one. We were divorced. Instead of seeking God, I buried myself in work. The riskier the better, but I promoted to the very tip of the spear. Yet at what cost?
Almost 20 years later, I was still working harder than most people I knew. But God had begun whispering to me. He’d planted two new seeds in my heart that would grow to become my desires because they were originally His desires.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4
- God wanted me to marry
- God wanted me to retire from policing
I still smile when I share that God told me to retire, but it took about a year to realize He wasn’t joking. It’ll be my retirement’s 1 year anniversary on August 28, 2016. I’ve been thinking more about law enforcement as the time draws near. I’ve also been wondering why it was that God had me retire as soon as we married.
He provided that answer this week. God placed scripture (Deuteronomy 24:5) on Leah’s heart for her to share with me. I must admit, I’ve never seen this verse. I even looked it up to make sure she wasn’t just trying to help me get over the 1 year hump.
I’ve prayed about it, and realize that God is protecting the investment of His promise to give me a wife with whom to share my life. He knows my human condition to work addiction, and also grieved during my earlier divorce because of it. He would not allow that to happen to me or Leah or our kids.
Although no one in their right mind just walks away as a Chief of Police, I was in God’s state of mind thanks to Him giving me the desires of my heart. He whispered, “Retire.”
Thanks to Leah’s faithfulness in sharing the scripture in Deuteronomy 24:5, I now fully understand why His desire was for my retirement. My service area over this last year was more important for loving and supporting my new wife and family that He provided, than for an occupation.
I’ll also share that with my “free” period coming to a close, I’m anxious to see where God sends me next. What seeds of desire has God planted in your life recently? Are you nurturing them or resisting like I had for a season?
God Bless You,
I realize the minority of our outreach community are men, so I encourage you ladies to share this article with the men in your life. We’ve also created the Man Cave where manliness as God defines it will be encouraged.
Biblical Sabbatical for Husbands