Eugene shares this story of when he realized he could do better for the sake of the women and girls in his life.
My little girl was 27 when she confronted me about my wandering eyes. She, her mom, her sister and I were at the mall for a little family shopping time before she brought our third granddaughter into the world. My wife and I love being able to treat our girls to some of these special outings since they are still finding their footing financially with their husbands and young families, and doing a little baby shopping was one way I could get involved with some of the girl tasks around the pregnancy.
We were walking past a Victoria’s Secret store, and without a thought, I was side glancing at all of the cleavage in the storefront. That’s when my daughter said, “Hey dad, I would really appreciate it if you could keep your eyes for mom.” Her comments took away the light-hearted joy from our shopping trip and started a painful conversation in our family and time of personal revelation for me.
My daughter shared how much it hurt her when she saw me checking out other women, whether they were on TV, advertisements or strolling down the street. She told me that she almost always saw me looking, and that made her feel uncomfortable. She shared how much it meant to her when she and her husband were walking down the street and he would look down or away every time they were in the vicinity of an attractive woman that might cause him to lust. She felt proud of her husband because he was leading their family by example and would show both of her daughters what it looked like to love, honor and only have eyes for his wife. She pointed out the many ways that I had failed in that regard.
She and her sister knew I kept pornographic magazines in my office. They heard my comments towards my wife and those comments, at times, had horrible consequences on their personal self-worth and body image. She didn’t want any of these issues coming close to her daughters and my granddaughters.
Honestly, I was upset by all I heard. I felt a mix of shame, anger, denial, disappointment and despair that I had failed my daughters in this way. All along, I had been thinking these little actions and “sins” would go unnoticed. I knew that I wanted to change, and as I talked through all that I had heard with my wife, I learned she had been praying for me in this way for a long time. We had both recently joined a church and were reconnecting with our Christian roots and beliefs. Our daughters had remained plugged into churches and their faith all along while we had wandered a bit. I ended up going to my daughter’s husband and seeking some guidance and humbling myself to learn from him. For a long time, I had been focusing on impressing and teaching and leading my daughter’s husbands, but I realized I had a lot to learn from them.
Since then, I started using accountability software on my computer and I became involved in a small group where we pray about these issues. I’m still learning, but now, when I can sense the desire to look, I almost always look away. I’m not perfect, but with God’s help, I’m finally starting to take the high road, and it’s a good road to be on.