Last week our checking account was getting a little thin, so I decided to make a transfer. Log in to online banking, click a few digits and voila!—$500 from savings into checking, just like that.
Or so I thought.
Until a few days later when I received this notice from my bank:
What? An overdraft? Cannot be. I might be flighty about a lot of things, but our household bank account is not one of them. So of course, instantly, I knew.
I mean, the guy is wonderful, but let’s face it, he can be a little absent-minded. He’s the kind of dude who loses his keys and forgets to send birthday cards. Seriously. It had to be him.
And I knew exactly how, too. A few days earlier I’d asked him to pay the house account for a check I wrote to school. In fact I had asked him twice and he assured me he’d done it.
But a quick scan of the account history said nope—he hadn’t.
Grrrrr!!!! An OVERDRAFT?? He promised he was going to make that transfer, booger! I was steaming mad.
So what happened next? Of course—I called him. In my head I planned what to say. “Did you forget to make that transfer?” — nah, sounds like an accusation — how about, “Honey, did you make that transfer?” All the while knowing for sure that he HAD NOT.
His cell rang five or six times before voice mail picked up. And good thing, too, because at that very same moment I scanned a little further in the online bank records and saw that my husband HAD in fact made the transfer. Four days ago, just as promised.
No way. I know my budget. We had plenty of money to cover life expenses this week. How in the world could we possibly have gotten an—
It was ME.
I try, I really do. But sometimes I do dumb things.
This, apparently, was one of them.
That little $500 transfer I made at the start of my story? Yep. I made it alright. From checking—into savings. The exact backward transaction I had intended in order to fatten up our funds.
I made us go broke.
And I came this close to splattering the blame on my husband.
“[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7, NASB).
According to the Bible’s definition, love puts up with all things and believes all things. Not in a sense of being gullible or easily swayed, but rather, to love someone means you see the best in them. Your view of that person is, by default, the best possible scenario. You desire to give them the benefit of the doubt.
The NIV translation puts it this way: Love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Am I trusting my husband when I assume the worst of him? When I automatically conclude he must be the culprit in our mess?
Am I protecting him when I slap on my sheriff hat to nail him for a crime—especially one it turns out he did not commit?
And—it gets worse! Remember? Not only did I immediately travel to that ugly place where I assume all my life’s problems are my husband’s fault, but I also took it a step further by conjuring up a list of grievances against him. Because counting his flaws helps support my argument that HE is to blame.
For shame, wifey. For shame.
Yes, my husband misplaces his keys sometimes, so what. He might forget to send birthday cards. But then so do I. And probably every other Westernized human being on the planet.
Where is the grace in all this? Where is the love?
It’s another hard lesson learned. My default needs some work. So I’m encouraging me and you and every woman everywhere to ask ourselves a few key questions before we assume blame on our men or anyone else.
What responsibility do I have in this problem?
In my case—way more than you realize, sister.
Is my husband generally well-intentioned?
Yes, he’s on your team.
Will I choose to extend grace?
To your husband—and to yourself. One thing I know for sure is that we all mess up, and thankfully God doesn’t keep score. So we shouldn’t either.
“If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3).
The moral of my story is this:
Give the people you love the benefit of the doubt.
Practice defaulting to grace.
And sign up for overdraft protection. Heaven knows it might come in handy.