So I Married a Bank Robber
By Bruce Goff
One time I discovered my wife robbed a bank.
I was driving her car when I noticed a chain dangling from a pen in her visor. Now I'm no super-sleuth, but those chains are put on pens to keep them somewhere.
I confronted her and she confessed to everything. She had "accidentally" taken it from the drive-thru at the bank and intended to return it.
I told a friend and he said, “So your wife robbed a bank?”
Yes! She did!
Okay, maybe that’s not the most charitable way to frame it.
Uncharitable framing—that’s something I do to her way too much.
"You NEVER listen to me!"
Really? Never? She's never once listened to you?
"You're so emotional. You're making too big of a deal out of this."
Really? It’s about some emotional ratio? Not the fact that she’s upset?
Sometimes it's just how I frame it in my mind. She never gets enough done at home while I’m at work. She’s just lazy and doesn't respect me.
Really? You do know she's keeping your two little girls alive on a minute-by-minute basis. Remind me again how much work around the house you get done when watching the girls? (Hint: It's somewhere around none).
Let’s try re-framing these charitably.
“Hey, I noticed you seem distracted. Is something up?”
“This is really affecting you. Help me better understand why.”
“I’m so thankful to God for a wife who gives so much of herself for our children while keeping our home from burning down.”
There can be resentment underneath uncharitable framing. But the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13 that love (or “charity” in the King James) is not resentful—rather it bears all things and believes all things.
Marriages need charity.
It’s not about creating excuses for your spouse's sin, but changing the lens through which you view your spouse. When you want your spouse to change, first try changing your framing. Ditch resentment and choose charity.
It’s possible she just accidentally borrowed the pen.
The good stuff: I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)
- Think of a time when you framed your spouse uncharitably. How could it be reframed?
- I heard this from a pastor once, try reading 1 Corinthians 13 but replace the word “love” with your name. See if it still sounds true. (If it doesn’t, you’re not alone)
- Pray that God would make what’s true of love true of you.
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