Who Has Access to Your Love Bank? Pt. 1
by Shauna Wallace
Who Has Access to Your Love Bank?
He worked on my account team at the public relations agency, a real self-starter and a hoot to boot. Running early to a client meeting one day, we stopped at the wireless store to have my phone fixed. As we waited, we chatted. I don’t remember about what, but I we laughed and enjoyed the conversation.
And something nudged my gut, hard, with a silent message spoken ever so clearly: “Shauna, this is a slippery place. This is how affairs begin, even to the most upright and unsuspecting.”
Nothing inappropriate had ever happened. We handled several clients together and sometimes shared a ride to meetings. I didn’t have feelings for him outside of enjoying him as a professional peer. But in that moment, when hanging out with him was fun, I realized that innocent can become slippery, and fast. Especially if things at home aren’t going well. And for James and I, they weren’t.
In that moment, the Lord established in my heart an unbreakable rule: Do not spend time alone with any non-family man who is not my husband. Ever.
From that day on, I always took my own car.
For me, the scenario is a perfect example of the power of the love bank. James and I read about it in a marriage book in the early years of wedded misery. I wish I could say wedded bliss, but for us, it wasn’t. If only we had video of those years so people could appreciate the miracle the Lord performed in our hearts and marriage!
Anyway, the love bank functions like a bank account with a fluctuating balance. I can’t put my finger on the book, so I can’t give you the title and the author’ exact explanation, but this is what James and I took from it and how it impacts our marriage, even today.
Everyone you know and interact with on a regular basis has an account in your heart, and they make deposits and withdrawals. If the interaction leaves you feeling good, it’s a deposit. When it leaves you feeling bad, it’s a withdrawal. When there’s a positive balance, the account produces feelings of love and affection. When there’s a negative balance, the account produces negative feelings toward that person. The greater the positive balance, the more withdrawals can be tolerated before the account is in the red.
This can be true platonically, professionally and romantically. It’s true of all relationships.
For husbands and wives, it’s absolutely critical to:
- Make deposits in our spouse’s love bank;
- Keep making deposits in our spouse’s love bank; and
- Guard against someone other than our spouse making deposits in our love bank.
When James knows he’s been distracted and hasn’t been making deposits in my love bank, or worse, he’s been making withdrawals, he’ll ask, “How’s your love bank?” Or he’ll confess, “I know I haven’t been making many deposits in your love bank, have I?” The code words serve as a thermometer and help us acknowledge the need to alter course and begin investing in one another again in the way we know speaks love to each other.
If our spouse’s love account dips into the negatives – he’s making more withdrawals than deposits, which happens in the ebb and flow of everyday married life – and we’re spending innocent, platonic time alone with another man whose making deposits into his own account with us, the conditions are perfect for developing positive feelings for him while experiencing negative feelings for our spouse.
If this continues and our positive feelings for another man grow while our negative feelings for our spouse grow, we’re in a very dangerous place. It can even get to the point where the other man’s account grows so large we close our husband’s account and don’t even let him make deposits. Even if nothing sexual has happened, an emotional affair can be in full bloom while we close our heart to the only man who should have access. All of a sudden another man holds our heart in his hands…
Stay tuned for next week as I discuss the conclusion to love banks and how to protect your marriage.
Author, speaker and blogger Shauna Wallace openly shares the reality of God and the power of His word through the lens of her life story. Past and present, she tells of God’s faithfulness to deliver her from bulimia, addiction, anger and perfectionism and miraculously save her marriage, blend her family and transform her life. Her driving passion is for herself and others to love Jesus more, draw nearer, go deeper, live freer and believe bigger, learning to exclusively trust Him in the ups, downs, surprises and uncertainties of this thing called everyday life. Women of all ages and seasons of life find Shauna’s transparent, conversational approach to scripture’s life truths relatable, personally challenging and applicable. Daily seeking Jesus as her anchor and source for significance, strength and joy, she lives in happy, organized chaos as she juggles husband, one homeschooled teen, a college kid, three young adult and married children, a family-owned custom home business and her own study and writing. Follow her blog and check out her other books at www.shaunawallace.com.