Who Has Access to Your Love Bank? Pt. 2
by Shauna Wallace
Who has access to your love bank?
I talked about it some here last week.
As I was saying, if our spouse’s love account dips into the negatives – he’s making more withdrawals than deposits – 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.
We can have solid convictions, read our Bibles, pray and go to church, and that’s all good! And certainly it’s only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can establish and live by holy boundaries at all. But we have a responsibility to recognize danger and know when we’re not in the situation what we will do to prevent the situation, because if we find ourselves…withdrawals than deposits, which happens in the ebb and flow of everyday married life – and…
…in it, it might be too late.
I’m not talking about acquaintances. I’ll visit with our pastor in the atrium before or after service, or I’ll have a conversation with a friend’s husband in Sunday School. But I won’t get in a car alone with them, meet privately behind closed doors, go to lunch, and so on. If we have couple friends, we don’t spend time alone with only the spouse of the opposite sex. We simply don’t repeatedly allow ourselves to be in situations where we’re spending solo time with someone of the opposite sex.
It reminds me of an illustration all three of our daughters considered during their purity weekends. Picture a mountain that eases into a fifty-foot plateau at its base, and then at the edge of the plateau is a sharp cliff that plunges seventeen stories to a rocky abyss. To fall off is sure death. Hugging the mountain represents keeping all body parts to yourself at all times; walking the cliff’s edge like a tight rope symbolizes the everything-but-intercourse approach. Where is it safest, hugging the mountain or balancing the edge of the cliff like a beam? How close are you willing to get to the cliff?
Other-sex relationships outside of marriage can be approached with the same analogy. Hugging the mountain is avoiding any sort of repetitive alone time with a non-family person of the opposite sex. Balancing the cliff’s edge would be spending considerable time with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse, enjoying together what only your spouse should be enjoying with you, even while avoiding physical intimacy.
This doesn’t cover every scenario, but I think you get the picture.
So when a single, male best friend from high school randomly contacted me through Facebook, as much as I was dying to re-connect and catch up with him, it was a relationship my husband felt would be awkward. As gracefully as I could, I declined his invitation to get together, even with my family. It wasn’t connecting him with my family; it would have been reconnecting me and him. I never had and don’t have romantic feelings for him, just warm memories of great times we had growing up. But he’s a man. He’s not my husband. And no other man is making deposits in a love bank in my heart. It was awkward, and I worried about hurting his feelings or coming off as ridiculous. But you know what? I’m more worried about my husband’s feelings and heart than that of any other man.
Being married changes everything. And if you’re single, someone else being married changes everything. Spending time with another person’s spouse poses the same danger.
Recently I learned of a single young man who’s spending innocent, professional time with a married woman whose husband travels all the time. They have two small kids. I would imagine that gets difficult. In her husband’s absence, it might be difficult for him to make a lot of deposits. If this other young man is encouraging her and praising her and making her laugh, without intending or knowing, he could be making huge deposits in a love bank in her heart.
Does that mean they shouldn’t work together? No! But wisdom would be to put careful boundaries in place so they are not in situations where deposits recklessly rack up.
“Oh Shauna, you’re being a bit extreme!”
When it comes to your marriage, and if you have kids, when it comes to your family, doesn’t yours deserve extreme protection from the very thing the devil is having entirely too much success achieving: the destruction of marriage and families and therefore our children’s lives through emotional and/or physical affairs?
“But I’ll feel foolish or look stupid!”
Then feel foolish and look stupid, my friend, if it will guard your heart and your marriage.
Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV) instructs, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Other versions of the Bible use the word guard. Guard your heart with all diligence. For if you allow a man other than your husband or a woman other than your wife to make deposits, an affair might spring forth, and with it serious issues!
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.