Giving Him The Benefit Of The Doubt

Giving Him The Benefit Of The Doubt

Just as quickly as that feeling came, it evaporated. I was left to face the ugly truth of the situation; I couldn't give my husband the benefit of the doubt and I couldn't be the tiniest bit gracious in that moment.

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We had one of those weeks recently in our marriage. We weren't constantly arguing, nothing really big or even notable happened. But it was all the little things that were adding up. Work, lack of sleep, finances, you know, all the life stuff.

Our reserves were nearing empty and we began to do that weird dance that sometimes happens in marriage. You dance around one another, trying not to step on toes, trying not to step on the landmines you know are lying just beneath the surface.

It was late Thursday night and I was standing in front of the kitchen sink, loading the last few dishes into the dishwasher, and I had had it. I don't know if it was the way he walked across the kitchen, his pile of laundry that had been stacked on top of the dresser for days now, or that fact that it was the third time that week that I had come home to an empty house that he had left unlocked while we were both gone (this has been our most recent source of conflict in our marriage!). Whatever it was, I'd had it so I picked a fight about it standing right there in front of the kitchen sink that night, elbow deep in soap suds and dirty dishes.

I knew better but I did it anyways. It felt good for the tiniest second, it felt good to have legitimate reasons to be frustrated, to have solid examples to back it up with and to know that I would be right, that I could easily win this one.

But just as quickly as that feeling came, it evaporated. I was left to face the ugly truth of the situation; I couldn't give my husband the benefit of the doubt and I couldn't be the tiniest bit gracious in that moment.

It had nothing to do with being right or wrong. It had nothing to do with my frustrations not being legitimate that he had left the house unlocked yet again.

But rather than reiterating to him for the hundredth time why he needs to remember to lock our doors and how I don't think its wise or safe to leave out house unlocked while we are gone, he needed me to give him the benefit of the doubt.

He needed me to be kind.
He needed me to be gracious.
He needed me to be understanding.

He didn't leave the door unlocked just to see how mad he could make me (the boy is a lot smarter then that!) but sometimes I take his mistakes and forgetfulness as a personal assault and believe that it's an attempt just to irritate me.

So as I stood in front of the sink, gripping the scrub brush in my hand, I opened my mouth as I began to give it to him for leaving the door unlocked once again. His physical posture changed in a defense to my attack as he began to prepare what he would launch back. I stopped mid-sentence, just as I was about to get to the good stuff and really tell him how it was, and said 'I bet you didn't mean to leave the door unlocked, I need to give you the benefit of the doubt here.' He exhaled with physical relief and said 'Thank you! I really did forget again and I'm sorry about that.'

With a simple apology, a little bit of grace, and giving him the benefit of the doubt, a crisis was averted and we didn't have a big knock down, drag out fight about locking the doors.

That's the cool part about marriage and it's also the hard part of refining that we go through each day. The opportunities we have to be kind, to be gracious, and to give our spouses the benefit of the doubt usually come in the smallest ways. Though small, they change us and shape our marriages dramatically.

So this week I'm on the look out for the small ways that I can be quick to give my husband the benefit of the doubt. I'm watching for the opportunities I'll have to practice grace because its by and through grace, I'm convinced, we discover a richer and deeper love in our marriages.

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If You Have A Project You Want To Grow, Crowdfunding May Be The Answer

The benefits of the crowdfunding phenomenon.

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The idea of crowdfunding is exciting, isn't it? A small town poet can use a platform like GoFundMe or Patreon to sell their work directly to those who are looking for it. A community organizer can not only raise funds for an upcoming event, but they can also keep the funds coming in to raise money for the monthly expenses of running their group. A magazine editor can keep their readership engaged through multimedia as well as tangible perks in exchange for tiers of subscription costs.

Crowdfunding makes it so people can combine multiple engagement styles directly with target audiences for a common cause.

What really makes crowdfunding satisfying is getting monetary confirmation that what one is passionate about is supported. Money rules a lot of the world, and receiving money for creating or providing something for others is extremely fulfilling. Different than just going to work and earning a paycheck. Jobs employ workers to create or provide something that has already had a template of origination.

Crowdfunding is running one's own business of creation or providing goods without a bunch of the red tape. In fact, one could say that crowdfunding has allowed sites like Etsy to flourish. One can now make a pretty decent profit just making pins, Mickey ears, necklaces — whatever one can imagine — and get it directly in eyes of those interested. There's nothing to lose in crowdfunding, just the hour or so it may or may not take to set up the site.

Crowdfunding can also be used for temporary things like school funds, funeral funds, and recovery efforts. Need $10,000 to get through a semester at college? Have a sudden death in the family and need $5,000 to pay closing costs and unexpected expenses? Major world disaster like a hurricane or tsunami destroy an entire majorly populated area? GoFundMe is your answer. You'll most likely get twice as much funds then the goal you set.

There's now many crowdfunding sites out there. Outside of GoFundMe, the three biggies are Patreon, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter. So take your pick, make your page, and get some money!

And just in case you're wondering, yes I do have crowdfunding efforts out there for my projects! One for my personal writings, and one for my magazine.

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