One Saturday afternoon six months into my marriage,
I noticed my husband's business credit card statement lying on the kitchen table. On it I spied a $55 personal charge to a golf store. Fifty-five dollars may not seem like much, but we'd both agreed to discuss purchases over $50. I couldn't believe Russell had kept something from me.
I immediately found him. "What's this?" I asked, holding out the statement.
"I thought we agreed to discuss larger purchases."
"That's a mistake," he admitted. "As soon as I bought the putter I felt guilty. I've already returned it—the credit should show up next month." We reviewed our budget decisions, and that was that.
Until his next statement arrived showing no credit for the returned putter.
Though Russell assured me he'd straighten out things, I had a queasy feeling he wasn't being truthful. My search of the garage revealed the new putter poking out of his golf bag. If he didn't tell me about this, what else has he been hiding? I wondered. I started to envision other secrets Russell might be keeping, and I questioned whether or not I really knew him. All of a sudden my perfect husband seemed to vanish in this one instance of betrayal.
I was too upset to talk to Russell at first—all I could do was cry. So that afternoon I poured out my hurt to God.
"Why would Russell hurt me this way?" I asked. God's answer was not what I expected.
A few months before the putter incident, I was at a store to exchange a present we'd received from friends, since we already had an identical item. Because of our debt, Russell and I had agreed to a tight budget. But instead of one replacement item, I found two: a lovely, white cake plate and a darling red cookie tray.1