Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Five Marriage Killers Part 5

on May 1, 2014

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photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

5. Money, Money, Money

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

Whether it be the secular world or within the church, marriages are ending rapidly, and one of the biggest causes for marital distress is financial discord. A large percentage of marital fights are over the issue of money. Whether it’s a lack of finances that is straining the marriage or someone who is spending more than they should, money problems can be rough. Family budgeting is an important aspect of family life, and yet somehow, even when we try to do our best, the issue of money can creep in and cause problems.

If you and your spouse fight over money issues, perhaps you fall into one of these general categories?

1. Unemployed Spouse. When the family is suffering financially and a spouse is unemployed, it can be very difficult. Sometimes that person is hard-working and desperate to work but unable to find anything. Maybe he just refuses to work and would rather live on benefits and do side jobs under the table. Either way, stress is going to be a major factor and it will affect the marriage if you let it. If your spouse is hard-working but has been out of work, be his number one support and encouragement. You have to understand that a man places great importance on how he is providing. Most men determine their self-worth on how they provide for their families. So if your husband has lost his job and is trying to find something, try not to add to his worry and troubles. Be his support, his encouragement, his cheerleader and his lover. Build him up because he needs it. He is hurting, no doubt. Trust the Lord to meet your needs, be creative on how to bring in extra money or stretch what you have, and remind your husband over and over that you love him and respect him.

If you are married to a man who refuses to work and take care of your family, you are in a difficult spot indeed. It must be incredibly hard to deal with and to remain a respectful wife. Believe me, I would have a few words to say to such a man, but God tells us to obey Him whether or not our husbands do. In other words, if your husband will not work, the most important thing for you to do is pray. Pray hard and pray without ceasing. Trust the Lord. Work hard yourself if need be. It’s not right for a man not to provide for his family by choice, and your husband needs a kick in the pants, but God has said it’s not you who is to give it to him. Pray for God to break through to him and trust the Lord to take care of you in the meanwhile.

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8

2. Overspending and Greed. Sometimes in a marriage, one or both will struggle with a heart of greed and covetousness. In these cases, it’s common for overspending, unwise decision-making and greedy living to come into play. This can lead to major marital problems. If one person is a spender and the other is prudent and wise financially, there will be strife that may come into play daily, weekly, monthly, etc. It will snowball into serious marital problems and even marital death. If both people are spenders, well then the couple is likely to come to ruin and extreme poverty. Few marriages survive that. So this is a dangerous place in which to be. If your spouse is a spender, or perhaps you are, it is important to get on track in terms of God’s calling for us to serve Him and not money. We need to address issues of covetousness and greedy spending. If your husband is the spender, you may want to respectfully address the problem and then spend time in prayer. You may ask him to get some help and counsel from an elder or financial counselor. Ultimately, if he will not change, all you can do is do your best to stay on track, do not nag and cause conflict, and pray. If you are the spender, repent of greed. Get yourself on the right track. Get into the Word. Don’t allow a love of money to creep into your heart and get a stronghold.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

3. Low-Income or Self-Employed and Struggling. So many of us, ourselves included, could be considered low-income though we have a strong work ethic and continue to work hard day by day. In this case you have honest, hard-working people who still can’t seem to make ends meet. As the bills roll in, stress accelerates and pretty soon the whole household is on edge. All it takes is one major and costly event (such as automotive repairs or a new waterheater) to through you overboard. In this case, fights are caused by the amount of stress put on the family. It is important that these trials not pull you apart but bring you closer together. Pray together, study the Word and then come up with ideas on how to move forward towards financial stability. Don’t play the blame game. Budget together and make it a family team effort. Be there to comfort one another and don’t allow your hardships to harden your hearts.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Financial problems can be a real marriage killer. Being aware of this and fighting back with our spiritual weapons is the best way to combat it. Remember that God is our provider and we can trust Him. If He cares for the birds of the air, will He not care more for His children? He knows what we need. Our job is to be honorable in our handling of the money that He allows us to steward and then to trust Him through the rest. We, as wives, are called to honor our husbands and to build them up, whether or not they do everything right. Understanding how important it is for men to feel good about how they are providing, it is important we do not tear them down but rather bring words of edification, respect and love to build them up.

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