Posts Tagged ‘Christian’
Last time I left you with the thought of if you were depending on God or your mate when it came to finances. I also said what is causing the divorce is deeper than money. We reference money as one of the top reasons for divorce but as I said before, money in itself cannot do anything.
When couples are arguing about money, they are arguing about 1) its mishandling – overspending and impulse buying which results in not having enough to pay bills or for other necessities; 2) an individual’s value system when it comes to money. Value system meaning your beliefs about how money should be handled, who should handle the money and what takes precedence when it comes to expenditures in the household. Value system is comprised of many factors especially when it comes to money – your environment, what you saw and experienced when you were growing up regarding money, your personal handling of money good and bad. All of these factors form your value system. So when your value system is challenged you react or respond a certain way.
Value system is big – so let me put it into perspective. For example, as a person that was raised by a single parent with little to no access to money, it would be within my value system to be very cautious about money, paying bills and making sure there is some left over. So it would not “feel good” to me to buy on impulse. Now from Married Christians perspective if you know that you are to pay your bills and you spend impulsively on a want versus a need and now you cannot pay your bills – the discussion is happening in a way you might not like.
So Married Christians may be divorcing and utilizing money as the reason but it is not the reason it is their value system being challenged. They have had enough. Money issues affect more than the husband or the wife, it affects their relationship, performance at work, if they have children (them as well), household bills and more.
Before you decide to file for divorce, think things through and be honest. Think about your actions when it comes to money and marriage – 1) What role did you play in this area that you believe has failed and 2) Did you have structure when it came to finances? Begin talking it out with each other to each other about money to see what you can do to make better decisions to sustain the marriage and time invested in each other than versus throwing away this union.
CAUTION: Do not wait until you are in Divorce court to find out about each other’s financial habits.
I have been asked this question over the last few months and decided that now is just as good a time as any to write it in a post. Why? Let’s face it, we both know that the economy has been taking its toll on people and marriages whether they are believers or non-believers.
So I’m not as many of you know, I am not a sugar coater when it comes to my thoughts. So let’s get right into it because more than likely this is going to be a two part blog because I do not want anyone who needs this answer to be overwhelmed and miss anything.
I said this question to my husband last night sharing with him that I was preparing to write this post. He flat out said, “The vows says For Richer or For Poorer“. I responded, you see.
I pray that you did not marry for money and married because you love the person. Love is a choice and not an emotion. I hope that you understand that money comes and goes. Yes it has many roles in our lives and it is important that you recognize the roles and functions of money in your marriage.
When a Christian man and woman stand before God, the wedding officiant and guests taking their vows, they are entering into a covenant agreement saying we will be together through good, bad and the ugly. For Richer or For Poorer means honey if we have to eat Raamen noodles for a minute then I am here with you or honey if we are eating steak and shrimp I am here with you. Regardless of what is happening with the money, Christian husbands and wives are supposed to be together working it out together. Remember, Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, A threefold cord is not easily broken. I can assure you, the GOD I SERVE is not in the business of breaking up marriages.
Marriage is not a covenant that should be taken lightly but reverently, because if you are like me and my husband, GOD blessed us with each other. We had pastors (that were complete strangers) come up to us in restauraunts even months after we were married saying, when you two are ready to get married, I want to marry you. Then we would hold up our hands and show them we were already married.
Christian marriages ARE to be examples of a GODLY marriage to non-believers. Yet if Christian marriages are doing the same thing that non-believers are doing, where is the difference and where is the example? What does it say in Hebrews 13:4-5 which I want to take from the Amplified Bible, 4 “Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous.
Marriages are to be held dear. It is absolutely a blessing to me, to be with the man GOD chose for me. See, I did not have to go out there looking for a mate because I know in MY BIBLE it says HE who findeth a good wife obtains FAVOR in the LORD. It is not my role to go out there and look for a mate. My responsibilty is to have my relationship with GOD right and in order, so that when GOD blessed me with my HUSBAND, I was ready. Alright, I digress that is for another time.
Let’s move on to verse 5 which says, 5 Let your [a]character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] [b]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor [c]give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [d][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor [e]let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [[g]Assuredly not!]
I want to say Christians have to realize that no you are not supposed to love money but you have to recognize that money is a tool and a weapon. It is a tool that can be used to expand your ability to reach many people for the KINGDOM of GOD. It is also a weapon because it takes money in the world system to hire lawyers if necessary to defend you against a person or a claim. Money in itself is not a negative, it is what people do with and to money that makes it a negative in their life.
So for those married christians, I have to ask you are you depending on God or your mate? I want to leave you with this thought, in my opinion it is not the money that you are fighting about or getting divorced over, I say it is deeper and to find out you have to wait for part 2.
Money and marriage are near and dear to my heart because this is what I live. I am the person that came to their marriage with financial baggage and maybe different than you I did put it on the table. As a matter of fact, so did my husband. We both came to our marriage with financial baggage and we are both Christians. My husband and I are a happily married couple of 13 years that know from our own experience how to be successful at money and marriage.
When it comes to dealing with financial baggage which can be anything from – slow pays, homelessness, debt, bankruptcy, cleaning up credit, family and money, becoming parents, job loss, spending, student loans, bad credit, business decisions affecting finances and relationships – we have experienced it.
When I say this morning, Money and Marriage is My Ministry, it is a ministry for me that I do not take lightly. I thought back to when I was interviewed by US News and World Reports – a question she asked was does faith impact money? I had soooo much fun answering that question because it does when you are a Christian, believer. I am here to listen, then encourage and provide solutions that work to:
- Couples that are in church whose finances are funny and they do not understand but do not think they can reach out to anyone for help because they believe they will be judged or their situation will become church staff gossip
- Couples who are embarrassed to even say we have made wrong decisions and want to get our money and marriage right. We don’t want money being a reason we get divorced.
- Individuals who are tired of making wrong financial decisions but need help in cleaning it up.
- Anyone that want help in the area of money and marriage without judgment and condemnation.
- The person that has fear when it comes to money.
Regardless of what you think, you can come out of financial frustration today. As far as I am concerned, Christian Marriages should be setting the example for those not of faith and encourage them to want to be a Christian. But I know that is not what has happened.
It is time to equip Christian marriages with life skills to sustain marriages and not let them be a divorce statistic. Let me address this – do you have to be a Christian to contact me? No, you do not and I will continue to provide you with solutions based on what I know works.
Christian or not, when you are given solutions it will be your choice whether or not you utilize the information and move beyond financial frustation and begin the path of financial independence.