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Money – and the ugly truth.

Wedding rings and money

This is a guest post from one of my prayer partners, Kayla.  I am really excited about what God is doing in her life and all that she is learning.  She is able to explain some of these issues in ways that just MAKE SENSE. God has gifted her with words and the ability to explain things clearly.  I love her writing and I love her heart for Jesus and her heart for marriage.  I know this post will bless you, too!  You can check out her blog at www.lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com

God gave me the pleasure of uncovering the truth about money in my life this week to a new level of understanding that I had never really fully uncovered before.

Money is (hopefully on the way to being “was”) my idol.

But not in the typical way that might be popping into your mind.  I’m not talking about Materialism.  I DO NOT have a desire to have “more” of anything.  Sure, there are things I want, like this REALLY awesome pair of boots I have my eyes on, but I know that I will most likely never own them, and I would never sacrifice what is necessary, be a poor steward, or refuse to give where God is leading just to keep or have more for myself.

Materialism in my mind says that you can find no satisfaction in life because everywhere you look you “want” something or everywhere you look people have “things” that you want and you just can’t find happiness because there is always something more you desperately want to have.

That isn’t me.

I’m talking about Money (NOT materialism) being my God.  Money is my idol.  BECAUSE, money is my security.

I have controlled every aspect of the finances since the day my husband and I started dating.  For one, I’m really good with budgets, researching deals and savings, and I don’t mind at all writing checks and getting things paid on time.

But if THAT was why I was in control of the finances, that’d be one thing.  But that isn’t the only reason that I was.  And I JUST discovered this to the full measure this past week.

It’s because I only trust myself to handle the money and that makes me feel secure.

I have the checkbook balanced to the penny, CONSTANTLY.  There will never be a moment in time when I don’t know to the exact cent, how much money we have.

And if major purchases come up and the money goes down, I’m upset, feel unsafe, have anxiety and worry, stress out, and have a bad attitude.  On the flip, if there is extra money put in and I’m able to catch some sales which leaves us a little higher than we were last month, I’m happy, feel safe, take great pride in my budgeting abilities and feel great security.

The fact that I stay home and my husband brings in 90% (because I do babysit and do crochet) of our income, has NOTHING to do with feeling like my husband is my security, provider or protector.  Because in my mind, I handle the money so I make sure I’m safe.

I’ll even go so far as to tell you that, as DISGUSTING as this is to admit, my husband “running purchases past me to be a team” was seriously a very nice way of saying “asking my permission.”  I ultimately always had veto power.

My friend April had the courtesy to help me see this past week that this situation is just an obvious symptom of The Fall of Man. Men are quick to give up power, and women are even quicker to take all the power.

When in reality God created men to be the provider, protector, and leader and the woman to be the helper, receiver and nurturer.  We were never intended to have “Veto” power.  We were intended to come along side them and follow their leading so we could be protected as we both reach the top of the mountain together.

All I’ve tried to create in my marriage is my own security which is a total lack of trust in my husband to make good decisions for us, which is a lack of faith in the Lord to be sovereign of His design of marriage, and to provide our needs without my constant worry and intervention.

So what did I do about this?

Practical Application:

I put everything on Auto pay except one bill.

I paid everything up through the week that I could.

I made a really neat print-out of what my husband would need to know up-front. (I didn’t give him a mess of stuff!)

And I handed him the paper and check book and said “I can’t do the finances anymore. I’m not being respectful, or trusting and am struggling with pride.  I know you can do this and I trust you to handle this now.”

And I haven’t touched the check book since.  And I won’t.  I’ll now hand him all my receipts, stick to the budget he gives me, allow him to give me the “allowance money” instead of me giving it to him, stop balancing the checkbook constantly or evaluating where we are on-line, let him pay all the bills and write all the checks, and give him my opinions when they are relevent and trust him when they aren’t.

No, this isn’t making me a doormat.  It’s letting him carry weight that he was designed to carry, and giving me the chance to be provided for and focus on things that build up the home, instead of carrying stress that the bank account gets to determine my mood and safety.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I LOVE the words Kayla used when she gave the finances to her husband.  I like her approach actually a lot better than the one I used!  I think it is more biblically sound.  Thanks SO MUCH for sharing your heart, Kayla!

Until we totally submit ALL of ourselves to Jesus as our Lord – we are missing out on His blessings and His will to some degree.  Giving up control of the finances is SCARY.  But I look at the reasons Kayla was doing the finances and how it gave her a false sense of security  – and that was totally me.   I was also very obsessive about the finances and constantly checked the balances all day every day and stressed about it.  I LOVE that Greg handles the money and bills now.  It doesn’t seem to add much burden to him at all.  I love the way the balance of power shifted dramatically in his direction.  It helped me stop a lot of my controlling ways.

I don’t think there is one perfect way to handle this situation – and we are not addressing extreme situations where there is physical abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, gambling, severe mental illness. (If you are in a situation like that – please find local, godly, experienced help ASAP!)  But these are some ideas to think and pray about!  I believe your intimacy with Christ and with your husband may improve greatly when you are not the money kingpin in your house!

 

Here is a post I wrote about how I handled giving the finances to my husband.

Here is a post from one of my readers whose husband emphatically did NOT want her to give him the finances and the really godly way she is handling it.  She is an inspiration to me!

 Respecting Our Husbands During a Financial Crisis

HERE IS KAYLA’S FOLLOW UP POST ABOUT THIS TOPIC A FEW WEEKS LATER:

I Handed Over the Finances – Update

13 thoughts on “Money – and the ugly truth.

  1. I think this is a good reminder for those of us who struggle with finances. But there may be wives out there like me who take care of the finances because our hubbies ask us too.
    I pay the bills deposit checks update checkbooks, tithe and give him monthly view of our finances. He worries more about money than I do since we are living pay check to paycheck .I know God will provide what we need. I’ve seen Him provide for us in all our years of marriage! God has always provided more work for my hubby or extra cash comes in from a source at just the right time!! ( he has like three jobs:) God is faithful

    1. Carla,
      Yes! That is why I included a link to the post from a wife whose husband wants her to handle the finances. She talks about how she has learned to do this in a respectful way. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your perspective! And for sharing God’s faithfulness. 🙂

  2. I totally agree. “Men are so logical and reasonable. And women just want everything now and are run by emotion” Unless the men are telling the woman what to do with the finances. We have a hard time. Emotionally think we NEED something when don’t need or deserve it at that time.There is nothing wrong with having nice things as long as it doesn’t go overboard to being un-sensable or un-pratical. I too felt so overwhelmed that when i had too much money everything was buy-able. haha. It’s so nice to have a daily allowance because of what she says; anxiety, stress, anger. What else is funny is My husband and i agree that he stops telling me if he gets a parking ticket or something that is a liability. I tried SO HARD to work on this but every time he told me I get this horrible insecure feeling inside and I get tense and upset! so interesting how we are built.

  3. I’ve felt horrible for the last 3 years working on a computer science degree because the only reason I was doing it was for money. People are always telling me “you’re going to make so much money” when I’m done. I’m so grossed out, and I’m also grossed out in the difference it’s made in the way some people, that I’ve known, treat me.

    It’s just a means to an end, though. It was amazing how I was practically forced to work on this degree–very particular circumstances. But it’s sure taught me a lot about others. And I’m convinced that so many people measure others by their bank accounts too, now.

  4. Though this topic is specifically about the handling of money, I see a deeper message here. There is no “one” way that is right. For some couples, the husband doing the household chores might work, for others the wife handling the finances might work etc. The important thing is that there is respect, love and open communication.

    I find that many Christians, in their own view of what is “right” judge others by the way they choose to handle certain aspects of their lives/relationship. Some of these expectations are not based on what is specifically outlined in scripture, and we need to respect the fact that difference systems work for different people (I am not speaking of situations in which people are acting out their sinful nature).

    The handling of finances is a particularly interesting example, since some people seem to suggest that if a wife handles the finances, it means she is not submitting to her husband, or if a wife makes ANY decision without her husband, it is wrong. It is good to hear from wives, whose husbands actually “desire” that they make some decisions and handle certain aspects of the finances.

    This shows it is always important to tailor what we learn to suit our specific situation. One size surely fits all, when it comes on to obeying the scripture – no compromise there! But it does not mean there is only one way to do the right thing.

    1. Prayinglikehannah,

      I totally agree! It is possible to turn personal convictions into rules or to try to force everyone to do the exact same thing. That is not generally wise. The principles of Scripture are the important thing. Applying them can definitely look different.

      Since I mostly talk with wives who have issues with respect and issues with being controlling – most of my posts will come from that slant. A wife handling the finances does not mean she is not submitting to her husband. The issue is if she is taking control and trying to make her husband do what she wants, or if she is being disrespectful about how she handles the finances. The real issue is the motive of her heart.

      There are husbands who prefer for their wives to handle the finances. The most important thing is what a wife’s husband desires her to do. And then a wife can seek to honor his leadership and show respect towards him in that situation.

      Great point!

      Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. April:

    I fully understand the angle from which your post is delivered, and the audience that your target. I am a HUGE beneficiary of your teachings as well! I think you are doing an excellent job and I have said that to you numerous times.

    My comment was based on the broader issue that the post forced me to look at. Even outside of marriages, we as Christians often judge others because they choose to do something differently, even if this thing is not sinful in itself. We are even sometimes hard on ourselves, because we do things differently from how other christians do it.

    I totally agree with the fact that God designed wives to be submissive to their husbands. My point was only to share that we (speaking to everyone here April, I am not referring to you specifically) need to be mindful of the fact that our unique picture of what submissiveness looks like, might not be the same for everyone else. As I said, the important thing is that there is love, respect and honest communication — and certainly not sinfulness.
    I love your posts and what I learn from them!

    1. So true!! I’ve been asking my hubby if something I said or did was disrespectful if I thought it might be— based on what I’m learning here and he has said no a few times! Ok. Thank Jesus I’m more sensitive to that. Also from asking him I’m learning what respect and and disrespect looks like to my hubby– thank u again for hands on examples -God is changing me and softening my heart.

      1. Carla,

        That is what matters most… What is respectful and disrespectful to YOUR man. I am excited about what God is doing in you!!!!

        I know God will use you to richly bless your husband. 🙂

        I love hearing updates – good and bad. You are always welcome to share. 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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