Wanted to offer an experience that ALWAYS brings me back……
Some people have told me that they envy the way my husband and I agree so quickly on things, and almost seem to never have a bad moment…. and can scarcely believe we have ever had rough times…… well folks….. we are NORMAL, and marriages have rough times.
One of the things that has been key to my husband and I having a strong marriage, is learning to trust each other…… It is not always easy! And we’ve both been burned once or twice. Being real here. But trust has seen us through MANY marriage troubles. I will ALWAYS remember about 9 years ago, we were in the worst spot we have ever been in financially in our entire marriage. We literally were living week to week on “peanuts.” Mowing lawns, taking side jobs, and staring at the ceiling at night, wondering how we were going to make it next week, and praying for deliverance. We have miracles happen, meals that somehow stretched for 3 days, church members and neighbors bringing us meals that we did not ask for that also somehow sustained us for days at a time.
And I got back from a meeting for my little part time job I was trying to make work while being a new mom and supporting my husbands multiple jobs….. and I was tired and I was frustrated, as was the norm….. and my husband let me know that he had decided that his car needed new tires and went ahead and got them done and used a credit card.
I vividly remember this moment. I remember being angry that he had violated our earlier agreement to not spend more than $50 without consulting one another. I was angry that he felt his car was more important than food. I was angry that he had gone out and spent money without me, honestly!
I remember what I was wearing. I remember the feeling rising in my chest to yell and scream and rip up the bill that he handed me.
But I remember also having am indescribable feeling come over me, telling me that this would be a defining moment for our marriage. I KNOW that that feeling was God through the Holy Ghost, and I KNOW He is aware of our lives and WILL help us as we seek His guidance……
I stared at the bill, I even remember the amount…… $249.79.
I remember my blood wanting to boil, but I remember my soul willing myself to regain control, and think about the eternal consequences of this moment. I stared at the bill while thinking about all of this, my husband with his back to me at the counter, I’m sure awaiting a battle and gathering thoughts of his own.
But gratefully (and I attribute my success to the grace of God) I realized in that moment, that new tires on his car would not impact the rest of my life. $249.79 could be paid off in a few months, and that my husband was keenly aware of our finances, and must have felt a true need to make this purchase to put us in this situation……. God’s grace….. I’m telling you.
So after taking some deep breaths…… I said as genuinely and quietly as I could, “Well, I know you know our situation, and trust that you did the best thing for our family.” Handed back the bill, and walked back to our room to change out of my work clothes.
My husband didn’t say anything for a good half hour….. and I just went on to make a meager dinner of canned chicken and a Lipton rice mix with some canned peaches on the side.
I don’t recall him ever saying anything after that in reference to my reaction, but I know that he and I felt an understanding pass between us that day, that our finances were not the end of the world, and that we WOULD trust each other with our expenditures from then on with full fidelity. We did, after a few weeks, come full circle and talk about this moment again and express gratitude for each other’s responses. And believe it or not, we felt more in love after this instance. 🙂 And just a few months after this, we were offered a great job, and those tires were paid off first thing. That little car drove for years and kept our family safe. I have only speculated a few times what might have happened if I had given into my anger and retaliated without trust and love and God.
But I encourage you, to see where your trust lies with your spouse and your money. Do you make purchases that you don’t tell each other about (other than maybe an occasional surprise gift) that you KNOW that they should know about? Do you just buy things and “hope” that it works out in the budget book that month? Do you falsely accuse one another of purchases that are not needed without real discussion on WHY and HOW and WHO it will benefit and the lasting effects of the purchases? I have seen marriages fall apart and crumble from the misuse of money. Simple small lies or deceits about finances blossomed into bankruptcy’s, credit card debt beyond control, and families and children torn apart and lives wounded from lack of personal responsibility and trust in marriage.
I am not a financial expert or a marriage counselor. But I have seen it enough first hand, to know that they DO deserve careful consideration or they can easily pile up into a mountain of difficulty.
If you have things you suspect your spouse is doing with your money, take the time to ask about it, and if there are problems, seek the Lord’s guidance and get it resolved quickly. 🙂 And if you are the one that are the buyer of the family and have not been honest with your spouse about your own expenditures and possibly bad money habits, allow your spouse to be a part of your change. Build that trust together and I KNOW your marriage will be blessed and happiness can abound.
God is GOOD.