My wife and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary. It was so great to reminisce with her about our journey together. I reflected on my experience watching her come down the aisle, as tears flowed down my face, and I saw my beautiful bride coming towards me. I was overwhelmed on that day.
Then, we sat and shared our honeymoon memory. We recalled sitting by the pool in Maui planning on returning to the same location on our 10th anniversary. We didn’t factor in having two little kids, and having another one on the way, so, we’re banking on our 20th to workout.
There were a large amount of great memories we shared, but one thing I didn’t bring up, was my inability to make wise decisions with money when we first got married. I’m going to be honest here, I really had no clue how to be responsible with my money, until I met my wife. She seriously helped me embrace the idea of savings, balancing my checkbook (I still struggle remembering to do this), avoiding debt, etc.
I have always known that being responsible with money is important, but it took some mistakes to really get me focused. The mistakes weren’t anything major, like owing money to the mafia due to an unfortunate bet on a turtle race, but still enough to cause some strain on our budget for a few months or so.
We have been debt free for quite some time, except for our house payment, and it feels good.
For many people, money equates to stress. Even reading the words, money or budget, creates an uneasy feeling.
For many, especially married couples, financial issues can be an unbearable weight that causes a lot of pain and discomfort in your relationship(s). It could even lead towards poor communication, anger, and bitterness towards others.
Let me be an encouragement and tell you, it doesn’t have to be like that.
Perhaps it will be peaceful to know that God cares just as much about money than you do. In fact, I would can confidently say, He cares about it more than you do.
Most importantly, He cares more about you, than money. He knows the control money can have over you and God doesn’t want to play second fiddle to your finances.
God declares that He is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). Jesus shared, “No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve God and wealth (Matthew 6:24; NASB). When you allow money to control you, you are now serving it over God, which goes against the command of not serving other gods.
When you are in debt, you become controlled by the people you owe money to. When you have an overwhelming weight of trying to figure out how to make ends meet, you are now controlled by the fear. Money has become your master.
So, what can you do?
First, pay your debt. Stop trying to live above your means. This was my problem. Before I met my wife, money burned a hole in my pocket. I had to get rid of it. I bought games, movies, clothes, and more that I didn’t need. I wanted to live like I had money, but it was killing my bank account.
Dave Ramsey has a great concept called the “Debt Snowball Method”. This method leads you to pay off the lowest debt to the largest. As you pay off the low debts, take what you would have paid n payments and apply them to the larger debts. Work them out in order from lowest to highest. You continue paying the minimum payments on the high debts until you eliminate them all. (Dave Ramsey)
Second, find accountability. Have someone in your life you are willing to be open and honest with about your finances. If you’re married, it needs to be your spouse, but if you and your spouse are guilty, then find another couple to be honest with. If you’re single, have a friend or mentor, assist you. These people you seek out should be financially responsible.
Finally, give back to God. This is not a, “give back to God, so you can get more in return” idea, but a trusting idea. Giving God what He deserves requires trust with your stuff. It acknowledges His authority in your life. Your finances are His. He has provided, so give back. I’m not going to tell you how much to give, but give. Allow God to control your money, so you will have peace.
The debt and financial struggle may be there, but God is in control.
Your money matters to God, not because He doesn’t want you to have things, but because He doesn’t want your things to have you.
May you experience financial peace. May you see the value in money. May you see the importance of serving God over money.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What are ways you have seen money controlling your life?