In California, where I live, our state leads the nation in foreclosures and unemployment. Just this week, another business fell victim to our economy and made headline news—they shut their doors and let eleven hundred people go.
Think about that for a minute, one thousand one hundred families affected. No doubt the anxiety level in their homes this weekend is at an all-time high. Financial stress equals family stress and family stress puts added pressure on our marriage. Christian marriage and finances are not exempt from these stresses.
A few years ago, we were struggling financially. My husband is not the type to rant or get angry very easily. His way of dealing with our hardship was to withdraw. He became quiet, had trouble sleeping, and spent a lot of time in front of his computer having late-night debates with Quicken.
As painful as financial hardship can be, what’s even sadder is the fact that couples take out their anger and frustrations on each other. I know there were times that we did. I’d like to share a few tips and give you some Christian marriage advice about finances I learned the hard way, and how I loved my husband through our financial unrest.
•Remind yourself. Husband’s bear an incredible burden. Providing for the family is a huge cross to carry. Remember this before you let bitterness take root. When Paul and I had a recent financial meeting, I was reminded of just how much money we need to earn to pay our bills each month. “It’s a tough nut to crack sometimes.” My husband shared.
For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1Samuel 16:7
•Remember his intent. Your husband loves you and wants you to be happy. With many of my girlfriends losing their homes, it’s easy to play the blame game. A home is where a woman’s heart is. She wants to make a soft, comfy nest to love papa bird and raise her baby chicks. When that nest is threatened, anger isn’t far off. Let your husband off the hook and comfort him instead.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12
•Pray for him. Ask your husband each morning how you can pray for him. I know some days that can be difficult. Do it anyway. Ask God to shower His blessings on your husband. It will not only change your heart in the process but it will put you in the splash zone of His blessings.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
•You made a promise. It’s a humbling place for a man to be when his family is hurting financially. You made a vow, for richer for poorer. It’s easy to support through the “richer”, now’s your chance to express your love for him through the “poorer”.
When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. Ecclesiastes 5:4
•Do one thing for him every day. Fix his lunch and slip a love note inside. When he walks in the door from work, have dinner ready. Turn off the TV and play soft music instead. Make your home a safe haven from the rest of the world. If you can’t think of what to do, ask him, “What can I do for you today?” and mean it.
Likewise, wives be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 1Timothy 3:11
Our economy will eventually be on the upturn again. When that is, no one really knows. Your marriage is a different story. You have the ability to make it better now. Your children are watching, they need to see a marriage that falls on hard times yet withstands the storms together. Don’t be afraid to seek out a Christian marriage counselor. It might be the best help for you. Marriage and finances can be a lethal combination. But, with God and perseverance, you can make it through.