Thursday, July 30, 2015

Money and Marriage

Scripture Texts: Acts 20:17-38; Psalms 55

The day still plays in our memory. It was only about a week before Aaron's seminary graduation and a small electrical fire rendered our house with no electricity. Our electrician made it clear we are fortunate to still have a house based on what he could see, yet we still had a problem. We needed to meet our insurance deductible so the work could get done, and we needed to do this right away as we had people coming from all over for the pending graduation celebration.

At issue was the fact that we did not have the money for the deductible. As we sat at the dinning room table trying to figure out how we were going to pull this off, the only solution we could come up with is to cut back on our giving to the church and give less than a tithe. We had made the decision early in our marriage that we would tithe, give the first and best 10 percent of our income to God through the church. This was not a financial decision, rather it was a spiritual one. God has been faithful to provide, we would be faithful to return a portion.

Exasperated with our option we decided to get the mail and take a break from talking about the whole thing. In the mail was an overage check from our escrow account which was enough to cover the deductible, cover the cost of the bankers check, and an ice cream cone for both of us. God provided for us in a wonderful way. Our experience has been when we are faithful in what we do with what God provides, God is faithful to provide.

Money and marriage can be a difficult topic. A significant number of marriages get into trouble because of money. At the same time so few people take the time to learn and apply biblical money management principles. Paul seemed to understand how to manage what he had in a way that honored God, and God honored Paul by providing. The provision of God was done to the extent that Paul did not need to receive from the people of Ephesus a gift for support.

For years now we have done our best to apply biblical principles of money management. We continue to give our first and best 10 percent to God through the church. We continue to live a lifestyle that is less than the means we have available. This allows us to be more available to God. We continue to build a savings so we can manage emergencies without crisis. Most of all, we do not make money the most important thing in our marriage. We work together to honor God with what God has provided, and God honors us.

This is hard work, and requires discipline. Yet the payoff is worth it. Through the years of our marriage we have had financially stressful times. At the same time we have never had an argument over money or our financial situation. We trust that God will provide, as long as we are faithful in how we live our lives in accordance with the principles of money management found in the Scriptures.

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