Nothing causes more trouble in a home than money! When money is tight, stress and strain can cause huge amounts of pressure on the best of relationships.
One of the reasons why this lesson is #7 out of 10, even though it’s terribly important, is that if you’ve been doing your homework until now, you’re much more ready to deal with money correctly.
- When you cleaned out your purse, you probably found some receipts and were reminded of the condition of your checkbook.
- When you made your schedule, you probably thought about when you could balance your checkbook each week, check your account balances, pay bills, and file paperwork.
- When you read your Bible daily, you are probably more prepared to have your treasures in heaven rather than on earth.
- When you submit to your husband, you are more prepared to let him lead, even in difficult decisions where surely you won’t always be in agreement.
- When you’re learning to search Scripture for parenting advice, you’re being prepared to search for God’s heart about money. (Did you know that Jesus had more to say about money than any other topic?)
- When you’re learning to order your home, putting each thing into its proper place after each use, you’re much more ready to put income and spending into their proper places, too (not to mention paperwork!).
I’m not saying that today’s lesson will fix all your financial problems. This course is only first aid, not every answer to all possible questions. 🙂
The fact is, money reveals your heart. It reveals my heart! I firmly believe that the condition of your checking account reflects the condition of your entire home. Why?
- Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34). This is a very humbling passage of Scripture, for I’m convinced not a single one of us is exempt from moments of worry, where we place more stock in our earthly barns than in eternal storehouses.
- “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17). Oh, how hard this is! I’m just sure that I don’t love the world — until I start to crave something, and again, my heart is ripped open and laid bare before a sovereign God, shown for what it really is (see Hebrews 4:12-13).
So if you struggle in this area, how can I help you? How can I, who feels like a blind woman leading the blind, give you some wisdom for an area that God says matters so much?
I sit here with a piece of paper filled with lots of advice. I’m sure a lot of it is sound. I’ve got ideas like make a budget, have open communication with your husband, be sure to be generous to the poor, be content, pray a lot, use cash and don’t get into debt…. and on and on. See? Good advice!
But if there is one thing I so badly want to do, it is to lead you to the One who holds all the answers. Sometimes His answers just don’t make sense. Maybe that’s why how we handle our money is such a test for us, showing us what we truly worship.
- So I know that the Bible tells us to give the first part of our income back to God. This is before we know how the following week, month, or year will turn out. You can read more about this in Leviticus 22:21-24, Leviticus 27:30-33, Deuteronomy 12:5-7, Malachi 3:8-13 and many more places in the Bible. I’m not linking to these verses, because I think you’re graduating to getting your own Bible out and taking time to reading these verses in their contexts. Have your notebook, pen and paper ready as you read. (What should you do if you have a question? This verse will answer that one!)
- I know that the Bible tells that a certain amount of money needs to be set apart for the future. (Really, Anne?) Yup! Go check it out for yourself, starting in Deuteronomy 14:22-27. But God also says that there are certain things for which you should not save up your money. Read more about this in Matthew 6:19-34.
- I know that the Bible says we are to set aside money for the poor. How much? How should it be done? Deuteronomy 14:28-29.
- I know that the Bible says we are to care for those in our own families, especially the parents whom we are to honor. Check out 1 Timothy 5:3-8, 16.
Okay, that was a lot of study! If you still want more, I highly recommend Funding the Kingdom — but beware, it’s heavy studying and reading, certainly not for the faint of heart. (And remember what I said about what to do if you have questions?)
If you’re stuck today and don’t have a lot of time for study, please schedule time for it in the coming year. Also schedule time to read through your entire Bible, from the front to the back cover, so that you’ll have God’s proper perspective.
In the meantime, with your husband’s blessing, these quick steps will give you some “first aid,” should you need it:
- First, you absolutely need to have a budget and stick to it! If you need help, read “How to Make a Budget and Stick to It.”
- Talk over your budget with your husband. Your husband might have asked you to handle the ins-and-outs of money in your home, and that’s fine, since you’re the God-ordained home manager. However, don’t keep secrets from him in this important area! Make sure he approves all your plans and all your purchases.
- Once you have a budget, you need to make sure you schedule time (here we go again…) and organizational space to maintaining it.
Getting control of your spending ensures that you will sleep better at night, you’ll enjoy a trusting relationship with your spouse again, and you’ll be able to help advance God’s kingdom. What could be better?
- Get out your Bible! 🙂 Read Luke 12 each day for the next three days, then as you have time, dig into some of the study listed above.
- Talk to God and your husband about which of the steps above you might also need to do.
Hey? Remember I’m praying for you? I could use your prayers, too! 🙂