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The Power of a Praying Wife: Chapter 3 – His Finances

My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  ~Philippians 4:19

Finances are always a tough topic in a marriage.  Other than sex, it is probably the largest topic of discord in most husband and wife relationships.  The problem is that most people feel uncomfortable talking about money.  Talks about money can slide into arguments about who spent what on lunch, who promised too much to charity, who should have been saving more, and who makes the most.  The thing is, money is a necessary factor in life and talking about money is a necessary factor in a marriage.

I went into my marriage to Gregg with a few financial hangups.  I had come out of a marriage that had real money problems.  I had shouldered the responsibility for all of the finances in the marriage and it was my job to rub two dimes together to make thirty cents.  I robbed Peter to pay Paul until that quit working.  I paid bills late, I shopped with a calculator and had a panicked feeling right before the cashier would give me a total, and I never, ever bought myself anything.  If I had clothes, they were from the church clothes closet or Christmas and birthday gifts.  Toward the end of my marriage, there were nights I would feed my husband and daughter, then scrape together half of a plate of food and convince everyone that was all I needed.

Despite the fact that the second I left him, my finances improved, despite the fact that my own little budget in my little duplex with just me and Kaylee was more than enough for the two of us to survive and then some, and despite the fact that Gregg then came into our lives with regular paychecks and a savings account and fiscal responsibility, I carried all of these bad feelings and images and ideas of money out of my first marriage and into my second marriage.

Because we were married well over a year before he even moved to the same state as me, Gregg had no idea just how bad it was.  Until the day the electric company put the notice on our front door that the power would be cut off the next day.  I remember very clearly Gregg saying, “We have x thousands of dollars in the bank.  Why did you not pay the electric bill?”  Honestly, it never occurred to me to pay it on time.  Because, if I paid it on time, what happened when I needed groceries that week or gas the next?  Regardless of how much of a cushion I had in the bank, that old thought process just bogged me down.

After that, Gregg took over the money in our home.  Even now, eight years after we said, “I do,” I cannot talk to him about money.  In the middle of the conversation, I start crying.  It stresses me to no end.  And that frustrates Gregg to no end, because there is no reason for me to stress.  We finally created a system that works for us.  I have a bank account that is just for tithing, giving, and donations.  I have a bank account that is just for the household, groceries, shoes, clothes.  I can spend and give to my heart’s content and Gregg never asks a word about it – except when I have too much money in an account, because then he knows I’m resorting to my not spending habits and really tries to encourage me to relax about it and buy what I need or possibly even want.  I’ll purchase something that I see as completely unnecessary and totally extravagant and panic until I tell Gregg what I did, and he’ll actually build me up, praise me for making the purchase, or allowing myself to make the purchase.

My husband’s fiscal responsibility has been an amazing asset to our marriage.  It is one of the things when I’m talking to God about Gregg for which I am always thankful.  I wish that he didn’t have to deal with me and all of my money hangups, but I am so thankful that he even wants to.

If you haven’t already done so, read chapter 2 and consider the following discussion questions.  The comments are turned off for this chapter, and the discussions will take place at the forum, Hallee’s Daily Brew, by following this link.

1.  Luke 12:29-31 says, “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.  But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”  Does your husband suffer from anxiety about finances?

2.  Is your husband miserly, overgenerous, or somewhere in between?  How would you like to see that changed?

3.  Psalm 41:1-3 says, “Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.”  In light of this Scripture, the blessings that come from giving to the poor cannot be ignored.  Is this an area that needs improvement in your marriage?  Are you and your husband on one accord where it comes to giving to the poor?

4.  Do you feel your husband makes financially sound decisions?  On a sheet of paper, write out a prayer asking God to give you and your husband wisdom as to how to handle your finances.  Pray that you will have God’s revelation about all financial decisions.  Pray this prayer while you are praying the prayer on pages 57-58 of the book.

5.  Is there anything you could do to help relieve the financial burden on your husband?  If you are working to support the family also, write a prayer asking God to bless the work of your hands and make it fruitful.


Hallee


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