Money, Marriage, and Managing It All (Part 2)

“Be Content.”

It was the phrase that dropped DEEP into my spirit that struck a nerve with me, left me silent, and convicted. I knew that God brought this word specifically for me as it was something that I struggled with during the tight financial seasons that my husband and I endured. This phrase was given to me numerous times but I often pushed it to the side. My contentment (or lack thereof) really placed a strain on my marriage. My discontent caused my husband to be discontent.

Given our specific, tailor-made, financial circumstance, my husband and I made sure to be obedient and do what God called us to do. We tithed, made sure the bills were paid on time, yet it felt like we were somewhat behind. Our bank account didn’t quite seem to match up with the hopes, plans, dreams and the reality of bills we had for the near future. In order to have made up what seemed to be lacking, my husband started working way more hours all to come home extremely spent and frustrated.

This really frustrated me as I gradually felt a little more of the pressure on myself to have to do and be more as I watch friends and other people in my age group the same thing yet excelling. In my frustration and discontent, I started to become obsessed with finances thinking to myself, “I’m SICK of living like this! If only I had more money…” Gradually, my discontent started to turn into covetousness.

Covetousness. What a horrible word!

I haven’t really thought of myself as covetous but the signs were there. My discouragement, disappointment, and discontent slowly led to my secret envy as I watched others who seemed to have looked like they were dancing light-footed through life with not a financial care while my husband and I struggled. This not only led to envy but also to idolatry as I turned my focus away from God and onto the things that I desired.

Still deep in my time with God, His Word pointed to my less than stellar behavior as I read Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He, Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” This means that even in my financially dry seasons, I’m to be satisfied and grateful with what I have (whether it seems little or a lot) because God is with me while sustaining and providing for me.

I’ve also realized the lessons given in those seasons for me financially is part of the strengthening and purification process. There will be ebbs and flows when it comes to finances but how I manage is what shows true prosperity. I remember repeatedly saying to myself, “If only I had more money…” While having more money would quickly solve a lot of financial problems, it doesn’t mean it would get to the root of them.

Sometimes, MORE income doesn’t always justify a better financial outcome. 

It is in times like this where I’m pressed to seek God and His Wisdom regarding better stewardship and focus on the money that we have. Focusing on God and His provision over my husband and I’s finances gives us tools that we at times didn’t know that we had to work within our means together as one. When my heart is FULLY content in Christ, it carries over to my husband as he’s shown a better way to be content. We focus on the things that we are blessed with more than the things we don’t have at the moment.

Yes, others may have more than we do. While at times, it can be frustrating, its okay. We’re still called to praise and give God thanks anyway. God rewards faithfulness in the tough times when having only a little. Coveting is a poison not only to myself but my marriage and relationship with Christ also. So, I’m choosing to be more thankful as my gratitude leads to being content.

 

 

 

 

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