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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Husband Encouragement Challenge: Day 7

Day 7: Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!...for riches certainly make themselves wings..." Prov. 23:4-5

"That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries." Proverbs 8:21

Money is the root of much marital discord. Ask yourself, "Am I being negative toward my husband in the area of finances?" Determine not to speak evil of your husband in this area. Discover ways to encourage and help him instead.

Does your husband handle finances wisely? Does he make good financial investments, based on biblical principles? Does he have a budget? Does he make wise decisions about purchases - checking many sources before he buys? Is he a good steward of his money before the Lord? Let him know how much you appreciate his strengths in financial matters.

If he is weak in this area, encourage any good decisions that he does make. Perhaps you can help him, if he's open to the idea, by organizing financial files or providing other practical assistance. Or, if he wants you to handle the finances, ask for his input before you make decisions that will affect him.

Ahh, finances. This has definitely been the root of much discourse in our marriage. I'm an organizer, planner, and a saver and can be quite disciplined in this area, while my husband is very lax and maintains a "go with the flow" attitude. As long as the account doesn't go negative, he's comfortable. We have tried several different approaches to finding balance and agreement, and I'm still not quite sure what it is we need to do.

I've mentioned this a couple times now, but a few months ago I handed over the budget to Hubby. I found that my discipline and saying No to things and such were causing a lot of stress in our marriage. I often felt like I was "mothering" him ("If it's within your $20 allowance, you can get it. Or save up until next month..." ) instead of following him. So I asked Kevin if he, as the head of the house, would like to be in charge of the finances instead. I was letting go of something I very much liked having control over and putting my trust in my husband (and God!) instead. It was a great act of submission for me. And now I can say my opinion, when he asks, about something but follow up with "...but it's your decision. If you think that's best then I will follow and support you." This choice has helped our marriage.

As of this past week I've decided to create my own budget for the purchases just I am in charge of: Groceries, Household Items, Personal Care, Baby Stuff (diapers/wipes, clothes, misc), and Extras (like clothes and books). These do cover a majority of our purchases, yet I won't be monitoring dining out and fun moneys and all the misc. We'll see how it goes...

Kevin is responsible. He is wise. He's not going to let us go poor. And he does have the self-control and discipline to say No when he needs to. He's flexible and doesn't want money to rule our life. He doesn't just go buying anything and everything, and there are a lot of times he has to go without and make do for the family's sake (i.e. tools!). He wants us to be happy and when there is a need, he makes sure we're taken care of, regardless of what the budget may say. And for that I am very thankful. I believe there is a lot in this that we are teaching other, and through our years together we will find a good balance.

Go to Speaking from the Heart to join in on this challenge! It's not too late and it will bless your marriage!

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