Lots of numbers. So many categories. Knowing where to begin restructuring the family budget was daunting. With interest rates continuing to drop, we're considering refinancing our mortgage with the intention of paying it off sooner. With that goal in mind, my husband and I discussed our options.
With our daughter off at college, a few financial dynamics have changed. Our cars don't need to be fueled up as often. I'm sure those who can relate, are rejoicing with us on this one! The grocery bill has gone down. We no longer pay for weekly piano lessons. On the other hand, school tuition has increased, and we're now making the occasional trip down to sunny Florida to visit our girl. It's a balancing act.
Thankfully, my husband and I were able to discuss each category and come up with a tentative plan, together. I was reminded of King Solomon's wise words, "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow..." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a; KJV). I'm not always the most realistic when it comes to financial matters, so being able to discuss several different scenarios with Steve, helped me keep things in proper perspective.
Being able to share life with someone who loves the Lord and has my best interests at heart is a special blessing. It's exactly what God intended when He instituted marriage. A beautiful picture of this union is woven throughout the Old and New Testaments. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh," (Genesis 2:24). Jesus reiterates these words in the book of Matthew, "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh, " (19:5). The same concept is echoed two more times (Mark 10:7; Ephesians 5:31).
As both my husband and I seek God's will for our lives, we are able to encourage one another. King Solomon put it this way, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend," (Proverbs 27:17). As we search God's word, it becomes apparent that He requires faithfulness of His people. Including faithfulness in the area of finances.
Jesus concludes a parable about an accountant, with the following words, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least in unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon (riches), who will commit to your trust the true riches?" (Luke 16:10-11; italics mine). As a couple, are we faithful with the earthly wealth God has given us? If not, God says we're not fit to handle the true riches of His heavenly kingdom. Tough words. True nonetheless.
Putting God first in our financial dealings, will keep us from making an idol of money. God alone provides lasting peace and security. As we live within our means and pay down our mortgage, we're exercising determination to be good stewards of what God's provided. At life's end, our desire is to hear the Lord say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord," (Matthew 25:21)!
How do you view money? Are you a good steward of what God has given you? Is there anything you need to change?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for providing spouse/friends who can give me biblical counsel. Help me to have the right view of finances. I want to be faithful with the material things you have given me. Give me the desire to be a good steward of both material and spiritual things. In Jesus' name, Amen.