How exactly do our money habits as a couple affect what God does?
I shared recently in my parenting newsletter (you can sign up for my parenting and marriage newsletters here!) and on social media my post about how to teach kids what life costs. And because of that, I’ve had some readers saying, “this is great, but how do we figure out OURSELVES how we should treat money?” Money’s a thorny subject for many couples, and since on Fridays I write a quick, 400-word marriage moment with one thought to tide you over for the weekend, I thought I’d share the one overarching thought that has helped my husband and me in all of our money decisions.
I know this is simplistic–I’m limiting myself to 400 words, after all, and there is so much to be said! But this one concept was important to me, and I hope it may help you, too.
Sheila’s Marriage Moment: Don’t Let Money Habits Hold You Back as a Couple!
If you’ve grown up in church like I have, you’ve likely heard sermons on how God will bless you and send you more money if you are faithful in giving to the church. “Dare God to bless you!”
I always thought that was a little simplistic–if we give money, then God deliberately gives it back.
But then my mom read something in a book and shared it with us that made so much sense, and it’s changed the way that we understand God’s view of money.
First, God wants to bless people. He wants to reach the world that doesn’t know Him, and He wants to rescue those who need rescuing. Second, the way that God has chosen to do this is through His people. The aim is to reach others and bless the world; the conduit is us.
Now here’s where a word picture comes in.
Picture God on top of a mountain (he owns the cattle on a thousand hills, after all!). All around the base of the mountain are the people that God wants to help. All up and down the mountain are His people. In order for His blessings to reach the base of the mountain, those blessings have to go through His people.
So God sends water down the mountain. Some people use what they need and then let the rest keep flowing down, so that lots reaches to the bottom. Some people figure out cool ways to make the water reach the bottom more efficiently. But then some people dam up the water to keep it for themselves, and some waste a ton.
As God looks down the mountain, He’s naturally going to choose to send more water through the people who get more to the bottom, and less to the people who aren’t good conduits.
This made sense to me. It isn’t that God is all about punishing the stingy and blessing the generous (though that is a part of it) as much as it is that God is about getting resources to further His kingdom. It’s not only about tithing, then; it’s also about learning to be responsible with the money that we do have.
What does this mean for you? I do believe that when we practice good money habits (like Dave Ramsey espouses!) and are generous, finances tend to be easier. That’s not always the case, because there are always good people struggling for a season, and there are always rotten people prospering. Sometimes we go through periods of financial crisis for no apparent reason, though God teaches us in that, too. But in general, that’s how God’s finances work.
So don’t be afraid to be generous, but be very afraid if you have bad money habits. God wants to bless; but it’s our choice whether He uses us or not.
What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?
A few of this week’s posts hit the top position (so great!), so here are some other posts that have rounded out the top 3 spots (and most are from last week!)!
#1 NEW Post on the Blog: My Husband Doesn’t Want Any More Kids. I Do.
#1 on the Blog Overall: Top 10 Tips For Initiating Sex With Your Husband
#2 from Facebook: 3 Easy Habits To Become A “Porn Free” Home
#3 from Pinterest: 10 Sexy Questions To Ask Your Husband — To Turn The Heat Up!
I’m Moving Katie Back to School
Katie (my 19-year-old) was home for the summer with us. That was a treat! But it’s time to go back to school, so this week we packed up the car and drove back to Ottawa. I’m staying with my older daughter and her husband for a few days, too, while we work on Rebecca’s book, which is due at Thomas Nelson on October 1. It’s fun to be in a city with great restaurants again!
But I really felt like this was the end of an era, somehow. Rebecca is moved out for good, and somehow it feels like Katie won’t be home next summer. I think she’s on her own now too. Of course we still see each other a lot, but I feel like life has turned a corner. It’s a good thing I’m busy with a tour starting next week so I don’t have a lot of time to dwell on it–or to sit in an empty house!
Tune in Monday & Tuesday to FamilyLife Today Radio!
Pennsylania, Michigan, and the Central States–I’m Coming!
I’ll be in Erie, Pennsylvania, and then in several places in the upper peninsula in Michigan before heading south for Iowa and Kansas. Check out my events page for all of the details! If you live in the area, I’d love to meet you in person. It’s always fun to see people who already know of me. And the “Girl Talk” is super fun. I give a really humorous but informative talk, and then the Q&A anonymous session is always a riot because it’s unscripted. It’s a great event, and I hope that people can make it!
I’m Coming to the Southwest, Too!
And then I’ll be heading to New Mexico, Arizona, and California in January. My central states tour is booked up, but we are adding churches to the southwest tour in the winter. If you want more information, contact my assistant Tammy. We encourage churches to sell tickets to the event, and if you promote it, it’s easy to make the money back so that it doesn’t have to cost your church very much money.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I’m going to go edit some more chapters with Rebecca. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Has God ever shown you some truths about money? Share them with me in the comments!