Wednesday, January 1, 2014

(Talking About) Finances

Recently, David and I haven't necessarily enjoyed talking about finances. When we were first married, the conversations were easy! I think because we didn't have too much to manage. And honestly, I was happy to let David take care of everything. I figured I was a part of managing our finances by saving money every way I could (clipping coupons, packing lunches, air-drying clothes, etc). But, over time, as David wanted to talk to me about our finances, I slowly began withdrawing from the conversations. They stressed me out which made me uncomfortable. I had enough "other things" to think about, and he was doing a fine job handling everything. I'd rather him just keep doing whatever he was doing, and I'd keep saving as much as I could.

But, before we even left Arkansas for our Christmas travels, David had realized something I hadn't... We weren't talking about our finances together enough, and the way our conversations went when we did talk about finances wasn't moving in a healthy direction. My growing aversions to any, even slightly uncomfortable financial conversations needed attention. Even though there are other emotionally uncomfortable conversation topics David will HELP me escape from, talking about money is different.

Why is it important for us, as a married couple, to have healthy discussions about our finances?

As a wife, I need to be engaged in the conversations my husband wants to have with me about our finances if for no other reason, than to respect him. Saying, "Honey, I trust you with our finances," isn't respect. It's just a poor out when he wants to talk with me about them and I choose not to. It doesn't matter if he's fully capable and good at managing our finances on his own. When my husband seeks me out to help him and I choose comfort over supporting him in whatever capacity it might be, I'm being selfish.

1 Timothy 3:11 says, "Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things." This verse is talking about wives of deacons, but I think it's a pretty good standard to set for all wives! And "faithful in all things," includes fulfilling my responsibilities to help and support my husband.

David and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary yesterday. Today, we sat down in front of our computer, using the Quicken software my dad recently gifted us, and we mapped out our budget for Spring semester. It was one of the best conversations we've had yet about finances. And I know it's because we both went into the conversation with our God given roles in mind, with the understanding that we are stewards of blessings, and that one of the greatest blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us is our marriage.

My great-grandmother, Doris Clark, used to say, "You can live without money, but living sure is a lot easier with it!"

I agree with her. But, I also think, while managing money might not always be easy, the blessings that come with two people trying to manage it God's way, together, within the union of a marriage is sweeter than easy. 

"Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all." 1 Chronicles 29:11