Gorgeous and I had one of our “State of the Household” meetings yesterday, which boiled down to a long conversation about money.
Its always a difficult topic for us to talk about. Most of the fights and shouting matches in our marriage had money at their cores. Early on it seemed we couldn’t even discuss the topic without the conversation spinning out of control.
The good news is we are getting better. Last night was evidence that there is definitely growth in that department. Even though the conversation was difficult and charged with emotion we both kept our cool, talked it through, shared ideas, and came up with agreeable ways to make improvements.
The major challenge, of course is that we never quite seem to have enough income to do all the things we want to see done. And that challenge is nothing more than the resultant sum of the choices we make where our budget is concerned.
For example we have chosen to live primarily off my income. That doesn’t mean that Gorgeous doesn’t work. She works very hard at a couple different businesses. It means that we often re-invest her income back into her endeavors to help them grow. The net result is that most of the income we use to live on comes from my employment. We would probably have more money to throw into the equation if Gorgeous was to get a more conventional job, but my view is that would be a short term fix that would create undesirable long term consequences.
Gorgeous keeps the books, making sure the bills get paid on time. It is something she does well.
We’ve tried other systems and approaches. So far nothing we’ve tried works as well as what we have right now. So we keep at it.
And money keeps being a source of tension at our house.
It is tempting to think that our challenges are simply a result of being some of the first offspring of the MTV generation. You know, “Too much is never enough!” But the reality is my folks still struggle with money issues too, with two of their kids in college. (My brother’s 20 years younger than me. Long Story.)
So I know our situation is not unique.
Then there’s the Bible. Did you know the Bible has a lot to say on the subject of money? Even Jesus himself said more about money than Heaven and Hell. Combined.
I guess God sees our struggle is fairly widespread out there.
Here’s a tidbit of what the Bible has to say about money from the portion often called the Wisdom Literature
Wisdom is a shelter
as money is a shelter,
but the advantage of knowledge is this:
that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.
And that kind of ties in with something a wise woman I know is fond of saying, “Money isn’t everything. But it is right up there with oxygen.”
Neither of those quotes mean that money should be a higher priority than we give it. But they acknowledge that money is a necessary element to survival the way this world is set up. (If you want a good explanation of how money works in the world check out this speech by Walter E. Williams. I just re-read it as a reminder.)
Money doesn’t buy us happiness. But it does give us options. And with wisdom we can make better choices with the options we face.
If we are going to be good stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with, we need to gain wisdom where the handling of money is concerned.
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