Financial stress. Fiscal challenges. Budgetary constraints. Income short-come.
No matter how you phrase it, money problems create incredible potential for marital stress, challenges, constraints and short-comes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It simply depends on how you choose to respond to your financial circumstances.
And to each other. Especially to each other.
On his daily radio show, New York Times best-selling author and trusted money expert, Dave Ramsey tells listeners that money fights and money problems are the leading cause of divorce in America. He also suggests that one of the best things couples can do to avoid this path is talk to each other about their money.
And he’s right. Money problems can either drive a couple apart (consider the recent government debacle and the lack of communication that contributed to it) or draw them closer. We get to choose.
This is where my husband and I right now.
Because income struggles tend to inspire a strong sense of guilt and if-only thinking.
If only we hadn’t moved when we did. Twice.
If only we hadn’t taken that commission-only sales job.
If only we had changed directions sooner.
If only I’d had a strong mentor when I was younger.
If only I’d majored in something more practical.
If only. If only. If only.
Maybe things would be different if only. But that is something we cannot know. Not something we can change. Not something we need to dwell on. Because here we are. Standing on the dawn of today.
We may not know what the day holds, but we know certain truths about this new day.
God’s mercies are made new every day. Including today. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
God’s grace is sufficient for today. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
God will provide bread enough for today. (Matthew 6:11-12)
God goes before us and he will not leave us to fend for ourselves today. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
God will love us no matter what because his love never fails. Not ever. Not today. (Psalm 136)
And so, with these truths nestled in our hearts, today we will choose to hold fast. To God and to each other. We will choose each other over the fear. Over the worry. Over the unknown.
Today we will choose to love each other no matter what. No matter what our circumstances or finances. No matter what we feel. No matter what.
Today we will choose to draw closer to each other.
Today we will chose to believe.
Today we will choose to trust.
Today we will choose to claim the promises of God.
Today we will choose to live out the faith we have been given.
Today we will choose to glorify God by our words, in our actions, with our choices.