Wisdom for Wives

"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks …"

Where Is Your Treasure?

on August 17, 2013
Map:  X marks the spot

image credit: happilyeverafterinvesting.com

Last week
, I suggested keeping track of your spending as a possible first step to becoming more involved in managing the family’s finances. And I am taking this step myself, since I know I need to be more conscious of my spending, especially on food, which is what I buy most. Sure, food is important. Food is essential. It is a blessing from God to be enjoyed. But it’s a little embarrassing to see how many times some purveyor or another of French fries appears on my bank statement. What does that say about me? I have heard more than one pastor say that you can tell a person’s priorities by looking at his or her checkbook. This seems to be supported by Scripture.

~~But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21-22, NASB)~~

Maybe that’s why it can be so difficult to discuss finances with our spouses. Maybe these conversations reveal the true conditions of our hearts, and who wants to talk about the true condition of our hearts?? It’s quite possible that when there are unresolved heart issues, money arguments aren’t really about money. One spouse wants to discuss a budget, the other one fears being controlled. Four little words like, “We’re short this month,” can really mean:

You don’t make enough.
You spend too much.
You shouldn’t have taken (or quit) that job.
It’s because you wanted to buy this house that we can’t afford.

Even if the speaker is not (knowingly) holding a secret grudge, the hearer could be filtering the words through insecurities about his/her earning potential, or lingering regret or shame over a financial mistake for which the family is still paying. Rather than churn up all these issues, it is easier (in the short-term) to avoid talking about money, or to just ignore it altogether.

My husband and I have both had to admit money-related mistakes, and confess resentment we’ve held for the other’s actions or inaction. Some things were acknowledged long ago and now we laugh about them, others have been revealed only in recent months. These feelings were not easy to admit. But even after we have received the Lord’s forgiveness, sometimes we need to “confess [our] sins to one another, and pray for one another so that [we] may be healed” (James 5:16a, NASB).

Then again, if money is a difficult topic, maybe it’s not because of unconfessed bitterness against our spouses. The conflict and tension could reveal an even deeper issue. Just between us and God.

If we sought the Lord for comfort, would we call out to Him instead of trying to eat or spend our way out of sadness?
If we truly trusted God as our source, would we be less tempted to try to control our spouse’s behavior?
If we were content with what He’s already given us, would we put less pressure on our spouses or ourselves to earn more?

May the Lord help us see what is truly at the heart of these issues, and may the Psalmist’s prayer be ours:

~~Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23-24, NASB)~~


22 responses to “Where Is Your Treasure?

  1. Jennifer says:

    Such a timely topic for my life right now. Thank you for posting! Wise truths indeed.

  2. wisdom4wives says:

    Thanks Jennifer. I hope it encouraged you.

  3. Lisha says:

    This is timely for me, as well! Wow. The Lord is so good to share His counsel & wisdom so freely with us when we need it. Thank you for those verses and your insight!!

  4. wisdom4wives says:

    Thank you for stopping by Lisha. I’m still thinking about your “Love Does Not Envy” post. πŸ™‚

  5. Susan says:

    I love what you said about “If we sought the Lord for comfort…” He is our true comfort. Thanks for sharing.

  6. wisdom4wives says:

    I have gone to cake before prayer many times, Susan. Thank you for stopping by.

  7. melcaldicott says:

    There is great wisdom here. Money can be a problem within marriage but budgeting and agreeing on principles to live by together is key.
    Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays. Blessings.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

    • wisdom4wives says:

      Thanks for hosting! And it’s wonderful that you make a point of visiting all your “linkers.” πŸ™‚ I had a little trouble with the image link before but I have it up there now. See you next Friday!

  8. Jean Wise says:

    I’ve been blessed with a hubby with a sound money sense – much better than mine. But as I grow older I am finding that acquiring more stuff is so burdensome. I thirst for simple, and less at this season of my life. Great finding your blog.

  9. I like that you suggest getting to the root of the issue. I wrote a post not too long ago on how our family of six lives on a single-income, tight-fit budget (5 Ways to Stretch your budget). It really does come down to priorities and what you “treasure.” I’m your neighbor at Grace-Laced Mondays. πŸ™‚

  10. aimee says:

    Thank you for reminding us to be content and focus on what His desires are for us….-aimee

  11. Thanks Jennifer. This spoke to my heart and I am so thankful.

  12. messymarriage says:

    This is incredible, Susan! So insightful and helpful. There are so many nuggets of wisdom I don’t know which to mention first. I loved the line, “Maybe these conversations reveal the true conditions of our hearts, and who wants to talk about the true condition of our hearts??” Also the issue of how we filter these money discussions through past failures or fears is spot on! I’m going to tweet about your post. Very well-written on such an important topic and prevalent problem couples face these days.

  13. Mia says:

    I always like to say that we cannot give what we do not have whether it is money, energy, love, mercy, or whatever. Doing so will eventually leads to a collapse. To me this has always seemed like common sense. Just a pity that common sense seems to be quite a rare commodity nowadays!
    Blessings XX

  14. This is such a practical post. My husband and I worked our way through the Dave Ramsey course, and we learned so much by tracking our spending.

Speak the truth in love

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