In the early days of my marriage, I was blissfully ignorant about our finances. With the income from my full-time job, I paid for my car loan and small student loans, and one or two other utilities. I paid for my personal expenses like clothes and getting my hair done, and sometimes I paid for shared expenses like groceries and housewares.
My husband paid for everything else from his income. I didn’t exactly know what “everything else” added up to, and that was fine with me. I think I took pride in the fact that my husband was able to provide for us so well. Even though I was college-educated, and had lived on my own prior to getting married, once I said, “I do,” I was happy for someone else to bear the burden of thinking about how bills would be paid.
More than once, my husband expressed great concern about my attitude and behavior towards finances. We are supposed to be partners–to be one, in fact–so it was unfair of me to be checked out on an issue that affects both of us. I am called to be a helper, which requires some knowledge of areas in which my help could be needed, including money.
Since those early days, I am much more involved in the management of our finances, and I know that my husband appreciates it. But still, I do not always enjoy “checking on our flocks.” Sometimes I just don’t want to think about bills and account balances. But whenever I consider skipping our bi-weekly money chat, I am reminded of God’s instruction–first to the ancient Hebrew shepherds, and now to me-–to take good care of what He has provided. Even though my husband earns the majority of our family’s income, the money belongs to both of us, so we should both know how it’s doing. Actually, it belongs to the Lord, so we are both responsible to Him to be faithful with it. We have made a lot of mistakes, but God has been so merciful in giving us more chances to learn His important lessons. I pray that you will be blessed and encouraged as God continues to teach me about faithful stewardship.
Susan A. Stevenson