Finances, Blessings and Marital Tension

Posted: October 16, 2008 in Daily Blog

I have heard often that one of the most common areas of tension in a marriage is how to manage finances. I have found that true in my own marriage, and with the tough economic times that are brewing I imagine more tension will develop in the marriages around us. Just this morning Trish and I were discussing pending expenses: kids going on a youth retreat, sports registrations due, several birthdays soon, and Christmas is coming. It all adds up and takes a hefty toll on not only our checking account, but on our emotions as well. We made a decision long ago that we would keep Trish home, and we have been so blessed in that we have been able to do it. However, it is getting harder and harder to make money stretch as far as before. The further it needs to stretch, the more tension is placed on those trying to stretch it. Go too far and tension turns to conflict.

The good news is that gas prices are coming down. The bad news is that it is hard to say no to the things we used to say yes to. I know we are not alone in this, I know this is a common issue many couples face today, but that doesn’t make it any easier. How have you handled conflict over finances? If you aren’t married, how do you make financial decisions? Have you thought about how that works if you get married? I wish there was an easy solution. Living within your means is getting harder and harder to do. Living on credit is not a good solution either. How much longer can we keep tightening our budgets before we have to make the decision to go without? So what would you give up first? Cable? Internet? Eating out? Do you turn the heat down? Cancel cell phone plans? Ride a bike to work? Could you go without TV? Could you bypass that coffee you get every day? And even if we do give all this up, we still have so much more than most of the world’s population!

It is tough right now not to get so focused on finances that it is all you think about! It is easy to overlook all the blessings we do have. It is easy to get so consumed by our own needs that we overlook the needs others have. My challenge is to continue to be a blessing financially to our church and those in need even when I feel the pinch of finances at home, and I challenge you to do the same! We still have more than some people ever will, lets not forget that!

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