Written by Special Guest Contributor: Alan Morgan
God can use this time of uncertainty and crisis as an opportunity to expose and bring to light financial struggles with your spouse. Now is the time to press into these issues and experience real freedom and healing.
I want to begin by encouraging every spouse reading this that financial questions and difficulties are often a part of daily life, and more the norm than the exception. This is true whether you have more money than you need or have more needs than money. Our natural inclination is fear and doubt no matter where we fall on the money spectrum.
There is only one who lived in perfect alignment with God the Father; Jesus is the example of surrender to God’s perfect provision. While this complete trust in God's provision can be difficult for us, Christ offers the Holy Spirit as His free gift to us to cast out fear and darkness. Philippians 4:19 "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
So in the midst of our current "COVID...Quarantine...Unemployment...Retaliation...Election-year" lives, don’t compound your financial concerns by hiding them from your spouse. Take this opportunity to look at your spouse and say, “Things are looking a little scary, but your presence is a reminder that God provides me with the perfect provision.”
So – what actions can you take as you walk by faith and trust God's provision?
- Write down your concerns. Put pen to paper and time-stamp it. As you make your list you're actually creating your prayer guide. God knows you need a roof over your head, and He will honor your commitment to seeking Him as provider.
- Share this list with your spouse. Your fear may be the opportunity your spouse needs to love you. Don’t steal their opportunity to minister to you. You may have taken the role as the family’s chief financial officer and worried about showing signs of weakness. Remember, our goal is oneness in marriage for Christ’s glory, not looking the part for our own glory.
- Get specific with your concerns. If your fear is a growing pile of smelly debt, write down the lender, the amount owed, even a phone number so you can proactively call the lender to reverse the flow of phone calls to your home. "Hey Chuck, just want you to know I’m looking at this balance and I can’t wait to make a payment." (Seriously, taking ownership of the communication with an outstanding lender will be a blessing to your mental health.)
- Schedule 20 minutes to review this list with your spouse. The frequency of the review will likely be daily during moments of high stress and spread out as prayers are answered. Don’t ignore the success of the 12 Step model – daily check-ins can provide urgently needed clarity. Keep it short and focused. Remember that very few financial discussions lasting over 20 minutes are fruitful.
Each time you look at this list, there should be two questions you can ask your spouse: Where do we need God to work in these concerns? What action must I take today to be obedient to God’s Word?
In all things, God seeks our attention, and commands our obedience. He commands us to be good stewards with the assets and challenges He has temporarily placed in our care. The assets and liabilities, the debits and credits all add together to provide a glimpse into how we view God’s provision.
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