It’s Not About The Money

Money issues rank pretty high in the list of conflicts between a husband and wife. Edric and I have our share of money issues. They aren’t frequent but they do happen from time to time.

Just yesterday, we had a stressful conversation over something sooo insignificant. But in marriage it’s sometimes the small things that trigger a deluge of toxic discussions, especially when you are both in combat mode.

We were settling money matters with one another. Edric said he transferred a certain sum of money to my account but based on records, I was absolutely sure he didn’t. (We share everything but I have a separate account that he puts funds into to help me budget monthly expenses for the household.) I mentioned to him again that what he had given me for the month was short. But he didn’t think so. To verify he checked his online transactions and sure enough, there was no transfer made on the day that he claimed he made one. There was a smaller amount but it was for a charity donation that I had advanced.

Instead of saying, Ok, I will send the funds now, Edric said that it was my fault for not collecting from him and reminding him back in November.

Some minutes later, he did send it but he seemed annoyed. He didn’t like having to deal with the backlog because he had “closed his books” on last month’s expenses. So he was irritated with me. And I retaliated by saying that this was his system so if it was flawed, it couldn’t possibly be my fault. He was in charge of our expenses. Furthermore, I explained to him that I had told him that he had not transferred the amount at the end of the month. But since he didn’t believe me at the time and we were both busy, we didn’t have the chance to verify transactions. It wasn’t until yesterday when the topic came up that I mentioned it again.

Our dialogue continued into the car when we were on our way to purchase water heaters for our new house. How fitting! The atmosphere was heating up!

He commented that the source of his irritation was my disorganization. As an example, he cited that after his massage the night before, he got money from my wallet to pay the therapist. And he said seeing the contents of my wallet was EMBLEMATIC of my lack of organization. It was like an explosion. Of course this upset me. A wallet as emblematic of organization?!

I told him the fact that he had to get money from my wallet meant that he had not prepared money for the therapist before hand. So who was the disorganized one?

Like I said…the deluge…

And I went on to say if you call me disorganized then it needs to be in context. I don’t need to have a regimented schedule like you do because I am at home with the kids. So evaluate me based on the condition of our children. Plus, I just gave birth, so am I not allowed some slack, a little bit of understanding for not having my whole life in order like yours?

He said that it wasn’t about not understanding. It was about explaining the source of his frustration over the incident with the money.

How a discussion on money traveled to this point is really one of those miracles that defines marriage.

Well I was missing the point. Do I have to improve on my organization? Admittedly…yes. Okay. Yes. Yes. I CAN be like an explosion. My wallet has a bunch of receipts in it that I need to throw away. My computer files need to be catalogued and put into better folders. My homeschooling schedule has been erratic because of breastfeeding. And I haven’t been able to prioritize everything that Edric has asked me to. So the more Christ-like response would have been to say, “I do have to improve.”

Eventually I did say this but only after Edric apologized to me for reacting about the money transfer. Sigh.

When I thought back on my resistance to accept his correction, the Lord convicted me that it was my pride. I cannot allow myself to become defensive when Edric points out an area of my life that I need to work on. Even if I don’t like the style of delivery or the context, if he says something that is valid, I need to listen better and acknowledge it. Otherwise, how will I grow? How will I mature spiritually and become more Christ-like unless I am sensitive to the way God uses him. He is the person who knows me the most, who sees my life with microscopic lenses.

Furthermore, I have to realize that Edric is my “boss”. While I would prefer that he is always sweet and tender towards me, if I reject the occasions when he is stern or dislikes my attitude, behavior, or perspective, then I do myself a spiritual disfavor. I forfeit God’s blessing when I am not humble enough to listen. Edric is not my enemy even if it can feel that way when are in a conflict. He is God’s mouthpiece of correction and instruction.

My enemy is pride! And the best way to overcome it is to say, “Thank you Lord for my husband. For using him to disciple me towards Christ-likeness.” And to Edric, I need to be more willing to say, “Thank you for helping me to improve and grow as a person.” I told him that and I meant it. Hee hee.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man (person) is he (one) who listens to counsel. Proverbs 12:15

11 thoughts on “It’s Not About The Money

  1. I am an avid follower of your blog. i am single and waiting for my god’s best. I learned a lot from you. Thank you so much! God bless your beautiful family.

  2. Thanks for shaaring this, Joy. Timely article for me, as we were just having our owm share of money issues Admittedly, due to MY lack of organization naman. :p

  3. What a great blog post, Joy. Thanks for the transparency. I’m sure every couple out there has had at least one conversation like this. I had to laugh when I read that Edric took money from your wallet to pay for his massage. I remember once saying to my husband, what is the point of giving me money for the household budget if you are then always asking me for cash? So I stopped keeping cash in my wallet so that there would never be any to take. I was humbled and convicted realizing that we were playing money games with each other. Both our attitudes needed to change. He was not prepared, and would often fall back on asking me for money in order to “save” from his account. I was resentful because I felt like instead of being generous, he was always taking from me and then being critical of how I spent money. This continued in our marriage for about 10 years. You might be impressed that there was finally a resolution. No. I got a job. In our case, this helped. I was no longer available to serve the family in the way he always enjoyed. Suddenly, I no longer needed him to provide for us, but I was also not there for the family as much as everyone wanted me to be. For a while, we enjoyed the benefits of my job. I made an effort to be incredibly generous to him to “teach him a lesson.” Even though my attitude was less than perfect, it made an impact on him. At the same time, we all started to miss me being home. So then we re-visited the issue. It all came back to having an attitude of generosity with each other and believing the best of each other. After two years, I quit my job and came home full time again. Believe it or not, this solved the problem. Everything changed. My husband realized the value that I brought to the home even though I did not bring income into the home. His attitude of generosity changed. He was no longer asking me for money–he was doing extras to cut back on MY household expenses. He started putting cash into my wallet instead of always asking me for cash. Additionally, he began to recognize that I was just as organized about the finances as he was, but my system was different than his, though equally effective. We both learned to not judge the other person’s system. And I became increasingly motivated to try to please him in the way I handled the household budget as I felt his generosity and kindness extended to me. While this solved our problem, I would hope that other people could learn from our experience and not have to repeat the situation.

  4. I do agree that Edric should cut you some slack. 🙂 Hope things are better now. Thanks for this very honest post. I love the way you write about God and your family.

  5. First, thank you so much for sharing your life through your blogs! I subscribed to Teach with Joy a few weeks ago because I was inspired and taught about teaching little children to handle their finances even at a young age from the first blog I read. Anyway, this one made me chuckle because I can completely identify with you. What amazes me is your transparency, yours and Edric’s (esp in his preaching!). No matter how perfect couples look, they are not excused from the testings in marriage that our Lord allows to make us more like Christ! Your humility inspires me. Don’t be too hard on yourself though. There were shortcomings on both sides. But as we know, the victory is in the defeat, if you know what I mean! God bless you to keep blessing others!

  6. I stumbled on your blog. Wow. What a blessing. Thank you for writing about your insights on God’s word. I like that u really live His word. God bless you and your family.

  7. I just read your post and it is right that couples always have the “money issue” most especially on how things are being spent. My husband does not like holding the household budget but would at times ask me why we are short (if I tell him) and then I would explain it to him. Sometimes, he would shrug or at times he would question what were the expenses we have made. To be honest, there are times that it is nerve-wracking, I, at one time, asked him to hold the budget for once! He didn’t want to :p I guess because he can see the stress it gives me but now that we have sort of balanced our expenses (i.e. stop impulsive buying), we now reap what we have sown! 🙂

    I have bookmarked your blog so will visit this from time to time 🙂 God Bless! 🙂

  8. Oh how I love the way you blog! A true misunderstanding issues between husband and wife. I had almost the same situation like you and money issues can really make relationship shaken. As a christian, holding on to God’s promise and overflowing love we can defeat any bad circumstances. Thank you for sharing your experience it means alot to us.

  9. Thank you for this wonderful story. Helps me a lot because I’m a wife too and a first time mother. Looking forward to another inspiring thought from you. God bless you always!

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