Money & My Honey

When I married my husband, Edric, I knew that we weren’t starting off with a lot of money. It wasn’t an issue for me. I was a starry-eyed bride caught up in the romance of our relationship. Furthermore, his good work ethic and his desire to be a good provider made me feel pretty confident that money wouldn’t be a problem for us. Maybe we wouldn’t be rich but I was certain we would have enough. More importantly, Edric loved God and honored Him. God would surely bless Edric if he kept seeking Him first. This was the hope I clung to.

Well, reality set in within the first year of our marriage. It wasn’t easy having just enough. Admittedly, coming from a family with means felt like a big contrast to what we had. Enough didn’t quite feel enough. I couldn’t travel. I had to stick to a budget. Even if I didn’t grow up seeing my parents spend on luxury goods because that wasn’t a value of theirs, I was used to living pretty comfortably.

When I compared my state in life to my siblings and parents, jealousy and disappointment would settle in. God had to deal with my wrong perspective because the discontentment infected me with worry, stress, and frustration.

I didn’t want to be the kind of wife who made my husband feel like he wasn’t good enough, or a nagging woman who pressured him to be a better provider. After all, he was trying his best. Together, our incomes didn’t amount to a whole lot of money but he was certainly doing his part to “bring home the bacon.” So I had to learn to be quiet and turn over my fears and concerns to the Lord. Thankfully, God also used the years when we struggled to teach me valuable lessons about money.

BE A “THANKER” NOT A COMPLAINER. Although we didn’t have a lot when I compared myself to wealthy people, we certainly had everything we needed. God didn’t fail us. We always had food to eat and we didn’t have health issues back then. Our children were born strong and without complications. We could even afford to household help. So how could I complain?!

I’ve come to realize that whatever financial state my family and I are in is God’s will for us at that juncture in our lives. Therefore whether there is abundance or lack, rejoicing is in order!

LET MONEY ISSUES STRENGTHEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP. I’ve told this story before. As a young couple, we had one of those unreliable second-hand cars. It would break down and be a pain to get started when it was nearing the end of its life. However, Edric and I were able to laugh through these moments of car trouble. God allowed us to see the humor in our predicaments and enjoy them as romantic memories.

We would say, “Imagine if we had everything all at once, what would we have to look forward to?” Because we didn’t start off ultra comfortable, we got to dream together and encourage one another to keep hoping in God’s plan for our lives, including our finances.

Having a thankful attitude also enabled me to celebrate the blessings of others. I remember an instance when one of my kids told me that their cousin made a big deal out of their new SUV. A part of me felt annoyed at my nephew for bragging, especially because Edric and I needed a new vehicle. But then I realized it was a prideful thought. So I turned to my son and told him, “Tell your cousin, ‘praise God, I am so happy for you.'” I meant it with all sincerity, too.

Today, I still have to practice this perspective. When people around me succeed or increase in their wealth, I have to remind myself, “Be happy for them!” It doesn’t mean God loves me less when He prospers others materially. Whatever I have is God’s allotment for me and I can choose to be miserably envious or to be richly content in Him!

BE A CHEERLEADER. Edric invested so much effort and time into being a provider for our family. It was a burden he gladly chose to bear but it was a burden nonetheless. When he would open up to me about his defeats and fears as a man, God taught me how to speak life to his heart (something I had to improve on as a wife!). I built him up and communicated to him my confidence in his abilities. I cheered him on, reminding him that God would surely bless the work of his hands. I could say this truthfully because I knew Edric loved God and obeyed God’s will in His life. Yet even during seasons when Edric made mistakes God trained me to trust that He would redeem and restore Edric and be merciful to us.

Recently, I was speaking to a group of single ladies and I told them, “There’s no perfect man out there. He doesn’t exist. But you and I, as women, have the unique capacity to encourage and build up the man God has called us to marry and love. And our affirmation transforms him and empowers him to be the man God has called him to be.”

When the realities of our less than ideal financial situation sunk in early on in our marriage, I had to decide whether I was going to be a cheerleader to my husband or a discourager and life sucker. By God’s grace I chose to be the former. And to this day, when business stress inflicts Edric, I whisper to him, “It’s going to be okay, hon. God will take care of us. I know you are working hard and doing your best. I don’t doubt that He will bless the work of your hands.”

It still matters to Edric to hear this, as it probably matters to all men out there who need a hopeful boost when their thoughts begin to darken and their outlook turns bleak.

  IT’S NOT YOUR MONEY. God owns everything as the Psalms declare. “The earth is the LORD’S and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.” Psalms‬ ‭24:1‬ ‭

Therefore every spending decision must consider God’s values and priorities. When women ask me about whether it’s okay to buy designer bags, I don’t guilt trip them by saying that it’s a sin. Rather, I encourage them to consider whether this is how God wants them to use their money. Designer bags and luxury items are not sinful things. Instead it’s the motivation behind their purchase.

Why do we buy expensive products? Sure, they can be distinctively prettier and yes, maybe the quality is a factor, too. However, can we say with 100% certainty that God would applaud us for spending tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands, even millions on luxury items? Especially when we do so to ascribe worth to ourselves and convince others that we are somehow more special because we can afford to buy these superfluities?

It may not even be the extravagant things. Yet, we’re driven by a compulsion to acquire material possessions. They may not be expensive when placed in the realm of luxury, and yet we derive pleasure and joy from accumulating and hoarding. It could be toys for our children, clothes, gadgets, even groceries! (The grocery is where I go crazy!)

SURRENDER YOUR DREAMS TO GOD AND FOCUS ON SEEKING HIM. If there is one person who can keep our longings and dreams safe it’s the Lord. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present which assures us that He knows what is best for us. If a longing or a dream in in contradiction with His good purpose for our lives, then He will change these to something far better.

I wanted a home for our family at the 10-year mark of our marriage. This was my dream. It didn’t happen. As the walls of our condominium seemed to close in on our growing family, I entrusted the desire for a home to the Lord. Edric was convicted to give to the building fund of our church and he wrote a check that spelled goodbye to our house plans. Yet, God’s leading to him was so clear. “Build MY house first.”

In tears, Edric wrote, “God owns everything” behind the check and in faith, deposited the check in the offering box. Three years later, we moved into a home that God miraculously and supernaturally provided the money for! However, He intended for us to exercise faith with our money before He supplied for our dream.

“True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.” Proverbs‬ ‭22:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God’s economics are often counterintuitive to human reasoning. When we question our financial circumstances we must believe that His character will not fail us, even if His will may unsettle us.

No matter what season we have found ourselves in and continue to find ourselves in when it comes to finances, God has proven himself faithful. It’s never really about whether the money is enough, but whether we come to the point of recognition that God is ALWAYS enough and MORE than enough! ‬‬

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If you want more practical tips and lessons on how to handle money so it doesn’t handle you or cause issues between you and your honey, consider attending the upcoming Family & Finance conference this July 30. 🙂 To register: Family and Finance

51 thoughts on “Money & My Honey

  1. Wow! This is very timely, Joy. It speaks to my heart. I always had a comfortable life since birth. And I feel resentment towards my husband, thinking he is lazy and is not working hard enough to give me the life that I deserve to have when financial problems arise or when he is being too spendthrift (in my opinion only). But reading your article made me weep. I am being a spoiled brat. Thank you for this article. Bless you and your family!

  2. Praise God always for inspiring us Joy. I admire you a lot for you are a Godly woman. – – – Colet

  3. Hi Ms. Joy. What can you say to a couple where the wife earns more? I am in that situation now. I know the man is supposed to lead the family but what if I, the wife, happen to be the provider? My husband is a good man but I admit there is a struggle in my heart. Please enlighten me.

    1. I am not married yet but experienced the same thing with my bf and my family. When God revealed to me that “He owns everything”, it humbled me and realized that He gives me so much in order not to hoard or be prideful but to be generous; that I am prosperous not because of my own strength but because He is a generous God! It was hard at first to accept that, but through surrender and prayer, He changed my heart and now I am so free!!! Now, I find joy spending for others more than for myself and God has exceeded it a hundred times through promotion, generosity of others, etc.

    2. The question is – why is there a struggle in your heart? Why are you expecting your husband to lead the family? Aren’t you both equal partners in this marriage? There must be something that you are expecting back from your husband. Whatever it is, if it is not a deal-breaker for the marriage, let it go and accept it for what it is. You say your husband is a good man and be thankful for who he is, and move on.

      1. A husband is a leader in a family, Jane. If you don’t go with that idea, go do your own way. Don’t force someone else’s to do your way. Everyone has their own belief & opinion. In a marriage, as a Christian, husband and wife are equal. But, they have their own roles. And by means of “being a cheerleader” doesn’t mean that you do not do anything. It means like giving a nice words to your husband, be someone who thinks positive & a good supporter.

    3. I can only suggest for you not to let your pride consume you that you forget that we wives are told to obey our husbands (Ephs 5:22). My mom has been the breadwinner while my dad is jobless. I’ve seen how her pride brought nothing but endless fights in their now-40-years-of-marriage and thus, ruined us, the children. Just be thankful that God gave you a good man. Earnings are just numbers but quality of a man is priceless.

      1. Hi Tikvah, was this comment directed towards me? I am so sorry about what happened in your family. If I came across as prideful, I am so sorry! Really, I truly appreciate my husband 🙂 He does work very hard and he 100% quality in my book! ????

  4. What a beautiful message Ms.Joy! We don’t dwell with money issues as a couple..we talk and resolve financial issues together. Money is not everything..Love, contentment and faith is all we have!! Keep being an inspiration to all of us. God bless your family always and forever!

  5. Hi Ms. Joy thank you so much for this msg you really inspire me…instead of being envy we should thank God for other people’s achievement in life…I don’t really complain if I’m the one bringing home the bacon…it’s not easy for my hubby being the “inatay” ina and tatay to our sons while I’m away working…I’m thankful to God for my husband and I accept our situation…GOD bless you and your family…keep inspiring 🙂

  6. This is very very timely for me. I love my husband so much. We are struggling with our big debts. Thank you for the encouraging words.

  7. Thank you for this message. I’m in my second year of marriage and going through financial problems. Not really problems, but our funds don’t seem enough. This is one of the reasons why we decided not to have kids yet,m. But sometimes I feel like time is running out for me.

  8. Thank you for this inspiring message. I’m in my fourth year of my marriage and I could relate a lot. I love my husband and son very much. I believe that challenges will be overcomed and our dream home will come. God’s will is the best. His plans will happen in His perfect time.

  9. Hi Joy! love your articles.. so inspiring, ever since I started reading your blog I’ve become more patient with my husband and my irritability has lessened. I learned how to understand him and control myself from picking a fight. Anyway, our finances is one of our biggest issues. I sometimes feel resentment towards him when I think he is being lazy, or I feel like our future is doomed because he doesn’t earn or do much. My parents are also worried for me thinking about how we are going to start a family with his little income. But your articles teach me to trust in God, that he will always provide for us. I just wish my husband would also listen to your teachings as I have been, I feel like I have to force him to read your articles and to put his trust in the Lord. I feel like our marriage triangle is very imbalanced.. help..

    1. Do you work? If not, you should. If you work, then maybe you should not have kids yet. When you married him, did you know he has a (relatively) small income? If yes, then you should have known better if your goal in life is to have kids. If not, then accept what he has to offer and do your best to help him by finding alternative ways of earning and saving money.

      Forcing someone to something is never a good idea… IMO. Good luck!

  10. Thank you so much for this! I am a newly married woman. And I pray that I can be a blessing to my husband in every aspect.

  11. Beautiful message!
    Thank you so much! No wonder Edric doesnt seem to age. His wife should get the credits for it.

  12. Very timely. It was like myself is talking with myself. Thank you Joy for the encouraging tips and I know the Lord is always there for us and for He is our provider. I am facing difficulty with my partner as well as our financial aspects but I trust the Lord with all my heart. 🙂

  13. This article opened up my heart today! I’m getting married in a few months and I have my own reservations and doubt about how my future husband and I will start our life together, in a financial adpect. This gave me insight on how I can help my future husband and see God’s will in whatever circustance we may encounter. Thank you for inspiring me; God bless you and your beautiful family!

    1. have you had a conversation with your fiancé about finances? Why wait until after marriage to find out? Finances and money management should be something that is discussed prior to getting married because let’s admit it, it is one of the reasons for difficulties in a marriage or ending of a marriage. See a counselor to hash these important things out like kids, money, religion, etc before you settle down.

  14. Dear Ms. Joy, I’m a reader from Singapore. I have benefitted a lot from your humble, organized and biblical teachings. This one in particular has blessed me so much because I’m just into my 3rd year in Marriage who struggles a lot with insecurities when it comes to money matters. Thank you thank you for speaking life!

  15. If you’re easily offended, don’t read this. If you want real-life advice, read on…

    I saw this on my FB feed this morning and all I can say is — why is the man expected to be the breadwinner and provider for the family? The husband and wife are partners, both are equally responsible for bringing something to the table. I think it’s time a husband or wife stop having expectations of the other and accept for who your partner is. In the first place, both of you know what you were getting into before you married each other. I think women expecting their partners to provide for them is living in a fantasy — be independent, take charge and take care of your family if you are not living the life you dream of. Life is too short for waiting, resentment and disappointment. Good things come to people who do (things to make it happen).

    “Be a Thanker not a Complainer” — how about “Be a Thanker and a Doer, Not a Complainer” — too much blame on the husband.

    “Let Money Issues Strengthen Your Relationship” — how about strengthen each other? And everything will fall into place.

    “Be a Cheerleader” – Agree with the first paragraph. Second paragraph and subsequent paragraphs, not so. No perfect man exists, definitely, and that a woman can encourage and build up a man, sure. But remember that change, no matter a man or woman, still resides within that person. In other words, it’s up to the person to change, nobody can change anybody, and one should not expect to change his/her partner going into a marriage. Being a cheerleader is nice and hearing the words are nice, but go out there and do things to achieve what you want for your family!

    “It’s Not Your Money” – Of course it is. You worked hard for it, feel free to spend it on you, your partner, your family. There is nothing wrong with loving yourself and your family. Don’t judge people for buying things with their money, it’s really not your business and you sound like you’re sour graping doing so. Accept what you cannot afford, be content with what you can afford, and be happy for others who enjoy their hard-earned money.

    “Surrender your Dreams to God and Focus on Seeking Him” — Sure, but make sure you get up on your ass every day and try to make it happen.

    1. 1. Have you ever been married? Becuase yes ideally we accept each other, but this is just a realistic view of what happens in general with married people.

      2. Obviously you dont know the background of the couple. They have 5 kids and she needs to stay at home to homeschool them because that has the setup they have agreed upon. So working for money really doesnt fit in for her with 5 kids because she is working full time as a housewife and teacher to her kids.

      3. They are a Christian couple, and as Christians we believe that yes husband and wife are equal but they have different designs or roles. It is innate in every man to be able to provide for the family.

      Thats about it, its basically what really happens and struggles a Christian couple has especially they are a bit of a high profile couple in the Christian community. Ofcourse if u believe otherwise, u would really have a problem with her viewpoints or worldview.
      Have a nice day!

      1. 1. Is that relevant to the conversation? What kind of question is that? In other words, do you need to be married to be in a committed and in a family environment? But if you’re curious, I am married and I don’t believe it’s realistic to be putting expectations based on gender roles.

        2. I don’t care about their background and do not bother to comment on their private lives. But I do care that advice like this disillusions many from the realities of life.

        3. And what roles are these? That is the very problem here and very apparent in your statement – “It is innate in every man.” So if a man “cannot provide for the family”, does that make him less a man? let’s reverse the “innate” roles —> if you cannot bear children, does that make you less or a woman??? if you cannot cook, does that make you less a woman??? Gender roles and the expectations that come with them ARE the problem.

        Money problems are not just Christian couples’ problems, they are everyone’s problems. Single, married, Christian or not, LBGT = money is always a problem. The solution is being contented with what you have and making sure you are doing your best to live the life you want to live. Not just sitting on your ass and wishing for better days.

        1. “Gender roles and the expectations that come with ARE the problem.” —I totally disagree. Roles are fundamental for any relationship to succeed. It is thus the lack of clear roles and expectations that causes problems. The challenge is what standard or guide do you use for your relationship? If you believe in or use the Christian Bible as your guide, the roles are clearly stipulated.

    2. You go Jane. I want to read YOUR blog.

      Joy, you live in a third world country that is filled with poverty. If you came from a family with means, that means you were rich. Try living in true humbling poverty and maintaining that happy go lucky feeling with five starving children and a husband “trying his best”. Jesus said “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21).

      God bless. Stay humble.
      “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

      1. Bravo Felecha! A woman rooted in God’s Word but also uses the wisdom to navigate the intricacies of everyday REAL life.

      2. All my “Christian” friends have this whole man – woman role thing they believe in 100%. It’s insane. It also irks me that they measure their blessed-ness by how much material stuff they got. It’s like saying that poor family who lives under the bridge does not have enough faith so God is not blessing them. On the contrary, Jesus lived a poor life, never measuring his blessings with material wealth. The Bible was written at a time when men owned houses, beasts and wives. We can not LITERALLY follow it in today’s world.

        But, I know that my words will be in vain because people with a closed mind will just twist it up and play either the righteous card (oh, I’m being persecuted because I’m right) or the god bless you card (oh, you just don’t understand because you don’t have God in your life. God bless you). 🙂

        Oh, and btw, why does TMA charge such exorbitant fees to see my kids just 2-4x a year and keep records for DepEd? P30K a year so I can teach her at home. Wow.

        1. Hi Kat, I think that maybe you have seen the wrong side of Biblical roles in marriage, as well as had encounters with Christians who were hypocritical and judgmental. I am not saying your friends are like this. But on behalf of those who have misrepresented Biblical principles, I sincerely apologize. I think that very often if followers of Christ would be more consistent about loving God and loving others it would be easier to talk about the truths we make such bold statements about. I just sense that you have deep frustrations towards people like me who speak out about Bible truth and I am not taking it personally. I even hope that maybe someday, we can sit down and have a conversation that isn’t online like this. I am actually very interested in your perspective and why you think the Bible is irrelevant. As for TMA Homeschool, it does have a large team of personnel behind it who are working very hard to serve families. I don’t know what you have heard or if you have had encounters with the program that were unpleasant or didn’t meet your expectations, in which case, I also apologize because I am connected to TMA Homeschool. The 35K tuition is actually a family fee, so if a parent has more than one child it gets to be pretty economical. However, it is a more expensive tuition (if you have just one child) compared to other providers so there are other options for parents to choose from.

        2. I agree with Joy. The danger of online comments like this is it shelters the person commenting from simple sincere face-to-face conversations. Instead it emboldens them to say whatever they want without much accountability.

          Having said that, to the comment of Jane, Joe, Felecha, and even Kat, roles are KEY to any healthy relationship. Without roles, there would be chaos. The bigger question is what standard do you use? Ergo who/what defines these roles? For my wife and I, our guide is the Christian Bible.

          If anyone wants to genuinely discuss these things and get clarification, we’d love to talk (either face to face, or online).

          God bless, everyone.

        3. On the TMA fees, I am sorry you feel that P30k is “exorbitant”. Our goal has been to give the best value to our families, serving them as best we can. Our track record has shown that families are doing well, and the children are excelling in academics and other areas, so it is an encouragement that we are doing something right. We have also been the pioneers of home education in the Philippines so we have done our best to evolve and expand our services through the years.

          So Kat perhaps the question is –in your opinion– what added services would you need / want to make the fees worth it?

      3. Hi Felecha, It is true that I came from a family that was well off. It’s also true that the Philippines is stricken with a lot of poverty. Were you quoting the passages of scripture to say that I have to sell my possessions and give to the poor, and that I am posing as righteous by writing this article? Are you saying that I wasn’t really “poor” therefore I have no right to share these insights? I am just trying to understand which bit troubles you the most so I can respond appropriately.

    3. Hi Jane, First of all, I appreciate your comments. I may not agree with all of them, and some of them are a little hurtful. Ouch. But I am not taking them personally. I get that you are coming from a place of conviction and concern, otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered to write all of this out. I am carefully thinking about how to respond to your clarifications as well. I think I rushed through some of the points I wrote in this entry because they are part of another one that was much longer which I wrote some years ago that gives people the bigger picture behind the learnings I shared. So I am thankful that you made me think about what I wrote, at the same time, I am now inspired to write a part 2 that incorporates some of your points and balances them out with bible truth.

  16. This article has taken todays working women 50 years back. Being a cheerleader doesnt pay the bills. Get your behind up and start working. From a Male standpoint, we would appreciate this more.

  17. This is amazing, I hope you’ll have one in Sept. 2016 too. My fiance is based in abroad and will be home by that month and we’re looking forward to attend to this kind of sessions. Thank you

  18. @Rosanna True. Hehe
    BTW, Thank you for this Mrs. Joy. I’m still single but already learned a lot of biblical principles from reading you blog. God bless you and your family.

  19. Hello Mrs. Joy!
    I feel so blessed after reading your post. I dream to become a woman in God and a good wife for my husband later. I’m still single but my ego gets bigger than I can handle. I always have conflict with my boyfriend. We both Christians, but I don’t think we depend on God most in our time. After reading this, I learn something that, I need to surrender all of my all to Him. He is the only one I need …

    Thank you! God bless you and your family. It would be nice if we can share another story in another time. I would like to hear another stories from you.

  20. Hello Mrs. Joy!
    I feel so blessed after reading your post.
    i always wants to become a woman in God and a good wife to my future husband.
    but now i already have a full mind about my life partner. a young man from another country came and told me that God had been sending him to find me just from facebook. i already happy known about him but now it’s seem so difficult to me because we have a different culture and language. He had him sign from God but i don’t have yet.He from west culture and i am from east culture. i already surrender to God and had believed if we are a true life partner then God will unite us.
    i had pray to God but i don’t had my sign yet.

    can i know how u know that ur husband now is ur future husband?
    i really need a counsel if u mind
    thanks and God Bless ur family

  21. Hi Jane! it was nice to see this article. Sometimes reality just do not be with us. How about parents? my parents cannot accept that I will marry someone who has lower income than me. I’ve been 6 years being in relationship. It is not like my boyfriend did not try hard to get more, it is just not his time yet to success. I am forced to do pre-nuptial agreement as well if I getting married later. it is said to protect me. You know, I cannot force my parents to have same vision and opinion with me, but they said it like it broke my heart. My mom said she has raised me well, but she cannot look me living below her expectation (I tried to explain over and over these past years, while trying to support my BF to always try hard and believe in God). He is God believer just like your husband I think. What can I do?

  22. Very true and inspiring Joy! THank you for this article. I hope you can also have the same seminar in Cebu 🙂

  23. Hi Joy,

    I am so blessed to read your articles. It helps me a lot since my husband and I are experiencing the same issue about money. BTW, we are a member of another group CFC, but we have the same goals, to be in God’s dwelling and kingdom someday. Yun nga lang nakaka nose bleed dito sa site mo, pardon me kung sakaling may wrong grammar or wrong spelling.

    God bless all Christian families and may we encourage more believers in the near future.

  24. I truly admire wives who can be still- then pray and support their husbands. It’s quite a challenge to do that. But I believe that it must be in the relationship a woman has with God that makes it possible.

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