They say that the number one cause of disagreement between husbands and wives is money. Although I believe that to be true for many households, I can’t say that it’s the number one reason my husband and I have disagreements. I must admit, however, that talks about money tend to make me feel anxious, especially when my kids would repeatedly ask me to buy them certain stuff or enroll them in special courses, and I have to say no for budget reasons.
Lately, I have started to take a closer look at my spending habits and why I’d feel anxious whenever my husband and I would have money talks even when I know deep inside that he’d always try his best to be gracious to me. One particular incident that led me to it was when I started to sense that as I let the days went by not enrolling my children, my husband has also started to get more restless and irritable. He could not understand why I had to wait for the (second to the) last day of enrollment, especially when funds have long since been set aside for it.
Honestly, I couldn’t answer him whenever he would ask me why because I, myself, is in denial of the real reason. I was trying to hold on to that money because it made me feel secure, knowing that there’s not much I had set aside for emergency fund. I did not want to have to ask him to send us more than he usually does in case of emergency. I thought that would be selfish, especially that he’s away from us and living on his own, not to mention, we usually have a little more than enough for what we just need.
I realized that I have been too proud to admit that I have not been managing our financial resources well. More, I was afraid of my husband coming home to nothing, especially that these days, he has actually been seriously thinking about accepting that job offer that would provide our family less income than what he’s earning abroad.
I suppose another reason I am feeling anxious right now is that I’m turning 40 soon. I feel like there are so many things that I both wanted and needed to do, but have not accomplished yet before my next birthday. Indeed, I have traveled to several countries with my family, held various leadership positions and been part of companies or organizations I am proud to have been associated with, got a scholarship at a prestigious international school for my graduate studies (which I still need to finish), homeschooled my daughters, etc.
But there’s still a lot more I want to be able to accomplish! First of which is becoming truly debt-free, getting insured, having my own savings and investments as well as other sources of income and establishing a family business, so I could contribute to our family’s finances, even if my husband happens to be a good provider. While I do not own any personal debt to anybody, I still owe some money from the SSS, not to mention our house is not yet fully paid. And, oh, I still need to learn how to drive and buy a car! More, I want my husband to keep coming home to a nest full of eggs. You do know what I mean, right?
As I ponder on these things and the real reason behind my anxiety when talks about finances would come up, I realized that something’s seriously wrong with my way of thinking. I’ve been basing my worth again on accomplishments and material things. I have been acting like everything’s up to me, trying to be in control, instead of letting God be in control. I had to remind myself of Matthew 6:33.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
So, instead of berating myself endlessly for not being able to meet my material goals before my 40th birthday, I have decided to equip myself by attending Money Matters, a financial seminar at our church, with Pastor Joby Soriano and his wife Cindy as the resource speakers.
You see, this isn’t the first time I have attended a financial seminar from a biblical perspective, although the first one had been eons ago that I could really use a refresher now. I have actually been looking forward to this seminar for months now but for some reason, I kept forgetting to pay the seminar fee ahead of time. I ended up going all the way to the church (even if we did not have a DGroup meeting) on a Friday morning to get the early bird rate on its last day. And, now I’m just glad I did.
I learned so many things from Pastor Joby and his wife at the seminar and was reminded of the things that I seem to already know but have not been practicing. We were taught the importance of having an insurance and what to look for when getting one as well as of having a last will and testament and how to make one. We were given so many pointers to help improve our finances and be able to save, but most of all, it was made clear to everyone that we are just stewards and the owner of our finances and other resources is God. As I start to see things that way, I suppose you can say now that tithing has started to become an act of obedience for me that I would really like to practice.
I must admit that I’d been reading various literature on tithing, and some of them only encouraged me to not be faithful enough by saying that tithes may be given after we have set aside money for our savings account, even for our usual expenses. After listening to the speakers, Pastor Joby and his wife Cindy Soriano, however, I was convicted for I knew deep inside that I wasn’t doing it right, but I still listened to those bad advice and just gave what was left, never realizing that tithing is an act of obedience and how I handle my finances and view money reveal my idols in life.
I still tend to panic when I think about the amount that I need to put aside every month for tithing, knowing that amount could afford me to buy certain things, etc. But a quick prayer asking God to make my heart right with Him, and remembering His promises, acknowledging Him as my Provider, put away all those fears and make it easier for me to trade my idols for His blessings. ❤
Malachi 3:10 (NKJV)
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
The generous soul will be made rich,Proverbs 11:25 (NKJV)
And he who waters will also be watered himself.