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 sense that as I let the days went by not enrolling my children, my husband has also started to get more restless and irritable toward me. 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 makes me feel secure, knowing that there’s not much I have 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.
I have also been too proud to admit that I have not been managing our financial resources well, I guess. I am afraid of my husband coming home to nothing, and these days, he has actually been seriously thinking about accepting that job offer that would provide our family income about the same amount he’s earning abroad. Sure, that would mean more savings for us, but still, I’d rather he come home to a nest full of eggs. (You know what I mean, right?)
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!
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 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.
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.
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’ve 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 Pastor Joby, 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 could reveal my idols in life.
I wish I have attended this seminar a long time ago. But then again, I may not be as mature then as I am now to fully understand and accept the lessons they present. I do wish and pray, however, that many more individuals and couples would be blessed next time the seminar is held, and for those who have already attended it, would be able to put into practice everything that they have heard from our resource speakers. ❤