Jennifer Houlihan is more than a guest author, she is one of our personal friends and church member. She has been married to Lt. Colonel Philip “Woody” Houlihan for 18 years. She encourages wives on her blog, www.TriumphantChicks.com and www.facebook.com/triumphantchicks. 

I humbly appreciate that my husband works and wants me to stay home so I can rock my domestic swag. I love that he loves that I love the homemaker gig. Dig?

Are we rapping or are we writing? Don’t need to be fighting.

Got yo money in the bag y’all. Love yo honey not the grab y’all.

I’m tryin’ ta be real. I gotta void ta fill.

I agree, I’ll stick to blogging. But yes, my husband and I truly do get along about money very well, and we just really don’t ever fuss and fight about it.

My 12-year-old daughter told me she reads books in which the children’s parents fight and shout at each other about the bills. She said, “When I read these books I think, ‘Why are they doing that? Why are they fighting about the bills?'”

Well, maybe they signed up for too many bills. And they don’t understand Who’s paying them.

I’d say the best way to never fight about money, is to never have a reason to fight about money. Is the answer to never fighting about money to become the kind of glam married couple who have so much money that they eat imported crab cakes crumbled atop Angus steaks every night while their children jump in a bouncy pit in their living room that, instead of being filled with those colorful plastic balls, is full of $100 bills?

I think not. Having lots of money isn’t the answer. When’s the last time we heard of a wealthy famous person actually being content and joyful? Those high-profile people are generally pretty miserable, bless their hearts, unless they know the Lord. The only difference between us and them is: more zeroes at the end of their numbers that they fight about. More money can’t stop terminal cancer. More money can’t keep a spouse from committing adultery. More money can’t fix a child who’s hooked on drugs.

Even knowing this, how can we mere mortals with average incomes and average problems never have a reason to fight about money? It’s pretty simple really.

We don’t place our trust in money. We place our trust in God. When things are not going well financially, trusting Him is all-consuming, but it’s not impossible. Eleven years ago my husband lost his job and our family had barely any income for almost a year. God brought us through it and on the other side without any debt and honestly no hollering or fighting in our marriage. Rather than letting that crisis destroy my marriage, it brought me to my knees and helped shape me into a Godly woman who can write stuff.

When we are not in a time of severe financial crisis though, we still have to walk around trusting God with our money. Otherwise, we’re a crisis in the making. Not trusting God? Just go ahead and put on a t-shirt that says: Marital Financial Crisis Waiting to Happen.

Instead of wearing that t-shirt, we Bible people often gravitate toward the Proverbs for wisdom regarding our handling of finances and this is good and right. We’ll get to a couple of those in a moment. But for now let’s consider what the Psalms tell us about our attitude toward this money we are managing so Biblically. Hate to break it to you but Psalm 52 says the righteous will laugh at “the man that made God not his strength; but trusted in his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.”

Another Psalm warns, “if riches increase, set not your heart upon them,” Psalm 62:10, and then the next verse says that power belongs to God. The entire chapter of Psalm 49 blasts people who “trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches.” Let’s just say it’s not a pretty picture God paints of them in those 20 verses. The most convicting part of it might be verse 11 which says, “their inward thought is that their houses shall continue forever.”

So what do we find our security in, what do we place our trust in, rather than in a paid-for house, college savings plans, healthy investment portfolios or other wealth? We place our trust in God. No wonder the Biblical saying “In God We trust” is printed on American money. Yes you need this money. But O ye people, don’t trust in this money, the cash whispers to us. The saying is printed on money, rather than on the side of the city bus or on the entrance to the library, because the danger is that we will all begin to trust in money.

Don’t do it. Trust in God. If it is blessings we are seeking, the math formula for that is clearly laid out for us many times in the Bible but here is one example. Psalm 40:4 says, “Blessed is that man that maketh The Lord his trust.”

We need to make a lifelong commitment to refuse to get caught up in the love of money, which the Bible says is the root of all evil. Love of money is what made Delilah betray Samson, the most buff man who ever lived. Love of money is what made Judas betray Christ, the only perfect man who ever lived.

Wives? Don’t love money to the extent that you contradict, fight against and thereby betray your husband, who is your true love and the only man in this world who matters.

When we speak of loving money, we are talking about being gratified by it, pleased by it, placing worth in it, being delighted with it, believing that it can make us happy or unhappy. We are strongly attached to it, we’re even afraid of it, in the sense that we have begun to worship it. It has power over us. And so all of those attributes of loving money need to be re-directed back to loving and fearing God instead.

Here is what I would describe as a basic healthy attitude toward money:

  • I see God as the provider, not my husband, who is simply the hard working guy. (Philippians 4:19)

  • I see it as God’s money and I get to keep some of it too. I don’t think of it as mine. (Colossians 1:17)

  • I tell myself and my children “no” a lot. (David shoulda told his son Adonijah no, 1 Kings 1:6)

  • I don’t buy or do things I can’t afford. (Luke 14:28)

  • I don’t daydream much about what I wish I had, or what I wish I could buy. (Hebrews 13:5)

  • I know that this world is not my home, and I keep my eyes fixed on heaven which is my eternity. (Hebrews 13:14)

  • My husband wants me to stay home rather than earn money, but I still try to be a financial asset to him in spending money carefully. If he wanted me to work, I’d work. Yes I said that. (Proverbs 31)

  • When you haven’t dug yourself a big financial hole, there’s nothing to dig yourself out of. (Proverbs 22:7)

  • I realize that being a contentious wife is rottenness to my husband’s bones and defies the Word of God. (Proverbs 25:24)

  • I submit to my husband in all things. (Ephesians 5:24)


All of that is to say, we must try to apply Biblical principles to our attitude toward money. We need to be familiar with the Bible and respect God’s ways, rather than wanting to get our own way. This is Proverbs 3:5 “lean not on your own understanding,” applied to real life.

That last bullet point about a wife‘s calling to “submit to her husband in all things,” is crucial to not fighting about money in marriage. Without this one, I can almost promise you there will be fighting. I always yield to my husband when it comes to money. Every time. Big or small decisions? I yield to him. He is human, so like everyone else in the world he’s made a few financial missteps and will probably make more. It’s a somber time when this happens. It weighs on a wife’s heart. And yet I remain his admiring cheerleader. How is this possible?

It’s because ultimately I am yielding to and adoring my God.

That’s real trust. And it also displays a heart of contentment. We don’t gotta panic, y’all. Any sensible husband who knows he has his wife’s respect will talk to her about money, consult with her and ask her input all the time. As my friend Pam says though, if there’s any disagreement, the husband is simply the tie-breaker.

This is when we begin to enter the supernatural. Do we truly believe that God is not confined to numbers and He will bless or not bless whomever He chooses, based on that person’s pure or impure heart? Do we realize that blocking our husbands from leading could be striving with God’s holy purposes?

If I start to fear or distrust about not having enough money, I ask myself: How much does my two year old fret about the electric bill getting paid? Never crosses her mind. The Bible says for us to have that kind of childlike faith. Or (opposite problem) if I start to feel discontent about money and am tempted to get argumentative with my husband over wishing we’d spend more of it, I imagine a couple of toddlers grabbing a stuffed animal back and forth and screaming at each other, “Mine! No it’s mine! I want it! I had it first.”

When we trust God to the extent that we decide we are just not going to fuss with our husbands over money, then we as wives have become masters at contentment and faith.

Now it’s all good wit da cash yo?

We see eye to eye. We don’t even have ta try.

We hang it out ta dry and we wave the thang good-bye.

 

Jennifer Houlihan has been married to Lt. Colonel Philip “Woody” Houlihan for 18 years. She encourages wives on her blog, www.TriumphantChicks.com and www.facebook.com/triumphantchicks.