Recently, I’ve become very interested in financial planning. Budgeting, looking to long-term goals, and building savings. Oh goodness, is this adulthood? Being excited by a spreadsheet?!
I think what’s sparked my sudden interest has been the fact that my husband and I have entered into a new season with our finances. After a bit of a drought with regards to income, we’re finally getting back on our feet and hurling towards some major saving goals.
It’s exciting overall, but it’s definitely caused some interesting discussions and thought processes as to how my relationship with the Lord, my husband, and our finances all fit together.
Is God always our provider?
“God is our provider,” I’ve heard it a million times, especially when my husband and myself were working full time as volunteer missionaries.
With bills still needing to be paid and no regulated income, relying on God to provide for each of us was a very intense exercise at times. But, how does that work now that we both have jobs and incomes to manage?
It’s tempting for me to want to somehow trust God less with his provision and other needs, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced in times of triumph. We suddenly feel as though we’re in full control of our lives. Or at least myself, being an extreme Type-A can feel that way.
But the question it really boils down to is, “is it really my money in the first place?”
Ours or His?
Something many newlyweds can fight about is learning how to make “your income” and “my income” into “our income”. Let’s face it, it can be hard to suddenly realize you can’t spend as you please anymore. There’s another person to consider, and the accounts are typically shared.
Yet in the midst of our squabbles, we forget about the third piece of the equation. It’s not even “my income” or even, “our income” anymore, but rather, His.
What if instead of fussing over the best way to budget so that we are getting what we want with our money, we relinquish that control yet again?
What does God have to say about money?
The more I let go of the set dollar signs on the spreadsheet that I’m unwilling to budge on, and the more I remember to whom my income belongs to and comes from, the easier it becomes.
While I do believe that God provides jobs and other sources of income as a means for us to work and earn, I also believe that God should be included as we manage that money He’s provided wisely.
Taking a Biblical perspective on finances suddenly makes so many decisions for us, without need for much debate.
For example, while the Bible never says debt is a, “sin” per say, He still does have plenty to say about it. In Proverbs chapter 22 verse 7 it says, “The rich rules over the poor and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” From verses like that, it’s pretty easy for my husband and I to remain on the same page that we will not for example buy things we can’t afford and need to pay off month to month.
We can also be in agreement that we are called to be generous with what we are provided with just as Jesus had done time and time again as an example for us.
While my spreadsheet may say to stick to the 10% tithes “rule,” who am I to say no when the Lord leads us to give more than the allotted amount?
Maintaining a heavenly perspective
Learning how to enjoy budgeting and managing income wisely isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but holding onto that sense of control can easily lead to unhealthy behaviours.
Money management can be a touchy and difficult subject that consumes all areas of life it seems, keeping a Biblical perspective makes it much more simple and manageable.
At the end of the day, including God, your provider, in your spending habits will keep your eyes set on a heavenly perspective.
Miranda Menelaws is a Canadian freelance writer. During her spare time, she can be found travelling the globe in search of a new story to tell, or writing about her adventures on her blog.
Miranda Menelaws’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/miranda-menelaws.html