we've spent time recently thinking through, talking about, and getting our heads around money. our money. for two fiercely independent souls such as ourselves - money in many ways represents one of our biggest challenges. not because we don't agree. or because we spend differently. or even because we come from diametrically opposed places...none of these things categorize our conversations about money. but because we both like having 'my money,' and having 'our money' well that just seems too intimate.
and so we are stumbling through this oh-so-big aspect of marriage, determined to talk and think and eventually act in a way that is rooted in love. that recognizes and celebrates our differences, but that also finds a common ground. money fights (to me a non-married) seem incredibly pointless - i'd really rather use the energy for something worth it. and really when you're fighting about money with your spouse - are you really fighting about money? or are you fighting about the value they are placing on something that you are not comfortable with?
at the heart of it all isn't actually the balance of the bank account, or really even our personal money independence - at the heart i think is that money most frequently points directly to what we value. where our money goes - is where our hearts live. a newly-married friend of mine once said that conversations about money are often the most vulnerable - yes, i spend this much on dry cleaning, and clothing and make up. but you, you spend that much on sports gear and lunch? it is so easy to become defensive of our way of life - of how we live - of what we value.
learning to be vulnerable is so difficult. it hits at the centre of all you think and do and believe. but in so many ways these conversations are opening up much bigger truths to us, about us, than about how we use our money. because the conversations become about how we will honour god, and how we will bless others, and how we will sacrifice and serve each other, and how we hope to build our family. the questions and conversations become centred on who we dream ourselves to be. who we believe god dreams us to be. and how we value what we have been blessed with. money is completely uncertain, while christ is completely certain. the question becomes what do we value most?
17-19Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17, The Message)