This is a very sensitive matter.
I have heard it said so many times from Filipina mothers (not mine though), that: "You cannot eat love! You need a man who has a job!" "Hindi nakakain ang pag-ibig! Kailangan may trabaho ang mapapangasawa mo!"
Here in the Philippines, there is this joke that a "jackpot" of a husband is someone who has the "3M's". No, not the well-known post-it or sticker. 3M stands for:
|Hugh Hefner, 86 with 3rd wife Crystal, 26|
- Madaling Mamatay
In English, although it won't be "3M" anymore, roughly translated, a big catch of a husband is a very old man who is very rich, and who is about to die soon. He's old. He's rich. He is bound to leave you with a great inheritance because malapit na siyang kunin ni Lord. (His days are numbered.)I don't mean to personally make fun of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, but his name usually crops up whenever the "3M" criteria are mentioned. :(
My issues with it can be read here and here. These issues stemmed not from the love of money but
from a lack of role models to follow and from an abnormal fixation on pleasing my father even in death.
Suffice to say, no couple can be free from the subject of money, no matter how aligned their thinking may be on money matters and no matter how much or how little they earn. We are human after all. We live in a world where we need money to buy things for our basic needs. We don't live in a world where everything is free (how we wish!). From cradle to grave, we would have to shell out money in order to, at the very least, survive.
What does the Bible say about money? Why is it that we see so many marriages falling apart because of it, and why does it usually cause a strain in relationships?
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
hindi kita pababayaan."
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
1 Timothy 6:10
1 Timoteo 6:10
The Bible is clear then about loving money. It should not be the be-all and end-all of one's existence. It is man's nature to never be content. To love money then is to brace yourself for a lot of sorrow and a lot of discord, inside marriage and outside of it.
On one hand, we now know that somebody who is a money-lover is a sinner, because anything apart from seeking only God is a form of idolatry...
On the other hand, not working for money and simply being Juan Tamad (lazy) or batugan (slothful) is also a great sin! We know that the Lord provides, but we have to work at it too!
4Ang tamad ay nagnanasa, at walang anoman: nguni't ang kaluluwa ng masipag ay tataba.
1 Timothy 5:8
1 Timoteo 5:8
There you have it. Pretty harsh words, especially the last verse!
Money should not be loved in and by itself. Yes, we should be thankful to God for it when we possess it but we have to remember that it is only a GIFT. We must never "idolize" it. Seeking something so much, apart from God, is idolatry. However, to not work for a living and to not provide for the household is a surefire means towards poverty,as the Bible reminds us. We are talking here about able-bodied people who can do something, but who opt not to do anything.
Couples may fight when there is too little.
Couples may fight when there is too much.
As I have mentioned above, my husband and I do not fight about money, whether there is too little or too much. But, this did not save us from having problems in our relationship.
Because I was NOT ACCEPTING him for who and what he was (I wanted him to be an employee or a professional. He wanted to be a businessman/entrepreneur. He had no desire whatsoever about climbing the corporate ladder.), he became seemingly paralyzed and debilitated.
Dong had worked so diligently in at least four major call centers -- was a quality analyst and a trainer, had stints as an online writer, a sportscaster, a TV reporter. His resume is actually quite long. There is no doubt that my husband is capable and hardworking.
|Dong as a PBA Vintage Sportscaster - 1999|
Around year 2011 or thereabouts, Dong was already having ulcers and sleeping problems. He was depressed and looked unhappy. He worked as an employee day after day. He would complain but he would still do what was expected of him.
There is nothing wrong with being an employee. I myself loved/love being an employee! My parents were professionals -- a lawyer and a TV director -- and were gainfully employed. But, there is something wrong when one is forcing a square peg in a round hole. Everything is wrong when one is forcing oneself to be somebody one is not.
We were all created differently by God. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Some will thrive in the corporate arena. Others will consider it a curse to be in an office setup. Some will enjoy being their own boss in a small business. Others will consider it a burden to have to think of ways to bring in the money day after day, unlike if one is an employee with a monthly salary. It's different strokes for different folks.
|Dong assisting in a baking demo|
- He shared with me his simple dreams. I thought them to be too simple and in the practical sense, not money-generating (!) I was thinking of the bills to pay and the tuition fees,etc. :(
- He shared with me his fears and weaknesses (i.e. not being as good a provider as Papa was and not living up to my expectations) and instead of encouraging him, I gave him even more goals to achieve, Nikka-style ("Be the best in your job! Be humble! Blah blah blah."), which just made him feel even worse. :(
- He wanted me to support him in his plans. I was so hesitant and defiant. No way! My ideas were better and our family would be better-off following MY plans rather than his, or so I thought. I refused to listen and when I did, I pretended only to listen. I was too controlling and full of myself to actually listen. :(
It is extremely shameful to write about these things but I am being transparent, for fellow wives, who may be in the same predicament.
If your husband is not living up to his full potential, whether as a provider or as a husband....
Are you contributory to this situation?
Are you too domineering? Too controlling? Too self-righteous?
Are you too condescending? Too critical? Too prideful?
Are you too noisy, drowning out his own thoughts and even God's Voice?
Are you not supportive of him and want him to be what YOU want him to be instead of what God made him to be?
Are you insistent that he make goals and plans but refuse to follow him when he does?
I was all that and much more. :(
If so, then repent dear sister. It is not too late to change one's ways. We cannot change our husbands but we can change ourselves with God's Help. And when we do, instead of belittling our husbands, may we find it in our hearts to humble ourselves, support their dreams no matter how simple and tackle money matters and other important family matters -- AS A TEAM -- with him as boss. That is how God ordered our marriages to be.
2 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
I cannot forget what a dear sister-in-law told me during the worst financial crisis they had thus far,
"Di bale nang matulog sa banig, basta magkasama."
(It doesn't matter if we sleep on a cot, as long as we are together.) She was there to simply support her husband and encourage him, not to cause further shame or humiliation on him. It is important for our husbands to know that we are there for them, with and even more so, without money. (It is important to note that they have surpassed that financial crisis and are stronger in their relationship because of and in spite of it. :)
I have given up my desire to control Dong, our family, and our lives. I have since allowed God to lead me through this imperfect man who has dreams and plans which I now fully support (but not without a great deal of effort and dying to self every single day!). I am so looking forward to God being glorified with whatever "success" Dong may achieve in the near and distant future. Because we know for sure, all the good that will happen, if and when they happen, can be attributed only to God, and not to him nor to me. It will be a totally God Thing!
In ending, for this post has become a hodge-podge of things... :)
Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
My prayer is that for all wives to be able to value what truly counts in life, and what truly matters does not 'usually' come with a price tag. :)
May we all be richly blessed! :)