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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Money Matters




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

  • Matandang
  • Mayamang
  • 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. :(

I myself have very few issues with money (thank God). My husband and I almost never talk about the subject, much less fight over it, except to talk about how to bring about more income for our children and our family's daily needs. We also both feel that all money comes from God and that we should share it with others whenever we have more than enough. For us, if we can't pay in cash, we wouldn't buy the item. We want to be as debt-free as possible. Di bale nang di mayaman, basta walang utang. (It's okay not to be/look rich as long as we don't have debts.) We also are one in thinking that we should live way beneath our means, keep our lives simple and have as very little needs as much as possible, and even lesser wants.

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?

                                                                 Hebrews 13:5

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

                                                                       Hebreo 13:5

Ang pamumuhay ninyo ay dapat walang pag-ibig sa salapi. Masiyahan na kayo sa mga bagay na taglay ninyo sapagkat sinabi ng Diyos:
"Kailanman ay hindi kita iiwan at kailanman ay
hindi kita pababayaan."

                                                                                         Ecclesiastes 5:10
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.  

5:10 Siyang umiibig sa pilak ay hindi masisiyahan sa pilak; o siya mang umiibig sa kasaganaan ng pakinabang: ito man ay walang kabuluhan.  

                                                                   1 Timothy 6:10

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

                                                                   1 Timoteo 6:10

10 Sapagka't ang pagibig sa salapi ay ugat ng lahat ng uri ng kasamaan; na sa pagnanasa ng iba ay nangasinsay sa pananampalataya, at tinuhog ang kanilang sarili ng maraming mga kalumbayan.

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!

                                                        Proverbs 14:23

23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.

                                                      Mga Kawikaan 14:23
 23Sa lahat ng gawain ay may pakinabang: nguni't ang tabil ng mga labi ay naghahatid sa karalitaan.

                                                         Proverbs 13:4

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

                                                        Mga Kawikaan 13:4
4Ang tamad ay nagnanasa, at walang anoman: nguni't ang kaluluwa ng masipag ay tataba.

                                                     1 Timothy 5:8

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

                                                     1 Timoteo 5:8

8 Datapuwa't kung ang sinoman ay hindi nagkakandili sa mga sariling kaniya, lalong lalo na sa kaniyang sariling sangbahayan, ay tumanggi siya sa pananampalataya at lalong masama kay sa hindi sumasampalataya.

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
That is what it was with my husband. He did all those jobs for me, for our family, and he would do it again for us... but what he did not get from me was my ACCEPTANCE of who and what he was:

  • 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. 

                                                            EPHESIANS 5:22-23

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... :)
Manila, 2012

Proverbs 19:14

Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD

                                                               Mga Kawikaan 19:14
 14Bahay at mga kayamanan ay minamana sa mga magulang: nguni't ang mabait na asawa ay galing sa Panginoon.

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! :)


  1. I too am guilty of pride, selfishness, controlling (especially), insecurities. I hate myself for feeling this way!!
    Very painful emotions! I pray for a healing!!

    1. Hi Anonymous!

      Yes, indeed. Those are painful, very stressful, negative emotions that I do not want to feel ever again. There is victory over all those with God. Once you have learned to let go and let God rule in every area of your life, you will be freed from the bondage of control. You will feel a great peace. You will finally feel free and joyful.

      The only way to be free of all the pride, selfishness, idol of control, insecurities is to die to oneself. Crucify this sinful flesh and be a new creation in Christ.

      2 Corinthians 5:17
      Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

      There is much hope for you!:) Being tired of myself and wrong attitudes were crucial to my having surrendered my life fully to God. I gave up on me. But I surrendered to Him! :) Now, I am free. Now, I am peaceful. :) All praises to Him! :)

      God bless you. I am praying for you too.



  2. Hi Nikka -

    I can totally relate to what you said:
    "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."

    I am in a relationship now where I see my partner as more of passive and relaxed state. He's not really a typical go-getter, career driven man. I wouldnt say he's lazy. because he is hard working and meticulous in other hobbies or activities that he enjoys.

    But lately, im overwhelmed with what the future holds. is it a deal breaker that he doesnt really have a clear plan for his career? or that it doesnt seem he wants to do more? or that he wants to play it safe?

    is this something i need to be concerned with before getting married? is it something that should be of a concern to me or its simply a matter of having faith in God?

    Help =(

  3. Hi Nikka, I hope that you can reply to my questions. =(

    Thank you very much


Feel free to comment. I would love to discuss things with you. :)