Tag Archives: Family

Back to Basics–Love Kindlers #4 Financial Commitment

We are continuing our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics” series and this week we’ll be going over the seven Love Kindlers.  To understand what a Love Kindler is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more indepth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers.  BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers.  When you make the decision to love, you choose to act in a way that is likely to kindle feelings of interest and passion; so you decide to act in a Love Kindling way.

Today the third Love Kindler to stoke the blaze of passion and love in your marriage today  is:  Financial Commitment!  Financial Commitment is meeting your spouse’s monetary needs:

  • Providing financially for the family and children
  • Able to pay monthly bills
  • Living a lifestyle that’s mutually acceptable to both of you
  • Contributing to family income
  • Contributing to paying off family debt
  • Able to plan for future financial stability
  • Living by a budget

It’s a perpetual debate really: women say that “men only want me for my looks (or my body)” and men say that “women only want me for my wallet.”  The funny thing is…both sides are correct, and neither side is shallow because of it.  People do “fall-in-love,” and the blaze of love keeps burning brightly, when the things that kindled the love in the first place are ongoing.  So for example, when he was young and looking for a girl, chances are good he was looking for someone whom he thought was attractive: with pretty hair, nice eyes, a warm smile, make up that made her look even more pretty, a clean body with a good smell, and clothing that fit well and complimented her figure!  But likewise, when she was young and pretty and looking for a nice young man, part of what attracted her to a certain fella was the fact that he was able to “pay for the date” or get her gifts.  She may have considered whether he was training in a profession that would likely provide some security for her and whatever family they might choose to have as a couple.  The idea that she and her children would likely be secure was PART of what made her “fall in love” with that very young, nerdy guy!

In the same way that it’s not shallow for a husband to want his wife to stay attractive, dress well, keep herself clean and physically fit…it is not shallow for a wife to want her husband to keep their family FINANCIALLY fit, living a lifestyle to which they agree, not put them into debt and financial ruin.  And it is just as reasonable for a husband to want his wife to contribute financially, either by working herself OR by living within a budget, not overspending, not living beyond their means, and managing the household in a way that is appropriate to their financial reality!

The classic financial collision occurs when the wife is complaining about needing more money and overspending–that is to say, she is living beyond their means and demanding more, More, MORE—but then also complaining that he is always at work and never spends any time with her.  Ladies, here it is in a nutshell: if you want him to spend more time with you that is absolutely reasonable, but … that means he will be working LESS, and you are going to have to discipline yourself to live WITHIN THE BUDGET!  You’ll have to do “without” the dinners out and the trips/vacations…but the payoff is that he will be there with you paying attention and enjoying your company.  So which is worth more to you?  Pick ONE and then be content with the consequence of your choice.

Likewise, if your wife met and fell in love with you because you were a decent, middle-management, white-collar kind of guy…then don’t be surprised when her love dies QUICKLY when you are unemployed and for three years don’t even look for a job and don’t contribute to the household!  The economy is rough these days, and not everyone who loses a job finds one right away, even if they look every day and look hard!  But if you sit around in your sweats and play Xbox all day, don’t care for the children, and let the household chores go ignored while she has to “do it all”–you are setting your marriage up for destruction, and it’s because of a lack of Financial Commitment.

Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   This week we will examine the Love Kindlers–next week the Love Extinguishers.  During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair.  We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

I am not having a great day today.  It’s okay–I know this happens and I also know that it will pass, but while I’m having this “not so great day” I’ve decided to acknowledge it.  Today I found out that someone in my life whom I love is deathly ill and may not be on this earth for much longer.  It’s a person in my ex-husband‘s family.   I was related to and loved his family for a long time, and just because he made the choices he made didn’t mean that I stopped loving them or caring about people whom I considered “family.”  Thank God we had the kind of divorce that was not filled with vitriol and spite.  After it was final, we got together after the divorce–his parents and siblings and cousins and I–and we all decided to be stay in touch and be civil even if we were no longer related by blood.

But this shock–the sorrow of hearing that someone I love is going to die soon–reminds me all too painfully of the hidden costs of divorce.  When you are having an affair, or when your spouse is having an affair or had one, it is all too tempting to think: “It would be so much better if we just divorced and started over.  I could find someone who really LOVES me and I could finally be treated like I deserve.  People get over it.  I’m sure we could move on.”  The thrill of meeting someone for the first time…feeling goosebumps again…falling in love…planning a wedding….it all sounds so NICE (and don’t get me wrong, it can be) compared to looking at yourself and changing, and compared to the hard work of reconciling!

But today is a forceful reminder for me that I want to pass on to you–a warning if you will.  The outgoing ripples of destruction that are caused by a divorce keep going as long as you life.  Today someone I love may well be leaving this earth, and I won’t be a recognized “mourner” because it is one of my ex-husband’s relatives…and I’m not his wife anymore.  Tonight someone I love may pass away, and yet I don’t share this loss with the man I love–my Dear Hubby–because he does not even know her and never will.  The older I get, the more I realize WHY God has the plan of marriage for us…because as life moves along and changes come, our life partner UNDERSTANDS they were there with us! … because as we age and our friends and family die, we have their memories and can share the grief in common!  …because as we age and faithfully get through the changes together, we demonstrate an example of the faithfulness of God sticking with us when we don’t deserve fidelity!

So don’t fool yourself.  The time and effort that it takes to look at your own issues, change to a more godly behavior, and rebuild the kind of marriage that obeys God IS SO WORTH IT.   It can take a while and be really painful, but sometimes purification so that you reflect God’s image requires being put into the fire!  Anyway, make no mistake: divorce is NOT a panacea.   It makes MORE problems, and the ramifications go on and on for decades if not generations.  Like today, as I say goodbye to a woman I love and have loved since I was young–my children’s grandmother.

But I need someone to commiserate with–don’t I?

It’s Day Five of our Husband Encouragement Challenge, and today’s challenge is all about your husband and the words you speak about him to others.


“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Eph. 4:29 

Another way to describe the positive side of this “30-Day Encouragement Challenge” is by using the word “edify,” which means, “to build up.” Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build. Do you edify your husband before others, adding to his value in their eyes? This is especially important to other family members. Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your husband’s mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him – in spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

As wives we live with our husbands day-in and day-out and see their personal foibles and flaws–their peculiar habits and hidden struggles.  Yet so often we fall into the trap of finding a girlfriend or a group of girlfriends to whom we turn to “tell our troubles to.”  We’ll go to that friend, or that women’s group, and say things like, “Well you won’t believe what he did THIS week…” and the juicy gossip and criticism begins.  We point out his every mistake.  We turn to a sister who has “been there done that” and tell her every single time he hurts our feelings or doesn’t behave well.  We tell ourselves we need someone who understands how we feel…

Or sometimes we ARE that friend.  All our lady friends turn to us and tell us all their woes: “He did THIS and he did THAT…” and we sit and listen.  In an attempt to be “supportive” we might say “Oh you deserve better!” or “You are so right not to take that from him!”  Not only do we encourage our friend to “talk to us about it” we also encourage her in talking badly about her husband and in acting against him, but them at odds with each other rather than on the same team!  [FYI: a true friend would tell her “You need to speak with your husband about this, not me” and would encourage her to be a husband lover (Titus 2:4) and be united with him…not against him!]

Our words come from our heart–our innermost being, our thoughts.  If our words about our husbands concentrate on his shortcomings and focus on his mistakes, that means our hearts  will be see everything that’s wrong with him too.  But our tongue CAN be mastered, and changing what you say out loud can have an effect on your thoughts.  If, instead of speaking your husband’s flaws aloud, you spoke about his GOOD qualities and what you love about him and the GOOD thing he just did yesterday…it would affect the way you THINK about him and the way you see him.  In addition, if you were speaking with your girlfriends or your mom and sisters, and you were telling them his GOOD qualities and what you love about him and the GOOD thing he just did yesterday…it would change the way THEY see him too!

So practice today.  Look at yourself honestly and admit where you’ve spoken and torn your husband down…and today make a complete 180 and build him up with your words.

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