Proverbs 24:3-4 says “By wisdom a house is built, through understanding it is established…. it’s rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Marriage takes the wisdom from God to be built on a strong foundation. The meaning of wisdom comes from both divine and earthly wisdom. Heeding wisdom in marriage in part would be seeking to understand one another. My husband Jo-Jo is a great listener because he asks excellent questions. He doesn’t just scratch the surface. He digs deeper and deeper, little by little, often helping me to get at the root. He seeks to understand and bring understanding by helping me articulate in my own words treasures that are deep inside. Create a culture of understanding in your marriage by learning to ask thoughtful questions that lead to great dialogue. This will only add treasures and increase in understanding one another.
We’ve heard many times that the Kingdom of God is an upside-down kingdom. In order to go high, we must get low. But getting low means humbling yourself, which is never an easy thing. Due to being raised in a large family that was extremely athletic, I am a very competitive person. I don’t like to lose much, probably like most people. But competition within a marriage doesn’t seem to work very well. Someone wins and someone loses, and in the end no one wins. In James it states that “God opposed the proud, but gives grace to the humble”. Confessing pride and seeking to be humble is an extremely powerful weapon in marriage. When I get low, in humility, there is grace released in our marriage. That grace empowers me to be someone who is teachable. God gives me grace to love my husband better than I could ever on my own, which is definitely a win-win!
During times of crisis having an emergency fund in place could be the difference between having financial peace or having a financial disaster. Have you ever heard of “putting money away for a rainy day?” I heard this grandmotherly advice growing up, but never put it into practice until I heard Dave Ramsey share that it was the first of seven baby steps to having what he calls “Financial Peace”. This is the state of not having anxiety, fear, or worry about your finances because you are in control of your money and you know exactly what every dollar you earn is doing to move you towards your financial goals.
The first baby step to financial peace is to get on a written budget and save $1,000 as an emergency fund. This $1,000 emergency fund is just the start to building a fully funded emergency fund containing 3-6 months of household expenses. We are living through a pandemic where 26.5 million people workers are filing for unemployment since March 13, 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Could you imagine having lost your job as a waitress in a restaurant due to this pandemic, but you have 6 months of expenses saved up in your emergency fund? What thoughts and concerns would you have about your finances? How does this affect your concerns about food, clothing, the utility bills and your housing payment? Now I want you to imagine not having any type of emergency fund in place…the emotions you would be feeling and the financial state would be radically different.
We don’t know when it is going to rain on our financial parade, but eventually it will and having an emergency fund in place will be the difference maker for you. If I just described your situation, or close to it, I want you to know that there is hope. It is never too late to start taking the baby steps towards financial peace. My wife and I were over $120,000 in debt as a recently married couple 3 years ago with no emergency fund in place. Our debt payments were greater than half of our combined income! We were drowning and reached out for a life saver. We decided that we were going to start handling our finances God’s way and followed the baby steps to financial peace that Dave Ramsey lays out in his 9 week course “Financial Peace University”. Today we have paid off half of what we owed 3 years ago while spending 1 of those 3 years living in Peru as missionaries!
There is hope to bounce back from financial holes that you may have dug for yourself like I did, or holes that you fell into due to this global pandemic. Begin taking the baby steps to financial peace today with an emergency fund and a written budget. You will instantly begin feeling the sensation of control and peace over your financial situation.