Marriage After God
Marriage After God
Sep 14, 2022
Marriage, Money, Inflation & Crypto
Play • 57 min

This episode is sponsored by our book  Marriage After God

This is a great marriage resource for anyone or any couple that is looking for something meaty that will inspire and challenge a little. It is a book we wrote together that dips into our story but also gets the reader to search out “what is God doing in my marriage” This book also spends quite a bit of time on finances and marriage, so if you want to dive deeper into today's topic we strongly encourage you to pick up a copy if you have not already!

 

Marriage After God will put you on the path to exploring what God’s purpose for your marriage is.

Find it at amazon.com or shop.marriageaftergod.com

 

READ TRANSCRIPT

- Hi, and welcome to the "Marriage After God" podcast.

 

- We're your hosts, Aaron and Jennifer Smith.

 

- We have been married 15 years and have five sweet children who are growing up way too fast.

 

- We love God and we love marriage.

 

- And we love to be honest about it all.

 

- Marriage is not always a walk in the park, but we do believe it has a powerful purpose.

 

- So our goal here is to open up the conversation to talk about our faith and our marriage.

 

- Especially in light of the gospel.

 

- We certainly don't have all the answers, but if you stick around we may just make you laugh.

 

- But our hope is to encourage you to chase boldly after God's purpose for your life together.

 

- This is "Marriage After God". Welcome back to another episode of the "Marriage After God" podcast. I promise I don't have the giggles this time. So, if any of you were with us last week, I couldn't keep myself together, but here I am, feeling mostly composed. It's good because in today's episode we're gonna be talking about, breezing over a little bit.

 

- Hitting a nerve, maybe?

 

- Maybe striking a match and igniting a fire on a conversation with money investing in marriage.

 

- So it's something serious, is what you're saying?

 

- Hmm, a little more. It feels serious these days.

 

- All right, well, today's episode is sponsored by our book "Marriage After God". This is a great resource for anyone or any couple that is looking for something meaty that will inspire and challenge a bit. It's a book that we wrote together, it dips into our story, but it also gets the reader to search out what is God doing in my marriage? This book spends quite a bit of time talking about finances and marriage, so if you wanna dive deeper into today's topic, we strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of our book, "Marriage After God". And you can get that at amazon.com, or shop.marriageaftergod.com.

 

- So, in light of this topic of money, what was the inspiration? Why'd you wanna talk about this today?

 

- Well, number one, I mean, money's like top of the list for when you're thinking about marriage, relational things.

 

- The things that-

 

- Stressors.

 

- Cause strife in marriage.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Money's one of them.

 

- Yeah, money's definitely one of them. Now you take that and put it in context to today's current situation.

 

- Issues of-

 

- Like what are we-

 

- Money.

 

- Experiencing. And I think it makes it very relevant.

 

- Do you think that we have, like, some sort of special, like, training in this or? Nope.

 

- It's not really our genre necessarily. We have talked about money a lot in the past because God's used it in our life, but I don't know, it seemed like a good idea to bring up because it's kind of on everyone's minds, it's right in front of us, kind of at every turn. Stuff that's going on the world.

 

- I'll say this, if you're hoping to get some financial advice from today's episode, that's not what you're gonna find here. You'll find encouragement, you'll find maybe, hopefully, some inspiration, some spiritual inspiration to get you and your spouse talking about finances in marriage. But if you want something more, go check out Dave Ramsey or other resources, other podcasts that really, really get into the nitty gritty of finances. 'Cause this is more of just like, how does it relate to your marriage.

 

- I mean, on some levels-

 

- Which is important.

 

- Quote unquote "financial advice", as in, encouraging them in the way to be thinking about it and-

 

- Right.

 

- And the usefulness of it.

 

- We're just not giving direct, like, "You should go do this."

 

- Yeah, and I actually, I wanna boldly and with asterisks disclaim that we're not financial advisors. And so, please don't walk away from this episode and go do something and say, "Aaron and Jen told me to do this." We're gonna share with you few things that we think about and things that we've walked through and things that we care about, and maybe you can learn something, but we're definitely not financial advisors.

 

- Okay, not to take a total tangent here, but you said the word asterisk?

 

- Asterisk, asterisk.

 

- Okay, I had to look it up because my whole life, I said "astrik", like "astrik", I don't know why. When I see that little star, that's how I hear it, "astrik". But lately when I'm working with Elliot, like, on spelling and language arts, I'm constantly looking up words and I'm realizing, I'm saying things wrong. And so one of my words this week, Elliot turns to me, he goes, "Mom, why have you been saying "interragative"? It's "interrogative". I was like, hold on, let me Google it.

 

- Interragative, interrogative.

 

- Said that wrong all last year.

 

- Oops.

 

- Oops.

 

- I'm sure there's a lot of words we've said wrong and continue to say wrong, but that's really funny. Okay, back to money.

 

- Okay.

 

- Okay, we're talking about money. So we've been married for 15 years and I feel like we've gone through quite a few different seasons of life, specifically when it comes to money. Like, just how our relationship to it, how much we've had, how little we've had.

 

- Depending on our jobs or what we were doing.

 

- Yeah, we've gone through and we- It's only been 15 years and I feel like we're now in a new season financially and it's just gonna keep doing this rollercoaster for the rest of our lives.

 

- I think 'cause there's so many variables, there's so many things that affect finances and then there's us, who affect our finances.

 

- Decisions we make.

 

- How we decide to spend it and save it and all of that.

 

- Our relationship to it. Which is kind of like what we kind of wanna talk about today, is a little bit of that relationship aspect with money.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And also talk about some stuff that we've been learning and doing and experiencing ourselves. So, we've been in seasons of debt. We've been in seasons of making very little, to no money at all. I'm immediately thinking about stories in our life of just sitting in my car and we have no money in our account.

 

- Crisis, crisis.

 

- To seasons of abundance where God's just allowed us to have access to more than we ever thought we could have.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And back and forth and everything between. But I feel like along the way, when I read this scripture in Philippians, when Paul talks about how God has taught him contentment in all circumstances. You know that verse that we all like to use that says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." The context of it is around how to be content when you have nothing or how to be content when you have a lot. And so the point of that scripture is that He gives us the strength to handle every circumstance we come into in our life, whether poor or rich, whether having a little or a lot. And that's what God's been teaching us is this idea of contentment in kind of every season. And they're hard in their own aspect in different ways, depending on what side you're on.

 

- Well, this idea for this episode that we had in talking about finances in relation to marriage, I thought it would be cool if we just talked about a little bit of our foundation of how we think and view of money, how we've kind of built our foundation and marriage. Do you wanna share a little bit about like-

 

- Yeah-

 

- Where we've landed.

 

- Maybe how we learned certain things.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Because we're, again, we're not experts, but we've been learning a lot of our life, but we also have a disposition, necessarily, to money. How we think about it.

 

- Yeah, yeah.

 

- Because of the way we're raised. I think our parents-

 

- Yeah, for sure.

 

- Did teach us on some level about money. Either they taught us directly about money by things they told us and showed us. But I think we learned a lot of our thoughts of money, probably what we saw in our parents.

 

- And our own experience as we got older. Okay, money coming in, money going out, uh-oh more money's going out, wait a minute. So just basic-

 

- Or dealing with credit.

 

- Basic experience of money. But a lot of, like, the dialogue we've had about money in our marriage has been based on the Bible and, like, going to the Bible and saying, "Well, what wisdom is there in the Word that we can draw from?" I was thinking about this the other day when we were getting ready to do this episode, and just how thinking about our homeschool with the kids and what we want them to learn, 'cause we're always thinking ahead. And it's like, we really want them to understand money. And I wish we were taught this more in school. I wish there was a whole...maybe there was and I just missed it.

 

- Well, we did have a- I had an economics class for just my senior year, is the only thing like-

 

- But one year when you're on your way out.

 

- Yeah, it was one year, but I can't remember there being anything about investing, anything about spending.

 

- I mean, taxes, just think about taxes. There's should be-

 

- Just that alone.

 

- There should be a serious talk about that. But we were thinking about for our homeschool, like how can we incorporate these really important principles to teach our kids and give them a really strong foundation for then propelling them into adulthood for finances.

 

- Well, and it would be valuable, 'cause I feel like we're learning stuff now that if we would've known it 20 years ago, we would've made probably significantly different decisions. But, it-

 

- Here we are.

 

- Yeah, we're here where we're at, we're learning, and I think everyone listening is in the same place. They look back over their lives, the decisions they've made financially, they can always pinpoint those, like, I shouldn't have spent that money or wish I would've saved here or I'm glad we saved, or did this, made this decision. So we're all in the same boat.

 

- Well going back to, you know, the Bible's wisdom over money, we wanted to share a couple of those anchor verses that we kind of lean onto when we're making financial decisions. But I wanted to share with you guys a cool resource that we use when we're looking up stuff in the Bible, it's called openbible.info, and it literally says, "What does the Bible say about" and then it has a search bar for you to just fill in and it gives you all the verses in that topic and you can even search by Bible-

 

- Translation.

 

- Version, yeah. So it's pretty cool.

 

- Yeah, and these scriptures, like we said, a lot of the way we think about money, we try and go back to the Bible and say, okay, "What does God say about money?" And having God's perspective on it, 'cause it does help us. It doesn't mean we've made all the right decisions, but even when we make wrong decisions, we can easily look back and be like, "Well, that's probably 'cause we were unwise in this way, or that's probably 'cause we didn't follow this principle." So one of them is 1 Timothy 6:10. It says, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It is through the craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." So when I was reading through this scripture for this episode, the first thing I wanted to point out is I feel like this is probably one of the most misquoted scriptures. Often people say money is evil specifically, or money is the root of evil, but that's not what this is saying.

 

- Because money's just like a- It's a piece of paper, it's like nothing, right?

 

- Yeah, money is an in inanimate object, it cannot be sinful or good or bad, it's just a thing.

 

- It's not the money that's doing it, it's what is inside of us.

 

- It says, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." So this isn't even the main root, this is just one of the roots that could be a root of all kinds of evil is when we have love for money.

 

- Well, a root supports, like, a stem of a plant that grows bigger and so if you think about it, it's like when you have the love of money and you're thirst for it and your greed-

 

- Some bad things are gonna grow out of that.

 

- Oh many, not just one serious thing, but like you're gonna have-

 

- Yeah. Well, and the Bible talks a lot about fruit, good or bad fruit, so talking about- If we love money, if we have a love for money, it becomes that root and then the fruit that's gonna come out of that is gonna be bad fruit. And so I just wanted to point that out, as this is saying the love of money, this is something that's happening inside of our hearts, our disposition toward money. Do we see money as our God? Do we see money as our savior?

 

- Our reliance.

 

- Do we see money as our protection?

 

- Yeah, security, all of those things.

 

- And then I love that it says, "It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." One of the things that Jennifer and I have learned is anytime we've overstretched ourselves to try and do something, to get more money, we try and start businesses, we try- We end up having more pangs. We're like, "Man, I wish we just would've been fine where we were at." And that's something that we've had to feel that pain several times in our lives for different little things. But that's a true thing, if we have a love for money it's gonna have us wander away from the most important thing in our life, which is our faith, which is our trust and reliance on Christ, to who-knows-what? I mean, you fill the blank.

 

- At minimum it distracts us, for sure.

 

- At minimum, yes.

 

- All right, another one is Matthew 6:24. "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

 

- Yeah.

 

- Every time I've read this in my past, especially growing up, I always just thought, it's so interesting that it's talking about two masters, and then at the very end it says, "You cannot serve God and money." Like, he was talking about money the whole time, what?

 

- Yeah, the two masters, one is God and one's money.

 

- Interesting.

 

- And actually the word money there, it's a Greek word "mammon", which is like a god. It was like a god of wealth, a god of riches. And so Matthew's pointing out, you know, from the words of Jesus, like, we can't serve God and serve- Like, going back to 1 Timothy, that love of money. That pursuit of, "I just need more, I need more, I need more," at that point where we're not serving God anymore.

 

- Well, if you think about all the things that start to change when you go in a certain direction or when you serve a master, your intentions change, your motivations change, your goals change.

 

- Well, and I've felt seasons of this where I can feel myself, like, all I can focus on is making sure we have enough money and I have to, like- I'm constantly brought to my knees and saying, "God, this is so much on my mind. This is such a draw for me, it takes so much energy to do this." And there's also that thought, like, I wish I didn't have to worry about that. And we just do this over here, but we also need money. So it's a part of life.

 

- I know this isn't like a part of our notes, but as you're just mentioning that, how do you also carry that weight of responsibility for your family? Because you're saying in one hand, like, you don't wanna be consumed and chase after that need to have to, like, provide, but then there's this responsibility aspect where it's necessary, and so what's the balance?

 

- I'm gonna be honest, it stresses me out sometimes.

 

- I'm sure you're not the only one.

 

- I'm sure there's a lot of husbands listening that feel the same way that there's this constant, like, "Well, I can't just go be a missionary. I gotta pay my bills, I gotta take care of my family." You know what, that is a ministry. We talk about this in our book, this idea of money as a tool rather than, you know, our pursuit. Like the thing that we're trying to obtain. Because yeah, that's a really good question and it's a-

 

- There's tension.

 

- Absolutely requires me to seek God and ask for help a lot because I feel like I go in this ebb and flow where I feel like I'm pushing too hard to make sure finances are right or growing or being invested well, and then I could feel like I don't push hard enough and I'm like, "Man, I should have been working harder." So that's a good question and I think it's one that all the men listening are shaking their heads here right now, like, I am.

 

- I'm sure they appreciate that. Okay, so the next one is Romans 13:8. "Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law."

 

- I love this one because it-

 

- We share this one a lot.

 

- We have shared this one a lot, especially on this idea of getting out of debt. Because I do believe that believers should have a mentality and a posture towards money that we don't love debt, that we don't keep debt, that our lifestyle isn't like, "Hey, I'm just going to spend and consume," but that we conserve and we are content and we use less. And so we use this verse in that sense of, "Owe no one anything," the only thing we should owe people is our love to each other in the church and in the world. But there's debt sometimes, and we're gonna talk about it a little bit, if we have a debt-free mentality, even though we may have debt, it does change a lot of things in the way we operate in this world. So I do believe our goal should be to be debt-free as much as we can, and to definitely avoid consumer debt. But I think the main focus of this verse is that we owe love to each other. And so that is the main focus of this verse is what we owe to each other is our love for each other.

 

- Cool. Just digging in a little bit more into this idea of living a debt-free lifestyle, and just personally, Aaron, I feel like when we got into our marriage, you came with this foundation of no debt, like, debt's not good. And you had this understanding of it. Was there something that inspired that in you other than the Word or?

 

- Well, I believe- If you remember, like, we talked about this. I had a lot of debt, you had some debt before we got married, but you paid it off before we even got married.

 

- Yeah, it was like a couple hundred dollars, I think.

 

- Yeah, but when we're young, that feels like a lot.

 

- Yeah, it was a lot.

 

- And I had, you know, tens of thousands of dollars in-

 

- School loans.

 

- School loans, which felt like a lot. And what happened was, we were trying to be missionaries and we were living on almost no income, you know, volunteering for this organization.

 

- And when we were doing that, your loans were deferred, so we didn't have the responsibility to pay them yet until one day it was like, oh.

 

- I'm gonna have to pay these now.

 

- Wow, this is reality, yeah.

 

- Yeah, so from being able to live off of almost nothing to all of a sudden, I have to pay this pretty large bill, to us back then, it was huge, it was like couple hundred bucks a month, which would've been a big deal from us living off of very little to nothing. And we realized like, man, we should probably go home and just get rid of this debt. Let's just go get jobs, let's go work, and let's work hard and let's do everything we can.

 

- We worked really hard to get out of that debt. It's not an easy thing, like, when we encourage you guys and you hear us say, "Live a debt-free lifestyle," we know it's hard, we know it's easier said than done, we know we know what it takes, and I just-

 

- It was painful.

 

- Wanted you to hear that. It's a painful experience.

 

- So I would say that's where we came from. There was this, I believe, a Godly motivation to get free from the debt so that we can be free to do more of what God has for us. I believe that's what we were feeling. And so we did that, and because of that, I don't know if everyone knows this, but this ministry that we have now all was invented in that same season of getting out of debt, almost like right at the end of paying off our debt, this ministry was born. And I feel like we didn't have that plan, we had no idea that this ministry was gonna be a thing when we started getting out of debt, we just knew that God wanted to use us. And we knew that the debt was something that could hold us back. And so we're like, okay, "Let's just get rid of this while we can," it was really hard. I remember us having lots of arguments, conversations, tears, around like-

 

- Lots of tears.

 

- Not being able to do what other couples our age were doing, not being able to have pots and pans, not being able to have- Like, I remember these conversations, but in reality, it was a very short season, it was a couple years I think.

 

- It's way gone now.

 

- It's way in the past and man, we look back on that and we're like, we're so thankful that we took that initiative. And it may not be everyone's story, but some of the things that we've learned along the way, and that we share with people, is this way of thinking about debt, not getting into more of it, not spending more than you have, all those things are very important, Dave Ramsey talks about it and the Bible talks about how we should be with our money. So I would say it wasn't our idea, but it was a cool journey that we got to go through in the early part of our marriage.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Together.

 

- Cool. Well, I'm gonna turn the dial on this conversation slightly. I guess it still kind of has to do with debt, but more so-

 

- It's more so our country's debt.

 

- Our country's debt. Yeah.

 

- We're gonna talk a little bit about inflation because it is affecting everyone right now. And I mean, if I could just come right out and say, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry everyone. It's hard, it's hard to go through marriage when the world kind of seems unstable and-

 

- Yeah.

 

- Challenging.

 

- Jennifer asked me, you asked me at the beginning of this episode before we started, you said, "What do you want to get out of this episode?"

 

- Yeah.

 

- 'Cause we always ask ourselves, what do we want for you, the listener. And I was like, I just want them to know it's okay, that we're all in the same boat, and that these things are gonna happen in the world and that our money and our finances and our wealth are not our security, they're just not. And so we're talking about these things to just remind us that our security is in Christ alone, that this is not our home and that we can trust Him and rely on Him, and we can know that, let's just try and do the next right thing, let's try and walk in His wisdom, let's make changes. So that's kind of what I wanna get out of this episode and that's one of the reasons we're talking about inflation is because it's a real thing and it does affect everyone pretty much equally across the board. So just a quick overview, what's happening in the world right now, at least in the United States, but it's kind of happening in the whole world, but I'm just gonna talk about some of the stats that we have here in the US. Inflation essentially is the depreciation of the dollar. So we have a $1 bill and we think it's worth a dollar, but in reality it's not worth a dollar because what that dollar could buy 20 years ago and what that dollar can buy today, not the same things. So here's some quick stats for you based off of the inflation percentages over the last several years. From 2012 to 2020, the average is probably about 2.3, 2.1. You know, we have a 1.7% increase, 1.5, a 2.1. But in 2021, you can- I have a graph on this page, babe, do you see that?

 

- Yeah, I see it.

 

- So from 2020-

 

- Shoots straight up.

 

- It's 1.4%, 1.4% inflation, 2021, 7%.

 

- Crazy.

 

- 2022, 8.3%. Those are huge numbers. And these are average numbers, these aren't, like, to take into account, you know, the cost of milk, or the cost of gas or the- We're all thinking about the thing that costs more to us now and we're like, "Oh my goodness." According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, $100 in 2016, okay, could buy you what now costs $123. That's a 23% increase, on average, on goods and services. That's huge. In what? Five years, six years, barely. That's a big jump and that affects us. Like, we don't think about this, but that actually affects us.

 

- Because it's accounted for over everything, it's not just one thing, right?

 

- Oh yeah.

 

- It's also- I mean, think about gas.

 

- Oh. Gas prices.

 

- Since just the last year or two, it's been-

 

- Well for us, like, we don't have the best economic vehicle for gas, we never had to usually think about it 'cause gas prices for a long time were pretty decent. The average price in 2020 was 2.25, but even at one point it was a $1.90, like, that was so low back in the day. And that was only in 2020.

 

- Back in the day. Yeah. I was looking this up and it says today's average gas price across the nation is 3.70. I just don't believe that, we're paying 4.80 here in Bend and I just- Other places are higher, but 3.70 is the national average.

 

- Okay.

 

- But that's still more than a dollar and a half- That's a dollar and a half more in two years.

 

- That's a lot of fuel, or a lot of-

 

- That's a lot of money.

 

- Money. For fuel. So is this because of the last two years in COVID and everything?

 

- Those things are part of it, I'm not gonna, again, I'm not a economist, I should say.

 

- Okay.

 

- But things like COVID, it did have an effect on this because of how we printed money. If you don't understand this, how this works, the government can print money, and so we print our dollars, we print our tens, our twenties, our hundreds. They can also create money in other ways. And a lot of the inflation that we have now is because- This is kind of crazy, and this is according to nasdaq.com, over 80% of all available money that's been printed or created, has happened in the last two years. That's not a joke.

 

- I don't even understand what you're saying right now.

 

- It's crazy, I'm looking at another graph, and we can see from 1950 all the way to 2020 and there's this steady incline and in 2010, there was a pretty steep incline. But then from 2020 to 2022, it just looks like a knife going straight up out of the ground and the amount of money that we've created. So we think about the COVID Relief Bill and they printed just trillions of dollars to give out to people. And that was great for people that needed it, but now that money's gone and everything costs more. So because we got that little bit of relief then, it's actually hurting us now in a big way and it's actually gonna hurt our kids and our grandkids. A lot of this inflation's caused by, the simplest way to put it, too much money chasing too little resources. So that's just what happens when there's a lot of money and there's very little stuff to buy. All those things that we buy on a normal basis become way more expensive. I know I'm being very basic and there's probably people that are way smarter than me thinking, "Oh, he doesn't even know the half of it," but all I know is inflation's here and I don't know how long it's gonna last and it affects us all.

 

- I'm sure we surprised our listeners today 'cause we don't usually draw in statistics or graphs.

 

- Sometimes, yeah. But we think about a lot of these things. There's a lot of things that we discuss with our friends and in our personal life that we don't always bring up, but we care about and we think about, and we consider and it- Yeah, I wanna bring up another little story. We built this house. But we actually planned on building this house in 2020 and we were really close to closing on a piece of property to build this house and we backed out of it because of everything happening in the markets. And we thought, you know, we have no idea what's going on. We don't know what's gonna happen with all the prices of goods.

 

- We were about to have our baby, Edith.

 

- We were about to have a baby and we just canceled it. And we're like, we'll wait. Now, in hindsight it would've been better to do it then than it was to do it now because all the things that we feared happening then were affecting us now.

 

- All the resources, all the material.

 

- The cost of materials skyrocketed for us, which they wouldn't have back then.

 

- Yeah, that was hard.

 

- But again, it's all hindsight. Can't see the future.

 

- Yeah.

 

- So we just tried to do the wisest thing we could do in that moment and that's what we did. And I don't regret it, but at the same time I look back and say, "Oh, well the things we were worried about, we were a little early on." Yeah. Okay, so with all of this information you just shared about inflation, what can the couples listening do to talk about it? How does one talk about finances in light of world stage stuff? Like, what do we do?

 

- Yeah, what have we done? I was gonna ask you-

 

- What do I do?

 

- What do we do?

 

- We talk about it. Even when we don't really understand everything, every aspect, we try to, we try and dig in and, you know, look at the news and talk to friends, like you said.

 

- There's been a lot of prayer.

 

- A lot of prayer.

 

- Because, how many times I just pray, "God, I have no idea what to do, please help me. We can't fix this."

 

- Something that's really encouraged me is we reassure one another to trust in the Lord. And that's always helpful for me, 'cause I tend to be more of a fearful- Or, you know, I get anxious thoughts and stuff, and so reminding each other to rely on the Lord is really important.

 

- Yeah, and it's something that is gonna remind us. I think we talked about, in episode one of this season, about how sometimes we can look in hindsight and just see so clearly all the decisions we made and think, "Why did we make those decisions? Why didn't we make this decision?"

 

- Right.

 

- And we kind of like judge ourselves on like, "Oh, we failed," or "We did all this bad stu-" or, "We didn't make any good decisions." Reminding each other that we did try with the knowledge we had in the situations we were in.

 

- Right.

 

- To make wise decisions.

 

- Yeah.

 

- We did try.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And also, hey, sometimes there was decisions we made and let's learn from it rather than just keep kicking ourselves down.

 

- Right. Yeah, that's good. And then there's things that we can do. So in the talking about it, like, "Hey, what is happening in our finances?" There's also the talking about what can change or what can be done to help relieve some of those pain points-

 

- I drive way more, because-

 

- No.

 

- Oh wait, I mean-

 

- Drive way less.

 

- Drive way less, because gas prices.

 

- This is a serious conversation, and I know it's hard, but, like, what sacrifices can be made? What things can be done that you weren't doing that could help the situation of finances? You know, maybe it's taking a break from some extracurricular thing or putting things on pause for a little bit that maybe you'd like to do, but now's not a good time.

 

- Yeah, we talked about, a few seasons ago, date night ideas because we were big advocates on regular date nights, but with money being tight, regular date nights in the way we may usually do it, going to dinner or doing something like that, may not be appropriate.

 

- We actually took a break for a good chunk of months.

 

- I feel like we-

 

- For a while.

 

- For like a year. It wasn't a year.

 

- No, but it felt like it.

 

- It was for a while.

 

- Yeah, taking breaks from maybe dates that cost money.

 

- Swapping babysitters with friends.

 

- Yeah, swapping baby- That that's another thing, babysitters cost money. And so swapping with friends, but just getting creative with our lifestyle is a big deal to address the issue of not having enough money in a certain season.

 

- Yeah.

 

- So a verse that we can remember, it's a verse in 1 Timothy where Paul's talking to Timothy about how he addresses certain people in the church, but there's a principle here that we can glean from. It's in 1 Timothy 6:17, it says, "As for the rich, in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy." And so he's talking to Timothy about like, "Hey, there's wealthy people in the church, encourage them with this." But I wanna put this out there that if we live in America, now I know that everyone's on varying levels of wealth or income, but we're very fortunate to live in a country that has free commerce and we can start businesses and we can invest and we're still currently fairly free people and we're wealthy in many other ways than just money. And I wanna remind us of that, and especially as believers, guys, we are rich in Christ. We are rich in God and we need to remember that. And we're not to put our hope in the uncertainty of riches, of money, of gaining more and more and more. It is not our strong tower. In the proverbs that says that a fool sees his riches as his strong tower. They're not. Having a little or a lot of money is not what keeps us, it's Christ that keeps us. And that's what his encouragement here is, is that let's put our hope on God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

 

- So when we say things like, "Put our hope in God," or, "Put our trust in God," that's not, like, something that we just wake up every day and say, "Okay, my hope's in God," and then carry on with the things we like to do for entertainment or go have fun.

 

- Yeah, just keep going and not changing at all.

 

- So like there is that tension of saying my hope and trust is in the Lord, but I still have all these responsibilities and job.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And, you know, gotta work hard to do and provide.

 

- Well, I put that in the category of testing God. We're told never to test the Lord, not to put Him to the test. So it's like, "I trust God, therefore I'm just gonna rack up my credit card and not worry about it, and He'll figure it out." No, it's, "I'm gonna walk in wisdom because my hope's in God. These things that I crave and desire, I'm gonna say no to because I can't afford them and I don't need them 'cause my hope's in God, I can make these changes that feel really hard and painful and scary, but my hope and trust is in God," I think that's more what it's talking about.

 

- Yeah, yeah, okay, just clarifying. So were you on Mark 4:19?

 

- Yeah, there's another verse in the parables of the seed in the soil. The Sower and the Seed, in Mark 4:19. Verses 18 and 19, actually. It says, "And others are the ones sown among the thorns. They are those who hear the Word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires of other things enter in and choke the Word and it proves unfruitful." This is another danger and a principle on when it comes to money and the cares of the world, is that when we focus on that only, we're being deceived because riches are deceitful, they come and they go, the proverbs say. As fast as it's here is as fast as it's gone. So if we're looking forward to that next, like, "Oh, all we need is this," then we've forgotten that we're to rely on every word that comes out at the mouth of God for our sustenance, for our security, for everything we need. And so that Word that's trying to work in us, God's Word that's trying to work in us, it can be choked out by us just having our eyes on our cares, on our worries, on seeking after money and the desires of all the things that we crave in this life, and it chokes it, it chokes it out. And then that Word can't produce fruit in our lives. So if all we're focusing on is the inflation, oh my goodness, the gas prices, oh my goodness. If those are the only thing that we're worried or caring about, then we're gonna forget what God might be trying to do inside of us right now through this season.

 

- All right, so this next question is for our listeners. How do we keep marriage thriving under financial burden or strain? So when there is that weight of expectation and responsibility and just, ugh.

 

- Tightness of things?

 

- Yeah, how does a marriage keep going? What do we do?

 

- I think on a very simple level, we ask each other questions.

 

- Yeah.

 

- So we meet each other face-to-face, we talk. We kind of already touched on that earlier, but, like, we ask even just, "How are you doing?" and giving each other the room to comfort each other, to encourage one another. We ask, "What can we do about it?" What can we do about this thing that we're under the weight of?

 

- Yeah, the what can we do about it, I know the men, we like to jump on-

 

- Solutions.

 

- Hey, let's do the solutions-

 

- Let's fix it.

 

- But as a man, jumping off your last question to me about how do I deal with trying to not overdo it pursuing finances, and then trusting God and pursuing Him.

 

- Yeah.

 

- I really appreciate it when you ask me how I'm doing with these things. When you recognize that, that is a heavy weight. And I know that there're probably some of you listening that the wives also bring in money and that's very common these days, and to be honest, me and you, we work together, so the money comes from both of us, but the burden of managing it is on my shoulders.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And when you recognize that, when you know that I'm constantly thinking about that and, like, trying to figure out what we're gonna be doing and how we're gonna take care of it and manage all these things, I do appreciate that.

 

- Cool.

 

- So I think that's a good question to ask your spouse, whoever you know might have that burden on their shoulders.

 

- Cool.

 

- Yeah.

 

- I think a follow up to that is, what else can I do that would help alleviate stress in another area, because I might not be able to take this huge weight off your shoulders right now.

 

- Right.

 

- But is there another area of your life- Like, can I go clean and organize your garage for you? Or can I-

 

- You can absolutely go clean and organize my garage.

 

- I'm just saying, like, let's put eyes and hearts on what can we do to minimize some of the other stress points in life, because when it's hard enough to handle one thing, all the other things do the compound effect and that's hard.

 

- I think, and I don't know if this goes for everyone, but for our situation, for our relationship, I know that there are things that are on your mind. We were just talking about it tonight, about all the things in our life that we need done.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And not that you can't bring them up and remind me and say, "Hey, we have things to do. We got a list, let's, you know, figure out a way to chip at it," like we talked about in the last episode, pace, about slowly, you know, chipping away at stuff. Recognizing that there might be a heavier load that I need to bear and not, like, heaping stuff on top of it.

 

- Ah.

 

- And I'm not trying to beat around the bush, I'm just saying, I think other husbands might feel that way of, like, because there's all these other things sometimes the way we might respond is, I'm anxious and I'm overwhelmed so I'm gonna dump all this stuff I'm overwhelmed with on my spouse, because I want them to help me figure it out or I need help. And then forgetting that they also have a bunch of things that they're stressed and overwhelmed about that they may not be saying anything. So just being aware of that and-

 

- I think that's really good.

 

- Communicating well.

 

- I think it's good for me to hear that.

 

- Evaluating what's necessary.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And saying, "Hey, how can I make the load-" Like you said, "How can I make the load less?"

 

- Yeah. That's really good. Cool, well, I think another important aspect to all of this is just understanding that we both make mistakes, especially when it comes to money. And when both people, you know-

 

- You mean like the paintball gun I bought once 'cause I just really-

 

- Okay, that was a long time ago, I'm not holding that against you. But yes, he did do that once when we had no money.

 

- Not that buying paintball gun's bad, but I shouldn't have bought it then.

 

- It was bad timing. When we have access to funds, like, there's times that we make mistakes or we make a purchase that maybe we shouldn't have, and I just wanna encourage us to be people of humility and recognizing that none of us are perfect and it's something that we can all walk through with grace.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And say, "Okay, well we shouldn't have done that, but let's move on." What do you always say? Do the next right thing?

 

- Yeah, let's do the next right thing.

 

- How do we reconcile this?

 

- Yeah. That's a good point. And we've been talking about this a lot, and again, instead of kicking ourselves for past mistakes, let's practice learning from them and say, "Okay, we did make that mistake. We're gonna admit it, but we're gonna let it teach us."

 

- Yeah.

 

- Because that's so much better than just self-loathing or self-defeat.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Learning from our mistakes is what, I believe, God would want for us, is to grow.

 

- Yeah.

 

- I'd say there's one more powerful aspect to marriage that I wanna bring up that can really help carry you guys through a stressful time with finances, and that's understanding the power of your unity in marriage because when you start to blame each other or pinpoint, "Oh, this debt is your fault," or, "This problem is your fault."

 

- Yeah, teamwork.

 

- Or, "This decision is your fault," it just starts to crumble from there, and I know that from experience, 'cause I did this to Aaron back in the early days of our marriage and I blamed him for a lot of the burden, the financial burden, that was on us. But what I realized is when we can team up and work together, no matter who's at fault, 'cause that part doesn't matter. the part that matters now is that you're one and that you're working together to get out from under it. That's what works, there's power in that.

 

- Well, and isn't that the verse in Ecclesiastes?

 

- Yes, yes, go read chapter four.

 

- Two are more profitable.

 

- Yep.

 

- Jennifer brought up that we're gonna talk about cryptocurrency-

 

- Sorry, we ran out of time.

 

- Yeah, no, we're gonna talk about it real quick. And here's why I'm bringing it up. So, cryptocurrency or stocks or investing, real estate. I just wanna mention, I know not everyone's in a place that they might be in to be able to invest. You maybe don't have a lot of extra cash, liquid cash. I just want y'all to know that to have a mindset of investing long term, whatever that looks like, is a very good thing, I think.

 

- You're not saying it has to be crypto, you're just saying-

 

- No.

 

- In general, long term investing.

 

- And this is why I say this.

 

- What can be done? Yeah.

 

- There are things that we have invested in over the years, little bit here, or a lot, you know, whenever we could, that I'm looking at now that are very helpful.

 

- Yeah.

 

- In this season where things are tighter. Not that I wanna just go liquidate things, but I could if I needed to.

 

- Yeah.

 

- So I'm just putting that wisdom out there that having that mindset of putting a little bit somewhere, not just in a savings account that's yielding you 0.0001%

 

- It's like that legacy living.

 

- Yeah, it's thinking longer term than just tomorrow.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Which is not, again, I did not get taught this necessarily growing up, I didn't get taught this in school. That's why we're bringing it up, cryptocurrency.

 

- Okay, but cryptocurrency, 'cause you were saying that in general, but cryptocurrency, some people, this is their first or second time hearing this word and they're like, "What are you talking about? What does this have to do with marriage?"

 

- Well, they're gonna hear about it more and more over the years. They just are, it's gonna become more and more mainstream. I learned about cryptocurrency for the first time back in 2015, 2016, I was-

 

- You'd come home all excited, I'm like, I don't know what you're talking about.

 

- I was consulting with some dudes, they were really cool guys, and they had a Bitcoin mining machine, okay. I still don't actually know what they do, but I heard about it back in 2015. If I would've invested back in 2015-

 

- That's a whole other story.

 

- But that's-

 

- Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

 

- Shoulda, woulda, couldas. But I learned about it then, but it wasn't until 2020 that I really-

 

- Yeah, 'cause there was this huge crash in the markets.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And then you started kind of-

 

- I'll get there in a second. I'll get there in a second.

 

- Hold on, I gotta explain. Aaron's got this very research nature about him and when he gets excited about something he dives all in and he can't stop or shut off his brain until he understands that thing and say, okay-

 

- Only a few things.

 

- Okay, things you really care about.

 

- So real quick, cryptocurrency, it's a digital currency in which transactions are verified and records maintained by a de…

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