#4 – Financial Pressure
In keeping a vineyard it takes money to make money. The owner has to continually invest in the process or risk losing everything. As a former business owner I am well aware of the pressure felt when money is tight. In business there are many variables completely out of our ability to control. Although money may be tight, it may or may not be your fault.
However, in marriage many times the struggle can be self-imposed, which adds guilt and shame to the tension. If the marriage is strong, this can difficult. If it is weak, the pressure can seem unrelenting.
But we are not without hope. Jesus references money more than any other topic in the Bible. He is well aware of our temptation to love it too much, to spend what we don’t have and to ignore the warning signs as the trouble is mounting. Sometimes it isn’t until the massive wave of debt comes crashing down on us when we’re finally willing to do something about it. Sadly, this is often too late for their spouse, and the marriage crumbles under the pressure.
How is it possible to cultivate romance when all around you is difficult? I believe there is one key to help avoid this downward spiral: Remember your spouse is not your enemy. You are on the same team! And facing this problem together with the Lord’s help is the only way to overcome it.
This sounds quite basic, yet many of us struggle as if our spouse has done this purposefully against us. I’ll admit I have been witness to some marriages where this was the case, but it is the exception – not the rule!
If you are facing tremendous financial pressure, don’t let this dictate how, or even IF you will romance your spouse. We must continue to cultivate the relationship God has given us. Be willing to be brutally honest with your spouse in regards to money – talk about the struggle and look to the future together to see how you can make positive changes. No hole is so deep from which it can’t be escaped, but it takes hard work and commitment from both partners!
There are many organizations willing to help. Our suggestion is to check out Dave Ramsey‘s Financial Peace University. He has helped thousands of couples who were in such dire straights, they were seriously heading for a divorce over money issues. In fact it was his own failure in this area which led him to make serious changes. It not only saved their finances, but their marriage as well! If you are unfamiliar with Dave Ramsey and his program, we couldn’t recommend him more highly! We’ve taken the 12-week course ourselves and gleaned so much from it.
One thing is certain – you can’t ignore your finances and likewise you can’t ignore your marriage. Both require continuous cultivation or weeds and decay are inevitable. This will certainly prevent the rich harvest we desire.