Bob Tamasy: I Now Pronounce You Debt And Debtor

Thursday, August 8, 2019 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Marriage is hard. Anyone who says differently has never tried it. Merging two people from different families and backgrounds, motivations and values, personalities and expectations. Two becoming one, as God prescribed in Genesis 2:24, is easier said than done.

 

When one or both parties show up at the altar weighed down by a pile of debt, the challenge becomes even harder. Almost as difficult as trying to climb Mount Everest wearing only a swimsuit and flip-flops. Experts say money problems are a major contributor to divorce.

 

My wife and I recently celebrated 45 years of marriage.

It’s been a wonderful journey of life together, but recalling the financial mountain we confronted early on makes me shudder. Somehow, we survived.

 

During my early single adult years, whenever I needed an emotional pick-me-up, the solution was to buy myself something. “Even if no one else cares about me, I love me!” was my self-indulgent rationale. It never occurred to me that the items I “bought” – even on sale –  figuring I could afford the monthly minimum payments, would cost me several times that amount in accrued interest. When we married, my wife “inherited” this debt.

 

Thankfully, we were introduced to biblical financial principles. Applying them was the start of escaping financial bondage. As Proverbs 22:7 asserts, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”The term “slave” is appropriate, because one deep in debt has no financial freedom. Mounting bills govern decisions; anxiety of indebtedness is ever-present. “I owe, I owe, it’s off the work I go!”

 

Introduced to wisdom from financial planners like Larry Burkett and Ron Blue, my wife and I discovered the Bible’s practical truths about finances every couple should learn before exchanging “I do’s.” Maybe you know someone about to walk down the aisle – or maybe you’re contemplating doing that soon yourself. Here are some of the sound principles we have learned:

 

Spend less than you earn.It’s said, “Expenditures always rise to level of income.” This is true of people working at minimum wage, as well as individuals receiving huge salaries. Whether you’re a corporate CEO, professional athlete, Hollywood celebrity or coffee shop barista, tomorrow’s wages aren’t guaranteed. “Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil” (Proverbs 15:16).

 

Avoid debt.Another translation of Proverbs 22:7 says the borrower is “servant” to the lender. This isn’t idyllic serving like the congenial staff of Downton Abbey; it’s grinding, unrelenting servitude, impeding our ability to make independent financial decisions. Handling money shouldn’t be an unending uphill battle.

 

Have a savings plan and a fund for emergencies. We should expect unexpected expenses, even though we won’t know where or when they will occur. Planning for the unplanned can help to avoid unnecessary debt. “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8).

 

Be rich in things focused on God.That new car, or that perfect house? Those are nice, but like all material things, they don’t last. We’re better off focusing on things that last forever.“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

 

Learn to be a generous giver.Jesus said it’s more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), and that’s true. Because as we give from our resources to help and serve others, it brings joy. There are many biblical passages that speak to this, but as Proverbs 11:25 declares, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

 

Wants are not the same as needs.In our materialistic society, we’re bombarded with messages promoting the latest and greatest gizmos and gadgets. It’s easy to become confused over what we need rather than we want. In Philippians 4:19, the apostle Paul wrote, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” The Scriptures offer no such promise for our wants or desires. 

 

God owns it all.This last principle is the most important of all. We tend to regard ourselves as owners of what we have, but from God’s perspective, we’re only stewards of what He entrusts to us.“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours…. Wealth and honor come from you, you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all”(1 Chronicles 29:11-12).

 

These guidelines are excellent for people of all ages, but especially for those in pursuit of marital bliss.  Without mounting financial pressures making marriage more difficult than necessary, the divorce rate would probably fall dramatically.


- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


"Who Would Have Ever Believed?" Is Topic Sunday At Middle Valley COG

Tiffany Mattison Serves As Relief Society President In Hixson

Bob Tamasy: Are You A Follower, Or Just A Fan?


Middle Valley Church of God, 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will lead a celebration of the "Victory in Jesus Christ" this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The celebration ... (click for more)

Relief Society is a worldwide women’s organization and an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has over seven million members in more than 188 countries and ... (click for more)

Even though I was never much of an athlete, for as long as I can remember I’ve been an avid sports fan. As a boy growing up in New Jersey, I became a New York Yankees fan when the likes of Mickey ... (click for more)


Church

"Who Would Have Ever Believed?" Is Topic Sunday At Middle Valley COG

Middle Valley Church of God, 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will lead a celebration of the "Victory in Jesus Christ" this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The celebration will include a message, "Who Would Have Ever Believed?" by Pastor Mitch McClure. "This celebration is a result of the victory brought to all believers through the life, death, burial ... (click for more)

Tiffany Mattison Serves As Relief Society President In Hixson

Relief Society is a worldwide women’s organization and an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has over seven million members in more than 188 countries and territories. The Relief Society General Presidency, under the direction of the First Presidency, oversees the activities of all women in the Church, ages 18 and over. Jean B. Bingham serves ... (click for more)

Breaking News

State Dismisses Manslaughter Charge Against Jadarius Knox; Anguished Mother Of Victim Says "He Didn't Have To Kill Him"

The District Attorney's Office on Thursday dismissed a voluntary manslaughter charge against Jadarius Knox, saying evidence in the case in which Dakota Biddle was killed showed a self defense theory could be found to be valid. Knox was original charged with criminal homicide in the May 2018 incident on Basswood Drive, but it was reduced to voluntary manslaughter at the Grand ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Ga. Town Center Work To Start Soon; Jim Sabourin Resigns From Council And Is Replaced By Kevin Leckenby

After eight years of talking and planning, Lookout Mountain, Ga., is ready to begin building a new Town Center. To begin with there will be two municipal buildings, City Hall and a fire station. The design of the area has space for private developers to build commercial buildings in the future. Adhering to design guidelines provided by the city and aiming for a cost of $2.8 ... (click for more)

Opinion

Are There Too Many Hamilton County Schools?

Two recent articles reveal a great deal about the present state of local public education. Mixing and matching information and reading between the lines reveals even more. First, there is that loooonnnngg list of Top Hamilton County Schools Salaries 2019. That nearly incredible list covers only salaries from $70,000 and up, and includes 290 different individuals -- approaching ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Drum Major For Peace

There have been many Christmas Seasons when I have looked high and low for Christmas Cards that included the poem, “One Solitary Life.” I came across the revered poem easily over 40 years ago during a kiddie matinee at the famed Radio City Music Hall, which is in midtown Manhattan. The Radio Music Hall is huge – it can comfortably seat 6,000 – and so awesome is the Christmas Spectacular ... (click for more)