Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Financial Wisdom for God's Glory 1

Leslie Basham: As you know, opposites attract, and when it comes to money and marriage, this can create some challenges. One woman describes her struggle.

Woman 4: Having a generous spouse, or thinking the generous vs. the stingy, I’m the stingy and I have a very generous husband. I’ll just be real honest about that. So a lot of times I feel very guilty for not being generous; he would give everything he has away.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, July 26.

Sub-prime mortgage; bail out; credit default swap. Back before words like these had entered the national vocabulary, many people were feeling pretty good about their finances and their future, but Jan Thompson had a concern.

Jan Thompson: Well, with Americans spending 10% more than they have coming in, it doesn’t take long to figure out how that is going to compound eventually and eventually bankrupt people. I think there’s a serious wave of some very challenging days coming with the creative finances that’s been done, with real estate for example. When I see certain types of mortgages that my clients have taken on, one of the first areas that we do is rework that because I know that they are heading for a ticking time bomb.

Leslie: Obviously, history proved Jan Thompson right. She’s a certified financial planner and author of a book called Managing the Money Maze. This week Jan will be providing helpful advice on finances from a biblical perspective.

When she visited our studio, Nancy Leigh DeMoss began by polling the audience. Nancy asked each member:

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: What’s a blessing related to the whole issue of money or a challenge or struggle?

Leslie: I hope you’ll answer these questions for yourself and then listen this week as Jan provides some insight.

To help you think through these issues, we’re going to hear from some of the blessings and the struggles of our audience speaking with Jan Thompson and Nancy.

Sandy: Immediately when you asked this question, I thought, “I have nothing.” But when I got to thinking about that, for about 25 years of my 28-year marriage, I was responsible for paying the bills and budgeting, which we never had, but a couple of years ago I just had to release all that.

I was never able to show my husband the true financial picture. Even though he’s always made plenty of money for us to be blessed with and survive, because he wanted to make certain investments and he wanted to buy certain things—and we’re talking large ticket items, real estate, etc.—I was never able to tell him, “No. This is not something that you should do.”

Even though I could see that our debt was almost at the same point of his investments at times, the profit and loss statement looked good. The assets were good, but at the same time we had the debt that was also growing.

About three years ago, when I just said, “I have to show him all this,” I literally put everything out on our dining room table. He just kind of took a big breath and just released it, and then said, “Okay, I have a plan.” And he has worked toward that, and I am so less stressed.

I make none of those decisions now. If he comes in and says, “How about if we buy a new computer, or let’s do this,” I just say, “If that’s what you want to do.”

He always knew how much money he was making. What he didn’t realize was how much it took to raise a family and to pay the bills and to make the mortgage payments and the real estate payments and all that. Now that’s just completely on him, and he has just risen to that and getting us out of debt.

Now when he gets that bonus, he knows where it’s going, and it’s not going to go on some little frivolous thing or even a vacation, like it used to be, where I was always wanting to pay a bill with it. Now he knows those bills need to be paid, and he’s almost got us completely out of debt just in a few years.

It’s just amazing to see him come and rise up to that challenge, but why I could not show that to him before . . . I just felt inadequate that I was not able to make everything be the way he wanted it to be, the picture he wanted to see.

Nancy: But ultimately God really used you as a helper to your husband, which is what God made you to be, and then gave your husband the desire and the commitment to have a plan. Listen to the freedom. You can see it in her face, can’t you? That comes from having a plan and working together as husband and wife. That’s a great testimony, Sandy.

Sandy: To me personally, it was a submission issue. I always considered myself a submissive wife, but when it came to actually letting him know, “No, it’s not the way that you think it is. I know you want to do these things, but we really shouldn’t.” I could not tell him no. I just could not tell him no. So now I just tell him, “Whatever you think is fine with me.”

That sounds so blasé, but at the same time, it’s put the responsibility on him where it should have been all those years. I sometimes grieve at the fact, “What would our marriage have been like if I had not taken that role from him when we were just young married people?” Just because I’m better at numbers—I’m a bookkeeper by trade—that doesn’t mean that should be my role in my marriage.

Nancy: We’re going to talk more with Jan about when one person in the marriage has a greater strength in the area of finances, how to utilize that strength, and how do you really function together as one is going to be the goal in your marriage and finances and in every other area.

Woman 1: I wish I had learned God’s principles early in life. That’s what you’re trying to do is teach people young in life because it sure can save you a lot of heartache. The number one issue in my marriage has always been the money, and it’s because one of us is generous and the other has a tendency not to be, and that’s a hard thing to do.

A lot of times, like you said with your husband, you feel like he’s making some decisions that you do not think are correct. How do you go about telling him? I was listening to David Jeremiah the other day on the radio, and he gave Esther as the example about praying a lot before you do that.

So I have been doing that recently on a situation my husband is in. He’s a contractor and building, and sometimes the lady’s perspective can be . . . I just have such insight. We can have insight that they don’t see.

It’s always been our issue. Our issue is money, and it truly is more blessed to give than to receive, it truly is, but that’s why I’m anxious to be here to hear your insight into this.

Nancy: Do you want to just say a word of hope?

Jan: There is hope. That goes into a whole interesting dynamic. Tom and I are exactly the opposite on these areas as well. I will share some tools and some real-life illustrations of how we’ve dealt with that and come to a middle ground of being generous but being wise at the same time.

Nancy: And become more one in your marriage as a result.

Jan: Oh, absolutely. That’s the whole point. God designed you not to be as two. If He put you together, then there’s a synergistic relationship He’s developing because you can be more effective for His glory together than you could ever be as singles, but learning how to complete one another and not compete and pull each other apart, it can be a challenge. You’re coming, like Nancy said, from very different backgrounds, but that is normal. If you were the same . . . You don’t need two of you, so by God’s grace and submission to Him ultimately and then submission one to another, you can actually find great harmony in this area.

Woman 2: One of the blessings of money to me is being able to give. We get lots of support letters from short-term missionaries, and we have ministries that we like to support, and that makes me very happy to be able to do those things. But part of the blessing of that is my husband is very willing to do that. I don’t have to beg or plead or cajole. I ask if we can give, and he says, “Yes.” Then we talk about how much we’re going to give. It’s just a real gift to have a husband who’s willing to give and shares my burden for that.

I think one of the challenges of money for us has been how to teach our children about spending and saving and living wisely. One of our older children said to us recently that we had not done a good job of preparing her for young adulthood. She’s 25. That was a real surprise to us because we thought we had done a pretty good job, but we messed up somewhere.

So it’s a challenge to know how much to help our kids out and how to much to have them pay for things and be responsible for their own support in life.

Woman 3: I guess a blessing for us is that recently I have been able to come home from work. We didn’t really know if that was going to happen, and it’s just been interesting to see how the Lord has worked that out. We haven’t had to sacrifice at all it seems. We’ve still been able to give.

We struggle some, too, with figuring out what’s the best use of our money. We don’t always see eye to eye on that, but it’s been a blessing to see my husband grow in his desire to give. He usually says that I am more of the giver. He’s more of the action, go and do, but I want to generally write a check. It’s kind of flip flopped recently with an organization that we had supported monthly financially. They needed some physical labor. I was able to say to my husband, “We do give fiscally, but we need to give physically.”

It’s just been interesting to see the Lord change those roles for us some and work that out for us.

Nancy: It’s interesting to hear how many of you are saying that things related to money have helped you grow, helped you grow in your marriage. Money is one of God’s key tools in the whole process of sanctification. It’s something that’s very earthly in material and temporal in one sense, but in another sense it is something that is an incredible tool to prepare us for eternity. I think we’re hearing that illustrated in what several of you are sharing.

Shirley: I characterize myself as a slow learner in this area. I’ve been a Christian since a child, and I’ve been married 38 years, but my husband has never had the desire to be the money manager in the family. I must admit I have felt like I could do better with that even though I’ve been aware that it should really be the male’s role. It’s always been stressful. I identify with those who have shared that.

I never thought I was quite managing it correctly because it didn’t stretch as far as I thought it should, but in the past year the Lord has enabled me to really give it over to Him. It’s still my responsibility instead of my husband’s, but the Lord has enabled me to trust Him with it and to let go of my grip on it just a little bit. So I feel like that’s the beginning of a change in that area of my marriage. I’m excited about being here today because hopefully I can learn some things to move us in the right direction there.

Nancy: Does your husband know that you’ve wished he would take more leadership in that? Is it something you talk about or you talked about it the first 15 years, and now you don’t talk about it anymore?

Shirley: No, not really. We don’t communicate very well with that. It’s something that we do need to communicate about.

Nancy: Does he know it’s a stress point to you?

Shirley: Probably.

Nancy: And his reaction to that is . . .?

Shirley: Still no desire to jump in there and help me with it.

Nancy: It’s just something he doesn’t think about? It’s not a bother to him?

Shirley: He doesn’t think about it. I think he thinks things are going along okay the way they are. So why bother?

Nancy: So you’ve got a lot to trust the Lord with.

Shirley: Yes.

Nancy: It sounds like He’s starting that process.

Shirley: Yes. That’s why I said I’m a slow learner. Maybe if I should have started trusting Him a long time ago with these things, and saying, “Okay, Lord. I can’t change this. You have to change me,” maybe things would have turned around a while ago.

Nancy: Well, it’s not too late to start trusting.

Shirley: That’s right,

Nancy: And you’re here.

Shirley: Absolutely. It’s never too late, and situations aren’t wasted either because we do learn from them and grow, and we learn to trust the Lord, absolutely.

Diana: I think my biggest challenge is also our biggest blessing. My husband and I made a decision a few years ago to simplify our lives and move out of the high-pressure corporate thing, and ended up in Arkansas. We took a huge cut in pay and a cut in lifestyle, and the Lord has done so much in our lives since that time.

I’ve had the opportunity to take a bigger cut in pay to have a job that I really love that’s also afforded my husband the ability to go to college to become a minister, which is what his heart’s been for 20 years, but he just never felt worthy. He never felt like he could really do it. We had four kids, and they’re grown now.

It’s kind of like starting over. It’s really a huge challenge, but it’s so amazing the way God is working through everything in what we’re doing. It’s just a blessing to know that we feel like we’re right with His plan for us. It’s a challenge, but it’s amazing.

Nancy: There’s so much freedom when you’re seeking the Lord and then knowing you’re where He wants you to be in the whole area of your job, your finances, your planning for the present and for the future. It’s neat to hear you share, Diana, the freedom that’s given you and your husband, even though it’s involved some massive changes.

Woman 4: I think a blessing that came right to my mind when you said that was a very difficult time in my life. I had moved back to live with my parents. I was pregnant with my third child, and my husband had left. We went from a very significant income to no income overnight. He lost his job. I didn’t know how in the world I was going to buy groceries, pay for the doctor bills.

God time after time in that situation blessed me. One time I remember the child I was pregnant with had to have tubes in her ears. It was going to cost me about $300. I said, “I don’t have $300,” but she needs them, so I just stepped out in faith and said, “I’m going to go ahead and do this, and I’m going to trust God to provide.” He continues to provide for me, and He did then. A friend sent me a check in the mail out of the blue for $300. She said, “My husband told me to send you this.” She knew nothing about it.

That was just a "Wow God moment" when He provides what you need. That was pretty awesome to remember.

The challenge of finances I would say is very similar to what some of the other people were saying about having a generous spouse or being the generous vs. the stingy spouse. I’m the stingy one, and I have a very generous husband. I’ll just be real honest about that. So a lot of times I feel very guilty for not being generous. He would give everything he has away, and I’m like, “But we have four kids, and we have to put them through college.” I’m the very methodical thinking one. “We have to be secure; we can’t give all that money away. We have to do this, and we have to do this.” So there’s that struggle, but he’s just super generous, and I’m looking at him scratching my head. It’s amazing.

Woman 5: I think the blessing would be similar to what other people have said, just seeing God provide. There was a time when we were in school and we should not, on paper, have been able to make it. We should have had to go into debt, but we didn’t, and we came out with money to spare. It was really neat to see that and very faith building.

The challenge is also a blessing. I think my husband and I are very like-minded, which is nice. We don’t argue about money, but we’re both savers. So unlike everybody else with the one generous and the one stingy spouse . . .

Nancy: You’re both stingy. (laughter)

Woman 5: Yes. We both tend to . . . yes, basically. We do give, but we really struggle with the bounds of what is prudent. Kids are going to be needing to go to college. How much should we be saving, and retirement and all that. And even spending. I think our kids think we’re pretty tight, too. Where’s the bounds between giving to them and this scarcity mentality and teaching them to be good stewards? We kind of go back and forth on that, and then it can just become a pride issue, too. We struggle there.

Holly Elliff: I think money is a constant challenge for us. We have a really large family, lots of kids, and not a giant salary necessarily. So, for us, it has been both a blessing and a challenge in the sense of, as we trusted God with the size of our family, watching Him provide, and of course, on the challenge end, we’re always having to trust Him to provide for the next things coming up.

Right now we have one entering college—our fifth one entering college; one getting married; one expecting; one moving to another state, and so it’s just a constant challenge that’s really a faith venture. My husband really loves trusting God, so it’s very easy for him to say, “Oh, yeah, we’re just going to jump out here and trust God,” and he is sure that God is going to be there, and He is.

For me, it’s a little more of a challenge to have to get before the Lord and say, “God, I know You’re big enough to do this. I just don’t quite understand how You’re going to do this.” On paper, our life does not work, and it’s amazing how God does that.

Jan: Exactly. You’re absolutely right.

Nancy: We were talking about that last night.

Jan: Yes, we were. In fact, my husband is going like this. . . .we’ve got the same roles. “We’re just going to trust God.”

Nancy: When you begin to live that way and walk that way, it will sometimes baffle accountants because, on paper, it doesn’t all really make sense.

Jan: Yes. Right. I tell my clients when I’m working with them and they’re Christians, “There’s a God-factor in this equation. All the spreadsheets I can run and the beautiful reports and projections are absolutely meaningless if God is not in this equation. So there’s some of this we can’t quantify that’s totally up to Him.”

Nancy: That’s a good illustration of that.

Kim, you have a lot of experience trusting God, too.

Kim Wagner: Yes. I have so many stories of how He’s blessed us, just like Holly was saying. I was already thinking about that. If you looked at our paperwork, financially, people would not believe how God has blessed us and also allowed us at times to be blessings.

But thinking about training your children in this, recently this has really come home to us. We want to train our children to be generous and to be giving. Our son started his first job this summer. So last Wednesday he got his very first paycheck he had ever received. We sat down with him that evening to go over a budget, to say, “All right. Let’s look at how you’re going to portion this amount out.”

We let him start off first because we told him, “You’re going to need to be paying for your gasoline, and there’s other things, obligations, that you’re going to need to start contributing to.” So when we sat down with him, and he started off, the very first thing he did was tell us the amount that he wanted to give to the Lord. That was such a blessing to me because that’s where he started, and it was larger than what I would have thought that he would have said.

Then we began listing the other things, and it’s just been a blessing to me to watch. Now, yesterday I asked him, “So how did it feel putting your offering in the offering box? How did that feel? Wasn’t that awesome just to give that to the Lord?”

He looked at me and said, “Well, mom, I just put my offering in.” Very unemotional.

But it’s just been a real blessing to watch his attitude toward money. Because he has been raised in a home that we have needed to live on a budget, he has had to live without what many of his friends have had. But he’s also seen God do miraculous things in providing for us in ways that we’re very, very blessed, not even from our own hands or our own income, but that God has sovereignly given us.

Leslie: You may have recognized those final two audience members: Kim Wagner and Holly Elliff, regular contributors to Revive Our Hearts. They and other members of our audience today have been talking with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and our guest Jan Thompson.

Nancy asked each person to identify one blessing related to money and one challenge. I hope you’ll think through your response to those two questions, then stay with us over the next few days as Jan provides good advice on your finances, all from a biblical perspective.

We think this radio series will provide motivation for you to make any needed changes in your finances, but remember, listening alone won’t change anything. I hope you’ll get a copy of Jan’s booklet, Managing the Money Maze. She’ll walk you through any next steps you need to take. You’ll be challenged to put God first, learn from examples of women in the Bible, and find out how their stories apply to your finances. It’s all in the booklet, Managing the Money Maze.

We’ll send you a copy when you make a donation of any amount to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. We pay our bills, thanks to listeners like you who believe in what we’re doing and want to keep the program on the air.

When you make a donation of any size at ReviveOurHearts.com, we’ll show our appreciation by sending the booklet Managing the Money Maze, or ask for it when you donate by phone. The number is 1-800-569-5959.

Survival, success, significance. Which of these words best describes your finances? Jan Thompson will help you answer that question tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

Jan Thompson is a registered representative offering securities through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA SIPC, and advisory services through Securities America Advisers, Inc. The information provided in this program is for general education purposes only and should not be construed as specific investment advice. Please consult a financial advisor regarding your specific situation prior to implementing an investment plan. 

The names used in this broadcast do not necessarily represent the experience of any one client. These examples are intended to illustrate various examples of investor psychology and should in no way be construed as an endorsement of the performance of services provided by Janice Thompson, Strategic Financial Solutions, Inc., or the Securities America companies.

 

 

 

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About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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