Posted by: Bro. Lawrence D. | September 3, 2008

Being Honest About a Christian Husband’s Marital Tension, Part 2

The last time I visited this subject my main purpose was to spur you to pray for all of the Christian married couples that you knew and even those that you didn’t. This post is not much different in that it is mostly a plea for the same but for a different reason. The last time we looked at a Christian married couples togetherness in regards to ministry. However, this time I wanted to address something that may have been in back of that tension.

Remember that I referenced this text “but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interest are divided…but one who is married is concerned about the things of this world, how she may please her husband.” (I Corinthians 7:33-34) Remember that I came to the conclusion that many of the brothers across the country with whom I had been conversing were experiencing the tension described here as it pertains to ministry. However, today I’m concerned with natural matters.

Here are the verses:

Matthew 6:19-21 (all scriptures in NASB) “Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Colossians 3:1-3 “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

Here’s the situation:

My wife and I desire to purchase a home. For the past four months, we have been searching for the right property at the right price. We have physically entered over one hundred houses in that time. Because of my work schedule I’ve set aside at least two Monday’s a month, specifically, to accomplish this task. We’ve had, as you’ve probably figured out by now, a very unsuccessful journey. We chosen nine houses, put an offer on five, rescinded one offer and have had no offer accepted. We’ve been approved for the down payment assistance offered in our city (up to $60,000). But we’ve been priced out of our city because of the size home we feel we need. We’ve been approved for a loan in advance. We’ve been approved for the State of California’s home buyers’ assistance program. But we can’t get an offer accepted. We’ve been either too late or the offer has been too low, even when we’ve offered asking price. We’ve even over bid on two. One house was even taken off of the market while our bid was on it and placed back up two weeks later at $40,000 more. Then the price on that house was dropped $20,000. And I could go on and on and on with more details of our struggle. But needless to say, my wife and I have experienced disappointment several times. We’ve experienced a cycle of excitement, impatience, frustration, disappointment, melancholy, apathy (mostly me, lol), and then guilt for feeling anyway except optimistic. 

My tension has been in experiencing and dealing with real and raw human emotion, while at the same time maintaining an outward display of gratitude towards God for all of His blessings. Trust me, I am thankful! Specifically concerning the natural rhelm, I have every need met. We have been renting the same house for four years with no rent changes. We are in debt but it’s manageable and every bill we have is current. We have food in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Our closets and dressers are full of clothes. We have reliable transportation and a schedule that allows us to only need one car. And all of us are in good health. As you can see, we have no reason to complain. At all!

But here’s my issue. Have I violated the scriptures above? I ask because I have allowed the fact of not being able to secure a home, to affect me emotionally. My wife and I both have let it affect us negatively. For instance:

When my credit score keeps us from getting a better loan rate it only brings to mind the times when I trusted a roommate to pay the bills, which were in my name, and they pocketed the money. Or the time I secured a loan for my parents to buy a home, only to watch my dad get ill, die, and then my mother, who didn’t work, hold on to the house for a full year without being able to make the payments. Or the time I had a car repossessed because I had my insurance company pay a family friend to fix the car after an accident and he pocketed the money without fixing the car. The car ended up being towed by the police, who in turn contacted the finance company, who then repossessed the car because of loan term violations. I failed to “protect the value of the car”. And all the time my credit score went down, down, down. Now imagine how each time my credit score is an issue, I have to wrestle with whether or not I have forgiven all of the people I hold responsible for it. And to be honest, I ask myself why God hasn’t stepped in to make it a non-issue. I don’t ask God why. But it does enter into my mind.

Also, when the income is an issue it brings to mind our decision for my wife to be a stay-at-home mom. At the time, when she was five months pregnant with our second child, we believed it to be the best course of action for us to take. We had no one reliable or near who could responsibly take care of them. We were very nervous about the prospect of daycare. In essence my wife would be working partly to pay daycare.  And we were being taught in our church at the time, that it was the biblical model for a wife to stay at home with the children and for the husband to go out and work to provide for them. (I now see this as a personal matter in each couples conscience that should be worked out between them just in case you were wondering, lol) So now each time the issue of income comes up, again I ask myself why God doesn’t just step in and make it a non-issue. To top it off, the irony is that my wife’s credit is great but I have the income.

So back to the issue. As I look at these verses, I can’t help but wonder if it’s a failure on my part to obey them that is causing my tension. Have I made these houses or the prospect of owning one a treasure? Have I ever put forth this much effort to disciple anyone? (His kingdom) Have I ever put forth this much effort to study the scriptures and pray as a means of fighting all remaining sin in my life? (His Righteousness) All I can say so far is OUCH! Have I set my affections on these houses or on the prospect of owning one? Is it a lack of trust in God’s promises, like Romans 8:28? Do I really believe that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose?  Is it impatience? Or is it simply just a matter of sinful man reacting to not getting his way?

Whatever the tension may be a result of, I desire that you would pray for my wife and I and for any other couple who may be going through similar tension. And we shall endeavor to do the same for you.

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Responses

  1. O bro, most definetly we will be praying for you and your family. I have asked myself the same questions. But you did mention something that God has shown many times. We have food on the table, bills up to date, rent hasn’t change, all our needs being met. There’s where God is on the issue and that’s where we can thank Jesus and praise God for! I know man, the question comes up and we think back on the past things that have happened. I am encouraged that you did not badger the Lord Jesus. I have, to the point I was shaking my fist in anger to the sky. Real Christian there huh? Anyways, a commonly, and sometimes misquoted scripture;

    But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

    Really exegete that text and see. Man, I love you brother, just so real with what you have stated here. I understand where you are coming from. I am there now with similiar tension. I admit though I want the easy way out. Some fast money or a quick loan, and my financial problems are solved! Not so, God is with me and He’s with you. Thanks for letting me share here, May His grace continue to be with you Bro Lawrence. In Christ;

    Karsten Miller

  2. Brother KM!

    Thanks man! I’m so glad I know so many young, married, Christian couples who have similiar struggles. We can bind together in prayer for one another. Peace and blessings to you and your family, man of God!

  3. Bro LD! I just stumbled onto your blog and it has encouraged me! I’m A “Old School” Christian, in my late 40’s, but I too will join you all in prayer for one another! We all need prayer from others daily!

  4. Welcome Brother Rhodeman! Thanks for stopping by and for the prayers! Feel free to add any names to the list.

  5. Brother Lawrence,

    It is amazing you have placed these words on this site and I have read them this night. I have been on that side of the fence my brother but now on the other side of the fence. We have had a lot of financial problems but God has always seen us through.

    In the midst God has managed to keep all in tack. I must admit it gets a little nerve wrecking at times but God has shown himself faithful as always.

    As I was riding home a few minutes ago I felt the pressures of marriage and eveything that it entails. God placed the smelling salt under my nose and I was forced to deal with own depravity. This caused me to let me guard down and to be real with God. In our quest to be great men sometimes brother I am finding out we need a moment to release. (the importance of prayer)

    It has taking me 34 years to come to that conclusion.

  6. Amen Bro. Brian, Amen! I’ll add you and your family to the prayer list immediately.


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