Renata is a Christian wife and mother who seeks to live for Christ… I appreciate her willingness to share this wisdom! :). We were talking on another post about fathers who push their daughters to pursue high status and high paying careers over marriage and how fathers want to see their daughters have “financial security.” Here is what my friend, had to share with the single ladies:
Structural soundness is at least as important as financial security. And never forget that if you are working toward financial security, there are two ways to get there- earn more and spend less.
Within marriage, the best arrangement is a wife who is structurally dependent on the husband but who makes it possible for them to spend very little to get a decent lifestyle (home cooking, for instance). The husband is the earn more category. The wife is the spend less. This is the most structurally sound model for marriage, practiced continuously for thousands of years throughout history. What we have seen in the past 100 years or so is really a historical anomaly.
That is why it is really, really important for girls to learn about managing finances and managing their desires for material goods.
Women are the creators of experiences for their families –
- comfort bringing family meals
- peace and serenity created by bright clean home spaces
- anticipation while cookies are baking and cooling
- knowing that hot tea awaits family members when they come in from the cold
- the warm feeling inside family members when they see that someone remembers them and is making all the food that they like, etc.
We have been trained since birth to purchase things when the desire for real human experiences arises instead of to create them.
So often I have wanted to buy this or that because I felt it would make be able to feel certain things-
- to feel what a fresh clean airy spacious house free of cares or duties felt like
- to feel seductive
- to feel competent
- to feel authentic and not like a pretender
- to feel home comfort
- to feel like I will have finally arrived and can stop striving
But these advertisers steal something more than your money, they steal your ability to create feelings for yourself, to savor them, to own them. So, after largely winning the battle with my finances, I look at each purchase now and ask myself if I am buying a feeling when I should be creating one (creating an experience that feeds the part of the soul starving for some human warmth).
Dignity, bonding, joy, savored delights- these things really can’t be bought.
You will probably laugh at me, but there have been so many times that I have wanted to move to a new house, and I have cured that longing with a total scrubbing down of my family’s current home. Cleaning until it is beyond sparkling. Throwing out papers and junk until it is uncluttered and crisp looking. And then I find that my house is satisfying again. It is a dumb example, sure, but I was searching “out there” for a feeling “in here”.
Don’t buy feelings.
This simple change solves a lot of budget problems.
To learn how to be a godly steward of your finances and how to live debt-free, check out Dave Ramsey’s books and materials.
I don’t laugh at you, Renata, at all! I know when we were selling our old house to buy a bigger one – once we had half of our stuff moved out and had it all cleaned up and staged – I didn’t want to leave! It looked like a new spacious, beautiful, glorious house! I was actually willing to part with half of our possessions, but Greg decided it was time to move. So that is what we did.
But – this is SO important. This advice goes way beyond finances. I am so thankful for your willingness to share, my precious sister!
I know MANY women and relationships and families will be blessed!