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Oct 4, 2011

Love, Sacrifice and Money

What effect do finances have on your marriage? What about the relationships of your family? Do you grow closer as a family when money gets tight or does the stress tend to create barriers in relationships?

These questions were posed in my last class period and I was fascinated to note the responses. When these questions were presented, more students raised their hands for the "makes us closer" question. I was one of the only ones that raised my hand for the "puts up barriers" response. I stopped to think for a minute... Was my family inherently selfish? Did we have some sort of problem that needed counseling?

I pondered on the subject. Of course the answer that everyone wanted to give was that financial hardship had made them closer as a family. I would have responded the same way if I had not stopped and broke down my family structure in my mind. Really, on the surface it seemed that we were closer, but I noticed that barriers between certain family members became much more rigid, and I also noticed that fights and offenses happened more frequently and at a more severe degree when money was tight. I remember my sister wanting to take dance lessons, but my mom denied it to her when times were particularly hard, telling her that she had to make the money on her own to pay for dance lessons. My sister got mad, and accused my mom of being a tight wad, and that all she cared about was our musical education and that other families just like us could afford things like dance lessons. The house had quite a ominous mood for a couple days after that spat.

Evidence that financial difficulties can lead to family stress or even divorce is very evident in articles and opinions that have been done on causes of divorce. Probably one of the higher causes of divorce is finance troubles.  Although I submit that is not the "real reason" for separation and family barriers.

Perhaps those other people in our class really did have a closer family during difficult financial times.... and our family had missed something important. What was our family missing? What are all those other families missing that would make their home life happier when times get hard?
I submit that it is easy to want justice, equality, fairness, whatever you want to call it, in our home relationships. The reality is though, what makes a house a home, and what keeps people loving one another is sacrifice,and love. It does not take each member giving 50% and 50%, it takes each person giving 110% in the marriage.

It is easy to forget when we feel gypped, that to make things work out, we might have to be the one to go without. I promise that the way to come closer as a family is to be willing to love and to sacrifice. Take time to examine your own family mechanics and see where there can be more love and sacrifice. Don't make the mistake of thinking "This only happens to other people" or "I have it all figured out". The reality is, we don't. All of us will spend our lives learning to maintain good marriages and family life. It is worth it.

Here is a clip on understanding sacrifice and love see the clip below
Christ is the perfect example of both of these qualities:

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