I’m switching banks!

For years, the grocery budget has been a source of contention in our home. Each time my husband would get paid, I would pay careful attention to the money we had for groceries and plan my menu accordingly. I spent a great amount of time on that menu, especially when there wasn’t much money left over after our bills were paid. I would make out my grocery list, ensuring that only those ingredients that were absolutely necessary were on the list. And every time my husband went to the grocery, he would come home with stuff that was not on that list. Absolutely unnecessary (to my mind), frivolous expenditures that resulted in an argument the night he came home and a miserable amount of tension between us. Now, I’m sure that some of you are thinking “why didn’t she just go to the grocery herself?” And my answer is two-fold. First, my husband usually goes to the grocery because it’s simply easier that way. Our store is about 30 minutes from our house and he stops by while he’s in town, after work. But secondly, the “problem” wasn’t really about the groceries. It was, for me, about respect. In my eyes, my husband wasn’t considering my feelings when he bought more than what was on the list. He wasn’t considering the time and energy I spent preparing my menu, and the care I put into my list. In reality it was about control. I wanted to control our finances and I wanted my husband to submit to my plan. I had all sorts of plans for our extra money (look through my archives and you’ll see some of the wonderful planning I was doing!) I hated “wasting” money on food – especially unnecessary food (and by unnecessary I, of course, mean anything that wasn’t on my list!) So every week when my husband came home from the grocery, it was a problem. Even when I was able to hold my tongue, I would stew inside and spend a miserable few hours complaining about my husband in my heart.

But a few weeks ago, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head when I realized something. Never, NOT ONE TIME, during our life together have we ever been without food. That may not seem like an amazing thing in this world of loans and credit cards, but it really is amazing when you consider the fact that, until recently, my husband and I have never owned a credit card, we do not keep a savings account and we made up our minds long ago never to ask others for money*. We live paycheck to paycheck (personally, I like it that way) and what we get paid on Friday is what we have to live on until next payday. There have been times when we have had the barest amount of money to scrape by on and yet God has ALWAYS provided for all of our needs. There have even been times when, in a George Muller kind of experience, a friend has sent us home from her house with sacks full of canned goods – even though she had no idea we were in need.

Yesterday, as I was pondering some things I’m in need of right now, a verse of scripture came to my mind. “God will supply all of your needs according to His riches” (Phil 4:19). I’ve heard that verse a hundred times but it came alive to me in that moment. He will supply all of my needs according to HIS riches! Not according to my bank account, not according to my budget, not according to my grocery list… according to HIS riches. According to HIS bank account. According to HIS financial standing. It makes absolutely no difference what my budget says I can afford, I have an unlimited spending account with the Bank of God.

My husband is my authority. If he chooses to spend money in a way I (in all of my human wisdom) think is unwise, it honors God for me to honor my husband. It is far more effective for me to ask God to provide for us than it is for me to spend my time and energy in an attempt to control my bank account – and my husband. I have a promise from God that He will meet all of my needs… regardless of the amount in my checkbook.

“I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

*I should clarify that there have been times in our recent lives when we have asked to borrow money or have used credit cards. During the ice storm, we asked my Mother in Law to let us borrow money until we could pay her back with our tax return and recently when we had a situation with our car, we used a credit card to cover that. These types of things have happened during the last few months and I consider them a tremendous lack of faith on our parts. Not long ago, we cut up all our credit cards and have vowed to live the way we were living until recently, relying on God alone to supply all of our needs.

“I purposed to move men, by God, through prayer alone.” – Hudson Taylor.

Related Posts:

Testimony of Providence

Daily Bread

Sometimes I don’t want to “live in faith”

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10 Responses to I’m switching banks!

  1. Karin says:

    Very humble post! Since finding myself in a position where I have to support myself, I too have come to the realization that God’s bank runs differently than mine. I have also come to realize very clearly the difference between need and want!
    Thanks for the great post.

  2. wendy says:

    Great post. I have had a moment like that also, where God exposed my rebellious heart. We also live week to week, and we have never had a tragedy happen. For many years we had no credit cards, we were to poor to qualify! But they are a trap and once we got them we got caught in it. But now we are back to living week to week. And I will trust the Lord to supply.

  3. Emily says:

    I too have had to deal with a similar situation. In my life though, it’s not food. My husband loves to spend money on me and the girls. While I admit I do love to get presents I am always a little saddened at the money spent, even when it’s on things/toys for the girls. I remember several things that my sweet husband has bought for us that I have later taken back.

    The Lord has led me to a place that I had a hard time going. Like you, He has taught me to simply submit to my husband and trust Him to either deal with my husband’s spending or to cover the spending. It is not good for me to question his judgment in how he spends our money. I recently have had a lot dealings with the Holy Spirit regarding money, spending saving giving, etc.

    Great post. And great pictures!!!

  4. Erika says:

    I so agree! Trusting God to provide and to take care of my finances has probably been the toughest lesson to learn, and I swear we never seem to be finished learning about it either.

    I used to get really annoyed at my DH for similar frivolousness… I would so carefully plan the budget, right down to the last five dollars, and then he’d take $20 out of the bank account “just to have” and I’d get so mad… Well, in honesty, I still get mad and annoyed, but I am concious of that and ask God every time to help me stop being annoyed and it seems to be working.

    I’m chuckling to myself because you’ve just presented the most perfect solution to all the angst! Thank you, now when I am praying and asking God to supply all of our needs, I can include my husbands random desires as well. God’s riches are indeed limitless, what a great reminder!

  5. This post encouraged me so much! Especially to challenge my thinking to actually “enjoy” living paycheck to paycheck…I’m going to ponder that more in my heart. It really sounds like a good idea!

    I am thankful you came to this conclusion though, both for you and your man :)

  6. Mrs. Parunak says:

    Amen! What a wonderful post!

  7. Sarah D. says:

    Thank you for this post, and your humility/honesty. =) I can relate to all of it (the being upset with your husband, the unswerving faithfulness of God, and the realization that honoring my husband ultimately honors God).

    Thanks, again! =)

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