The Cost of Love: Exploring the Role of Money in Relationships
There is a reason why Jesus spoke about money so often. Money is the one god that has led nearly every person to turn their back on the Creator in pursuit of selfish desires. It is the golden calf (Exodus 31) of both ancient and modern times and even more so of our country. So what role can money play in relationships? In marriages?
Simple research reveals that a certain group of women who discover that their husbands cheat on them are more likely to remain married to their husbands than another group. What is the separation between these groups? True love? Adherence to a religious system? Kids? Money. A woman whose husband makes $40,000 a year is statistically much more likely to divorce her husband after discovering infidelity than a woman whose husband makes over $250,000. Middle class men seeking women are easy to come by, but a man with money who’s willing to share it, that’s a little harder to come by and even harder to give up. Money issues are stated as the reason behind so many divorces it is astounding and disheartening. This is not to say men are not guided by ulterior motives within relationships. As Copeland said,
“You should not be angry
If all she wants is your money
Oh, you should not be angry
‘Cause all you want is her body”
So many gods get in the way of love, and money is the loudest god calling for our worship. This is why Jesus commanded the man who had obeyed all of the commandments and wanted to have eternal life to sell all his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Him (Mathew 19:16-23). Jesus knew that there was one thing that would keep this man from being able to follow Him with all his heart, to truly love Him. Money, because the man was rich. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 that it is impossible to serve both God and money. How do we express our love for God? By loving others (Matthew 22:37-39). This is why the early church began to give all they had to those who were in need and had not. They realized that in order to truly love others, they had to stop pursuing money, and start pursuing the needs of others. Money stifles our ability to love. We are either so much in pursuit of it that we are blind to other’s needs or so much in love with it that we have no room to love anyone at all. To truly love God, to truly love our neighbors, to truly love spouses, we cannot love money. This is easy to say, but so difficult to really live. We are surrounded by the idea that it is our job, our goal in life to pursue money and everything else will follow—happiness, contentment, friendship, relationships, love. But Christians, Americans especially, need to realize that this could not be further from the truth that Jesus spoke. Money is a god that is ready and more than willing to divide, and deserves no opportunity to do so within any relationship.
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