10 Habits of Happy Mothers--Habit #5

Well, I'm half way through the 10 Habits of Happy Mothers book, and habit #5 is:

Create a Healthier Relationship with Money

When my husband and I had our new home built, the whole process was a nightmare. I won't digress into details, but I fell into such despair over the process, and the ways that my husband and I (separately) attempted to handle the stress, that I thought I would lose my mind. My drug of choice was spending.

During one particular month, I don't think a single day went by that I wasn't trolling one of the three Gabe's or Big Lots stores in our area. I justified my purchases two ways: I was buying new home decor for our house; and I would always buy my kids something they picked out. I tallied up the receipts for my purchases at the end of that month and they were over $1,000. Crazy, huh? Today, I'm still dealing with the effects that my behavior has had on my kids, which grieves me.

The point Dr. Meeker was making with this chapter is that kids don't care about stuff as much as they do having us interact with them. I agree; but once again, Dr. Meeker is off base with her assumption that we can handle our feelings about money on our own (Meeker, page 105).

It is possible to stop spending, but then we will jump to eating, or exercise, or perfectionism. When we have an unhealthy relationship with money, or anything else, it is due to not being in right relationship with God. Instead of going to God with my pain during that home-building crisis, I comforted myself with things. All I thought about was what I would or could buy next. I worshiped stuff.

When God is on the throne of our heart, nothing else takes first place. If we know God, and we know how he loves us, then we won't use money (and the things it can buy) to fill a hole that only He can fill.

"But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness," (1 Timothy 6:6-11 NASB).