Financial responsibility in marriage

As much as everyone wants a better life for themselves, marriage shouldn’t be a means of achieving things selfishly but for the addition of someone else into your personality for a common goal. Marriage is not about getting tied to a rich spouse or a very domestic person. There are other things which are major! There are people married to rich persons but cry on a daily basis wishing the hands of time would be turned back. I have seen women praying that their husband lost all their money because to them, that money is the root of their problem. There are also people married to very beautiful spouses but suddenly realizes that beauty is not enough! When we make material things the reason for marriage, we will soon find out that nothing is as valuable as peace.

Marriage isn’t about having a woman who is presentable so that you can be envied at occasions. It is not about having a man with whom you feel poverty has been alleviated. Marriage is very much more than that. Rich or poor, be sure it’s someone you can build a home with. There are very poor but bad husbands and I am not saying good men are found in the circles of poverty anyway. What I am saying is “marriage should be a coming together of two persons who have found a purpose-meet in themselves.” This is God’s design for marriage. Many who went in selfishly are crying. I meet them on a daily basis as I am privileged to talk to some of them.

It is better to marry someone whose heart and yours truly reconcile as one and gearing towards the same purpose. I know you’re entitled to your choice but I beg you to make the right choice. Talking about making the right choice, a lot of women talk so much about marrying a man who can take care of them and that is fine but every woman has to be able to take care of their families too. Sometimes, we interpret these things wrongly and assume it is the man that must foot every bill and do every kind of financing but that is very wrong. Marriage is a partnership! The Bible says in Malachi 2:14 “…though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.”

Marriage should be about making the other person better and helping him or her fulfil destiny. The woman isn’t coming into a man’s life to help him wash plates and cook food! This is what many people have reduced marriage to. Taking care of the family which includes raising children isn’t left for just one person alone! Both couples have to be responsible for caring for the family.

Financial responsibility in the home is not gender-based and every woman ought to be financially responsible as much as the man. I don’t know about the practices in the United States and other countries but in Nigeria, we always hear people make statements like “the woman’s job is to take care of the kids and the man’s job is to provide.” I think that is wrong because, in the Bible, we have instructions for both parents in training the children. There is also an idea that “his money is our money and my money is my money” which I believe is very devilish. As long as both of you work, both of you should foot the family bills and take care of the children. Children are supposed to have the intimacy of both parents and learn from them.

It’s a disgrace to the office of the wife to wake up every morning and stretch your hand to demand money for food from your husband when you’re working. At home then (and now), mum usually foot the bills for food, Digital TV subscription and much more! Dad also foot certain defined bills! There were things mum would warn us never to demand from Dad and she is the one that takes responsibility for those! Mum usually bought things like textbooks, exercise books and so on while Dad paid the school fees because he earned higher than her. Dad never convinced mum to be doing it, she just felt she should be doing it.

When a woman parade herself as “Oriaku” (a term in the Igbo language which means “wealth consumer”), I bow in shame for her sake! The Bible talked about the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 and the Bible says she work, earn, provide food and buy lands to expand her business. You’ve got to be doing something. The Bible says about the virtuous woman “…She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night… She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” Proverbs 31: 17-18,24. A wife should be doing something great too, every wife should first be a carrier woman who doesn’t depend solely on the wealth of the man.

Except on mutual agreement with strong reason and purpose, find a job as a woman, sharpen your skills and go into the labour market. Don’t dream small, dream big! Many men view their wives as properties because they believe they paid her bride price, foot bills for wedding and is responsible for feeding her. While it shouldn’t be so regardless if she is working or not, women should stop making these men look down on them thinking they are just liabilities. Every woman deserves respect too and by tackling societal problems and getting paid for their services, they will command the respect they deserve.

Sometimes, it is more difficult for women to be as financially responsible as the man except they have built a strong stream of income that flows whether they are there or not. Women are more homely than men and would probably do more job in taking care of the home than men. Women build the home consciously and unconsciously, this is why a single mother would do better with children than a single father. As a result of the nature of the woman, pregnancy and childbirth can limit the productivity of the woman and every man must understand this and know that they have an upper hand in making provisions.

Care is also a way to love and aside from the contributions both couples make in the family, the man is wired to express love by giving and therefore should not let the society rewire him. A man who loves his wife will continue giving to his wife without having to set the table and do paper works in finding out how much the woman is earning and how much she is contributing. Both couples should know that marriage works so well when they are committed together to making it work.

~George O.N

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