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we can buy things we can’t afford now and pay for them later. Too easily, married couples find themselves neck-deep in debt and perhaps only ankledeep in love. In the late 1980s, the average indebtedness of a 28-year-old in the U.S. was $66,000. Forty percent of Christian couples were paying at least $2,000 per year in interest, not counting mortgage interest. One survey showed that 20 percent of “Christian” couples were on the verge of divorce and that 90 percent of these couples pointed to financial problems as a factor in their marriage stress. What is financial bondage? It is when we cannot do what is right or proper for ourselves, for our family, or for the Lord because of overriding interests or obligations in financial matters. Bondage may come from the pressure of debt, unpaid bills, or business entanglements. On the other hand, it may be the result of wrong financial attitudes, such as a desire for wealth, worry over investing, or a willingness to cheat in business deals. Staying out of financial bondage is possible only by a steadfast commitment to the principles of God’s Word and by applying common sense to financial decisions. Consider the following pointers: • Seek God’s kingdom above all else. • Be honest, fair, and generous in all financial dealings. • Value family togetherness and upbuilding activities above financial gain. • Use your money for the glory of God. You are its manager, not its owner. • Look for opportunities to invest in eternal ventures, not earthly ones. • Avoid all material involvements which conflict with your spiritual goals. • Avoid partnerships. • Avoid borrowing, especially for consumable or fastdepreciating items. • Do not use credit cards unless you pay the accounts off each month. • Never co-sign a loan. • Pay bills promptly. • Pay taxes honestly. • Work hard, live simply, give liberally, save wisely. 2. Irresponsibility According to the Bible, the husband is responsible to lead out in the home and to provide for the needs of his wife and family. The wife is responsible to support her husband in his work 40 | Loaves & Fishes • Issue 32


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