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by Byron Ware


   

    Before there was video, or DVD, there were jerky faded memories on eight-millimeter film. My younger brother, Gordon, inherited some of the Ware family “oldies.” After viewing one particular reel he was shocked by what he saw. It was the pictorial recordings of one of my parent’s ski trips. Was it our mother being skied down the mountain on a sled, with a broken leg? No that, didn’t shock him. What shocked him were the married couples on the film, or should I say ex-married couples?

    Here were smiling, Christian, 30-something couples, enjoying skiing and each other’s company. They were in the prime of their lives; they had no kids with them, and no real stress. Of the eight couples on that film, only one couple is still married today. My father passed away at the age of 50, so I believe that would have been two couples. But, even taking that into account, this means three-fourths of these “Christian” marriages ended in divorce. No wonder Gordon was shocked.

    Why did three-fourths of those marriages end with a family-shattering split? Was it that specific slice in time? Was it unfaithfulness? Was it stress? Was it addictions? Was it in-law problems? I do believe it was combinations of some of these marriage challenges, and one other one. A marriage challenge that time has not diminished its corrosive effect on marriages; it has just gotten worse.

What was this common denominator in all of these divorces?
    What was this common denominator in all of these divorces? It was not inadequate income, mishandling money or huge debt; it was financial abundance. It is easy to see why marriages fail when consumer debt is increasing at the rate of $1,000 per second and hundreds of thousands of people are forced to declare bankruptcy each year. Like my brother, I find it harder to understand how God's blessing a family with so much can bring about their downfall.

    Did you know that the Bible has 2,350 verses that tell us everything we need to know about handling money? The church family I attend offers small group studies through Crown Ministries, Inc., a Florida based financial accounting ministry. Their goal is to help families understand finances based on God’s principles in small group studies. This includes families with financial abundance and those that are financially challenged as well.

    What is clear in America, and in American families, is that materialism is suffocating and robbing people of their emotional and spiritual vitality. When dealing with money our priorities can become shifted and enjoying money can turn into loving money. “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (I Timothy 6:9-10)

    Someday there will be friends or family viewing video of your marriage. Will they look back sadly at images of a once happy family? Or will they be celebrating a golden anniversary with a couple whose marriage was centered on God and his financial principles for living?

      © 2001, Byron Ware. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Byron Ware
      Publication Date: July 26, 2001


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