Her hair stood out as if it had rubbed against racks of clothes all day, and her tank top was frayed as if she'd been in a fight while grabbing an early bird deal. Her tween daughter looked slightly euphoric, as if she was willing herself to be patient. Mom was only one of thousands of mothers who must've braved the stores this weekend for ... Tax Fee Shopping Days! It heralds a new school year, and the lady in front of me had obviously taken full advantage of it. Balancing a large purse and a handful of packages, she used her head like a vice to talk on her cell phone.
She screamed in a voice desperately needing a Diet Dr. Pepper, "They were having a huge sale. I'm just buying a few shirts. .... WHAAAAT? ... Well I don't need 'em, but they're cute, and the girls want 'em, and I'm gonna buy 'em! I'll be home later."
Maybe she was talking to her sister, but I instinctively felt bad for her husband ... he probably needed a Dr. Pepper!
When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he wanted them to understand that married couples are called to live in an attitude of mutual yielding to each other. Specifically, encourage wives to:
"... submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior." (Eph. 5:22-23)
The word for submission is really a Greek military word, but when it was used in a "civilian," tax-free-back-to-school-shopping kind of way, it describes "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden."
Even in the use of funds we share, we have the opportunity to be "submissive," to have a voluntary attitude of cooperation, honoring his desires and leadership, even in his absence. It means:
- We don't go home with prepared apologies for excess store receipts.
- We don't use the grocery money for cute shirts and accessories and try to cover up.
- We don't withhold receipts and hope he won't find out.
- We don't hide bags in the car and bring them out one every few days.
- We don't ignore the budget we've established together.
- We don't allow ourselves to buy by impulse ... despite clearance % & cuteness.
- We don't speak bitterly about what our husband provides or our family standard.
- We don't let our children drive our decisions, instead of our spouse.
- We don't forget that we're stewards of what the Lord gave us.
- We don't tell ourselves we owe it "to us" because "he bought ..."
There are so many times our husbands aren't with us to "agree" with each spending decision. Internet shopping has made it easier than ever to spend in private and instantly. How tempting. It's like "stealth shopping." Even charitable giving can be as easy as hitting a "donate" button, but when we do it apart from our husband's headship, we risk undermining his leadership and hurting his trust in us. As people give through the S.O.S. Somalia on Saturdays project, I hope married women who give will do it with the blessing of their husband.
My own husband is away this week ... too far away to know just what I'm spending or if I'm taking myself to the spa. ;) But as Christ is the head of the Church, my husband is my head, and I want him to be honored when he sees what I've spent out of what we share when he returns. I want my spending to demonstrate my respect for his leadership and my love for him.
- Medium Diet Dr. Pepper while bargain hunting = $1.59
- Gas to drive while saving money = $3.58 per gallon
- New blue jeans for school (on sale) = $19
- The trust of my husband's heart = priceless
Are you loving your husband from your wallet?
With your checkbook?
With your PayPal?
With your credit card?