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A status seeker is concerned with impressing people. Therefore, the frustration of being married to one comes when his spending centers on what will be seen by the public rather than what will best meet the family's needs.
To a status seeker, having a large house on the right street is more important than whether or not he has a good insurance policy. Having the right automobile and the correct label on his clothes can seem as important as the character of the person who has them. The expenditures for the designer items he insists upon are likely to put a strain on the average income and a strain on you, as his spouse.
Realize that you have the ability to meet his need for approval. Your respect will not give him a big head, and your affirmation can go a long way in filling his desire to be esteemed. You certainly approved of him at one point in your relationship or you wouldn't have married him. With enough respectful love, the status seeker might seek the status of being the best husband.
The Artist. If your husband is an artist, he spends practically every cent he can gather on some type of special collection: antiques, books, cars, tools, sports or something he considers significant. Why, you may wonder, would this wonderful man not want to budget some money for the family vacation, the Christmas club, emergencies or a better car? It is because none of these matter to the artist.
If you are married to an artist, you may find yourself thinking, "I wish he would pay as much attention to me as to those stupid \_\_\_\_\_\_\_." The bad news is that the artist doesn't initially think in terms of people. But there is some good news: If you prioritize the artist's method of expression and you have recognized his need, he is unlikely to be preoccupied with how you feel the rest of the money should be used.
The world's great inventions come from artists who are more fascinated with what they can produce than with who notices it. Yet, as a wife who is good to her husband on purpose, you learn that noticing is the avenue to romance with the artist. Respect his financial perspective. When you understand his work, you are loving him.
The Aspiring Millionaire. U.S. News & World Report (February 1989) reported that the typical millionaire is an individual who has worked eight to 10 hours a day for 30 years and is still married to his or her high school or college sweetheart. A New York executive research firm, in a study of 1,365 corporate vice presidents, discovered that 87 percent were still married to their first and only spouse. Staying married may not make you a millionaire, but statistically, there is a better chance of becoming one if you stay married than if you don't.
What is it, though, that makes a truly aspiring millionaire go for the gold? Not security--if he were interested primarily in security, he would accumulate bits of money into a tidy sum and not take risks to make it big. Not pleasure--if he were interested primarily in pleasure, he would not work hard enough and long enough or invest enough to become a millionaire.
Not popular approval--if he were interested primarily in popular approval, he would hand over too much control to other people's opinions. Not self-expression--though aspiring millionaires have more in common with artists than they have with those in the other categories. So what does make an aspiring millionaire tick?
Quite often he is proving that he can accomplish what some significant person (one whom he respects from his past or present) thought he could, or he is proving that he can achieve what that significant person thought he never could. It makes no difference whether or not that significant person is still around.
If your husband has this financial philosophy, he will work long hours, he may risk the family fortune, and you may live like paupers in order for him to succeed. You must be very patient. Recognize his efforts on your behalf and let him know you appreciate him.
No matter which financial philosophy you or your husband may have, there is one aspect of finances that matters more than any other. That is the biblical principle of tithing. God instructed His people to give the first 10 percent (a tithe) of their income.
In a culture where money and possessions are practically worshiped, tithing is a powerful step of faith and an effective way to force your spirit to rely on God. He wants you to give. When you do, you are blessed in various ways.
But agreement on this issue is important. All the money you have belongs to both you and your husband. If he strongly opposes tithing, pray that God will change his attitude.
There is no reason for you to carry any guilt about it or to sneak money into an offering plate and hope he never finds out. God knows the desire of your heart and the constraints you face. He will honor your respecting your husband in this as well as in all other areas related to your finances.
Becky Hunter is the wife of Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Longwood, Florida. She is the author of Being Good to Your Husband on Purpose, published by Creation House Press, from which this article is adapted.
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