The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil
It’s not a verse that usually comes to me in relation to my marriage, but it was exactly what I needed to hear.
This verse about the love of money is not a verse that usually comes to me in relation to my marriage and with my spouse. Usually those verses are something like “Love is patient, love is kind …” But recently I was in a situation where this verse carried the power and revelation to set me free from a marital crisis, which inevitably would have ended up in offended, hurt feelings, arguments and stress.
Stress in the relationship
It’s no secret that a high percentage of marriages end in divorce. Though there are many reasons and many stories that are at the heart of divorce, one thing seems to be a common denominator of many: finances. Just about any married person you talk to has some sort of experience with this.
Finances are sticky. Trying to find the balance of spending, paying bills, saving, giving. Some of us have enough trouble striking that chord on our own without the input of another person. Marriage brings a whole new “gold mine” of opportunities.
Without going into great detail, my husband and I did not see eye to eye on the best way to use our collective money. While I had a long list of items I needed to get for the kids, for the house, etc., he didn’t see the need for things that he considered arbitrary. Meanwhile, what I was seeing was a lot of spending on his part on things which I considered unnecessary and wasteful. As we watched our money deplete in our bank account, we began to accuse each other of being the cause. He was frustrated that the grocery bill was too high. That made me upset: that he could be so concerned about the grocery bill, when he just recently bought a new vehicle. Even though I knew that there would be no end to the amount of blaming we could do, I felt I had to defend myself. So there we were, hurling accusations, blame and hurtful remarks back and forth.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. Actually, it’s really the only thing we argue over and it almost seemed to be becoming a regular occurrence. But it’s funny how, though you may be arguing over one specific thing, every wrong the other person has ever committed suddenly comes flooding back. So instead of just resolving a financial dispute, suddenly stress, tension and frustration trickles into every other facet of life.
However, this time it was different.
Love of money: My own life?
Something came back to me that I had heard at church about the difference between my own righteousness and God’s righteousness. My thoughts were filled with “a thousand voices” justifying why I was right in this situation, screaming out, trying to force my point across—my righteousness. But then I thought about Jesus and His righteousness. As He was ridiculed, ignored, threatened and eventually killed, “He opened not his mouth.” (Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 2:21-23.) He was truly righteous, because He went the way of humility. He went the way of peace. He didn’t try to force His own way or try to convince everyone to see His point. Was that the course I was taking?
No, but I felt like if I didn’t push my way, then I wouldn’t get what I wanted. I need stuff for the kids! I need stuff for the house!
But then, revelation from heaven came!
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10.
When hearing this verse, one usually thinks of world hunger and corrupt governments. But when God spoke these words to me, it was as though a chain had been broken. I wasn’t standing there, struggling anymore. It’s in my own life, in my own thoughts, that I need to apply God’s Word. Suddenly, the solution became very clear to me. I was holding tight onto “my own righteousness.”
The truth was, I was placing love of money, and all that that implies, higher than my love for my partner, my marriage vows, and God’s commandments. Trying to force my way, my point, my demands onto my spouse was like assisting Satan in his mission to split up couples and wreak havoc on my life and my family.
Satan has been exposed!
When I realized this, I knew that Satan had been exposed. Love of money really is at the root of all kinds of evil, and it’s Satan’s number one weapon in destroying the world. He does it by first penetrating marriages, families, relationships, until the destruction spreads like cancer across a nation. But I can stop him right in his tracks by making sure that this tactic has no place in my life. I got a hatred in my heart, right then and there, for all of the pointless, fruitless fighting and arguing, and for my own greed and selfishness. I went on the attack against Satan. If there’s anything he can’t stand, it’s someone who acknowledges the truth.
This light didn’t mean that now suddenly I don’t need the things on my grocery list anymore; but I got peace that God knows very well what I need, and my job is to seek His kingdom first. As we well know, arguing, disputes, my own will, demands—none of them have any place in that kingdom.
I was in the wrong. “But, your husband …” No. I was in the wrong. Is it wrong to need things for the house, or to buy groceries? Of course not, but that wasn’t the point. But the demands and irritation, all of the things coming up from my sinfulwere at the root of the problem, and that is what really needed to be addressed. Think of all the piercing sorrows I can be spared from because I now have this weapon in my arsenal—not to use against my husband, but to use against Satan himself! I praise and thank God for this revelation, and that I can follow Jesus in His righteousness and not be on the side of the accuser anymore.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.