On Friday the kids and I were listening to the radio while running errands. The DJs were talking about households in which married couples have separate checking accounts and each pay a designated amount of the monthly bills. To be honest, I’m not a big proponent of this. Granted, I understand there are circumstances where this is necessary. And can be healthy. But in a typical marriage, I just don’t see the point. What if one of the spouses makes more than the other? Do they have to pay more of the bills? How do you determine who pays what? And once bills are paid, how do you split the extra left over at the end of the month (assuming there is). What about homes where only one of the spouses has an outside job? You can’t put a monetary value to what the stay-at-home spouse does in the home. Cooking. Cleaning. Taking care of the family. And, in many families we know, educating the children at home. How do you affix a price for all that they do, especially when they’re not contributing anything financial to the pot? This just places way too much emphasis on money, in my opinion. I prefer to see all money earned deposited in a shared account with all expenses coming out of that shared account. That way, it’s not my money. It’s not your money. It’s our money.
Today, I’ve been thinking a lot about sharing. We drill into our children’s heads from a young age the importance of sharing. But no matter how many times we tell them, it’s something they struggle to comprehend. I mean, let’s face it. Sharing is hard. My 37th birthday is coming up in about a month and it’s a concept that is still hard for me! You want to borrow any of my movies, books, or CDs? Fine. No problem. What’s mine is yours. On the other hand, if you expect me to share my stash of M&Ms with you, you’re gonna get your hand slapped. For real. Jenny doesn’t share chocolate. So when I say, “what’s mine is yours”, I don’t really mean it, do I?
But aren’t we as Christians supposed to hold our possessions loosely? Including our chocolate? (As painful as this notion is.) If this is so, then I need to quit glaring at Troy whenever he helps himself to a handful of M&Ms. I need to quit hiding “my” goodies from the family. And here’s another one that is personally hard for me: I need to stop rolling my eyes and heaving that deep sigh when our neighbor comes to the door again to borrow some sugar, the phone, salt, batteries, toilet tissue, or any of the many items I’ve loaned over the years we’ve been here. Yes, I often feel like her own personal convenience store. But that’s something I’ve got to work on. Something God’s been speaking to me about (and with sometimes multiple-times daily knocks at the door, He’s had many opportunities to do this) over these months. The painful truth is, if I view everything I have as His--which it is--then I shouldn’t have a problem giving it away or lending it in the first place.
Because it was never even mine to begin with.
And that includes M&Ms.