How can immorality lead to financial trouble?
A couple who is struggling financially should look beyond the numbers and discern if there are other issues that need to be resolved. For example, when a man struggles with moral impurity, his bondage to sin affects every aspect of his life, including his marriage and finances.
The following progression traces the damage immorality brings and provides insights about walking in moral freedom.
A lack of self-control brings guilt and doubt to a relationship.
If a couple disregards God’s moral standards before marriage they sow destructive seeds of guilt and doubt in their relationship. Fornication lays a foundation of guilt that will surely affect the couple’s intimacy within marriage. Fornication also promotes a sensual focus rather than a spiritual focus in the marriage, and both self-respect and respect for the other spouse are damaged.
A sensual focus brings coolness in marriage.
A husband expects his wife to fulfill his sexual needs, yet he can be insensitive to her needs when his focus is a selfish one. With a growing sense of guilt and doubt, his wife wonders if her husband really loves her or if he is only using her to gratify his own desires. This fear motivates her to be physically cool toward him.
A reaction leads to decided coldness.
The husband reacts to his wife’s coolness. He demands that she meet his physical needs and is offended and even angry when she doesn’t comply. His wife interprets his demanding attitude and continued insensitivity as confirmation that he does not really love her. She becomes physically cold toward him.
Attempts to prove love with extravagance diminish the unity of the marriage.
The husband senses that his wife has been offended. However, he does not realize the depth of her wounds, and he does not understand the true source of her offense. He mistakenly believes that buying her a few expensive gifts or pleasing her with other unselfish actions will solve the problem.
His wife feels insecure and inadequate, but she accepts his gifts. In fact, she often buys more gifts on her own as she seeks security in temporal things. Their extravagance leads them into financial bondage.
The wife self-righteously condemns her husband’s attentions as simply a means to an end: his satisfaction, not her happiness. As she becomes more and more blind to her own self-centered desires and actions, she becomes more and more sensitive to her husband’s failures and weaknesses.
Debts demand an over-emphasis on work, and a separation ensues.
The husband realizes that his gifts and generous actions did not restore his wife’s broken spirit. He tightens the budget and expects her to cooperate in order to get out of debt. He spends more time at work or gets additional work. This schedule hinders him from meeting his wife’s needs, and she turns from him and concentrates on her own vocation, the children, or the fantasy world of books and television. She may look for sympathy and understanding from the people with whom she works, which heightens the estrangement from her husband. Meanwhile, he may also look to other sources to fulfill his needs, which brings him into further sexual bondage.
Moral freedom brings hope for a new beginning.
This sequence often ends in separation and divorce, because the couple is not open about the mistakes of their past and they do not work things out. However, God is able to bring cleansing and freedom to those who are bound in immorality. The couple must learn that moral freedom is not the right to do what they want, but the power to do what is right. They must depend on God’s aid to help them resolve their conflicts and walk in moral freedom.
This material was adapted from page 47 of the Men’s Manual, Volume II.