Elisabeth Elliot, a renown Christian missionary and writer, frequently spoke about marriage with young women. In writing to her daughter, as seen in her book Let Me Be a Woman, she wrote about how she often reminded young women that they were marrying sinners. She also mentioned how young women tended to look for main characteristics in a man, but upon choosing, they would also receive some unwanted traits. So, there exists one vital question: Should debt stand as an unwanted trait, or a characteristic that should break up the relationship?
First, a Look at the Destructive Nature of Debt
Most people realize Christians believe in going out and sharing the good news about Christ. What most people fail to learn – in part because many Christians remain clueless about – a believing man’s responsibility to financially support himself. Apostle Paul provided himself as an example of someone who performed God’s Will and supported his ministry through side jobs. The Old Testament also provides examples of men working toward a goal, such as how Jacob worked for Rachel. God hates debt.
God spoke about how His followers should hold back from taking money from someone who held different beliefs. Without intentionally offending anyone, using a credit card and only paying the minimum amount is the same as taking from an unbeliever. The Bible instructed believers to help their brothers, and if they loan money, to refrain from charging interest. Credit cards charge a ludicrous interest rate. The credit card companies that allow people to continue to charge regardless of previous unpaid charges are crooks, like the tax collectors of biblical times.
This debt on a credit card will make life difficult for people. Houses will become more difficult to possess. Short-term loans with trustworthy companies become almost impossible to retrieve, even if paying off the loan in the near future is possible. People with credit card debt slowly, but surely, head toward bankruptcy. Even if the credit cards enable a higher stander of living, the great times will come to an end, and the other side of the tracks is just as scary as it looks.
But, Should Debt Play a Determining Factor in the Relationship?
I love my man! said the young woman. In her eyes, her boyfriend’s debt was a miniscule problem. Her age, and her inexperience with money, hindered her from seeing the constant harrowing stress from the accounts receivable collectors that existed in her potential future with the young man. People like her mother knew better. They had experience with the stress that accompanies loans and reckless spending on credit cards, and they desperately hope their daughters avoid such emotional pain. After all, too much emotional upheaval leads to some physical ailments as well.
God hates another thing too: He hates judgement. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, so says the Bible. Financial irresponsibility is a sin like all the rest. Now, believers may want to categorize the degree of evil in each sin, and they may place debt on the same low scale as white lies. However, Satan is the father of lies, and avoiding debt should hold more importance to Christians who want to advance in their faith.
The question will never go away. Christian women, as well as women in general, will always question whether they should share their lives with someone with terrible financial practices. Every woman has to decide for herself whether the debt is enough to break her relations with the man, or if she will accept the debt as a negative trait to the man whom she absolutely loves and adores. For the believer, she merely needs to ask if she has the faith to persevere despite the inevitable trouble to come.