When it comes to committing time and money for what we believe is important, family is still a significant commitment in our lives.
I say “still” because early in our marriage, as a young couple and then as parents, we made a point to devote time, energy, and money to building a healthy family. Forty years later we’re “still” committed to the same thing. Today those two one-time newlyweds have become a family of eighteen, covering three generations.
Four Days Filled with Fun
This week that commitment translated into four days at Disneyland. Yes, four days. And yes, I know what you’re thinking. “One is enough for me, but four?! You’ve gotta be kidding!”
Nope. Not kidding. This week twelve of us spent a lot of time at Disneyland and California Adventure and Downtown Disney. And yes, it cost all of us some big bucks.
Money for Your Marriage
I got to thinking about the money we spent this week in light of some excellent counsel that Norm Wright, my marriage and family professor at Talbot Seminary, gave me back in the day before kids. What I learned from Norm had a huge impact on me as a young adult and young husband.
In a unit that focused on money in marriage Dr. Wright said this:
When budgeting, make sure you include money for “Marital Enrichment.” Doing so will be worth it even if you can only give $20.00 to this line item. Setting aside money on a regular basis for your marriage will be one of the best investments you can make with the money you make.
I took Dr. Wrights’ advice to heart from then until now. Bernice and I as a couple, and then as parents, and now as grandparents, set funds aside for fun. And you know what? Norm was right. Doing so has been one of the best investments we’ve made toward the betterment of our home.
Worth Your Investment
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you must have money to build a great marriage. Nor am I saying you have to spend money to have fun. Many of the things we do as a family for fun don’t cost money (hanging out at the beach, a picnic at the park, taking a bike ride…). What I am saying is this – make sure you continually put money aside for the betterment of your marriage and family.
Early in our marriage we didn’t have a lot of money. Even setting aside twenty dollars for “marital enrichment” was a stretch. But we did it. And we’ve kept it in our budget, in varying amounts, throughout the years. It’s been one of the best investments we’ve ever made.
By Dave Gudgel