Immediate gratification can affect a marriage.
BY BYRON & CARLA WEATHERSBEE
With the cash we received from our wedding gifts, we had enough money to buy a brand-new car. Well … we couldn’t exactly “buy it.” But we had enough to make a down payment. So, we were buying it; we just weren’t … well, paying for it.
“For richer” may become “for poorer” before you know it. Fast forward several years. With only a year and a half left to pay off our car note, the car’s air conditioner went out. We took the car in for repair and found it was going to cost $800 to fix. We didn’t have 80 cents, much less $800.
So, we had this brilliant idea. Actually, a car salesperson had the “brilliant” idea and we bought into it. She showed us how we could trade in our vehicle for a brand-new car by using the principal we had accrued. Our monthly car payment would even go down. Unbelievable! The salesperson’s solution was brilliant, and we didn’t have to pay a dime. Brilliant!?!
Loosen the grip of consumerism. Our quick fix of the A/C problem took us five more years to pay off, and we probably paid 10 times more than our original repair estimate. (We ended up driving our A/C-solution vehicle for 10 years and almost 300,000 miles — and the A/C went out twice.)
The grip of consumerism has a way of pressuring you into believing you need something even if you can’t afford it. The pressure of immediate gratification can affect a marriage, all the while convincing the married couple that they’re doing the right thing.
In Genesis 3, the fruit evoked a desire for Adam and Eve to grab what they didn’t have — the forbidden. Their desire was a snare and illusion.
Sometimes we desire to have more because we’re trying to … well, push away from something else — our own insecurity or lack of contentment. Perhaps we’re grasping for something that’s only meant to be found in our relationship with God.
As a married couple, if we aren’t careful, consumerism can drive us toward a selfish lifestyle of comfort and privilege. Yet, just like King Solomon, after we get what we think we need, we still feel empty. Meaningless, meaningless.
Protect your marriage from stuff. Jesus warned in Luke 12:15, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”
If you want something so badly, stop and ask yourself why. In our marriage, we have discovered that delayed gratification slows us down to recognize that God is our Provider, and money can’t buy contentment.
Byron & Carla Weathersbee serve as the Executive Directors of Summers Mill Retreat and Conference Center in Belton, Texas. They co-founded Legacy Family Ministries in 1995 and have authored several marriage prep curriculum resources including To Have & To Hold: Preparing for a Godly Marriage.
This article originally appeared in HomeLife magazine (August 2018). For more articles like this, subscribe to HomeLife.