I’m the third child in a family of six. Being a middle child meant I had to take my sister’s hand-me-downs. Hand-me-down make-up. Hand-me-down clothes. Hand-me-down shoes. As a child, I really didn’t mind. My basics were covered. I never went without clothes or shoes or even make-up. I had everything I needed, and if it was up to my Dad, I had everything I wanted.
But this changed when I got married.
And I grew resentful.
Before smartphones were affordable, my husband owned one. He was always on the cutting edge of technology and his job allowed for him to have the latest and greatest.
I had a bulky flip phone with a pre-paid plan. Contracts? Who needs contracts?
Back then, I would often ask Brian if we could possibly save the money for me to buy a nicer phone. With two little ones and one on the way, it didn’t seem like much of an option. There was a long list of things we needed like: Baby clothes, formula, baby food, diapers, strollers, car seats, etc. The possibility of me having a phone shouldn’t even be spoken.
As Brian mentioned in yesterday’s post, men are born to be fixers. So, when I said I wanted a new phone, Brian had a GREAT idea. He would buy himself a newer phone and give me his existing one. You always said you liked my phone. Now it’s yours!
Why? What did I do to deserve a hand-me-down? Was it because I didn’t work outside the home? Because we BOTH agreed it was better for our family if I stayed at home! The side of his phone is CRACKED. Can’t a girl get a phone that WASN’T cracked?
You see, my heart was growing resentful that his needs came before mine. The kids needs came before mine. I was always last and it was always ok for me to be last because I never showed just how upset it made me. I held it in for so long. I started to pray for God to change his selfish heart……………. then I realized it was ME who needed changing. It was ME who needed to open that dialogue with my husband and tell him how it made me feel that our budget revolved around his needs and wants, but rarely my own.
I realized that I couldn’t change my husband. God reserves that right to change him for Him. The one thing I COULD change was my own selfish heart. I could be a woman who gives unselfishly and respects her husband each and every day. I could BE that woman.
It’s pretty easy to look back in hindsight and see where we went wrong and point out all the things we should do right. While we definitely don’t have our finances in perfect order, we have been more in tune with the needs and wants of each other.
Today, I have the newest, latest, and greatest, smartphone and he’s happy for me to have it, but let’s be real. It wasn’t ABOUT the phone. It was about me feeling like my needs weren’t important to him. Today, we understand that communication is a key factor when it comes to finances. We can’t hide money. We can’t spend money without consulting with each other. Nobody wants someone to tell them what they can and cannot have, but being married means there will be sacrifice at times. Our selfishness will never go away completely, but we’ve learned how to unselfishly give to each other.
Sometimes? It’s with a hand-me-down.