We are living in a time of unprecedented prosperity, yet at the same time, many are finding life is tougher than ever.  Getting by is a chore.

Families are struggling, marriage is hard, and raising children is challenging.  Husbands and wives find themselves conflicted. Many need two full time jobs to get by, having to make the hard decision to delegate the responsibility of raising their children to someone else, which the financial burden of doing so only further exacerbates. 

I want to preface this. I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong for a woman to work, so please don’t let me lose you here. I’m talking about what can happen when you create a lifestyle that’s dependent on two incomes.

When both are working, couples today have the ability to qualify—through borrowing—for pretty extravagant lifestyles. 

A primary house, brand new vehicles, nice vacations, retirement accounts, and perhaps a second home are all on the table.  They have the ability to paint the picture of a very prosperous lifestyle.  The family they desire to build will be introduced into the perfect backdrop.

Then things get hard!

For lots of people, motherly instinct kicks in.  The demands of parenting start to take their toll.  Mom wants to be a mom, but she can’t. The cost of the lifestyle that has been chosen prohibits her from leaving her job.  The couple wrestles with the question “why can’t we have both?” They want the lifestyle and the family.  Pressure enters into the marriage, the cost of raising children rises and the struggles ensue.

The feeling arises: “Life was once so easy, and now it’s hard!”

Choices often need to be made.  What do you want more?  The pretty lifestyle, or the healthy family? 

When push comes to shove, most are going to say the healthy family, but find it hard to deny themselves the lifestyle.  It’s hard to let go of it in a culture where it’s valued.

Choosing to live in a smaller, more affordable home may not get the ooh’s and ahh’s you want to get from your friends.  You may not have the wall space or the nooks and crannies to adorn your walls with the latest trends.  But you will have all you need to build and raise a healthy family.  While your friends may not envy your interior decorating, they will secretly desire to have what you have. Something their pretty house and other luxuries can’t provide- relationships, joy, and freedom that comes from the family you have built up. Because that’s what matters the most.

Two incomes are a tremendous blessing when you only need one to live off of.  It gives you tremendous freedom and the ability to do and experience so much more. But when you decide to create a lifestyle that’s dependent upon two incomes, you’ve taken away many of the options you once had.



PS: Did this get some ideas brewing? Do you struggle with balancing you and your spouse’s job and your family? If so, we’re here to help! Check out our Facebook Group where we discuss how to live intentionally. Feel free to post your questions, and you’ll receive lots of wisdom and support from like-minded people 🙂

Copyright © 2021 by Steve Cook

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