Q. I am searching for Biblical truths in regards to an emotionally devastating situation in my marriage of 14 years. In short, my wife has called our marriage to an end if I do not include her name on all assets that I and my forefathers have worked for for the last 100 years. We both are re-married and both had children from previous marriages and we have two children from this marriage. All of my ancestors have passed on, and the legacy of real estate and investments from them plus my life's work remains in my name solely.
My wife feels entitled to tap into these assets for funding her children through school and to purchase cars for them. She feels that the unity of marriage should be one, including all banking accounts and family assets. Does it say in the Bible that love has to be tied in with tangible assets to be true, or does love flow to and from freely, without strings attached? Ken from FL
A. Biblical love is far greater than free flowing positive emotions going back and forth. Biblical love is demonstrated through tangible actions. In other words, Biblical love acts in the other person's best interests, even if it costs you suffering and sacrifice.
For example, a husband gets up in the middle of the night to take care of his sick wife because he loves his wife more than he loves his sleep. So he is willing to sacrifice his sleep to help his wife. He doesn't just say “I love you but don't bother me, I'm sleeping”.
That said, let me ask you what is in your wife's best interests here? What would happen to her if you died unexpectedly? She would not inherit your estate. It would just go to your children. Is that what you want?
What about her children? Do you love them? Is it in their best interests to provide money for an education? Is it in their best interests to help provide a car? If so, then why are you not offering to do this – generously – since you have the means to do it? God is extravagantly generous with us. He leaves us an example to follow. (There may be reasons why it's not in their best interests right now – for example if they're irresponsible or lazy it would not help them to continue to financially support their laziness and irresponsibility).
Ask yourself – is it in your wife and family's best interests to have her name on your family assets? If not why not? (and there might be some legitimate reasons for this – I don't know) But if so, why are you hesitating? She indeed may feel unloved and unprotected by your resistance.
I don’t support your wife giving you an ultimatum by telling you that if you don't put her name on the assets she's ending the marriage. But perhaps she is feeling that you say one thing like “I love you” but your actions show something entirely different -like “I love ME and MINE more” If true, that would hurt any woman. Maybe she's unwilling to continue to live that way.