Jack and Angela had a good marriage. Things had gone well for them. They met in college but did not date until after they graduated. After a couple of years dating, they married. Angela worked until their first child was born. Then they decided together that Angela would stay at home even though she was doing very well in a promising career. Jack’s business was also doing well and they adjusted to living on his salary alone without too much of a problem. Things were a little tight, but not too bad. Jack’s brother, Jim, was also doing well in his work. The two brothers were close but very different. Jack was a conservative, nose-to-the-grindstone man. Jim was less conservative and a risk taker. Their son was 3 and Angela was pregnant when Jim came to Jack with a can’t miss deal that could literally set them up for life financially.
Conservative Jack’s eyes lit up. He liked the idea but his thinking was clouded by the possibility of making a boatload of money. He shared the idea with Angela and was shocked when she pushed back. The whole thing scared her. They would be investing their entire savings, plus be on the hook for a little more. It was their biggest fight ever by far. Angela dug in hard but after Jack put on a lot of pressure day after day, she reluctantly relented. I’m sure you have figured out where this is going by now. If you guessed that Jack lost all their savings in the deal you are right. He was also on the hook for another $10,000 they did not have.
Here is the question: What would you do if you were Angela? What if you were Jack? This was a really bad financial decision that was going to affect them and their lives for a long time. Jack’s dreams of what they would do with the windfall turned into a fight for financial survival. Angela was devastated. She wanted to walk away and never see Jack again. She wanted to do a lot of things but guess what she did? She stayed. She forgave Jack. She said, “I married you for better or for worse. This is really bad, but I am going to honor my vows.” Do you know what Jack did? He humbled himself. He promised to learn from this. He said he would never go against her in a decision the rest of their marriage. All the above happened over twenty years ago and Jack and Angela never looked back. They learned from the mistake and moved on. Today they have one of the best marriages I know and it started with the decision to let God heal a marriage devastated by a really bad decision.