Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Pre-Nuptial Before The Nuptials (Part 3)

We all change. For whatever the reason, we will all change. Some will change for the better. Some have lost their lives because the changes they decided upon was  for the worse. As we grow, we change. From zygotes to fetus. When the fetus is too big for its surroundings birth happens. The baby grows from the bassinette to a crib, from a crib to a bed. The change happens from diapers to training pants and then to actual underwear. A baby is carried for a little while. When he/she has a desire to walk but can only crawl until changing of his/her body develops to be strong enough to toddle, then walk, and eventually run. The process of change is inevitable.

We look at children and assume that certain cognitive behaviors and motor skills are already in place based on age and emotional development. If the child acts outside of what is expected, the parent's concern causes for tests to be taken to find what the issue (if any) could be. Sometimes, its arrested development brought on by physical or emotional trauma, other times its a mental dysfunction that can be worked through with therapy or the family needs training how to raise a child with a disability. Nevertheless, for the most part, without unforeseen stressors, children grow, operate as expected, and become successful adults. This is an expected change.

Adulthood doesn't stop change from occurring. Those in their 20's believe they are invincible and have all of the answers. They get this from the encouragement of parents and those they admire. Once 30, ideas of immortality aren't as strong. Usually patterns from a career, paying bills, and raising a family have taken precedence. Having an imagination and being creative has been harnessed and re-directed with an education for focus to be established. New thoughts and ideals have been introduced. Because of this, behavior changes again based on new training. Plans change because of better ideas to benefit oneself. By the age of 40-50 reassessing self happens. We laugh at our childish ways and smile at our accomplishments (1 Corinthians 13:11 AMP). We think thoughtfully of our mistakes and try to convey to the younger generation what not to do so they can have greater accomplishments (John 14:12 AMP). It is the order of good things.

Putting God first is paramount in the order of good things. He defines what good is. It is why having a pre-nuptial agreement in a Christian marriage is a part of being decent and in order also good planning. We have dispelled that such an agreement is a precursor to divorce. If anything, instead of repeating what the world says, "its cheaper to keep her," the pre-nuptial agreement will cause men to stop talking about divorce altogether. The agreement, having been drawn in the beginning stages of love and commitment, will serve as a constant reminder that no matter what happens, she and the children will be cared for (1 Timothy 5:8 KJV).

Let's make the agreement a visual for the man; with him being the head of the house and the head of his wife, be able to see what has been masked for so many years. A young couple decides to marry after being inseparable for 18 months. All who see the couple smile at how much each one loves the other and are looking forward to seeing when they are wed. The marriage takes place. Within 3 years, she gives her husband two children and a baby on the way. The couple is still happy but not as enamored with each other as they were 3 years ago. Outsiders see the change in the couple as just being new parents and getting use to the energy that it takes out of running after little children. A year later, she looks a little tired but the children are clean and healthy. The husband seems content. His career is good and all of the bills are paid. Fast forward to 15 years of marriage. The children are teens. She wishes to work outside of the home. He doesn't agree. She appeases her husband but then requests to at least go back to school. He doesn't say no but puts off the matter until both can speak calmly. The matter has been put off for 2 years. 10 more months have passed. She found a thong tucked under the passenger seat of the family car. When she asks her husband about it, he becomes flushed and fidgety. She didn't suspect anything until then. Five months later, he confesses to her a marital indiscretion. She now questions if she has a marriage to maintain. He sees the concern in her. Before he is rejected by her, 3 weeks later she is served with divorce papers. In the complaint, he requests to split all marital assets evenly though his assumption is the children will live with her. Does this show him loving his wife as Christ loves the church? If no, when did that change begin (1 John 3:22 AMP)?

With that scenario the way that it is, he will recuperate financially within a few weeks. She, on the other hand, would have been better off finishing school or establishing some sort of career while her children were in class themselves. Considering and reverencing her husband, she asked him before doing anything. He didn't agree. Having peace was more important in her home then a career or furthering her education. In a committed relationship no one plans for the other to have an extra-marital affair. Christians, ideally, are supposed to take marital vows seriously (1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP). Forsaking all others is a part of those vows; yet, people change, as previously discussed.

The elephant enters the room, meaning the topic at hand. While the feelings of love, honor and respect are relatively new, a pre-nuptial agreement should be devised for the financial protection of the wife and children (Proverbs 16:3 AMP). At the point where love is at its highest, he should think of how people change over the years. While he might not think it will ever happen, history, divorces, and neglected, resentful children show otherwise.

In this pre-nuptial agreement, money is allowed to be deposited until a specific amount is reached. This specific amount is gathered after much calculation on the value of his spouse and what she will need over a given period of time to support herself and children (Proverbs 27:23 AMP). Calculate a year's salary and multiply it by 5. Use that product as an initial goal. That amount can be electronically handled for long term investment growth but cannot be withdrawn by anyone unless the dissolve of the marriage or the passing of the spouse. Once the cap is reached, over months or years depending on how liquid the assets are, no other deposits are made unless through the interests of the aforementioned investments. The wife can move the funds around into separate accounts for the education of the children, that is, if no other accounts have been made previously in the agreement. If educational accounts have been made by the wife, they will be separate from the mother account - completely. It will then be the child's account only. The mother account no longer feeds into it after reaching its cap. This educational fund will belong to the child at the beginning of the 2nd year of college. Children change as well (Proverbs 22:6 AMP). It would also be beneficial that the child know nothing of this agreement or separate monies until that 2nd year of college. The value of the dollar makes sense when the child puts forth the effort to make a dollar (Proverbs 24:30-34 AMP).

When the marriage begins to have some constraints, he is more likely to consider counseling then knowing how well she will be cared for without him. We have now discovered his fear in the pre-nuptial agreement. What he has to remember is that God created him needing help. This does not change when he decides to leave her. God is the same, today, yesterday, and forever (Hebrews 13:8 AMP). He is not mocked (Galatians 6:7 AMP). Prove, my brothers in Christ, that you are more like Him then your former state (Proverbs 26:11 AMP). Selah.

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