Marriage. A sacred bond between a man and a woman. A bringing together of two people who choose to love one another. A divinely instituted covenant. These definitions give a pleasant picture of what marriage can be. But as we all know, relationships of any kind have their challenges. And most married couples will tell you that while marriage can be wonderful, the snapshots of this sacred bond aren’t always picture-perfect.
Finances are one of the main culprits in this strain on relationships, interrupting an otherwise beautiful picture of love. Whether it’s different opinions about how to spend money, lack of finances or a lack of good economic opportunity in the city where you live, couples throughout the world deal with some of these issues on a regular basis.
Beatrice and Joseph are one such couple who know all too well how much finances can impact a marriage. A young Kenyan couple in their 20’s, they have 3 children and live in a country where nearly half of the population live on less than $1.25 a day. Dealing with some of the every-day challenges married couples around the world face, living in an area where the economic opportunities are minimal can exacerbate an already sensitive situation.
After major disagreements about finances that nearly ruined their marriage, Beatrice and Joseph were at a breaking point. But then, hope came in the form of a savings group.
Joining World Relief’s Savings for Life groups, they were able to pool together what little they had with others in their community and rebuild their family. Savings and small loans from the group allowed Joseph and Beatrice to expand their business and pay for expensive healthcare costs. To complete this picture of unity, Beatrice and Joseph’s marriage became stronger, as the economic burden lifted and the savings groups provided good encouragement and accountability.
While Savings for Life groups economically empower the vulnerable, they offer so much more relationally, spiritually and emotionally. Beatrice is grateful not just for the economic opportunities that come with being a part of a savings group like this, but also for the renewed strength of her marriage and family it’s provided, reaching far beyond her pocketbook.
This month, we’re discovering what Savings for Life means to women and men in some of the most vulnerable places on earth. Check back with us each week to hear their stories of hope – and stand with us today as we pursue lasting change through economic development.