Three of our four children have (finally) graduated from college and we have a few years reprieve from tuition bills before our youngest heads off to college. I’m now working from home, writing full-time and contributing to the family income. We still have to be careful with our spending, but we’ve made it through the toughest times. And we’re better for it—as a couple, and I believe, as a family too. Our older children didn’t have the option of being spoiled by material things and it’s served them well.

We’ll probably never be wealthy, and frankly, that’s never been a dream of mine. After some of the lean years we’ve experienced, we feel rich simply being able to pay every bill at the end of the month, and occasionally to have enough left over to take a trip to visit our grown kids and our grandbaby.

On any given day, I can feel poverty-stricken or filthy rich, depending on whom I decide to compare myself to. By Hollywood standards, I’m a pauper. By third-world standards, I’m royalty.

Besides, true wealth has very little to do with an earthly bank balance and everything to do with where our real treasures are stored up.


Read Luke 12:22-34

1. Do you ever worry about your financial situation? What does the Bible have to say about money and worry?

2. What other money issues trouble your marriage? Difference in attitudes toward money? Out-of-control spending? Not being a good steward of the resources and belongings you have. Not being generous with what you have?

3. The Bible has much to say on the subject of finances. Read and discuss with your spouse the various money issues in these Scriptures: Matthew 6:25-34; 1 Timothy 6:10; Deuteronomy 14:22-29; and Romans 13:8.

If you feel you are not serving God as you should with your finances, what steps can you and your spouse take to move in that direction?

Deborah Raney is at work on her nineteenth novel. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel for Excellence in Media, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her newest series, the Hanover Falls Novels, will release from Howard/Simon & Schuster. She and her husband, Ken Raney, have been married for 35 years. They have four children, two little grandsons, and enjoy small- town life in Kansas. Visit Deborah's website at


Tobi Layton is a fifth grade teacher and freelance writer in southeast Missouri. Tobi has been married for eight years to Ryan Layton, a high school biology teacher. Tobi and Ryan are involved with the high school and junior high youth groups at their church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The Laytons have two sons.

Tobi Layton is the daughter of Ken and Deborah Raney. The Raneys and the Laytons share an August 11 wedding anniversary.