Helping friends who lost their job

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2010
Helping friends who lost their job
12
Sun, 12-26-2010 - 9:13pm

My DH has befriended a couple he met through church. The husband in the couple lost his job over a year ago. Since then, the church has given him & his wife lots of money to help them out. He is still unemployed. My DH invited them over to our home once for dinner, I met the wife. We both have children the same age. Our group at church took up a money collection for them, they always take the money. I graciously offered her some of my child's outgrown clothing (nice, in good shape) and she turned her nose up at that. Since that dinner, though she refuses to socialize with me, talk to me, and has made her disdain for me quite apparent since then. She refused offers to get together for playdates with the kids. However, my DH continues the friendship with her husband. He helps him out, drives him to the airport, they see each other quite often. He talks constantly about this man and how he hopes he will get a job soon. Lately, I have suspicions that my DH has given this family money, without consulting me first. I am not sure how much $$ was given. I have problems with it on many levels, first that we have a family of our own to care for, and also the wife of this man snubbed me, continues to snub me, and turns her nose up whenever I see her. I told my DH that I am not okay with giving them our money. I've also asked him, is there a reason this man can't just do any job? He's been unemployed for 15 months or so. Keeps looking for the same high-paying job he used to have, but can't find it. Now my DH expects me to help petsit for them while they are away. Hey, I love animals, but I can't see taking care of this woman's dog when she has treated me the way she has. What is interesting to me, is that they act socially superior to people, but eagerly take charity from them at the same time. That just gets me.

He sort of just told me that I would be doing the pet sitting, he didn't ask. It led to an argument and I finally blew up at him. I really want these people out of our lives permanently, but they attend our church, my husband is friends with them, I don't know what to do.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Sun, 12-26-2010 - 9:43pm
Oh, I'd be burned, too.

If it were me, and my husband had basically "told" me I'd do it and refused to back down... I'd bypass him, call that woman and tell her I'm not.

That's a start, anyway.

Has your DH asked the man what's up with his wife's attitude towards you? What does your DH say when you mention it to him?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2010
Sun, 12-26-2010 - 10:18pm

I’d be ticked off.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2010
Sun, 12-26-2010 - 11:51pm

Well, they've flown out of town at least 3 times that I know about. While he's been unemployed. And no, it wasn't flying out of town for job interviews. They also have cable t.v. with all the channels. I do hope he finds another job, but getting the salary he used to get is unrealistic. Not going to happen in this economy. I suggested to my DH, that he tell this guy to work shifts at Lowe's or Home Depot. These types of jobs usually pay fairly decent. Its better than having no money at all. Here's what my DH told me: "well, he can't do that. It would be a waste of his time, he needs to look for something better". The whole attitude I get from this couple is they are too good for those types of jobs, and people should give them money instead. Blech. In a way, our money does go to support them because our church gives them money, and we donate to our church. I do think its my business if he won't work just any job.

I'm upset because I had some money, in the form of a gift check, I planned to start a savings for our child's college fund. My DH knew about this. He recently insisted I give him the check, that we needed it instead for our immediate needs; the next day, he sees this man, his unemployed friend. I told him to give me the check back, don't you dare cash it. I'm deeply suspicious that he feels sorry for this man and wants to help him out with money. He's loaned money to friends in the past, without asking me first.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Mon, 12-27-2010 - 12:07am
azure195 wrote:

I’d be ticked off.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Mon, 12-27-2010 - 4:49am
Is your church really into the "turn the other cheek" mentality? I mean, is your husband possibly being pressured by other men in the church to befriend this man and help him out financially? Some churches are male dominant and things like telling one's wife they're going to do something vs. asking them if they are willing to do it are fairly common. I've seen problems like that in churches before...my FIL used to say that people would get so "heavenly minded they were no earthly good". In other words, they were so busy "doing what's right" in the opinions of their fellow church members, they forgot to "do what's right" by their own family. I wonder if that might be your husband's reasoning. If not, then I think you two need to have a serious conversation. It actually isn't Biblical to help people who don't help themselves. Thessalonians 3:10 states: ...Whoever does not work should not eat. If he's helping them out financially at the risk of his own family, and without talking it over with you first, then he's wrong! It seems odd that your husband is willing to continue helping them despite his wife's behavior towards you and makes me wonder who might be encouraging him to behave this way or if it's just his choice. And, the plane trips and TV cable, etc. seem a bit out of line for people who are so needy they request (and receive) financial support from your church. That just doesn't add up to me. As for the wife being disrespectful towards you and disdainful of your kind offer of clothing for her children, then she isn't following the precepts of Christianity either. Perhaps a conversation with your pastor would give you some insight on how to deal with this situation.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2010
Mon, 12-27-2010 - 11:03am

tiffanywesttx – I would not give another dime to the church unless they completely stop helping these people.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Mon, 12-27-2010 - 1:25pm

Hi,

As a pastor's wife I am very familiar with the situation you describe. So here's my two cents.

First of all, as Christians we do need to be obedient to the Biblical command to help others in time of need. We are also cautioned to be wise about how we help others so we do not enable them to be dependent upon others.

Secondly, how formal is your church process for giving financial aid? Do people just walk in and get a check? Is there any tracking or accountability for funds? Is there any other ministry available to come along side individuals like this and assist them with say a job hunt or budgeting? If not, there's plenty of room for lousy bookkeeping and abuse of the service of the church.

As for your husband, he's been roped in by people who may very well be good folks, but are taking advantage of those that offer help. He needs to recognize that giving someone - anyone - money over and over isn't solving their problem. He needs to recognize also that his first Biblical responsibility is to first God, then you his Wife, and then the church. He is not helping this man and his family if he just hands over cash or buys things for them, and he is neglecting his family which should be his main priority.

As for the wife's attitude toward your offer of help either she's a)in complete denial of their money problems (i.e. I won't accept help from you in the form of hand me downs) or b)she's very clearly taking advantage of another generosity and she really doesn't need your help.

Please talk to your pastor about this situation. If your pastor understands he should sit your husband down and set him straight about his role as a husband first and helper second. Also, your church may need to examine its gifting policies to protect itself from abusers.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2006
Mon, 12-27-2010 - 2:23pm

Thanks for sharing your situation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Mon, 12-27-2010 - 2:50pm
I wonder if the woman thinks her kids are too good to wear hand-me-downs. Some folks are like that, no matter their money situation.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Mon, 12-27-2010 - 3:17pm

Oh no you don't buster..that's how my dh's and I relationship would work.

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