The statistics aren't available yet, but the questions proliferate: After two years of "anemic" spending in December, will the retail market rebound? Will Americans prop up an ailing economy by spending lots of money on Christmas presents?

Wherever the numbers end up, women will make the majority of the decisions surrounding purchases throughout December. As Belinda Luscombe recently reported in Time, "[Women] make 85% of the buying decisions or are the chief purchasing officers of their households." Further, as women control more than 50 percent of private wealth in America, and as women—in certain age groups and metropolitan centers—begin to outearn men (see "The Growing Buying Power of Women"), Luscombe comments, "The more money women earn, the exponentially more money they manage. And women are increasingly making the calls where men have traditionally held sway."

Questions about how and where we spend money are relevant at all times. But December marks a time when we spend money in disproportionate amounts compared with the other eleven months of the year. As Christmas approaches, how should Christian women think about spending money on gifts, and food, and decorations?

A number of Bible passages highlight the significance of money to our spiritual lives. Jesus warns that worrying about money can choke spiritual growth (see Matt. 13:22). He warns about the difficulty of rich people entering the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:24). The Epistles similarly demonstrate the problems caused by money. 1 Timothy 6:10 sums it up: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

Spending money becomes a spiritual problem ...

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