Inputs, Processes, and Outputs: Marriage and Finances

Let’s talk about inputs, processing, and outputs for our finances. Right now, transparently, our cash flow is pretty tight. So my husband and I are saying our output is tight cash flow. We’ve got to go back and evaluate what we are inputting and what we are processing every month.

Our inputs, our income—is there enough of it? Our processes are our bills, our saving, and our giving. All of those things sucking it out leaves us with a final output result of either money left over or money in debt. It’s the same thing with cash flow. You have to go back and see what is going in, what is coming out, and how you are arriving at the final part. It’s so simple just to look at that.

Sometimes, in our processing, our spending can be a comfort to us. When we have new things, it takes our eyes off the pain or trouble in our lives. It gives us this high, and we feel excited about getting this new thing. Every time we get a new input, it makes us feel good, which leaves us with an output of being cash-flow tight. Does that make sense?

It is the same thing in every area of our life. We are able to look at the inputs, the processes, and the outputs. For example, if my marriage is not in a good place, that is my output. I always use this as the measurement with my husband. Like, “I want a 10/10 marriage. I don’t want a 2 marriage. I don’t want to get old and be like, man, I settled for a 2 marriage my entire life.” So when I recognize that my marriage isn’t a 10, I stop and say, “Hey. I want a 10 marriage. I don’t want a 2 marriage. I want to maintain a 10 for our whole life.”

My husband knows my talk. What we do is look into the input and say, “What’s going on?” and recognize when our marriage starts to slide down out of a 10. It’s generally because we become busy. So we put aside date nights. There are things we used to do but now simply don’t do anymore. In the processing, maybe he is so busy at work that he is not pursuing me like he once did. He is not pursuing his wife in seemingly minor ways—in the kitchen by cleaning up or by calling me during the day. I may be speaking negative words over him, which is making him feel discouraged, so he doesn’t truly want to pursue me.

That is essentially how we process our marriage. What is going on in your thoughts? Can you remember how much your husband cares about you or how much your wife actually believes in you? That is the processing. It’s about forgiving and forgetting and not letting bitterness grow in your heart. It is truly taking control of those opportunities to have negative thoughts against one another or throw each other under the bus when we fail. When we evaluate those inputs and processes in our own marriage, we will end up with an output we want. We will have a 10 marriage.

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