What Does the Bible Say About..Mortgaging the House for a Business Venture?

I am a businessman and I am always looking for a better opportunity, to provide for my family. I have lost in the past (but have never gone with out) and have done well in this business to date. (The Lord has provided) My wife on the other hand can not see an opportunity and will not give the O.K to put up the house to grab hold of this new business I have found. I try to be the leader of our home but can not be the leader if I can't get my wife to work with me on this. She just say's NO!!! If I want to stay married then I need to submit to this and not go into this new business opportunity. (I feel you need to spend money to make money.) I want to do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord.

Does the Bible even say any thing about this? Is using the house like this going into debt?

Answer

I could probably quote you the passage that says that a man who doesn't provide for his family is worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8), but that might only apply if you were to lose the house.

There are, of course, also passages that praise using money to make more money. I think particularly of the "parable of the talents" found in Matthew 25:14-30, even though that is not the point of the parable. I also think of the parable of the "rich fool" in Luke 12:16-21, which condemns thinking more of making money than of God. (That is not to say that you meet that description; I don't know enough from your question to say that.)

With that last parable in mind, perhaps the best advice the Bible might have is to pray about the matter, and if you are to succeed in this business venture God will show you a way to do it.

Consider also that your wife has her concerns about this venture. Obviously she is hesitant about investing the whole family's future in it. If it is a valid venture then there are surely other ways to get the capital for it. Many business loans don't require mortgaging the house, but are based on the advisability of the venture itself. If a banker will not loan you money for this business without requiring personal collateral, then it may not be as solid a venture as you seem to think. Another option would be to talk to a lawyer about the advisability of setting up a limited liability corporation that might keep your personal property out of danger if the business did not work out. From a business standpoint, rather than a biblical one, you might be able to get the capital without risking your house if you were to find others who felt it was a solid investment and took them in as partners.

Another concern of mine is that you appear to be weighing this business venture against a marriage. If you are truly interested in doing what God wants, then you will drop the matter in order to save your marriage. Making a profit is not one of the things God considers as a valid reason to divorce a wife. That would certainly put you in the same category with the "rich fool" mentioned above.