Yesterday I began to answer what has been – for me – a very good, yet difficult, question.
If gambling away a small amount of money is wrong, how come it’s not wrong to spend large amounts of money eating out at nice restaurants? Or is it?
For my thoughts on gambling and a better explanation of the question, read yesterday’s post.
In short, my counsel is to always ask: “Is it biblically wise?”
Is it ever biblically wise to eat out – and potentially ‘waste’ a lot of money – at nice restaurants? Especially in light of gambling – why would it be okay (if it is) to ‘waste’ a lot of money eating out and not be okay to waste a small amount playing blackjack?
It depends. Though gambling is rarely – if ever – wise, I do believe there can be wise reasons to spend money eating out.
a. If it makes your wife happy.
Some wives want jewelry. Some wives want a day away from the kids. Some wives want spa treatment. Some wives want the house cleaned by someone else. And some wives like to enjoy a nice meal out. Eating out at a nice place can be very wise if it helps make your wife happy. If she ain’t happy . . .(See Ephesians 5:28 & Proverbs 31:25).
b. If it helps cultivate your marriage.
Similar to the first reason, eating out at nice places can be a catalyst to strengthen your marriage. Celebrate anniversaries by enjoying a nice meal eating out. Show your spouse you want to treat her well by taking her out. Set a tone for a nice, romantic evening by making reservations at a very nice place. Believe me – that money will NOT be wasted! (See Proverbs 5:18)
c. If you aim to bless someone.
There may come a time when you have an opportunity to treat someone to a nice meal in order to encourage them or celebrate an accomplishment or treat them to something they would like to experience, but can’t. Spending money on a nice meal to bless someone is never a waste, but a deposit in their ‘value’ account.
d. If it’s a type of ‘hobby’.
This may be a stretch, but hang on. Some people enjoy golfing or fishing or hunting or electronics or trucks or books or – you name it. Others may simply enjoy traveling simply to taste food at nice places. If spending money to eat out at nice places gives you energy and is something you find pleasure in – go for it.
e. If your father-in-law is paying.
If someone else is paying for the meal – by all means GO!
I also believe there are a couple of reasons it may NOT be biblically wise to eat out at nice restaurants:
a. It causes you to lose self control.
b. It’s not in your budget.
It is NEVER wise to spend a bunch of money at a luxurious place if you ain’t got the goods. If you haven’t planned for it and wisely (with biblical wisdom!) budgeted for it, I would not advise doing it. It is far, far better to eat pretzel tube steak from Sonic than a filet at Ruth’s if you can’t afford it right now (See Proverbs 15:16 & 16:8).
c. When a TV dinner will suffice.
Eating out at nice places can be a waste if you’re doing it just because you can. If the same purpose can be served with water and a Lean Cuisine, go with firing up the microwave at home. If you’re gonna eat out anyway and it really doesn’t matter – save your money with a Big Mac Meal. Eating out just because you can is a waste and is never biblically wise.
Bottom Line: “Is it biblically wise?”
I hope this helps somewhat. What would you add to these lists? What do you think? Are these things biblically wise?