DEAR DR. GRAHAM: My cousin (who isn’t married) says she doesn’t believe in saving anything to take care of herself when she gets old, because the Lord will take care of her and provide for her needs. Is this what the Bible teaches? — Mrs. M.D.J.

DEAR MRS. M.D.J.: The Bible certainty urges us to put our trust in God instead of money, because God will never let us down — but money will. The Bible tells people “not to... put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).

But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t save for the future, or that we can neglect planning for our latter years. After all, if we don’t provide for our own needs as we grow older, then someone else will have to — and we may find ourselves in very difficult circumstances. Trusting God doesn’t mean ignoring His provision for us right now.

I know this is a complicated matter, and not everyone is able to save for the future (especially in this economy). But the Bible urges us not to be lazy, but to be as diligent and thrifty as possible — not only to provide for our futures, but also so we can support God’s work. It says, “Go to the ant... consider its ways and be wise!... It stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:6, 8).

On the other hand, don’t become so preoccupied with money that you leave God out of your life. Someday you’ll die and leave everything behind, but are you prepared for that day? Remember Jesus’ words: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy.... But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-20).

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I don’t have any problem believing in Jesus, but why should I turn my life over to Him, like my Christian friends are urging me to do? What difference will it make? — D.F.

DEAR D. F.: I hope you’ll think seriously about what your friends are saying, because they honestly care for you and know that you’d be a better person if you committed your life to Christ. They’ve experienced His transforming power in their own lives — and they know it could happen to you.

What difference would Christ make in your life? First, He’d give you a new purpose in life. When we give our lives to Christ, we begin to realize that God put us here for a purpose — and life’s greatest joy comes from discovering it and doing it. You’ll no longer be living aimlessly and only for yourself, but you’ll be seeking God’s will for your life and learning what it means to live as God’s child every day. The Bible says that Christ “died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Then Christ also will give you a new strength — the strength to live the way you should. You see, when we sincerely commit our lives to Christ, God Himself comes to live within us by His Holy Spirit. He helps us break the habits and attitudes that drag us down, and He gives us a new love for others and a new desire to help them in His name.

Finally, Christ will give you a new destiny. We weren’t meant for this life alone; we were meant for eternity — to live with God forever. Don’t let anything keep you from Christ, but by faith accept the gift He offers you today — the gift of His salvation.

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I went to my 20th high school class reunion the other day, and it was really depressing to discover how many of my classmates are on their second or third marriages. Why aren’t marriages lasting today? My marriage is happy, but I worry about what might happen to our children. — Mrs. N. McG.

DEAR MRS. N. McG: Surely one of our most important responsibilities as parents is to show our children what it means to have a committed and loving marriage. It won’t necessarily keep them from having problems in their own marriages — but it still could do much to help them overcome any difficulties.

Why are so many marriages failing today? I can only answer from my own perspective as a Christian and a minister. I’m convinced one reason is because we no longer see marriage as a commitment — a commitment made to God, as well as to each other. Jesus said, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6).

Another reason marriages are failing today is because we’ve lost sight of what it truly means to love someone. “Love,” for many people, is only an emotion — and when the emotion fades, so too does their relationship. But true love is also an act of the will — a commitment to put the other person first instead of self. The Bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind.... It is not self-seeking” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

God gave marriage to us for our happiness and security.

But when we leave Him out of the picture, our happiness and security easily fade. Don’t let this happen to you, but commit your life — and your marriage — to Jesus Christ, and build your relationship on Him.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:

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