Does Your Marriage Have Financial Freedom?
Or Financial Ruin?
Has your marriage ever been stressed by debt, bills, or pressing financial needs?
Do you and your spouse argue over money spent (or not spent?)
A hurting marriage can reach a breaking point when something new forces a change to the status quo. An unexpected bill arrives in the face of your zero-balance checking account.
Resources used instead of saved for a future essential.
A driving want, an unmet need.
Take heart. God’s Word brings much HOPE regarding money.
Its truths are clear, providing actionable answers to what feel like insurmountable problems.
God has given each of us a calling. Our financial picture affects our ability to follow through with what He’s asked us to do. AND, whether we have daily fights, or passively “agree to disagree,” how we manage money directly impacts the long-term success of our family.
Are you ready to find freedom in financial unity?
Keep reading for tips to get your marriage back on mission by managing your money and if the high prices right now are impacting your marriage, listen to 5 WAYS TO NOT LET INFLATION DERAIL YOUR BUDGET OR YOUR MARRIAGE.
Spender or Saver? Unity is key!
Consider your marriage. Are you more of a spender or a saver?
What about your spouse?
Chances are, unless both of you are in full pursuit of God’s calling on your marriage and stewarding your finances to support that pursuit, you’re divided.
Even if you’re both savers, you could be in financial sin… (more on that later).
Issues with finances arise in a variety of ways. Can you identify with any of the following?
I want to stay home with the kids, but my spouse doesn’t think it’s financially plausible
I will be happy when we have _______ or reach a certain financial milestone
Our lives would be much easier if we had _____________________
We need a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood, so our kids are safe and can have their own space (this will surely end the fighting)
My spouse thinks he/she controls the finances because he/she makes more money
We agree that managing money is important, but we disagree on what the end goal is
All of these are common (and valid) thoughts/concerns that should be brought to the light and examined. Do not believe the lie that silence on the topic of finances equals peace! Silence results in division and isolation. God wants unity.
So, whether you and your spouse are a spender or a saver, your finances are to be stewarded for HIS kingdom and for oneness in your marriage.
What does Scripture say?
The Bible identifies money as something we can serve OR we can use to serve God.
Read the following passages to gain a proper perspective of God’s view regarding money.
Matthew 6:24 Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
The equation is simple: If you serve God together, you will be unified. If you serve money, you will be divided.
While money may not be the most pressing matter in a hurting marriage, it can certainly drive two people into obedience with God’s Word. Strangely, finances can be a common ground builder for you and your spouse.
The result of husband and wife on a common mission? Unity.
Many Christians view borrowing for a car or a house as acceptable, while going into debt for a “toy” (new flat-screen, super convenient fridge with all the bells and whistles) is disputable.
How do we reconcile those thoughts with what Paul says in Romans?
Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other…
Or what David says in the Psalms?
Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives...
Or what Solomon says in Proverbs?
Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
The minute a person goes into debt, he loses a portion of his freedom. Easy credit now makes you uneasy later.
When we do not consider our money as God’s money, we will be tempted to use it as our own. But God has given us everything (including our marriage and family) to steward for His kingdom.
What about the super-saver?
Remember this: Even if you’re both savers, you could be in financial sin. I mentioned it earlier and said I’d explain.
There is a silent pride in one who saves and thinks, Thank God I’m not blowing my money like those over-spenders.
SAVING IS NOT WRONG, but money can become an idol when used as the basis for our security.
Too many of us work and save so we can enjoy the good life on this side of Heaven. Do we consider our retirement before the needy? While there is value in thinking long term, we ought not view retirement as a time to fully indulge (because, really…can I back that up with Scripture?).
The concept of saving to create margin for times when income is less or nonexistent is relevant, but we shouldn’t save with the purpose of storing up treasures here on earth (Matthew 6:19-21).
Deuteronomy 14:23 shows us the importance of putting God first in our lives (revere the Lord your God always). The same is true for money.
When we SPEND first, we see the money as our own. When we GIVE first, it demonstrates our trust in God as Provider, and belief that what we have is His.
Read James 2:14-18 and see how it talks about faith and good deeds; the two are parallel. If we lack faith that God will provide, we depend on ourselves. Our deed of saving money (beyond what is necessary) comes at the expense of being generous- something God has called us to.
When fear undermines faith and keeps us from giving, we are sinning in our savings.
Proverbs 3:9-10 confirms this concept. It reads, Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. God is generous to those who are generous to His kingdom!
(Parent Pro Tip: Include your kids in some of your family’s financial discussions. They don’t need to know the numbers on the spreadsheet, but when they see your desire to be God-honoring with your finances, they can get on board. Here’s a fun way to introduce the concepts: Financial Peace Junior Tool Kit: Teaching Kids How to Win With Money. Check it out or make a note in the comments of ways you’ve gotten your kids involved!)
We’re united…… in agreement to be financially separate.
Do you and your spouse agree to disagree? Are you convinced that financial independence will save you the hassle of a fight? Do you think, Hey, he’s got his, I’ve got mine, everything’s fine!
Does one of you have your “own” car, or do you have separate, personal banking accounts so your spouse cannot see how you spend your money?
I encourage you now to STOP the separation. Both husband and wife should be full owners of every material possession.
A marriage with financial independence/separation does not have real spiritual unity. When two become one, it includes finances! And… bonus… being united financially will lead to unity in other areas of your marriage.
God warns us in His Word
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs (1 Timothy 6:10).
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
Money and material possessions will NEVER satisfy; will never heal a hurting marriage. Submission to God’s way and stewarding what we have been given by God will lead to an abundant, rich life, and oneness in our marriage.
Vow to change: an encouraging call to action
Read 1 Timothy 6:6-11 and be refreshed in the truth of God’s Word.
Write down your answers to these questions:
What does God say about being content?
What does He say about our desire for money and material things?
What does He say we should pursue (v.11)?
Continue reading in 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
What does He ask the rich to do?
On whom are we to set our hope?
Spend time with your spouse in prayer over finances. Ask God for a Biblical lens through which to see the answers to the following questions:
What is our most God-honoring financial need? Put it first.
Do we have debt? Do we meet monthly bills? Prep a budget together and download an app that will help you track ALL of your expenses. Check out this one from Dave Ramsey: EveryDollar.
Do we give to those in need? Make a list of giving areas upon which you both agree; commit to give generously.
Do we have margin for the unexpected? Create a cushion of savings so your budget won’t derail should an unforeseen financial need arise. Use this savings calculator to get started.
Do we give to our church? Decide upon a monthly tithe.
Do we have a date fund? It doesn’t have to be big; date nights can be free and just as romantic and beneficial for your marriage! Click HERE for date ideas!
As we seek God’s guidance in our finances, we will find more freedom to greater serve Him. He has given us a spouse with whom we can complete His good works laid out for us; how gracious! Let’s not let the love of money divide us, rather, use it to unite us in our marriage on a mission.
Always remember: God will generously provide ALL you need. Then you will ALWAYS have EVERYTHING you need, and plenty left over to share with others (2 Corinthians 9:8, NLT).
Trust Him. He always provides.
Check this out
Your finances are just one of the bajillion problems with your marriage. You’re thinking “Fixing them won’t even begin to mend the brokenness I’m feeling!”
Can you believe there IS STILL HOPE?
Please read My Marriage is OVER... and I Want Out (part 1) for the hope and fuel that can reignite your marriage. No matter how broken it is.
Listen to the corresponding podcast: