You & Your Money

In marriage, typically there is a saver and a spender. Neither is right or wrong. Each needs the other for balance and peace. Money is simply an opportunity to reach unity in marriage. Therefore, when couples work together they can accomplish anything.

Money Matters for Married Couples

“‘But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’” ~Luke 14:28 NLT

If you have ever thought that money cannot ruin your marriage, I tell you dear brother/sister, you are in the wrong. Money matters, especially between spouses as it influences the state and wellbeing of the couple themselves, their relationship and their home.

However, what the purpose of money is, is to be able to exchange it for things in life. But, as we will see in the following passage, the things in life are passing and void of meaning. Therefore, the true purpose of having money is to be able to use it for greater and far more important goals – to be able to provide for one’s family.

The Bible reveals how important the family is. In the terms relevant to the Scriptures, we learn that a person who does not provide for their family has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever. In other words, there is faith in Christianity, and that is the importance of family. And money is to serve this primary value in Christianity.

“A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump;
a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.” (Proverbs 11:28)

The Bible warns us about the emptiness of a life that is focused on the material things. If we spend it seeking to collect wealth and possessions, we are bound to lead a life that is entirely void of any meaning. We will spend our days running around to gather something we will probably find pointless ourselves, if at no other time, then surely on our deathbed. In other words, it is a dead life, a stump.

The matters of money cut through every area of the relationship, which if not properly handled can escalate ordinary matters in the home. Here are some of the common complaints about money in marriage: “My husband and I are never on the same page with money.” “My wife wants to tithe, but I don’t think we can afford it.” “My husband keeps doing business deals that cost our family a lot of money.” “My wife keeps buying things for our kids even though we cannot afford it.” 

Not surprisingly, money fights are one of the leading causes of divorce. Accordingly, a biblical approach to money in marriage can make the perfect sense for couples. Ancient wisdom found in the Bible lasted for centuries because it proposes universal values that surpass social changes and shifts in opinions. So, when uncertain about how to approach your finances in a marriage, or just in a need for an inspiration, whether you’re a believer or not, the Scriptures certainly can help.

I also believe financial tension in relationships can be improved if not alleviated if couples commit themselves to following the five tips below on how to improve the financial intimacy in their marriage.

Money Influences Happiness

Money has been viewed by many to have very little to do with the happiness and joy of marriage. However, do you know that the misunderstanding of finances and improper handling and spending of money in the home can give birth to a lot of sorrows and unhappiness? And if not well-handled, this can lead to distrust. Sure, love conquers all, but when money is lacking, proofs of love seem far and unaffordable. With money, the couple can take steps that bring happiness which speak volumes of the professed love.

Understand Your Financial Roles

It is known and accepted widely that the man should bear the biggest fraction of the financial equation in the home. Yet, some cultures place this entire burden on the man while in others, the financial burden is distributed according to terms and agreement among the couples.

When the backgrounds of the couple differs, it poses a challenge of difference in perceptions and expectation of the financial role of husband and wife. This is one of the reasons that married couples should endeavour to talk about their perceptions of financial responsibilities before marriage fully materializes. But if that hasn’t been discussed, it can still be done although now with more stringent conditions.

The Home Runs On Money

It takes money to sustain the home. Right from the feeding to clothing and housing, and every other daily expense requires money. Without money, they can’t be done. Money drives the action of the home and this makes it expedient to be talked about how it is earned and spent. Without an adequate talk and learning how to satisfy household needs, the daily expenses in the home can become quite overwhelming for any couple.

Money Influences Every Decision

Most often, a couples’ income differs and this begins the challenges associated with money. When income doesn’t match up with the major project a couple undertakes, it takes divine wisdom to sit down and relate on how to move forward. Couples are advised to learn the appropriate savings method that can be used to complete major projects or purchases.

Money Impacts Investment Priorities

Money matters because of the expectations that come with it and because of the way it dictates not only how a couple thinks but the steps they pursue.  It not only impacts what couples can achieve with their lives, but also the limitations they are faced with as a couple. It’s therefore important for the couples to have a common ground of financial priorities.  Investment priorities set the limit of use to the money earned by both persons. 

Don’t Lose Your Soul

As we read earlier, what is right by God is surely devoting oneself to being a dedicated family man or woman. Leading such life in which our actions will be concentrated on contributing to the wellbeing of our loved ones and to contemplating the ways of Christian love is a “flourishing tree”.

“What is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? (Luke 9:25)”

Finally, the Bible warns about what happens if we chase wealth and forget about our core values, about the love and care for our family, for our spouses. If we do so, we lose ourselves. And such life isn’t truly worth living, as all the riches in the world couldn’t replace a lost soul.

The only way in which we can live a fulfilling life and be dedicated to our families is if we are the best versions of ourselves. Only in such scenario, we will be a deserving husband or a wife. And this is far more valuable than having collected riches, to the extent of gaining the whole world. Because marriage is the place where we are supposed to be who we truly are and develop all our potential.

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