Why Should I Care?
- The Bible tells us to!
- Proverbs 10:4, Luke 14:28, 1 Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 3:9, Proverbs 22:
- People with incomes over $50k have a lower chance of getting divorced compared to individuals making less than $25k
- Money is consistently one of the top reasons listed for divorce
- Research has shown that financial intimacy = hotter bedroom intimacy 😉
How Do We Get on Track?
- Pray for wisdom
- Few couples invite God into their financial lives. I think God has some amazing things he can do with our finances if we allow him to enter into the process. Marriage is always a joint relationship between husband, wife, and God.
- Pray that God would allow you to put the marriage above any individual concerns. Ask God to guide you in how he wants the funds earned, used, and distributed. Request a double portion of humility so you can be prepared to accept God’s guidance. Plead with God to give you the necessary strength to release control of your money over to Him.
- Get on the same team
- Genesis 2:24 For this reason the man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, they will become one flesh
- The husband and the wife lose their individual identity and become one. “I” is dropped from the vocabulary and replaced with “We.” The married couple no longer uses “my”, but “our”. This includes finances.
- Every dollar brought into the home is a dollar that belongs to the home. Every dollar that goes out the door is a dollar that the household spent. Erase all notions of individual finances. Forget about who bought what. It doesn’t matter who first signed for the loan. From now on we are in this financial situation together. We have an equal responsibility and an equal opportunity.
- Since there is a union between husband and wife it is essential that couples combine bank accounts and all other financial items.
- It is difficult, but possible, to function financially with separate bank accounts. However, what do you seek for in your marriage? To ‘function’ or to thrive? I do not believe a marriage can thrive until there is intimacy on all levels. This involves combining all financial resources.
- It doesn’t matter who earns it.Some couples think that the one who earns the money spends the money or dictates how it ought to be spent. Instead, you should respect your unique contributions to the home. Our family has made the decision that my wife will stay home and raise our children. We made a choice, and we each make a contribution to the decisions we made.
- Set Mutual Goals
- Matthew 12:25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.
- Goal setting is a form of practical dreaming – and who doesn’t like to dream about what the future could be? This goal setting is not just about finances, but it is about all things in life. Where do you want to be? What do you want to be doing? What do you want people to say about your life accomplishments?
- Goal setting is where a husband and wife look at each other and say, “Where do we want to be in 5 years? In 10 years? In 15 years?” Husband and wife then look at the financial implications of those goals they have jointly set. If a husband and a wife have separate goals it will be nearly impossible to have financial intimacy in marriage.
- You should only need to make some decisions in your marriage once. Unfortunately, many couples have not put those boundaries in place so when it comes to making financial decisions they are forced to keep re-addressing the same issues.
- Here are some examples of guidelines you might have: We will give a least 10% of our income to our local church or other charities. We will save 15% of every paycheck towards retirement. We will buy things with cash and will not borrow. We will always make a car payment to ourselves. We always put down at least 25% when buying a house
- Who Does What
- Money management takes time, energy, knowledge, and wisdom. One of the common complaints about the modern family is the burden of so many responsibilities and commitments. This makes its way into the home as couples are forced to decide who will take care of the different tasks related to personal finances.
- Take out a blank piece of paper and list all of the the jobs related to personal finances (balancing the check book, transferring funds, paying bills, researching retirement options, making investment decisions)
- Make a copy of that list and have each spouse write one of the following phrases by each tasks: (a) I enjoy that, (b) I’m willing to do that, (c) Kill me now
- Compare your lists. Assign responsibilities first according to the task you each enjoy. Next, assign responsibilities by rotating every other task in the “willing to do that” list. Then finally, if both of you would rather be shot than do the same task, consider (a) outsourcing it if possible, (b) splitting the responsibility 50/50, or (c) assigning the task to one partner and the other will assume another household responsibility that the other hates
- Enjoy money! Research indicates that spending money on new experiences produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on material possessions. Experiences bring us happiness not only when we’re experiencing them, but also whenever we reflect back on them as memories.
- Each person should have some financial freedom. Decide on an “allowance” that each person receives in cash and is theirs to do with as they please.
Scriptures of Encouragement
- Proverbs 10:4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
- Luke 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
- 1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
- Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
- Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
- James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
- Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.