7 Keys to Aligning Your Finances With God and Your Spouse
Arguments about money are by far the top predictor of divorce, says Sonya Britt, a professor at Kansas State University. “It’s not children, sex, in-laws, or anything else. It’s money—for both men and women.”
My wife and I just released a new book to address this issue – Money Problems, Marriage Solutions. In it, we detail the 7 keys every couple need to align their hearts and finances with God and one another. This book comes from our personal experience. We spent the first 21 years of our marriage on totally different pages when it came to money, and it affected the rest of our marriage.
But through God’s goodness, my wife encouraged me to join a Crown Bible study in 1999 and everything changed after that. We are now both passionate about helping other couples who find themselves where we were years ago.
Below is a list and brief description of the 7 keys that we detail in our book. I’d encourage you to get your own copy and read through it with your spouse. Peace and unity is possible in your marriage and this will lead to freedom in your finances!
If you want to experience healing, be the first to confess, and the first to say, “I’m sorry!” Think of your spouse as your teammate, locked arm-in-arm with you, fighting on the same team and for the same end goal. Quit attacking each other and instead, work together to attack your financial challenges.
Pray for peace in your marriage, and actively choose to be the peacemaker. If one of you is a peacemaker, your marriage will survive. If both of you commit to becoming peacemakers, then your marriage will thrive!
God’s plan for our prosperity includes marriage. It is not in spite of marriage. Of course God can bless those who don’t marry. But you and I should see our spouse and family as a key part to living a prosperous life.
God’s plan is not centered around bigger, better, faster, newer or nicer. It is centered around a step by step method found in Jeremiah 29:4-11.
What is the purpose of your marriage?
Most individuals, myself included, know that they want to get married and have kids, but can’t really explain the purpose behind doing so. Let me encourage you – God has a very specific purpose for your life and marriage. Regardless of your occupation, income, or social standing, God has called you and your spouse to give your utmost for His highest glory.
Unless you live with purpose, you’ll live in danger of achieving nothing of eternal value.
Whether or not you know it, both you and your spouse have a philosophy about money. You form it through your life experiences, preferences, thoughts, and personalities. Your personal philosophy is bound to be different from your spouse’s, and can cause frustration and disunity. But God’s transformational power provides an advantage for two to become one regardless of your personalities, background, or annoying habits. Develop a Biblical philosophy of money with your spouse!
Remember that you and your spouse are on the same team. And on any team, you have to use your teammates strengths to help you win. Especially if their strengths happen to be your weaknesses.
The same goes for our marriages. I am the spender and my wife is the saver. For years we butted heads over financial decisions. But when I understood and accepted her personality, especially with money, it enabled us to begin to work together!
I don’t know what the dynamic is like in your marriage, but if you and your spouse are opposites, be encouraged! Crown’s founder, Larry Burkett, used to say, “If you’re both the same, one of you isn’t necessary.” Don’t try and change your spouse to think and feel the same way you do. Use each other’s strengths and differences to attack your financial challenges together.
Once you have worked through the first 5 P’s, you are ready to make a plan.
I think the first step you should take towards making a plan involves a budget. You can download an easy-to-use guide to making one that you and your spouse can agree upon here.
My hope is that the plan you develop won’t just help your finances, but will help you to fulfill the purpose God has for your life and marriage, will be aligned with Scripture, and will lead you to achieve your financial goals.
Now that you’re working on a plan to success, you need a process to keep your plan moving forward, even when a setback occurs.
I’ve found it’s helpful for couples to put themselves either in charge of offense – scoring the points, earning income – or defense – keeping a budget, paying the bills. It will take both your efforts to make a comprehensive process, and in some cases one spouse may be more gifted at both the offense and defense. You still need to find an effective process that works for your marriage. We have a number of recommendations in our book.
Originally published on Crown.org.
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