Finances tend to be a hot and controversial topic in marriage. If we are not careful, finances can be very stressful and put huge strains on our marriage. I do not claim to have it completely figured out, and I know that every marriage is different, but I believe if you focus on these principles, you will keep your focus on what really matters, God.
I would really break up the five principles below into two different categories: Perspective and Application. I believe if you keep your perspective in line, everything else will fall into place. If you approach your finances with a bad attitude of selfishness or greed, you will get nowhere pretty quick. However, if you approach your finances with a giving and christ-like attitude your perspective on money will change.
1. We Own Nothing
Yep, we own nothing. This perspective is based upon the biblical term “stewardship”. Stewardship is the concept of being responsible or caring for something that someone has entrusted to you. Basically, everything we have is from God and we have been given it to care for, for His Glory.
“Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” – Deuteronomy 8:17-18
As humbling as this sounds, we do not bring anything to the table. Everything is from God and for him. God has entrusted us with certain resources, gifts and abilities. These things rightfully belong to him. Our responsibility is to live in accordance with His plan and design.
“Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense his own already…” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
2. We Have Everything We Need
It is so easy to get caught up in the next trend or next phase of life. We so easily confuse wants versus needs. But mostly likely, you are reading this post from your laptop, phone or iPad so you are considered wealthy in comparison with the rest of the world. Now, I am not trying to send you on a guilt trip, but I am saying to keep this perspective in mind.
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:11-13
Unity can be one of the hardest aspects of finances in marriage. We are each made so uniquely different by God and also tend to be attracted to opposites. It is most likely that one of you is a spender and one of you is a saver, so getting on the same page can be difficult at first, if you are seeking different goals. To make sure my husband and I are on the same page, we set yearly goals together and do a monthly budget together. This does not mean rules and restrictions, but rather it helps us stay on track for our goals that we want together as a family. Seek God’s guidance in this area of unity through prayer.
“That together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 15:6
4. Dave Ramsey
My husband and I have done Dave Ramsey since day one of our marriage. For us, Dave Ramsey helped us get on the same page for our marriage in regards to our finances and gave us a plan. Because of Dave Ramsey, finance fights have been non-existent in our marriage. We consider ourselves extremely blessed that we were able to follow this plan and use his 7 baby steps as tools to help us create our own unique plan for our finances. I highly recommend Dave Ramsey if you and your husband are seeking to get on the same page for your finances and plan for your future.
5. Live Life, Have Fun
Through the application of getting your finances in order, it is also easy to get so strict that you lose sight of enjoying what God has blessed you with as well. Make sure to take time to do things that you enjoy together and individually. For my husband and I, we love going to dinner and movie. We are also wanting to travel to a few places in the near future, so we have been saving for those trips as well. Do you enjoy shopping? Does your husband enjoy golf? Make sure both of your hobbies are incorporated into your budget so that you each stay renewed and joyful.