Money is one of the major causes of friction in a marriage, because we live in a world in which we are constantly worried about taking care of ourselves. It’s easy to forget that marriage is a commitment to forge a new life with another person. The lack of trust emerging from society has created prenuptial agreements and separate bank accounts. These undermine the commitment to a shared life with a spouse and are contrary to biblical teachings. Whenever financial issues begin to get out of hand in a marriage, the first thing to do is to pray about them. There is no substitute for God‘s answer. Secondly, you might try talking to a marriage counselor or your pastor, who with the help of the Holy Spirit will help you resolve issues diplomatically. God’s Word says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” Gen 2:24. In Matt 19:6, our Lord Jesus says, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.”
God’s Minimum Financial Standards for Couples.
The Word of God has basic principles that govern every aspect of marriage, including finances.
Although these biblical principles are in contrast with the world’s ideas about money, when couples dedicate themselves to living by God’s principles they will avoid many potential financial problems. God requires minimum financial standards of finance in marriage for His people. If couples establish these minimum standards and decide to make them an essential part of their financial management, they will, without a doubt, lay a strong foundation for a healthy and balanced marriage.
The following are four primary minimum standards of finance found in God’s Word that all couples are encouraged to adopt.
(A) God owns everything.
“For we brought nothing into the world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out”
1 Tim 6:7.
Once couples accept the fact that God owns everything and that they have been chosen to be stewards or managers of God’s property, it’s important for them to manage it according to His principles and standards. It’s how we faithfully manage what He has given us that will determine whether He will give us greater things to manage Matt 25:23. So, since in a marriage husband and wife are one, the financial assets and incomes of both husband and wife should be merged and they should operate from a unified financial management base, rather than from a separate and independent management base.
(B) Think ahead and avoid problems.
“For which one of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and count the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”
Too often couples put off planning until they are so deeply in debt that it seems impossible to get out. By then it is too late to plan, except for crisis planning. Couples need to begin planning by writing down their goals and objectives, which should include a yearly balanced budget. These goals and objectives need to be reviewed yearly. Obviously one of the first goals is to avoid financial bondage by staying out of additional debt and committing to pay off existing debt. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they shouldn’t borrow, but borrowing to buy consumables, such as gifts, vacations, and clothes, should be avoided. This type of credit debt will put a couple into insurmountable debt faster than they can pay themselves out of it.
(C) Keep good records. “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches”
It is impossible for couples to have their finances under control unless they understand the basics of good bookkeeping. Recently it was discovered that less than two out of 10 couples know how to actually balance their checkbooks. This means that many married couples seldom know how much money they have to spend or how much they are spending. Couples should develop their financial plans and work together, but there should be only one bookkeeper in the home who pays the bills. Two bookkeepers invite bookkeeping disaster.
“The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps”
Most financially naive couples are not stupid regarding money; they are just ignorant and do not understand how borrowing and interest rates work. As a result, their primary concern becomes “How much are the monthly payments?” rather than “How much is this going to cost ultimately?” In addition, many times the naive people borrow more money than they can repay because they have no budget. In essence, they have no idea where their money goes each month or how much credit their income can support. Couples need to learn financial management and budgeting and use that information to avoid debt or financial problems.
God’s Word provides standards for managing money that is essential for marital unity. If couples study these biblical principles, learn them and put them into practice in their marriages, and adhere to these standards no matter how tempted they are to adopt the world’s standards, their marriages will be strong and will remain sound.
- Wealthy With Kids And About To Get Hitched? Don’t Get Hit With This Massive Tax (businessinsider.com)
- Managing The Marriage Purse: The Newlyweds Guide to Financial Mastery (mlmww.com)