I think we all know the answer to this one, money and all the baggage that it carries can cause great destruction in our marriages, and if we are not careful, it can cause the best of relationships to fall apart.
Just last night I was with a group of close couples, and we are reading through Paul Tripp’s book “What Did You Expect”. This book has been a wonderful tool to open my eyes to see what marriage really is, two sinners trying to make the best of their circumstances before we are perfected in heaven with Christ.
Yet as I was reading, I couldn’t help but think about how relevant this is to the way we treat our spouses in the use of our money together.
Isn’t it funny how money can become both a source of comfort in our lives, as well as a source of complete heartache? The biggest problem with this situation is that we make it a source of comfort in the first place. Let me give you a quote from Tripp’s book on where our comfort should rest;
“When your heart rests in the amazing wisdom of the choices of a powerful Creator, you have given yourself reason to continue. When your heart celebrates the myriad of careful choices that were made to bring your stories together, you have given yourself reason to continue. When your heart is filled with gratitude for the amazing grace that you both have been and are being given, you have given yourself reason to continue. You are not alone. Your creating, ruling, transforming Lord is still with you.”
His point in this chapter was that life can be so difficult at times, that we find it very hard to continue. I think that this relates very directly to our money, and what life throws at us.
In going into the different churches we have been blessed to go to, I can’t help but hurt for some of the people in those congregations.
It isn’t that they didn’t work hard enough, it isn’t that they made bad financial choices along the way, and it isn’t even that they specifically chose not to give.
No, life just handed them a HORRIBLE deck of cards, and their circumstances are very broken.
What it really takes in these situations are a few different things. I will give you specific points below that will help you through all of this, but what you must keep in mind in the process is one thing, and one thing only: God is Your reason to continue.
He will carry you through whatever you are facing, and He is sovereign over your circumstances, meaning, He already knows what will happen!
Rest in the fact that He gives you a reason to wake up every morning, and whatever you might be facing at this moment financially, is small in comparison to His grand plan for your life.
Because money can affect your marriage, it is important to be equipped with the tools to handle money, and to be ready to work through your issues together.
Tip 1: Work together to create a savings plan.
You may be married to a spender, or you yourself might be a spender, but either way, you must begin to work together to start saving for your future. Sit down and talk about your future goals, don’t be afraid to put it all on the table, and begin to work towards a savings plan that will help you achieve some of those goals.
Tip 2: Look at that person through the eyes of Christ.
At every opportunity, show love to your spouse. They will fail, they will let you down, and they will ultimately hurt you, but your response in these moments is crucial. Look at them in a way that Christ would look at them, with compassion and grace, knowing that they are trying their best to deal with the sin that is in their lives. Love them despite their sin, because you know what, you have quite a bit of sin yourself!
Tip 3: Pay off your debts as soon as possible.
Everyone knows that debt is a huge weight on marriage. One or both of you are CONSTANTLY thinking about it, and it weighs heavy on your heart. Don’t forget to give your concerns over to God, and actively pursue paying off your debt as soon as you can. This WILL make your marriage easier, and will probably eliminate a lot of small and meaningless fights. For more tips on paying of your debt visit my latest post.
Tip 4: Be on the same page.
Make sure that you are your husband or wife’s best and most helpful accountability partner. Don’t let this lead to more fights or heartache, but rather seek to make that person what they are meant to be, a beautiful reflection of Christ. Have weekly or monthly meetings on your budget, see how you are doing, and enjoy the time you have to be together and talk through these issues. You are growing, and that is a beautiful thing.
Tip 5: Give together on a regular basis.
For awhile, I was writing the checks to give to our church, and I didn’t really give that much involvement to my husband. In this way, I was robbing him of a really great inner joy! It wasn’t until tax time that he really realized what we had given, and it almost came as a surprise to him. I realized that if I had included him more, this would have caused him to be more grateful for what God had provided for us this year. Include your spouse on the giving process, and do it together. Even find a ministry that brings both of you great joy and excitement, and let that drive you to continue to give more and more.
My final point is to encourage you that money is temporal, it won’t last, but hopefully your relationship that reflects Christ will last. Seek to serve your partner in the way you handle the money in your household, and God will be smiling down from heaven saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
By: Erika Pizzo