God's Word speaks loudly and clearly on the common issues of money and marriage. We're to see both of these issues through our Lord's eyes if we're to be centered on the truth and become faithful stewards of the resources and relationships He has sovereignly given us. Christ is the unifying 'third strand' in the cord of a strong marriage, and His eternal purposes are to be central to how we handle money in a true one flesh marriage (Gn 2:24 & Mt 19:5-6) that honors Him and produces eternal fruit.
It is God's intention for money to be a unifying force in every Christian marriage. He calls us to one-flesh relationships and godly stewardship of our household resources built on our unity in Christ. Unfortunately, statistics show that money is currently the #1 dividing force in marriage!
There are three ways you can choose to deal with this truth:
Deny that you have any issues.
Structure your finances in ways that aim to avoid conflict and make life bearable.
Take the journey to resolve any dividing financial issues.
The second option may be the path of least resistance, however it can subtly lure you into complacency and rob you of God's best.
Here are some examples of how it plays out:
SEPARATION: Some couples completely divide their finances. They have separate accounts and separate financial responsibilities, and don't talk about money unless there is an emergency. On the surface, this appears to be a way to maintain peace. But it is, in fact, a way to avoid accountability.
COMPARTMENTS: Some couples have implemented a system of "mine, yours, and ours." They jointly pool a predetermined percentage of money, and each individual keeps their remaining share separate. On the surface, this appears to be a way to keep things "fair." But it is, in fact, a way to maintain independence.
ASSIGNMENTS: Some couples have one person assigned to handle the finances. That spouse is responsible for managing the bills and keeping track of the money. The other spouse has their own allowance, and otherwise doesn't have to worry about the finances at all. On the surface, this appears to be a way to function within their strengths. But it is, in fact, a way to avoid the pain of having to work together.
INFIDELITY: Some couples go through the motions of working together on their finances, but each spouse has secret spending or secret stashes of money. On the surface, this seems harmless because "everybody" does it, and what your spouse doesn't know won't hurt them. But it is, in fact, devastating to the trust and intimacy that Christ-centered marriages are built upon.
If you've seen yourself in any of these examples, heed Jesus' warning: "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand" (Mark 3:25).
But be encouraged, because God has a better way! It goes beyond managing your finances in a way that avoids fights. God's way is to resolve the underlying issues that are keeping you from financial unity with your spouse.
I submitted this area of our marriage to the Lord after seven tense, divided years. Now my husband will testify that this journey positioned us to be greater vessels of God's blessings in our personal AND business finances!
Would you like to join us? Then ask God to expose and remove any obstacles to financial unity in your heart and in your marriage, praying: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).
Nia Davenport - wife of a long- time C12 member - CPA, writer, and speaker on the intersection of godly money management and marriage.
The C12 Group is America's leading executive roundtable for Christian CEOs and owners building great businesses for a greater purpose. C12 Members gather monthly for a unique, proven peer forum to engage in worthwhile continual learning, brainstorming, intentional accountability, and to share proven best practices, combined with eternal perspective. Members also receive monthly counsel through one-on-one sessions, an annual business review, and an online library of high-impact leadership tools. Founded in 1992 by Buck Jacobs, dedicated Christian author and CEO, C12's mission is to change the world by bringing forth the Kingdom of God in the marketplace through the companies and lives of those He calls to run businesses for Him.