“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a
“Change! If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.” Dave Ramsey
- Call your prayer partner for your 10-minute prayer call! Never underestimate the power of praying with a friend.
- When was the last time you slowed down and truly cherished your quiet time? Today, I challenge you to allow more time than you normally need, turn off your phone and any other distractions, and delve deeply into your Bible study. Let’s connect with our loving Father and His boundless wisdom and mercy.
- Read Proverbs 13:11 in your Bible and write it in your journal.
Marriage & Money
Regardless of your financial situation, money disagreements can put a heavy burden on any marriage. You and your husband have unique backgrounds that have shaped your individual attitudes about money. You have different fears, expectations, and goals, as well as different solutions. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” It is so important to work side-by-side with your husband to hold each other accountable and balance one another’s decisions, and it is even more crucial to come together to ask God to guide your decisions and bless your finances. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). You and your husband will reap great rewards by working together in God’s counsel!
Talk to God about your money. It is an important part of your life, so He should be involved. He loves you dearly and certainly has the best plan for how to use your resources and talents wisely. He can help you utilize your gifts and stretch your finances in ways you can’t imagine. Ask Him to help you and your husband agree and work together; ask Him to bless your financial decisions so you will use your money wisely. Prayer is not about manipulating God into our wills and desires or finding a way to afford all the stuff we want. It is about seeking God’s perfect plan and reshaping our own plans accordingly.
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. (Psalm 127:1)
If we want to live in God’s perfect plan for our lives, we must give God control and continually follow His direction.
All of this may sound simple in theory, but it is often easier to work with God than with your husband. With God, you have the freedom to do what you want. While it may not be wise, you can ignore God’s guidance entirely and deal with the repercussions on your own. Marriage, however, does not work that way. Working with your husband requires struggle and compromise, but I encourage you to make the effort to find the solution that satisfies both of your desires. My husband and I used to discuss issues until one of us eventually gave in to the other, but we have since learned that God’s plan usually lies somewhere in the middle. In discussing our finances—or any issue, for that matter— we strive to find the middle ground, and we usually find that is where God has been waiting all along.
God reminds us at least five times throughout the Bible that He created marriage for two people to come together and become one (Genesis 2:24, 1 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 5:31, Matthew 19:5, and Mark 10:7). Clearly, He intended to get a point across: you and your husband are more than teammates, partners, or friends. You are inseparable. You should be of the same mind and work toward the same cause, but that can only happen if you are communicating and sharing your hearts. God intended for your husband to complete you and help you become a better version of yourself, so don’t undermine that purpose by neglecting to communicate and compromise.
Budgeting and saving money require years of diligence and hard work, but the end result is well worth the effort. Working in tandem with your husband will show tangible results that will increase your quality of life and lower your stress level. What better way to strengthen your marriage? After you find a way to communicate, hash through problems, and work together, your inevitable success will naturally translate into other areas of your marriage. Learning to let God lead your financial future will alleviate stress that comes from hard times. You can have peace knowing that God will bless your best, albeit imperfect, effort to follow Him and respect your husband. Just have patience.
Read the Faith-Filled Idea below to learn how to get started.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Is God truly the head of your finances? If not, why? Ask God to help you overcome any fear or obstacle you are facing.
- Does budgeting make you or your spouse fearful or nervous? I know I have felt that way. Pray that God will help you overcome these emotions instead of avoiding budgeting altogether. Always pray before talking with your husband about finances so that tension does not rule your conversations.
Schedule a budget meeting with your husband this week. Set a day and time to review your budget. Plan accordingly (make sure you are well-rested and well-fed) and take notes on your discussion. Always pray before you begin! My husband and I plan monthly budget meetings during which we review our recent spending, tweak our budget accordingly, and discuss our financial goals. We track our savings and net worth as well. The only thing better than seeing those numbers go from negative to positive is knowing that a burst pipe or broken arm will not wreak havoc on our finances!
Gather pertinent information beforehand, plan an agenda for the meeting, and jot down short-term and long-term goals ahead of time. Do you want to pay for your children’s college? Retire early? We travel more as a result of our budgeting. Once we began tracking our monthly expenditures, we realized how much more money we spend on food and miscellaneous expenses than things we love like travel and entertainment. That was all the motivation I needed to start pinching pennies at the grocery store!
Talk to your husband about starting a budget. If you are not on the same page, I suggest you join a small group through Financial Peace University. The FPU program not only forces you to come up with a financial plan in a timely manner, but it also helps you work more effectively with your spouse. I know these tasks can seem daunting, but the sooner you work out a financial plan, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits from it. Start small if you must; just get started!