“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife”
(Genesis 2:18, 24a).
As often as we have heard these familiar verses regarding marriage, have we ever considered their implications on how we handle money in marriage? As the first God-ordained institution, marriage is meant to be a source of strength or help to both men and women. Since money, as we use it today, has become integral to living in today’s world, it stands to reason God means for each marriage to be strengthened by our understanding and use of money.
Understand Your Spouse – Each marriage partner was raised and taught differently regarding how to handle money. Each may come from different socioeconomic statuses. But each has something valuable to bring to their collective understanding and use of money. The husband and wife must first understand each other’s view of money. Once you know and understand each other’s background, use that knowledge to capitalize strengths and mitigate weaknesses of understanding and handling money.
God knows we each have our blind spots in all areas of life, including money, but by helping one another, He helps us avoid the pitfalls of those blind spots. As Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 teaches us, we are stronger when we journey together and rely on one another.
Pray Together – While this may seem basic, those who excel at anything do the basics well. As husbands and wives pray together, they should make money concerns and priorities a regular topic of prayer. If the marriage comes regularly before God in prayer concerning this topic, then they will be more gracious towards one another as they both seek to steward God’s blessings upon their life. Praying over small daily money habits as well as big decisions like changing jobs or a potential home purchase will help the couple get on the same page. Praying together brings unity of mind and purpose.
Submit to One Another – As married couples learn about the other’s financial backgrounds and prays together for wisdom regarding their stewardship of the family’s—or rather God’s—money, they must also learn to submit to one another. This practice takes discernment and time to perfect. But as iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17), if they will be humble and gracious with one another, each will bring out the wisdom of the other as they handle God’s money together.
Money disagreements are often cited as the reason for divorce; most research suggests it the central cause of divorce in America. Money is often a divisive topic, whether in marriage or not, because it remains taboo to discuss openly. Our finances are hard to separate from our individual identities because of where we may land on a socioeconomic scale.
In marriage, we must learn to put aside our unease over money talk and learn to embrace the issues surrounding it. The more openly we communicate and pray with our spouses about money, the easier it becomes to manage our resources, and the stronger our marriages become. God brought the husband and wife together to be “help meet,” even in their handling of money.
Don’t let money make your marriage another bad statistic. Embrace the opportunity money brings to be a source of strength and unity in your marriage.