Money is the #1 taboo topic. People will sooner discuss their sex lives then their money.
A household with one credit card had the average debt of $9,498 as of 2005.
Overspending can have the same damaging effects as alcohol or drugs in a marriage.
Money is in the top three arguments for married couples.
Money can be a home wrecker.
The top statements were listed in an 2006 article by USA Today. I can only imagine what it would look like for 2012. Money can cause a lot of stress in a marriage. This is especially true if one is a spender and the other a saver. The following is our testimony on our journey toward financial freedom.
In our marriage, I was the spender. My husband the saver. Did this cause friction? I can assure you most certainly that it did! God had blessed him with an excellent job but in the end we had absolutely nothing to show for it. If it was in the bank account, I saw no legitimate reason for saving and besides all that, shopping was my stress relief. But oh, how I hated when I went to withdraw money from the ATM and in red letters it would say “Insufficient Funds”! This is how our marriage continued for several years; me spending and my husband wanting to save but to no avail.
Then as God would have it, a Crown Financial Seminar was coming to town next door. We both heard about it on the radio and we both felt we should go. I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of spending my whole Saturday sitting and listening to a lecture. We went and then my husband decided to ask about a financial coach. Sure enough, the guy and his wife were willing to become our financial counsellors. We set up a date and time.
At the first appointment, we went over how we had been spending money and then a feasible budget. Well, budget is a really, really bad word in my book! I grudgingly consented but continued to spend just as I jolly well wanted. The time came for our second appointment together. My husband had gone to some in between but they wanted to meet as a foursome so I went along. At that appointment, our financial guy and his wife looked just a bit at our budget and noticed every single area where it was my domain, we were considerably over the allotted amount. To which they began to firmly tell me what I was not doing right and to admonish me, etc. Till the session was over, I felt like I had been raked over the coals! I was offended but it didn’t change my heart.
Then as God would have it once more, I noticed a book for sale in Christian Book Distributor’s catalog. It was an audio book that I thought I’d get for my husband to listen to, to pass the time, as he drives the many miles on the road. He began to listen to the book and came home excitedly sharing what he was learning. The title of the books was “Radical, Taking Your Faith Back From the American Dream”. My husband then decided that on our vacation we would listen to a chapter at a time as a family. In the process, God began getting ahold of my heart. When I began to realize God’s purpose for placing me in this land of plenty, things began to slowly change. Realizing that even saving money was not about benefiting me but about furthering the kingdom of Jesus.
We then had revival meetings. One night it was on “Biblical Financial Freedom”. It was very inspiring! The evangelist asked how Christians can take on thousands and millions of dollars of debt and still call themselves Christians because when they are doing this they most often are pursuing the American dream of having it all and owning it all rather than pursue the cause of salvation.
I still struggle at times to stay within the budget. I still ask God to get ahold of my heart, to give me His perspective on finances. It’s hard to surrender my desire for a new carpet because the old one is badly stained. It’s hard to surrender my desire to go out oftener with my friends for coffee. It’s hard when I want my house to look like a showcase, think new bedspreads that match perfectly, etc. It’s hard when I want a new purse or new shoes or new clothes. But all those things will burn up at the end of time. None of those things have lasting value. But investing that money in missions, will last, will have eternal value, will not burn up at the end of time.
Things that have made a difference for us and our marriage are:
1. Pray, ask God for His perspective and His heart for your finances
2. Christian financial counselling as well as personal counselling
3. “Radical, Taking Your Faith Back From the American Dream” by Dr. David Platt
find more on his website at www.radicalthebook.com/
4. Crown Financial Ministries Seminar and Coaching
more info available at www.crown.org
5. A willing heart
Through the work of facing our differences in finances, we now have a mutual goal. We now can make music in our marriage and to God.
I’d love to hear from you, my readers. How has money impacted your marriage? What resources have you found helpful?