Sunday, January 11, 2009

His, hers, or ours

When God said in Genesis 2:24, “They shall become one flesh,” He was not just talking about the physical sense. God created marriage as the highest, most honored, most intimate of all human relationships. As such, the husband-wife relationship takes precedence over all blood-kin ties.

Spiritual reflection
God almost always puts opposite personality types together in a marriage, not to frustrate them, but to allow the strengths of each spouse to balance the weaknesses of the other.

However, it is not easy to see beyond the differences and begin working toward common goals as a team.

In the New Testament, Jesus draws an interesting parallel between the way people handle money and the way they handle spiritual matters.

In fact, the way people handle money very well could be the best outside reflection of their true inner values. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). God uses money in the lives of any couple to draw them closer together.

In contrast, Satan wants to drive a wedge between a husband and wife. Why? In hopes that the resultant turmoil will drive them away from God.

Ours not mine
In a marriage, there is no “my money” and “your money” or “my debts” and “your debts.” There is only our money and our debts.

A couple cannot be one if they separate their lives by separating their finances.

God will bring a couple closer if, from the very beginning, they establish God's Word as their financial guide and then follow those principles.

A marriage is not a 50/50 relationship, as many people think. It is a 95/5 relationship on both sides.

Each must be willing to yield 95 percent of their rights to their spouses. If they are not willing to do that, it will not work.

No viable marriage can survive a "his or her" relationship for long, because it is totally contrary to God's plan.

Couples should avoid having separate financial anything, including checking accounts, because when they develop a his money/her money philosophy, it usually leads to a him-versus-her mentality.

Unwillingness to join all assets and bank accounts after marriage is perhaps a danger signal that unresolved trust issues could still be lingering or developing in the relationship.

Budgeting can be difficult, if not impossible, when spouses do not agree on basic money management principles. Therefore, they should make all budgeting decisions together.

They also need to agree to hold each other accountable for meeting their financial goals, and devise a plan for regular evaluation of how well they are succeeding.

The couple should come to an agreement on the amount of money that can be spent without first checking with each other. The specific amount will depend on the budget category and the couple's particular circumstances. “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

Practically speaking, only one person should keep the books.

Even though one person primarily handles balancing the checkbook, both should be fully trained and able to do it.

There is nothing wrong with the wife handling the finances in the family if she is the better administrator, but God still holds the husband accountable for the ultimate decisions.

When there is an impasse, the wife must yield to her husband and allow the Lord to work it out. As they work together, encouraging one another, God will show them His favor and grace.

Nevertheless, being responsible as the leader does not mean the husband is a dictator; the couple should discuss and agree on financial management.

Both spouses should be involved in paying the monthly bills. Doing so will keep both fully aware of their financial status.

January 18, 2005

by Crown Financial Ministries

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