Our small group has been walking through a couple’s study based on Wayne Mack’s book Strengthening Your Marriage. We’ve been examining what a healthy marriage looks like through the lens of God’s Word. For He has designed marriage to be a relationship of oneness—a deep unity and growing strength that is seen in all areas. Thus far we have explored:
A Godly Marriage — A marital math problem which reflects God’s design, 1 + 1 = 1. That is, to leave, then cleave, which will result in oneness.
A Husband’s Love — This same oneness can only be achieved when the husband and wife know their biblical roles. It is to begin with the man as he models Christ’s love, which then is reciprocated by his spouse.
Learning to Communicate — Also vital to our oneness is the skill of good listening and the self-control of our emotions.
This past Sunday we added another layer, looking at our finances. The key verse remains the same for this study, Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
The husband and wife are to be one flesh. This is not simply a physical or emotion principle. It applies to all areas of the marriage which includes how we handle our money in the home. Dr. Mack explains:1
Marriage is a total commitment and a total sharing of your total person with another person until death. Included in the total sharing aspect of marriage is money. As far as our possession of, attitude toward, and use of money are concerned, my wife and I are to be one flesh.
Money can be a divisive subject, for sure. When it comes to conflict, it is likely in the top ten, sitting somewhere near the top causing all kinds of marital problems. A couple’s financial oneness (or lack of it) will tell us much about the state of their marriage—that’s because their interdependence will increase or decrease respectively.
FIVE FINANCIAL PRINCIPLES
The ultimate goal is to examine our own marriage’s bond as it relates to money and in light of Scripture. Below are five fruitful steps to leading our marriages onto the path of financial oneness.
1. PRAY (for guidance)
Money, essentially, is a symbol of the two spouses values and priorities. It is that simple. Does your’s line up with God’s? Read 1 Chronicles 29:11-14 below, and then pray that your hearts would reflect David’s prayer in the days and decisions to come.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name. “But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.
2. PARTNER (as one)
Marriage is not merely a bilateral contract, it is a sacred union. Can you truly say that your spouse is your partner? Consider Gen 2:24 again:
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
3. PLAN (giving and living goals)
Aim at nothing and you are bound to hit it. Men you must lead in this. The husband and wife should be discussing and agreeing upon how they will make and spend their money. Giving to the Lord (and those in need) is not just a privilege, it is a responsibility. Can we say that our spouse is our greatest counselor? Are you working together on this? Look at Proverbs 15:22.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
4. PURPOSE (responsibilities)
Whether we know it or not, there is a purpose that our giving and living goals serve. But it it a godly one? Prov 21:5 tells us that this will not happen automatically. Instead, we’ll need to be intentional in considering and correcting our direction from self to God’s glory with our finances.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Emphasis mine.)
5. PURGE (financial pressures)
Debt is not always a bad thing (i.e., using your mortgage interest as a tax deduction). However, if it is keeping you from honoring and serving God then it is sin. Plain and simple. Why? We become a slave to it. Check out Prov 22:7.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Regardless of the age and stage of your marriage, commit to spending the necessary time to employ these five principles of financial oneness: pray for guidance, partner as one, plan living and giving goals, purpose to do it, and finally, purge those financial pressures.
There were a handful of experiences shared on Sunday night in our group. They encouraged us that we are not alone and that help is available. The same is available to you! As always, please feel free to get in touch if you would like to learn more on this subject.