Monday, June 23, 2014

Finances and the Christian Marriage

When people asked, "what caused your marriage to fail?", four answers surface:
communication problems
sexual incompatibility
in laws
financial issues

The leading factor?  financial issues
80% of couples divorcing before 30 cited financial problems as THE primary cause of the divorce.  (are additional things as well, but this = primary)

Therefore, continuation of the Marriage and Family Series.
This week - "Finances and Christian Marriage"
Next week - "Biblical principles of Finance"

Steps to Strengthening and Improving your marriage in the arena of money and finances.

The point today is NOT how to improve your finances.  It is how to improve your marriage by means of your finances.

(Obvious extension --- if improve your marriage it will naturally improve your home/family)

Step #1.  Make Jesus LORD of your finances.   Matt. 6:24, 33
1st - make Him LORD of your Life, then be sure that includes your $$$.

Observation by Martin Luther - "3 conversions necessary for a believer - conversion of the heart, conversion of the mind, conversion of the purse!!"  This is very difficult to accomplish because finances are a very personal issue.

#2.  Learn what God has to say about finances.
ie:  Biblical principles of acquiring, spending, saving, investing, giving

There are thousands of verses in the Bible about money.  Only the Kingdom of God has more verses about it. 
Survey:  Americans who own a Bible (in their household) - 88%
             Americans who consider themselves knowledgeable about the Bible - 82%
             Americans who can name the 1st. 5 books of the Bible - 43%
POINT???
A)  this = (important) moral issue
therefore:
B)   Bible has given us a lot of information
C)  bottom line is NOT $$ in the bank, = better marriage, better witness, better peace, better harmony - "well done"

#3.  Talk about finances with one another
when asked, "what caused marriage to fail?" - answer = financial issues
BUT, when asked "what would make relationship successful?" - answer = communicate

Best time to talk about this - before the wedding.  (and almost nobody does it)

Next best time - NOW!!

This is not always easy because is VERY personal and potentially volatile!

#4.  Recognize your spouse's legitimate views on money.  (a different view is not necessarily a wrong view)
Some books dealing with money:  "Four Money Languages" - Dr. Kenneth Doyle, Financial Psychologist - U. of MN
                                                   "Five Money Personalities" - Scott & Bethany Palmer

Point:  Money means different things to different people!!
examples:  significance - (proves I'm somebody"
                 security - (protects my future)
                 enjoyment/pleasure - (satisfies my hungers)
                 love/affection - (makes people love me)

Simplify:  SPENDERS and SAVERS.  Which is legitimate?  Which is needed?  Which is healthy? 
Answer = BOTH!!
Simple formula = Save Some - Spend Some - Share Some

#5.  Approach financial issues as partners (equals)
One may MAKE more
One may have more interest, savvy, ability to handle
BUT, one should NOT have more say, more control

"God's plan for marriage = 1) Companionship and 2) PARTNERSHIP
Therefore, Share - the money, burden, strain, responsibility, goals, harvests, abundance

Point = share all liabilities AND Assets
            share all decisions on liabilities and assets.
Luke 11:17

#6.  Agree to live within your means.
2 parts to this:
A)  "live within your means" - if you spend more than you make??,  if you don't save some??, if you borrow more than can pay? - NOT living within your means!   We are notorious about living above means.
Average American = $225,000 debt and less than $500 savings.

B)  "Agree to Live" -  examples:  Spendthrift vs. tightwad

Additional:  C) Agree to give - IF not giving, then NOT practicing Christian financial principles!!

#7.  Create a Positive Christian financial legacy
Doesn't mean leave behind money, inheritance
Means leave a model, trail, teaching - something your kids and grandkids and great-grandkids can see and understand and embrace and practice and, therefore, AVOID some of your struggles!!!

Point of all this is NOT to improve your bank account.
It is to improve your marriage, family, home

Beauty of it is that you CAN HAVE BOTH!!!   So, next week - "Biblical Principles of Finance"

Luke 16:10-13 - Choose!!!!

1 comment:

Gast Family said...

Hey,

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Talk to you soon,

Ana