Before getting married, I had a general idea of how big of a role finances would play in marriage. Finances can be a very touchy subject as it is statistically one of the BIGGEST romance killers in marriage. Premarital counseling (which I believe should be a REQUIREMENT especially as a Christian before getting hitched) will tell you what to “expect” and guide you and your future spouse on how to find different ways of dealing and working together when it comes to finances in the marriage. However, having an idea of something and ACTUALLY experiencing it for yourself is NOT always exactly the same thing.
For the past few weeks, my husband and I found ourselves in the thick of dealing with the ebbs and flows of finances as a married couple. Standing at a critical crossroad, I’ve realized that all of the advice that well-meaning friends, family, counselors, and even some strangers gave about how to deal with finances when married seem to go out the window as my husband and I are braving our own specific, tailor-made, and temperamental financial season. While some advice may have worked for a bit, we realized that we were at a point of feeling lost and simply not knowing what to do causing frustration and animosity towards each other and at times with God.
It wasn’t until a few days ago did I take some time out to silence the noise, sit down, seek, and ask God what He has to say about balancing hubby and I’s romance and finances. After all, His Word is what ULTIMATELY stands, right? One of things that I love about His Word is that He does NOT back down or shy away when it comes to one of the things that majority of us keep close to our hearts: marriage and money.
Before getting into God’s Word, I poured my heart out to God letting Him know about the state of our finances asking Him to guide, direct, and instruct my husband and I on how to be BETTER stewards TOGETHER with it. When I opened my bible, God had so much to say. There were a plethora of scriptures that were given that provided such massive wisdom/lessons that it really had me making some immediate changes that I needed to implement.
One of the KEY lessons learned was refocusing where my faith lies when it comes to finances and Matthew 6 really gave the eyes of my heart a focus check.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20)
When reading this, I immediately got convicted as I realized that somehow I’ve been overly focused (almost borderline obsessed) on building our financial wealth and putting our trust in something that may look like there would be a return but no 100% guarantee. This taught my husband and I that it is better to rely MORE on our sufficient spiritual account with Christ than a checking account. Our checking account, stocks, and other monetary investments will often fail us but our spiritual account is ALWAYS back by something and Someone, God. His supply for our needs is much more sufficient that a lifetime of pay checks, stocks, and bonds.
While our dollars may dwindle, our faith in God is to remain fortified.
Realizing and agreeing with this prompted my husband and I to have a more comfortable, open, and honest conversation about the logistics of where the finances are going which nothing was hidden. After all, whether you’re single or married, you can tell a lot about someone’s finances and heart based on what where they spend money on. Which leads to this powerful scripture.
“For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Knowing that both us can be giant foodies, we of course love to go out to eat. I guess you can say that our hearts can definitely be with food. We realized that if we wanted to be better stewards, changes would have to be made. In attempts to save even more money, both of us have agreed to scale back on eating out and start cooking meals ourselves. It’s a win-win as both of us get to spend quality time together cooking food that we both enjoy while saving money at the same time.
Studying God’s Word not only shifted and refocused my husband and I’s priorities when it comes to handling and managing money but also brought us closer as we found a way to work together and not be so fearful and touchy about topics such as money. If we want God to be in our marriage as we say we do, we should include Him EVERYTHING (this means our finances too) as it fosters financial peace even in the midst of a rocky season and marital bliss.
God was giving me wisdom to share with my husband during my quiet time with Him but there was something He needed to deal with about me personally on a much deeper level that struck a nerve. It left me breathless, silent, and very convicted. What was it? Find out on the second part of Money, Marriage, and Managing It All.