Money Magazine states that couples argue about money twice as much as they do about sex.
What was the cause of your last argument (fight)?
Have you noticed how God usually brings two people together – Opposites Attract! You may be a saver, and you married a spender. You may enjoy balancing a checkbook, and your spouse on the other hand may want nothing to do with balancing a checkbook – that’s awfully restraining! There are a lot of couples today that don’t know what a checkbook is; they only use a debit card and online banking. Each day they look at their account, and if they have money and they forge right ahead. You may desire to live on a budget, but your spouse on the other hand could care less about a budget – all they want to know is there money in the bank!
Are you aware that 15% of all that Jesus said relates to the topic of money? He said more about money than He did about heaven and hell. Jesus knew that money would be an issue with people and in marriages.
Experts agree that finances can be the number one cause of marital strain.
Have you been fighting over money issues in your marriage? (Maybe you just don’t talk about it – because to be quiet means to be safe).
Larry Burkett said, “You can tell more about the spiritual lives of a couple by looking at their checkbook than by anything else.”
My goal is to provide some very practical ideas about money. I want to provide some biblical direction for married couples regarding finances.
- Money can become a love affair.
Money can become a love in you life, and not for your good. Loving money can become detrimental in your life, and to your marriage. People can actually have an affair with money!
Through the years as a pastor I have watched far to many marriages destroyed by an desire and love for money. Mankind always seems to want more.
“Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.” (Proverbs 27:20)
Consider what the Bible tells us about the Pharisees (the religious leaders of Jesus’ day). We read, “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money,” (Luke 16:14)
Matthew records a number of parables spoken by Jesus (See Matthew 13). One Parable is called, The Parable of the Soils. Jesus actually explained this Parable, and in a part of the explanation Jesus said,“ Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)
II. Money can become a god.
Money was never meant to become a god. Money was designed as a means of exchange for services and goods. And yet, it has become a god for a whole lot of people today.
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)
Money (mammon) becomes a god when it becomes the driving force of your life. When you think more about money than you think about God than money has become your god.
The Preacher wrote in Ecclesiastes 5:10, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.”
Remember what Paul penned in I Timothy 6:10-11, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”
III. Money has a lot of buying power.
The American Dream – the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the American Dream: “an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity; also : the prosperity or life that is the realization of this ideal.” Next the dictionary provides the following example: “with the acquisition of a big house in the suburbs, they felt as though the American dream had indeed become a reality for them”
Dave Ramsey says, “We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t know.”
Do you know what money cannot buy? Money cannot buy oneness in a marriage. It will require a mutual investment in each other’s lives to establish true oneness in marriage. Do you know why we have so little oneness in marriages today? Because it is easier for husbands and wives to go off to work each day, and make money, than it is for husbands and wives to live together and create oneness.
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”
IV. Money is to be mutually shared.
What do I mean when I say, mutually shared? I’m talking about joint accounts. Two Becoming One with Money!
Crown Ministries writes: “A couple cannot be one if they separate their lives by separating their finances…. No viable marriage can survive a “his or her” relationship for long, because it is totally contrary to God’s plan.”
What keeps you from joining your accounts? What is keeping you from pooling your resources together? Here are a few of the top reasons couples give as to why they don’t pool their resources:
- Debt that the other person brought into our marriage. Why should I be responsible for their debt?
- I’ve seen way to many people divorce. I want security for the future.
- Having separate accounts will keep us from division (fighting) over money. He has his, and I have mine.
Greg Johnson writes at Club Thrifty, “I believe the real reason that married couples separate their finances is because they don’t want to grow up. They don’t want to tell themselves “no” to anything – and they don’t want anybody else to tell them no either. They have no intention of being accountable to anybody for their bad spending habits, including their spouse.
With separate finances, it is easy for them to buy anything and everything they want without any consequences. Why? Because they can simply say, “It’s my money. I can do what I want.” If they had to be accountable to one another, they may actually have to change their habits to benefit the team. They may have to stop selfishly spending on new shoes, purses, and clothing so that the family (team) could reach their common goal. They may not be able to buy the newest gadget, go to the big game, or go on that hunting trip because it didn’t benefit the family. For this reason, most of the married couples I know who keep separate finances are also some of the biggest over spenders I know.”
V. Money is to be properly managed.
Don’t forget to ask God what He wants you to do with your money. Establish a game plan for properly managing God’s money. I would suggest the following ideas:
- Realize that God own everything – Psa. 24
“The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.”
- Put God first – Tithe from your income.
The word tithe means, a tenth part. As a couple I would suggest that you start there – start with the tenth. This is NOT the ceiling in giving it’s the base. It’s the minimum. Every believer should give back to God at least 10% of their income.
Here is how it works: God blesses you with one dollar, and you give back to Him a dime (10% back to God).
- 27:30 – “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD.”
- 3:9 – “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your increase.”
- 3:8 – “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.”
Jesus taught, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)
- Establish an amount you need to live on.
How much is enough? That question was asked of one of the richest men who ever lived (J.D. Rockerfellow) and he replied, “Just a little bit more.”
How much money do you need to live on? As a couple sit down and talk about how much money you need to live on. After you have set an amount begin to pray about where the rest of your money will go.
Are you aware that if you earn $ 30,000 dollars that you are among the 1.23 top richest people in the world? So Mr. & Mrs. Wealthy – what are you going to do with all your money? I would suggest:
- Use what you need (Set an amount).
- Share what you can. (Become a cheerful giver).
- Glorify God with all of it.
- Start a saving account.
You should establish an emergency fund so that when something goes wrong you don’t have to use a credit card (avoid debt). $ 1,000.00 is a good place to start.
You should also establish a second savings account where you seek to have between three and six months worth of living expenses. (Note: This information comes from leading experts in money management).
Most of us live from paycheck to paycheck, and if we lost our job we would lose everything. Put some money away for hard times. This is not a lack of faith it is actually wise planning. We live in a fallen and broken world and bad things do happen to good people.
- Give as God leads you to give.
Larry Brotzman’s motto was: Givers are Gainers.
II Corinthians 9:7 tells us, “God loves a cheerful giver.” Do you give with a smile and with a happy heart? Do you delight in giving to others?
Years ago a lady in this church used to hand me every three envelopes every Christmas. Inside each of the envelopes she placed a $ 100.00 dollar bill. She asked me to distribute those envelopes to individuals within our church that had a need. It was a lot of fun handing out envelopes with cash in them.
6. Invest in Eternity
Where is your real treasure? Here or in glory? We all know that things here don’t last. They grow old; they break down, wear out, rust out, and stop working. We lose things, break things, and we wreak things. Our treasure here is earthly and of this earth. It’s all going to stay here in the end.
Matthew 6:19-21 reminds us, “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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Husbands and wives, I would challenge all of us to consider the following places to invest in:
- Invest in God’s work – the Church. Do you love the Church enough to invest in its ministries?
- Invest in people – they last forever.
- Invest in missions and missionaries.
- Invest in Bible school students.
- Invest in children’s ministries.
- Invest in teenagers.
- Invest in marriages. Family Life Marriage Conference.
- Invest in Christian organizations making a difference in the world.
- Put away for the Temporal.
Far too few of people have a retirement account. I want to encourage you to begin to put something away into a retirement account. Save now for the time when you will not be a part of the earning community. Don’t depend on Social Security – it may not be there.
With God leading you put something away for your temporal time here on earth. We will all grow older, and we will continue to need money. Perhaps you might consider some of the following:
- Investments – Stock Market.
- Property – Land and buildings.
- Gold and Silver – Precious Metals.
- Ministry Related Annuities – Moody Bible Institute, Northwest Baptist Foundation.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep– So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:6-11)
A Few Don’ts:
- Don’t allow money to suduce you.
- Don’t allow money to become your god.
- Don’t get enamored with the things money can buy.
- Don’t allow money to cause division in your home.
A Few Do’s:
- Do join your banking accounts.
- Do properly manage God’s money.
- Do become a tither and a giver.
- Do put something away for retirement.
- Do invest in eternity.