A few weeks ago I asked on Facebook, “What do you wish you would have learned about money as a child?” Here were the top three answers.
- Investing and retirement planning
Then I asked what the biggest issues you are facing with money. These were the top four answers.
- Having self-control with money
- Marriage differences with money
- Saving and investing
- Worry about how to spend money and where money will come from.
I believe that most of us can relate to at least one of these. Having money or not having enough brings about a multitude of emotions.
But I just noticed that in these seven responses, God isn’t listed. No one said that they wished their parents would have taught them how to honor God with money or that they struggle knowing how to give or train their children to be good stewards. I wonder how many of our financial issues are because we aren’t even on the right path or working toward the right goal? Could this be the problem?
▼ Jump to Listen to Episode #35: Hope in Christian Finances, Part 1▼
Can a Marriage Honor God with Money?
TR Laughlin of Freedom 5:One ministry says, “The enemy has found a way into the Christian home through the backdoor of personal finances.” This is affecting the family in three ways.
- Marital conflict and divorce
- Failure to teach the next generation wise money habits
- Lack of tithing and giving
In this two-part blog and podcast series, this week we are going to focus on marriage. According to the booklet “Making Marriage Last” problems related to financial matters are a major reason why marriages break down. It’s the lack of hope that change can occur. It’s the feeling that the spouse is the issue. It’s caused by avoidance and a lack of communication.
Stop the Crazy Cycle
As shared in the podcast, Coach T says that there is hope for marriages struggling with financial conflict. He has seen time and time again marriages restored through mediation. In his research 20% of finances is knowledge while 80% behavior. This is hopeful even for those who don’t like spreadsheets!
For starters, Coach T encourages you and your spouse to get on the same page. This is required to move toward and reach your goals. Separately list your “why” of finances. What is your goal? What do you desire? How do you feel meeting or not meeting your goals? Then discuss these “why’s” with your spouse. You may be surprised that you are closer than you thought. Or you may realize that you are headed in what appears to be different directions and need to meet with a financial planner like Coach T, marriage counselor, or a mediator.
Second, Coach T suggests starting with the reality of what you are spending vs income. Numbers don’t lie and it will show exactly how and where money is being spend. The third step would be to make a plan, typically in a form of a budget. Then begin making the changes, one at a time. Through each step, if possible, pray that as a couple you would above all be seeking God’s will for your finances.
Honest Communication around Finances
For this to work, honest communication is required. For the majority of us, our spouses are not our enemies. Peel back the layers to figure out why your spouse is or is not spending. Next, be willing to have open communication at the core level. Be honest with fears, concerns, and pride. Finally, stop being controlled by fear, using manipulation to get what we want, and hiding the truth. Nothing good comes from this. Honest conversation is where healing can occur. Then evaluate together where God is in the midst of your finances.
And that is just the start of what Melanie, Coach T, and I discussed in Part 1 of this series. We will cover teaching our children how to wisely manage money and how to give in the next session.
Episode #35: Hope in Christian Finances: Part 1
FREE Q/A Session
Coach T deeply desires that all Christian couples have freedom in the area of finances. If you have financial questions or just want to hear more practical tips, I want to invite you to a Live Facebook Event where Coach T will cover more pointers, advice for conflict in marriage, and answer your live questions. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity.
If you missed the LIVE Q/A with Coach T, you can view the taped episode here.
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