Marriage and Money in the Christian Home

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Marriage and money. Let me be brutally honest and tell you that I am really struggling with this post. Not for lack of passion, but quite the opposite. A child of multiple divorces myself, I am keenly aware of how the very mention of money can drive couples apart. So I am choosing my words carefully as I ponder my own marriage and what I have learned.

I believe the first place to seek wisdom about finances is God’s Word. It has plenty to say on the subject. But a careful search reveals little about how money specifically is to be handled in a marriage. So, we must first go broader and learn about the Biblical model for marriage before we even begin to understand the ins and outs of nailing down a budget together.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. ~ Ephesians 5:22-24

Six years ago, I had very little understanding of this model. I had read the verse above many times, but never truly grasped what it meant. In fact, the word “submit” made me bristle in defense. But on November 6th, 2004, I walked down the aisle full of hope, excitement, joy and love for my husband. Having met just five months prior, Troy and I had never even sat down to discuss long-term financial goals or even our debts.

Since I was raised by a single mom, and a single mom myself for four years, I was used to handling things MY way. I was all too comfortable being in complete control of the bills and the spending. This was not Biblical. It should come as no surprise that money often led to arguments and stress in our marriage.

Today, by God’s amazing grace, our marriage looks quite different. It took a lot of pain and many mistakes along the way, but money is no longer a major source of strife in our home. We are by no means perfect in this area, and we continue to learn and grow. But I can share a few key things I have learned about approaching money as a Christian wife:

1. There is no “mine” or “yours” in marriage. All income is considered “ours” and is entrusted to us by God.

2. Debt is also not divisible in marriage. Even prior debts.

3. Secret spending has no place in marriage. Any major purchases are discussed beforehand and disclosed.

4. I can honor my husband and the Lord by shopping wisely, and stretching our household budget with coupons and frugal practices.

5. Regularly and openly communicating about finances is a must. Setting goals, budgeting, giving and saving are important topics to discuss as a couple.

Action Item:

Evaluate money matters in your marriage. Is there room for improvement? Plan an appropriate time to discuss your concerns (hint: right before bed is not a good time!) ;)

Recommended Reading: (try the library first!)

The Excellent Wife, by Martha Peace

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This post is part of  the “Put Your House in Order” blogging series. Together we are exploring the topics of food, children, decorating, faith and finances as they relate to our homes. Get caught up with New Beginnings.

For more inspiration, visit my fellow bloggers:

Siblings Showing Love – A Valentine Activity from Connie at Smockity Frocks
Decorating Hearts With Love
from Myra at My Blessed Life
Showing Love Through Cupcakes from Jessica at Good Cheap Eats
Thriving in a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage from Courney at Women Living Well

Comments

  1. says

    I loved your post. We are going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University right now. But I was a single mom for a while too and fully understand the feeling of being able to do it on my own and how hard it is to get out of that mindset. In fact, I’m still struggling with it!
    Mrs. Means´s last blog post ..Clearance- Snow And Other Items

    • Alyssa Francis says

      @Mrs. Means, It is tough. Single moms are definitely in the “survival of the fittest mindset”. Thankfully it’s getting easier for me to allow my husband to lead in our home. :)
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. says

    LOVE this post, Alyssa!!

    I’ve learned so much about money these past few years that I wish SO BADLY that I would’ve known starting out in marriage.

    Although, I do consider the money in my “fun money envelope” mine. :)

    Not discussing things right before bed is so hard to do since from 8:30 – 10 is when my brain can actually think about other things besides kids. We really need to work on setting aside time on the weekends during the day to discuss issues that we need to discuss.
    Rachel @ Surviving The Stores´s last blog post ..Dr Oz Free Giveaway Today 2-7 at 3pm EST Nook- Aerosoles- Magic Bullet

  3. says

    EXCELLENT post Alyssa! Communication is key when it comes to marriage and that means money also. I am also so glad you mentioned number 1 – there is no mine and yours in marriage. This has become so common with people living together or being fearful of divorce so they don’t mix the money. Though it is a hard step for some – it is important that we are united in every way -including money.

    Great encouraging post!
    Courtney
    Courtney (WomenLivingWell)´s last blog post ..Thriving In A Spiritually Mismatched Marriage

    • Alyssa Francis says

      @Courtney (WomenLivingWell), Courtney – That means a lot to me coming from you. Marriage in general is a struggle for me and I often feel like I am fumbling through it. Your blog is such a valuable resource for people like me! Thanks for your kind words.

  4. Jamie says

    Great post and so very true! I tend to be a bit of a control freak sometimes so I often struggle with the ‘partnership’ aspect at times. Through hard work and communication we are working on paying off all of our debt. It is a slow road but we will get there eventually!
    Jamie´s last blog post ..Barbecue Red Bean Burgers

  5. says

    This post is excellent and exactly what I needed to hear! My boyfriend and I had a casual conversation about how we would handle finances in a marriage, and it turned into a big disagreement. After reading a few articles about it I am more open to the complete joint accounts, and I think your article is excellent! Thank you for your insight on the issue.

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