My wife and I approach recipes differently. Jean has a degree in biochemistry. She’s smart and sees life as a series of precisely calculated moves. To her, recipes are a detailed road map to be carefully followed. If the instructions call for one cup of flour, she’ll measure exactly one cup. She’ll even use a knife to scrape off the excess.
I’m more of a free spirit with recipes. I don’t see them as “a roadmap to follow” as much as “a few things to keep in mind.” I kinda, sorta measure ingredients, but not very carefully.
We’re that different in other areas of our marriage, too. She’s an introvert. I’m an extrovert. She’s a night owl, and I’m a morning person. One of us is a spender and the other is a saver.
Differences like those are common in most marriages and can lead to a lot of disagreement and stress, especially when it comes to money.
A lot of couples assume that the solution to their financial problems is more money. It’s not. Extra income may ease a few immediate financial pressures, but it’s usually not a long-term solution.
Generally, the more money a couple earns, the more likely they are to elevate their standard of living and, therefore, their spending. It’s not just couples earning $50,000 per year that are struggling; so are couples making three or four times that.
A second reason for financial problems is poor communication. Couples either never discuss their finances, or if they do, they descend into conflict. God wants couples to become one in every area of life. That includes money.
What can you do to find unity and thrive in your relationship financially?
Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, a global Christian financial ministry founded by the late Larry Burkett.He is the host of two daily radio broadcasts, The Crown Money Minute and My MoneyLife, featured on more than 1,100 Christian music and talk stations in the U.S.
He shares seven keys to uniting financially in marriage:
- Peacemaker – A peacemaker consistently listens to, learns from, and shows honor to his or her spouse.
- Biblical Prosperity – God’s ultimate plan for prosperity involves bringing His shalom to our families and communities through service.
- Discovering Life’s Purpose – God has a purpose and plan for every married couple to fulfill.
- God’s Philosophy of Money – God’s plan involves stewardship: giving, saving, avoiding debt, and investing with counsel and caution.
- Respecting Your Spouse’s Personality – Even though you’re opposites, you can discover great compatibility and joy in your relationship.
- Create a Unified Financial Plan – Did you know that 70% of couples have never discussed a financial plan? Create a plan that involves getting well, doing well, and finishing well.
- Establish a Process that Ensures Success – Whether it’s the cash envelope system of spending, saving, and giving, or some other means of planning for fixed and variable expenses, thrive financially and relationally by implementing a process that works for you.
If you’re struggling in your marriage with financial issues, you won’t want to miss our discussion with Chuck and Ann Bentley on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Getting on the Same Team Financially in Marriage.” They will share practical tips and insights that will help you and your spouse achieve greater financial harmony.
Chuck’s book Money Problems, Marriage Solutions: Seven Keys to Aligning Your Finances and Uniting Your Hearts is available when you become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) for more information.