Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.James 1:9-11 ESV
Money and marriage. Research tells us that money is the number one source of conflict in our marriages. It is the thing we fight about the most. James is trying to help us understand it isn’t the money itself, but the pursuit of money that will lead to our demise. Why do we chase after money or material possessions? What is our motivation? Before we begin to unravel how to have a healthy dialogue about money in a marriage, we need to examine our hearts and look at our attitudes toward money.
We all come into marriage with different perspectives on money and its value or purpose in our lives. What have we been taught? How have our experiences with money impacted our attitudes toward it? Generational strongholds leave some of us saving every penny so we’re prepared for the worst, while other spend as an escape or “therapy”. Some of us grew up in homes where money was never an issue, and some of us were taught creative financing. We were given an allowance and taught how to budget, or we learned to survive on little. Perhaps we were impacted by a disastrous financial event that left us feeling vulnerable and unprepared, or perhaps we were taken shopping whenever we were feeling blue. Maybe your parents gave you stuff instead of time, or maybe they always said no. Some of us were taught our sense of security is tied to the size of our bank account and some of us were taught our value is defined by our material possessions. All this background noise sets up our experience and our strongholds with money.
The first step in healing financial strife in your marriage is understanding your attitude toward money. The second step is understanding the biblical principle of stewardship. Stewardship is the idea that God owns everything. Every single thing we have comes from God. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:7). Our money and our possessions are resources God has entrusted to us. We don’t own any of it—we are simply managers of what He’s gifted or given to us. At some point, it will all end up back in His hands, so we should consider the time we have with it as opportunity to demonstrate we are good stewards. Biblical stewardship breaks down the worldly belief that we somehow have rights to a certain financial status or that we have a right to do with it as we please. God owns it all, we are simply stewards of it. As stewards, we don’t have any rights to the money or possessions He has given to us, but we do have a responsibility to manage the gifts He has entrusted to us well.
Instead of having another disagreement about how to spend or save your money with your spouse today, instead of allowing the stress of having to pay bills with money you don’t have, take some time today to have a conversation about your attitudes toward money. Be vulnerable and dive deeper into why your strongholds exist. Look into your past and consider how they impact your spending and your saving habits. Then have a conversation about biblical stewardship. How does God want you to take care of the resources He has entrusted to you?
Press on ~ you are loved 💗