Thursday, August 26, 2010

Attitude towards money in marriages.

“Me, No! Even though the premarital counselling class says that having joint accounts is good for some reasons, I beg to differ. I cannot trust my spouse to have full access to our account.”

“I don’t have to disclose everything that I earn. I should be smart enough to know that in this life, I need to build my own war-chest. What if the unthinkable happens and he leaves me penniless?”

“Do you know that I keep adding to the money you give me for the house? Instead of discussing this, you tell me you don’t have any more money. Am I the only one that knows that inflation has caught up with us and prices have gone up?”

“Why do we spend a lot of our money on your siblings and parents and my own parents don’t get as much?”

“As a man, I am the head of the House. Even though I am going through some financial difficulties, I cannot let my wife know. I would rather go out there and borrow money from my friends.”

These are some of the frequent issues you get in some Christian homes today. Money is a major source of conflicts in many marriages. This stems from the fact that most couples do not have shared values concerning money on embarking on the relationships.

It is important for the husband and wife to embrace a common attitude towards finances. If both of you hold to some objective principles that are not necessarily based on your individual experiences or desires, you may be able to avoid many conflicts over finances. It is important to reach a mutual understanding towards issues such as debt, earning, giving, spending, saving, investing and budgeting.

There are eight basic principles that I will like to share with you.

1. Everything you have been entrusted to you by GOD. You are a steward or manager of what GOD has given. Your time, talents and treasures are from his Hand. A steward is one who manages the assets and affairs of another person. Although not the owner of the assets, a steward generally has wide latitude and authority in managing them on behalf of the owner. Continued stewardship is contingent upon the steward’s faithfulness and effectiveness in representing the owner’s interest.

2. Money is a means to an end. It is not an end in itself. The use to which it is put is dependent on values of the steward. It is advised that couples have shared values, visions and goals for life before they marry as this informs their patterns of money management.

3. Money is a reward for providing services and meeting people’s needs. Both men and women are equally capable of doing this. They should also be diligent in whatever they put their hands to.

4. Generosity is a virtue. Money is a seed. The Bible says “Whatever you sow, you will reap. This applies to money also. God desires that we give freely from a joyful heart rather than out of a sense of obligation, acknowledging Him as the source. The more you give, the more you receive.

5. Honour your father and mother so that it may be well with you. Ensure you both put aside money for your parents, no matter how small. The amount to each spouse’s parents should be discussed and agreed upon. It should be based on the perceived needs.

6. Every household should have a basic budget. Every household needs a budget to manage the family’s resources effectively. It is no challenge to spend more money than you make. The challenge is to spend significantly less than you make so you can save for unanticipated opportunities and emergencies and be generous to others. The budget should not be from one party’s income but from the household income. The budget should consider tithes, offerings, current expenses, savings, investments, Leisure and recreation. Please note that whether or not both the husband and wife work, each should have a regular “allowance” of money (from the budget) to spend entirely on their own. Also note that a budget is a guide. It is subject to review from time to time as needs change and by mutual agreement.

7. Agree on the fact that all monies accruing to each individual in the union belongs jointly to both of you. The modalities of administering your joint resources are open to discussion. The options range from a joint purse with a joint account to a more flexible common pool with separate accounts. No approach is better. What is crucial is fairness, equity and a recognition of which party is best equipped to manage the finances.

8. Please discuss with your spouse anything that can affect the household income, whether you are taking a new debt or getting a salary increase. Also for people entering into marriages, all debts and financial liabilities and assets must be disclosed. Honesty is the best policy.

In summary, I will like to say that the root issue in finance is never the amount of money but the attitude we have towards money. Have a wonderful life. Shalom.


  1. hmmmmmmmmmm...............
    easier said than done, that's for sure!

  2. this is a serious matter o...


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