It's a topic that can cause anxiety in any marriage, or even drive us apart...if we let it. But that doesn't have to happen and the following tips will not only be helpful, but these things will even lead to financial breakthrough in your life.
If we're going to understand finances as God intended we need to turn to the Word of God...it has to be first and foremost. Not just what we think about it, but what it actually says. In this short blog we can't cover everything, but I will refer you to a wonderful study that has been extremely helpful to us and from which some of the things shared below have been taken. It's called...
"Your 10-Day Spiritual Action Plan for Complete Financial Breakthrough" by: Kenneth & Gloria Copeland You can get it directly from KCM here. Or through Amazon here.
Here are some tips & recommendations to get you going in the right direction...
1. God wants you to prosper!
The first thing we must understand is God want's his people to prosper! In fact we should be the most prosperous people on the planet. It proves out in scripture many times...Deuteronomy 8:18, 2 Chronicles 1:12, Isaiah 1:19, Malachi 3:10-12, Matthew 6:25-33, John 10:10, Romans 8:32, 3 John 2...to name a few.
Folks, I believe with all my heart that God wants us saved, healed, delivered, AND prosperous! Why? So we can get to heaven, live lives of comfort, be at peace and spend money on the things we want? NO...He specifically tells us in Genesis 12:2 that we are blessed in order to be a blessing (check out Proverbs 11 also). If we don't use our blessing to turn around and bless others, then we're flat out missing it!
I WILL say this though...God doesn't mind you having money, He just doesn't want money to have you! Got it?
2. A lifestyle of Tithing.
The next thing we need to get is the concept of tithing. This is where I could lose some of you, but hang in
there...it'll be alright, I promise. Malachi chapter 3 specifically tells us we are to bring our "full tithe" to God. He goes on to say "test me in this, and see if I won't open the windows of heaven above you and pour out a blessing beyond your wildest dreams". This is the only place in scripture that God says "try me". So why don't we?
Good question. I've heard some people say they tithe 5%, or 8% or 3%. But that's NOT tithing. The definition of tithe is a tenth, or 10%. Anything short of that is not the tithe. Furthermore, you can't "tithe" 12%, or 15%...if you give more than 10% that's great...keep it up. But the first 10% is called tithe, anything above that is your offering (or seed)...that's another topic for another time.
I've also heard others say "tithing has passed away" or that "it's an old testament concept"...really? Nice try. That's definitely not in my Bible.
I know this isn't easy...especially for those who didn't get a hold of this concept early in their lives or marriages. If we don't start out as tithers, we quickly find other areas to spend that money. And trying to establish a habit of tithing now after many years may seem down right impossible. But if we'll commit to obey God's Word in this area, and put Him first...you'll find (as we did) the other 90% you have left will supernaturally go farther, do more, and last longer. He addresses that in Malachi 3 also...after he said "test me" he added "I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes"...meaning what comes in the front door won't go right back out the rear door.
3. Who handles the finances?
In our years of working with married couples we've been asked many times, "who should handle the finances, the husband or the wife?" Our answer is twofold...
a) Leading Financial Discussions, Decisions & Prayer.
We believe that the husband (as spiritual head of the home) should be the one to take the lead on financial matters. This means he should be the one to lead discussions about financial decisions. He should also be leading in prayer regarding finances. And he should cherish, as in all things, the opinions, input and preferences of his bride.
b) Keeping The Books.
Not everyone has an administrative gifting. Some are more skilled at paying the bills, keeping (and balancing) the checkbook, filling out the taxes, etc. If the husband is skilled at those things...great! But if the wife is more skilled in those areas, let her do it. It would be wise to allow her to help in that area. In fact, if the husband is "administratively challenged", things will be much more organized if SHE does it.
4. Seek Wisdom!
If you want more wisdom in your life (who doesn't?) the first thing to do is pray and ask God. We have not because we ask not (James 4:2). Pray for His will, THEN pray for His provision...not the other way around.
The 2nd thing we recommend is to read the book of
Proverbs. In fact, read it every day. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs...one for each day of the month. Coincidence? Probably not! Proverbs contains a boatload of wisdom for all areas of our lives...especially in the area of financial wisdom.
The material we recommended at the start of this blog is a resource that can be a powerful tool in your marriage...consider studying it together with your spouse. You won't regret it!