No one likes to think they might not be doing something the best way. Especially when it comes to finances. But, the Bible tells us that it is for our good and part of God’s good plan for us to be able to live as he has designed us when it comes to finances. This only happens through open communication and intentionality. My wife and I experienced this personally through a handful of essential financial conversations that we had during our pre-marital counseling. Some of them were tough, but they set us on the right course for our marriage.
Are you having these money conversations with your spouse or spouse-to-be?
1. What does God think about money?
When seeking out wisdom for anything, the first conversation we should have is about what God thinks. Thankfully we can know what God thinks about things because of the Bible. Look for good resources like this to see what God thinks about money. Carefully study these verses in their context by observing, interpreting, and applying the texts through the lens of the gospel and then discussing them with a pastor or spiritual mentor who is ahead of you in their Christian walk. One of the most essential conversations you can have about these verses is, whose money is it?
2. Whose money is it?
The Bible is clear. All money is God’s money (Deut. 10:14). Don’t be fooled into thinking that just 10% or any other percentage short of 100% is God’s. This changes everything when it comes to finances! How will you live as if all money is God’s money? Because it is! If you really believe this then it will influence your financial goals and your budget.
3. What are your financial goals?
Now that you have found out what God thinks about money and know that all money is God’s money, what are your financial goals? Do you need to give more generously? Get rid of debt? Save for a big purchase? Figure out how to survive retirement? What should be your financial priorities? Follow Art’s 8 Money Milestones to continue to work towards reaching your financial goals together. They really work! When you work together in marriage towards a goal, money will be a catalyst for your relationship, not a conflict. Which brings up the next conversation you need to have.
4. How will you manage your money?
In order to work towards a financial goal together, you have to establish a plan with clear goals. This plan is called a budget. A budget is a financial plan that lets Jesus rule your money so it won’t rule you. Start with a basic budget and stick to it. You can do it, I promise! Decide who will manage the budget and when you can discuss it together every month. You’ll be living more generously, crushing debt, and saving together in no time! If you’ve never made a budget before, give yourself some grace. It takes time to figure out how much money should go in each category. When we first made our budget for pre-marital counseling, Kristen and I were quickly humbled by how many edits were suggested to us. Also, remember that budgets don’t restrict you. They actually give you freedom to know what you can say yes to.
These are not one-and-done conversations. A marriage that honors Jesus will continue to have these conversations for the long haul. So grab a Bible, a cup of coffee, and a computer. Start a money conversation today!
Daniel Tripp is the Executive Pastor at Redeemer Church in Rocky Mount, NC.