Marital stress due to underlying financial stress. Most of us have experienced it at some point.
Statistics revealing the relationship between financial stress and marital stress are all too common. Financial stress causes fights, disagreements, and disunity. And financial problems are sadly known to be a reason for divorce.
Why does this happen? What is it about money that creates marital stress? Because of money’s impact on marriage, these are questions worth considering. Here are a few thoughts:
1. Money reveals some real differences between you and your spouse. You and your spouse probably think about money differently. You have different histories with money that has shaped how you view it. One is a saver. The other is a spender. Money provides one with a sense of security. It doesn’t do the same for the other. Because of these differences you often feel that you are not on the same page as your spouse. And this creates tension.
2. Financial decisions reflect heart decisions. Money has a way of making what is invisible, your heart, visible. Jesus spoke about money consistently while on earth. He understood how money issues reflect heart issues. For this reason, marital fights about money are often about something far more significant. It is often a fight created by something hidden in the heart and not visible in the bank account.
3. Money touches everything. Whether you have much or little, you can’t avoid the impact the presence or absence of money has on your life. Everyday, you are affected by it. And so when something goes wrong in your financial picture, its impact is never isolated. You feel it and so does your spouse.
4. Poor stewardship takes you out of God’s design for you. God designed us, not to be hoarders, but conduits through which His generosity flows. Any time we get out of God’s design for our lives, whether it’s financially or in some other area of life, we find ourselves unsatisfied and broken. This sense of dissatisfaction and brokenness does not remain contained but often seeps into marriages.
5. The enemy knows all of this. Satan knows that to divide along the line of money is to possibly divide the marriage. So, it should not surprise us that the forces of evil use their powers, influence, and systems to affect financial decision-making and financial health. Marriage is a picture of the Gospel. And the unseen evil forces of this world want to see this picture of the Gospel, and the marriage demonstrating it, destroyed.
Why does financial stress cause so much damage to marriages?
Because it is frequently not about the money. It is often a reflection of something far more significant. Money just makes the invisible visible.
If you are having marital challenges because of money, ask God to reveal if you are aligned with His design for money and marriage. And ask Him to show you whether these challenges are not just a reflection of your bank account but of your heart as well.