Someone once said, “The conflict between good and evil is drama, but the conflict between good and good is tragedy.” This is especially true in marriage. How can two people who have committed themselves to one another for a lifetime keep conflict from creating a wedge between them? By acknowledging those areas where they struggle and working together to resolve them.
One of the biggest sources of conflict in marriage is finances. Suzanne Boas, president of the financial agency CredAbility, advises couples who are considering marriage, “Financial problems can cause irreparable damage to even the most compatible relationships. Open and honest communication before you walk down the aisle can identify areas of concern and build a foundation for financial success.” From my own marriage experience, I can vouch for the fact that communication about financial matters is also vital in the months and years after you exchange your marriage vows.
Here are four principles which will help you and your spouse resolve financial conflict:
- Keep no secrets from one another. This includes bank accounts, purchases, and private income. Be honest and upfront.
- Don’t cultivate a master-slave attitude. Your income should be equally shared between each of you. One spouse is not entitled to more simply because he or she earns more money. Remember that you are now one flesh.
- Don’t cheat on your budget. Stick to the plan you have agreed upon with your spouse.
- Don’t forget where the money comes from. Each of you should agree to give a tenth of your income to the Lord, remembering that all you have comes from Him.
When you apply these principles, you may still have financial conflicts with your spouse. Money can be a double-edged sword. Use it as a tool, but don’t allow it to be a source of contention between you and your spouse. As you work together to strengthen this area of your marriage, you will begin to experience the fulfilling relationship God designed for you.
It has been said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want [lack] of money is so quite as truly. — Samuel Butler
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.