The Bible, Money and Marriage

Before you read this post please read my disclaimer below:

I'm by no means a biblical scholar or a theology teacher. What I do know is that you have to read the bible, think about how it would apply to today's world, and look at what your specific faith teachings/ interpretations are for that specific bible verse, parable, or allegory. Please discuss this topic with your own Priest or Pastor if you want a clearer outlook from your faith's perspective.
Okay, On to the post.

Last week I posted about my view of Suze Orman's advice to married couples. I knew my stand would be controversial but most of the time following God's will is not the path of least resistance. Because of that I did get some feedback from readers that didn't see things my way and that is just fine. I don't expect everyone to see the world the way I do. If I did then life would be boring and I'd never learn anything new. However, one commenter did ask where in the bible God said that we should have joint accounts. I felt like answering that question in the comments would not give it the full justice that it deserves.

Here are some of the places in the bible that I feel address this topic of having unity in your financial lives as a married couple.

> Gen 2:24 "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh" By one flesh it means that you have one set of hands, eyes, ears and so on. If you are to truly be one you would have to truly say what is mine is yours and yours is mine. We share everything we have, including money.

> Mark 10:9 "what therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder" If you are not let anything get between you that means more then a job or another woman. It means the kids, politics, and money too.

> 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." It's rare that both spouses are financially savvy. It's also rare that they both have enough free time on their hands to do double the work. God gave us each our own set of talents and as a married couple you are to share them as "one flesh" not withhold them from each other. My husband is good at hanging pictures, I'm not. He hangs all the pictures in the house even the ones I want hung. I'm good at sewing, he would probably sew his fingers together. I mend all the clothes in our house. We share our gifts for the common good of our marriage and family.

> Proverbs 15:22 "Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed." Two heads are better then one. If my husband and I both look at all of our money together we can make better decisions together. As a parent I want to make sure to include my husband on issues of raising our kids. If we discuss and agree on a parenting method (like sleeping habits of the baby) then we are much more likely to succeed by working together vs. each trying our own method which would confuse the child. The same goes with our income. We put all of it together and decide together what to do with all of it.

> Proverbs 31:10 "An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life." Trust each other. Have faith in the other person. You are on the same team so act like it! If we as a married couple can trust each other we will have no lack of gain. If you spouse should be worth more then jewels and your heart is to trust your spouse, why then would you not trust them with joint accounts?

As a Christian the ultimate marriage to look up to is that of Christ and his bride, the Church. So I ask myself, "What would Jesus do?" Would he not fully share his money with his spouse?

Outside of the bible specifically most if not all Christian teachings do say that you should have shared everything. The most known Christian personal financial teachers all say it too. Including Dave Ramsey, Larry Burkett, and Phil Lenahan.

Another thing those same PF gurus will teach you is about communication in a marriage. Something most marriages need more of. Clearly, in the case of Jon and Kate Goslin, they needed more communication - not less. Separating your finances is simply a brick wall for communication - a place for spouses to hide their spending sins. Joint accounts takes your marriage in the opposite direction to a place called unity. My husband has full knowledge of the amount of money I spend on my garden and on sewing projects. I'm fully aware of how much he spends on his tools and other stuff. It's okay to spend money on things that only one person enjoys without feeling ashamed or the need to hide it from your spouse. It's just apart of having a mature and selfless relationship.

On a personal note, while we never had separate accounts, we were not always on the same page about our finances. I can assure you that this did not do us any favors in maintaining a healthy marriage. He spent and I got upset. I spent and he had no clue. Hurt feelings, confusion, blaming.... maybe you've been through this too? But since we got on the same page, since both of us agree on our spending before we do it, since both of us understand our common goals as well as our personal goals, we now have this incredible unity in our marriage. There's no ambiguity, and we love it. The more open and vulnerable we become to each other the stronger our marriage and finances become.

So how are the accounts arranged in your marriage? How does it correlate with your faith and it's teachings?

Feel free to join us tomorrow for Two Cent Tuesday!


Kika said...

I appreciate your post (and agree with your thoughts on the topic). My husband and I have three accounts - all joint. I am the main budgeter and bill payer and even investor although everything is fully discussed with my husband and we make joint (team) decisions. This is my gifting, more than his. I stay home and homeschool and he works for the income but I "manage" the money, so to speak. It works very well for us and we each enjoy our roles. The communication issue is huge - without clear communication, trust and transparency we could not have the kind of relationship we do. We set financial goals together and do not see $ as mine or his. I do believe that this is a crucial element in becoming "one flesh".

Angie said...

I agree with you completely. As with Kika's home, my husband is our primary wage earner, and I am a SAHM who handles the finances. We have all of our accounts as joint accounts and sit down monthly with each other to discuss where the money is going.

We do have one (jointly named) account that is considered "his" account though. He works on cars and builds up his allowance so that he can buy parts. My allowance is more likely to be spent on going out with my friends for lunch, so I don't really need an account to hold it. I have access to "his" account if an emergency arises, and in fact, I am the one who puts money in it each month. It's not private or hidden, we just look at it as a Ramsey envelope that earns interest!

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