Vol. 5, No. 12
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Someone has suggested that there are two basic causes for trouble in marriage: "not finding in marriage what one expected to find, and not expecting what one actually finds." The fact is, no marriage is trouble-free. In the best of marriages, there are ups and downs. Couples generally expect to find three things in marriage -- stability, security and predictability. There are times in every marriage when one or more of these expectations will not be realized.
What is often the cause of marital problems? One might think it is sexual incompatibility, infidelity or in-law trouble, but financial worries are the root cause of the greatest number of marital disagreements. Family conflict, interpersonal strife, anger and frustration are all related directly or indirectly to the pursuit and management of money. Money is not the problem, but rather our attitude toward money, and our inefficiency in handling it wisely. Learning how to set up and stick to a budget can go a long way in building a meaningful and lasting marriage.
It is not money, but the love of money that the Bible says is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Money should be seen as a gift from God to be used wisely and managed carefully. What we have is not ours, but belongs to God. It has been loaned to us that it might be used, not hoarded. The Bible offers many warnings regarding our attitude toward money and the things money can buy (Matthew 6:19-21; 16:26; 19:16-26; Luke 12:13-21; 16:19-31).
A marriage will have far fewer problems where money's proper place is clearly defined. From a biblical perspective, money should be gained honestly (Proverbs 28:20), invested carefully (Matthew 25:14-30), spent realistically (Romans 13:8) and shared joyfully (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
Credit can be a marvelous thing when handled wisely, but can wreck a marriage when carelessly used. At all cost, try to avoid money problems. Get the facts regarding your income and expenditures. Establish realistic goals. Set priorities. Make a budget and stick to it. Following simple biblical principles regarding money management will go a long way toward building a stable marriage.