You don’t have to be married to know that money–the lack of, obsession with or abundance of money can cause a fight in your relationship! Money, Sex and Communication statistically are among the top causes for separation and divorce in marriage.
So during holidays, the tendency to overspend can be a real issue for some married couples. I know . . . I have been guilty of wanting to "shop til I drop," and spend, spend, spend during the holidays!
Then, I get a grip and ask myself, " what's the real reason for the holidays, Christy?" The purpose is to give to others, spread joy and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, right?
Many couples go into the holiday season without communicating with each other about holiday spending intentions, without a plan or goal and end up overspending . . . BIGTIME! God is very clear in his Word. He tells us in Matthew 6:24 ERV, “You cannot serve two masters at the same time. You will hate one and love the other, or you will be loyal to one and not care about the other. You cannot serve God and Money at the same time.“
God has created all of us to prosper, so please hear me. God isn’t saying that money is bad. It is the LOVE of money that He is addressing here. Money is a resource that provides access and opportunity. It can be a wonderful tool, but we need to understand what to look for, so that money doesn’t become our God, but instead is used for God.
Here are 5 MAJOR MONEY MISTAKES to look for in your marriage or relationship during the holidays . . . or any other day during the year.
1. MINE vs. YOURS
When God brought you together in marriage, His purpose was for you to join as ONE–not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially! So many times, husbands and wives decide to split bills down the middle and then keep the rest in their own accounts to use as they desire. This approach to finances in marriage is the complete opposite of joining together as ONE. In fact, this resembles more of a roommate situation and often breeds selfishness, separateness and division.
SOLUTION: How do you make the switch? Open a joint account where you deposit all funds. All bills are paid out of this account. Discuss and decide on a monthly stipend that each of you would receive to use in any way desired. This may be difficult at first, but overtime, you will develop closeness, mutual respect and trust.
2. LIVING WITHOUT A VISION
Have you ever tried being successful, but had no idea what to do or how to do it because there wasn’t a clear, set goal? Many couples wing-it when it comes to their finances, parenting and even marriage. But God has created a strategy for everything under the sun. Your life was not designed to thrive apart from Him. God provides clear instructions in His Word. In Habbakkuk 2:2-6, God tells us to write the vision for the future.
SOLUTION: Schedule uninterrupted time with your spouse to pray and seek God regarding His vision for your finances. Write it down, put it up on your wall, meditate on it and confess it! Every decision should line up with this vision. God’s vision is your new goal. By developing an intimate relationship with God, you will be able to hear more clearly His detailed strategy for your finances along the way.
3. IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR
While many of us used to have a similar attitude when we were young, this approach to finances can be harmful to your marriage and family. Everything here on earth belongs to God. He calls us to be wise stewards over all that He owns, but has entrusted to us–which includes everything from your spouse, children, money and possessions. (Luke 16:10-12). Living carefree without a financial strategy may last for a moment, but in the long run will not work for your good. Prosperity comes with responsibility and maturity.
SOLUTION: Do you want to stop living check to check? Research and educate yourself about financial planning and budgeting. Recruit support from a trusted source and begin creating a budget this week! Here are some great sites to help you get started: DailyWorth, Go Girl Finance, Ms. Money
4. POVERTY MINDSET
Often times, the way we experience money or even relate to it is something that we have learned from our parents. God wants us to prosper in all things and if we continue to keep Him first, we will. But we have to get through the junk and lies that have been programmed into our minds for years! This is not an easy thing to do! It takes a lot of intentional work, patience and practice to rid yourself of old ways and old thinking and allow God to renew your mind regarding money.
SOLUTION: Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. Write down all of the lies that you believe about yourself and money on the left side with a red pen, then write the corresponding truth of God’s Word on the right side in a blue or black pen. Repeat and confess the side with God’s truth everyday and watch the Lord begin renewing your mind about money. Be sure to maintain obedience during the process.
5. FEAR IS THE BOSS
Fear is a lie that has tricked many of us into sticking our head in the sand about finances or even worse, storing our money or hoarding it. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real and one of the biggest reasons for not prospering in life. God says in His Word that He loves a cheerful giver, yet fear can keep you from giving. Fear makes you think that if you give monetarily, you won’t have what you need for yourself when you need it. It’s a trick from the enemy to steal, kill and destroy what God has for you. If the enemy can get you to be selfish and stingy, then he can keep you from prospering, ultimately turning your heart away from God.
SOLUTION: In Luke 6:38 ERV, God says, “Give to others, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands-more than you can hold. You will be given so much that it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.“
So why is it sometimes so hard to let go? Face your fear toe-to-toe and put your trust in God everyday.
Give these 5 FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS a try and be patient with yourself and your spouse in the process. Making any significant change requires practice. So keep trusting, keep giving and watch God move!
“Image courtesy of Piggybank Surrounded In Coins Showing American Wealth” by Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”