Summary: 10 principles for financial agreement in the family (Material adapted from Wayne A. Mack's book, Strengthening Your Marriage, Unit 5, pg. 113)
We should be one in the area of our finances, but easier said than done. It is unlikely that a married couple will be free from conflicts over finances. Several reasons: 1) Each of us is a sinner and inclined to be selfish 2) Raised in different homes and have different attitudes and ideas about money from their parents 3) Men and women are different and the use of finances shows this.
Thesis: 10 principles for financial agreement in the family
1. Everything we have belongs to God
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11, NIV.
This is basic to stewardship. God is the owner and we are just the managers. Problems over money in a family unit usually come because we fail to have a biblical understanding of money and stuff. This stuff is temporary and God is the owner of it all anyway. Usually people have conflicts because they are operating according to unbiblical standards or value systems. Most financial conflicts in marriage are caused by a lack of understanding or submission to scriptural principles of money. Most financial conflicts can be solved when both individuals apply the biblical philosophy of money to their lives. This one is the most basic.
2. God is the one who gives us the ability to make money
“Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.” 1 Chronicles 29:12, NIV.
“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:18
How does God give us the ability to produce wealth? The 1965 film classic, Shenandoah, features a memorable and outlandish prayer. With his 8 children seated for dinner, the father, played by James Stewart observes, “Now, your mother wanted all of you raised as good Christians. And I might not be able to do that thorny job as well as she could, but I can do a little something about your manners.” After a forgetful son removes his cap, Stewart then leads them in this prayer. “Lord, we cleared this land; we plowed it, sowed it, and harvested. We cooked the harvest. It wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be eatin’ it, if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you just the same anyway Lord for this food we are about to eat. Amen”
3. God usually rewards hard work
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23, NIV. Henry Ford said about building his first car, “So we worked morning, noon, and night. We worked till our muscles ached, worked till our nerves were so ragged that we could not endure the word ‘automobile.’ One day when all of us were near the breaking point I laid down my tools and said, ‘Well, boys, there’s one consolation anyway. Nobody can take this thing away from us unless he’s willing to work on it harder than we’ve worked. And so far I haven’t seen anyone who’s willing to do that!’” Henry Ford worked hard and the result was the Ford automobile.
4. There are many things more valuable than gold
“Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” Proverbs 15:16, 17, NIV. Two things here:
Vs. 17- Maintaining loving relationships and enjoying the basic things of life are more important than wealth and success. In the days of the Bible, meat was only eaten at a couple of meals a week. Better to have vegetables with those we love than a feast with people we are at odds with.
Vs. 16- I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His than have riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands, I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand, than to be the king of a vast domain or be held in sin’s dread sway, I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.
“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26, NIV.
5. Heavenly treasure is to be more desired than earthly treasure
““Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19, 20, NIV.