Summary: Money issues in marriage are resolved when couples put the Kingdom of Heaven first.
SENTENCE: Let me read a story that has been lived out in thousands of homes.
INTRODUCTION: “Making no effort to be quiet, Graham comes to bed. It's about 1:00 a.m. Anna has been asleep for three hours, but she's wide awake now. "Anna," says Graham, "we're never going to make it if you keep spending so much money." Stress squeezes Anna's stomach. She knows Graham has been working on their finances. She'd like to pretend she didn't hear him but figures she can't.
She turns toward him. "Honey, what can I do? I try not to spend too much. There are things that we need." Graham sighs. "We need $50 worth of makeup from Dillard's? We need $120 worth of groceries a week? We need to buy new furniture for the living room and put up new curtains? These are not needs, Hon."
Anna stares at the ceiling. "Okay, the furniture and the curtains may not be needs, but my makeup and—" Graham interrupts, "Honey, you're beautiful. You don't need to spend that kind of money on makeup." "But that's what it costs. And I don't buy it that often." She tries to snuggle next to Graham, but he pulls away. "Are you kidding?" he says. "I'm so stressed out, and you think you can just cuddle up and be cute and it'll all be okay. You've got to take some responsibility here, Anna. Things are not okay."
SENTENCE: As Graham and Anna have found, it can be a huge problem between husband and wife when one of them spends–or seems to spend—too much.
TRANSITION: In fact, if someone were to ask you what the number one reason is for couples falling apart, you might think sex, household chores or the strain of bringing up children would top the list. However, it's actually money that drives couples apart. Three leading charities all cited money worries as the number one cause of conflict in a relationship. They said it was not lack of cash that was the main cause of strife, but issues around trust and values – basically, if you disagree about how to manage your finances. Money problems surpassed other factors such as differing sex drives and poor division of labor in a survey of 5,000 adults, which was carried out by Relate, Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care. More than a quarter of respondees said family finances were the biggest cause of arguments with their partner, ahead of lack of compatibility (20 per cent), poor work-life balance (17 per cent) and differing interests (16 per cent). Other common causes of dissatisfaction were alcohol consumption, jealousy, and rows over the in-laws, while political differences, smoking and bringing up children all ranked surprisingly low in terms of relationship problems.
SAY WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY: This morning I want to ask the questions, “How can you avoid allowing finances to damage your marriage?” Finances become a major issue in marriage when one of both members of a marriage get too wrapped up in accumulating things or they worry too much about financial matters. They are resolved when both parties put God first.
TEXT: Matthew 6:19-34
THEME: Money issues in marriage are resolved when couples put the Kingdom of Heaven first.
How can you avoid allowing finances to damage your marriage?
I. Both should focus on investing in eternal things. (19-24)
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
A. Everything we value on earth will pass away. Most of our existence will not be on this earth and there is not one thing that you possess that you will take with you into eternity. Yet we fight and argue over things that have no lasting value whatsoever. You must start your discussions with this reality- “Everything you have will decay”.
B. How we handle money reflects on the focus of our heart. The value we give to things says something about us. Things like a passion to get fancy new cars, larger houses, or the latest technological gadget says something about what is really important to us. We go into debt, we stress ourselves and lose sleep when we have to give up something of value to us.