Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Money Matters in Marriage

Last month, C.J. and I had an opportunity to attend Willow Creek's Marriage Matters. An acquaintance of C.J. was speaking at the workshop that night.

We were seated with 5 other couples. Even though they were diverse in age, family size, career, faith journey, etc., they seemed to have formed a strong friendship and accountability over the 25 weeks they had been together.

That night, at the end of the teaching session, every table was given a group assignment: each couple had to role-play one tension/conflict-causing situation, and the other couples were supposed to help them out to resolve the conflict.

To my amazement, money was the #1 marital stress agent in 5 out of 6 couples at our table! I have heard about it and read about it in many books and articles, but the turbulence money creates in a marriage was never felt so real to me until that night.

Money matters, and it's even more so in a marriage. Money or financial stress is the leading cause of divorce. No wonder Jesus talked so much about money! According to Howard Dayton, the co-founder of Crown Financial Ministries, 16 out of the 38 parables of Jesus were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. There are 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 on faith, but more than 2,350 verses on money and possession!

Are you and your spouse on the same page financially? Do you work together to budget, save, invest, and give?