As we come to the end of our family series, we recognize the importance of the issue of finance. Some often believe that finances are not a spiritual issue, but Jesus spoke of and referenced finances throughout. There are (3) sections to analyze when trying to achieve financial agreement that will be covered today: (1) Why we have money fights, (2) How to avoid money fights, and (3) What to do when financial conflicts arise.
Why We Have Money Fights
When people join together to create a family, they are bringing together under one household the journey of their lives. Through each of our childhoods we experience and partake in a lifestyle that was created for us as children. That lifestyle may depend on an abundance or lack of finances, which may then determine what resources we have access to or not and how we begin to live our lives, using those resources or lacking from them. When we come into a marriage, we bring all the experiences of our financial background with us. We bring different perspectives of money, how it has been used in our families growing up, and how it may have determined our lives in good ways and bad. Whether money has been a symbol of status or used to help others, our perspective on how we view having money or not having enough, all contributes to how we view finances. Many times, disagreements arise over money due to our inability recognize the different perspectives we have about money. Not knowing those differences can be the starting point of a couples’ money fights. We must understand how we see money, and treat money.
How to Avoid Money Fights
“Establish a financial vision for your family.” – Pastor Billy R. Johnson.
Proverbs 29:18 – “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.”
Establishing goals gives us the opportunity to stay on track with a particular vision. Goals give us the restraint and ability to make sound decisions that match the purpose of our financial goals. We are the sum total of the decisions we make, good or bad. Setting goals allows us to keep track of whether or not we are violating the vision by the decisions we are making.
- Agree on how to handle the 1st fruits. When we reach the goals we have established, what will we do with that money? How will we handle the first fruits of our financial labor? Some believe that the tithe is the first to be addressed. Here you are inviting God into your financial life. Have the conversation about the importance of honoring God first. In having that conversation, you can then determine if you agree on how to handle the first fruits.
- Resist being one flesh with two wallets. You must find a way to functionally work as one financially within the household, meaning your money and my money, become our It is a mindset that when couples join as a family, their individual resources become “our” resources, having equal access to and equal knowledge of those resources. Then, decide who is best suited to handle the financial decisions that will lead the family to the established goals.
- Set practical guidelines. Establish a budget and adhere to it. Keep the vision in line as to what you are trying to accomplish financially as a family. Commit to making the choices that will stay within the set guidelines, and recognize that lifestyle changes may be necessary to reach those goals.
- Refuse to allow financial challenges to define the atmosphere of your home. When you have a strong relationship, you can endure the challenges. Learn to be content.
What to Do When Financial Conflicts Arise
There are six things to do when financial conflicts arise:
- Pray before the discussion. Do not go in unarmed.
- Agree on the rules of engagement. How will you discuss & communicate?
- Remain open & honest about your feelings as it relates to how you see money.
- Employ tools for good communication. Talk to and not at each other.
- If you come to a point where you cannot move forward, prepare 3 alternatives. Tensions may rise with conflict. Come up with 3 alternatives or compromises that will move you closer to the goal instead of further away.
- Keep spiritual eyes open to spot tactics of the enemy.
It is God’s intention that you have a vital relationship with Him. Ensure before planning your financial vision, that you have a heavenly vision as well.