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Understanding the principles of financial problems encountered in marriage
and how finances could be the number one cause of discord

Taking a “One-Flesh” View of Your Finances
by Glen Becker

Most couples have heard that financial problems are the leading cause of divorce. Yet knowing that has neither prevented the financial problems nor the divorces.

Why not? Because they fall into the common trap of thinking that the solution to money problems is more money, and since many already make all the money they can, they shrug their shoulders and concede that nothing can be done about the problem.

Others work harder and longer for more money, only to find that doing so does not strengthen the marriage; it weakens it. Eating out and extravagant spending will not mend a marriage. Only dealing with heart issues will bring down the walls that separate and divide. Gifts provide only temporary happiness that is soon forgotten when wounded hearts keep a couple apart. Marriage and finances…those two subjects seem to surface all too often in marital disputes.

No one wants to stay on a sinking ship; as soon as he believes his ship is going down, he makes plans to get off anyway he can. Financial problems make a marriage seem like a slowly sinking ship as the couple sinks deeper into debt and loses all hope of rising out of it. As their ship sinks, they start thinking of themselves, spending for themselves and planning for their post-divorce financial lives.

Yet some couples enjoy strong, happy marriages – even those that have very little money, or face very difficult financial challenges. How do they do it? They know a biblical secret: that unity and common purpose have real power that can overcome the most difficult problems.

We have known couples that have towering debt, who could not talk about their finances without arguing, become filled with hope and purpose when they started praying and planning together. Their income did not change, their debts are still large, but now they speak with excitement about paying off their first high-interest loan. They already know the date, and have made a detailed spending and debt payment plan that will enable them to do it. Their final debt-freedom date is still far in the future, but they do not have to wait until then to celebrate their success. Their ship is no longer sinking, it’s rising!

A one-flesh couple walks together as one in God’s will and purpose. They submit to one another in love out of reverence to God. They give up individual wants and desires for the sake of their marriage and family, and to strive for a higher purpose and call in Christ.

Is your ship sinking? Have you become divided in your view of your finances? If so, God has a better plan. Pray that he would unite your heart with his purposes for your finances. Ask him to heal your heart of selfishness and doubt that may have led to past offenses and to give you and your spouse a fresh vision and a new hope for your financial life. Ask him to show you how to walk together as a one-flesh couple. Marriage and finances, the Word of God has much to say about both topics and how they should work together for the joy of the couple and for God’s pleasure.

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