Articles > Financial Struggles
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
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
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.