5 Steps to Get On the Same Page as Your Spouse
One of the main reasons Americans are delaying marriage, or putting it off altogether, is due to a lack of financial stability – 34% of never-married individuals aged 25-34 list it as their main concern for not getting married.
Money is also consistently cited as a reason couples get divorced, and seems to be at the root of so many arguments in marriage.
But did you know marriage is not the cause of your financial problems? In fact, it is the very best solution!
Contrary to what you’ve heard, seen, or been told in the media today, the benefits of marriage FAR outweigh all other forms of living arrangements, in all areas.
In fact, studies have shown that marriage makes you happier , increases your net worth, and helps you save more money. While increasing your likelihood of affluence, it also decreases your mortality risk. Married women by in large experience less poverty, and married dads earn more income than single dads.
There are some scary statistics about divorce, but they tend to be exaggerated and rarely touch on the benefits and joy of marriage.
So what’s the secret to having a lasting marriage, and a financial plan that actually works?
Unity with Your Spouse
Just like anything of great importance, you need a plan if you’re going to succeed. Your financial plan must be grounded in Scripture and agreed upon together. One spouse making a budget and trying to force the other to follow is not sustainable or unifying.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3
When two people submit to God and His Truth, character traits like flexibility, forgiveness, kindness, and support will flow from each other. Think about Matthew 6:21 – “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
If you and your spouse’s hearts are aligned, then your finances will be as well. It takes effort, and you don’t magically give up your preferences or habits overnight. But when your hearts and finances are aligned, rooted in God’s Word, you’ll find unity with your spouse.
In order to truly unite financially, you must seek peace in your relationship. At least one of you must become a Peacemaker.
If you want to experience healing, be the first to confess, the first to say, “I’m sorry!” Ask the Lord for the strength to unify your marriage, and to give you humility to take the first step.
There’s a saying we like to remember in our marriage: “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.”
Even if you have a well-thought-out financial plan, are totally unified with your spouse, and are the first to apologize, you’ll still mess up along the way. Both of you will make mistakes and have to adjust.
When this happens, be understanding, full of compassion, and quick to forgive. As Paul taught the Ephesians, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Sacrifices to Make Progress
Now it’s time to get to work! You will have to make sacrifices in order to make progress. Inviting God into your plan is the most important step – ask Him for the strength, patience, and diligence to follow through.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” He is the one “…who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Your plan will force you to give up some of your preferences, comfort, or expectations.
But God’s transformational power provides an advantage for two to become one regardless of your personalities, background, or annoying habits. The spiritual condition of you and your spouse impacts everything.
A Commitment to God
What we believe about God impacts our view of ourselves and thus our marriage, children, and finances.
Please hear me – marriage does not mean you won’t experience hardship or heartache. Maybe you and your spouse are not on the same page financially. If you feel like giving up, DON’T! There’s hope and help.
So, commit your marriage to Christ.
Unless you live with purpose you’ll live in danger of achieving nothing of eternal value.
Work at your plan! Protect your marriage! It’s worth it!
I wasn’t on the same page as my wife for 21 of the 38 years we have been married. It caused a lot of strife in our marriage, but when we finally got on the same page, everything changed. So we decided to write a book about it. You can read more about our experience, and the lessons we’ve learned along the way, in our just released book – Money Problems, Marriage Solutions. You can receive your copy by making a donation of any amount to Crown Financial Ministries.