I’ll never forget how shocked I was when I first heard that half of the couples filing for divorce will list financial problems as a significant cause.
I can’t vouch for the current accuracy of that statistic—I first ran across it several years ago—but it certainly seems right. From my own experience as a pastor and counselor, I know that a great number of marriages fail due to financial pressures…and the challenges that result from that kind of stress.
God meant money and material “things” to be a source of blessing and security. But finances can be a curse for many couples. Money leads to fights and conflict. It causes insecurity. It has a profound influence on a relationship.
That’s why, in dealing with hurting marriages, I often find myself teaching about money. Perhaps the most important principle couples need to know about finances is the principle of ownership.
Psalm 24:1 states, “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”
Before we can truly succeed in our finances, we must first realize two things: 1) We own nothing. 2) God owns everything. Our tendency is to obsess over the things in our lives but neglect to recognize God’s authority over them. Financial freedom is only possible once we repent to God for this behavior.
Next, we must completely submit everything we have to God. When it comes to handling our finances and making financial decisions, this is the step where most of us go wrong.
We act as if money and things really belong to us—instead of God—and make decisions without prayer or consulting God’s Word. At best, this leads to financial instability. At worst, it ends in financial disaster.To avoid this potential result, we should surrender everything we have to God. Every possession. Every bank account. Every source of income. Every financial decision within the marriage. Everything.
When we surrender all and then use it as God directs, we have no reason to fear. God won’t allow His own belongings or decisions to be brought down.
But if we haven’t given everything we have to Him and made decisions based on His input, then we are right to be stressed. Because God never promised us security or blessing apart from complete submission to Him.
If everything belongs to God, then our role is to be stewards of His money. He has entrusted it to us. We must take care of it, use it wisely, and be obedient to the way He’d want it to be used.
This is the lesson of the parable of the talents as told by Jesus in Matthew 25. When we accept our stewardship over the Master’s money do His will, the rewards are great.
The world worships money—but the Christian man or woman must not. Instead, we all should acknowledge that it belongs to God and then use it in obedience to His will.
When we live this way, not only will we find improved marital security and peace of mind, but we’ll live in the prosperity and blessing God promises.