How to THRIVE in your Wedding Vows Series
Disclaimer - Because of sin, there is serious dysfunction in some marriages today. This series does not mean to whitewash any problems inside of broken marriages. Instead, I desire to uncover the beauty of the vows thru a Biblical worldview and how they are meant to play out in a healthy marriage.
I was five months pregnant when my husband called to tell me he had lost his job. Shock and disbelief flooded my mind. Questions pinballed through my mind: “How?” “Why?” “Don’t they know I’m pregnant?” “What will we do?” etc., etc., etc.
On the flip side, we’ve had times of financial blessings where we have stepped back and wondered at the sweet benevolence. Questions like, “What are we going to do with this?" “Where should we spend it?” “Should we put it into savings for a rainy day?” excitedly skipped from our lips.
Situations like these --when we are all misty-eyed and saying our vows, “for richer or poorer”-- seem almost romantic. Like “We love each other!” “Love is all we need!” “We’ll always make the best decisions financially together and for the benefit of the Kingdom.” As the years roll by and children, as well as, bills and other adult responsibilities start to arise, “for richer and for poorer” can threaten to divide the oneness of marriage.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you that money ranks in the top 3 reasons for divorce or discord today. A myriad of reasons could be behind this statistic: erratic spending by one partner, undisclosed bills, job loss or change, etc.
It comes as no surprise that this is another area the world bullies us by telling us how to spend our money and where to spend it. It tempts us to the next best thing with a click of a mouse or a swipe of a card. All the while, drawing our hearts away from “In Richer, In Poorer."
As Jesus girls and wives, we want to know what God says about money. So, how does one thrive in the midst of “For Richer, For Poorer?” By not allowing either side of the spectrum to pull us from the beauty of being one flesh. The oneness that comes when we say, "I do."
1 Timothy 6:6-12 gives us perspective on how to handle our money.
A. The Perspective of Contentment
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. vs. 6
Pinterest is delightful to find the latest recipe for chicken or a last minute dessert idea. But Pinterest can also steal our joy and contentment as we scroll through the most recent home decorating tip or latest clothing styles. Our hearts tug at our emotions causing us to become discontent with what we have in the lure of wanting the next best thing.
Paul offers the remedy in verse 6: godliness + contentment = great gain. Translated for us as wives: 1. I will trust God whether He gives us much or if He chooses to provide us with little.
2. I will respect my husband's efforts to provide for us as best as he can.
For Richer, For Poorer Question for Ourselves: Am I content in God’s yeses and noes in our marital financial life? Am I respecting my husband's efforts to provide for us?
B. The Perspective of Temporary
For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. vs. 7
If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. vs. 8
In the rat race of life, it’s easy to get caught up in the here and now. We want to enjoy the latest vacation spot and trends and thrills. But all that glitters in the world can draw our focus from our reality. As Billy Graham famously repeated, "My home is in heaven. I'm just traveling through this world."
The same temporary perspective needs to hold true in how we view money in our marriages. If we have food and covering, we are blessed. Extra is nice, but not if it draws us away from spending each day living with eternity in our minds. We can't take things with us into eternity. Only people.
"Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion,
That I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the LORD?"
Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God." Proverbs 30:8-9
For Richer, For Poorer Question for Ourselves: Am I truly content with what I have right now, the food and coverings the Lord has graciously provided for my husband and me? Does our checkbook reflect an eternal perspective?
C. The Perspective of Enough
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. vs 10
Like the internet, money is neutral; it is neither evil nor good. Loving or coveting money is a root of evil, but money itself is not evil. How does that play into marriage?
We as wives need to make sure we have a Kingdom mentality when it comes to money.
- We must make tithing a priority.
- It is good to increase our giving, rather than our bank accounts or wardrobes.
- It is beautiful to be generous with the needy in the body of Christ, providing for their needs before fulfilling our wants.
For Richer, for Poorer Question for Ourselves: Am I using money or is money using me? Does it cause me to wander from my faith? What would my husband say about me and my spending or saving habits?
It boils down to this: like sex, money is very much a part of our marriage covenant. While the world is busy telling us its thoughts, we want the truth about money and marriage from our Creator God.
D. The Perspective of God
1. Team Mentality
A couple should focus first on building a strong team mentality and seeking God individually as well as a couple, rather than striving to accumulate things. (1)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
2. Biblical stewardship
A winning mentality in life and in marriage is to remember that everything belongs to God. He has lent it to us to care for and to bring Him glory. (2)
The earth is the LORD’s,
and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
3. Our Finances
No secrets. No separate anything. That's the beauty of being one flesh. "Every dollar brought into the home is a dollar that belongs to the home. Every dollar that goes out the door is a dollar that the household spent." (3)
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother
and is joined to his wife,
and the two are united into one.
Want to fight less about money? Create a budget and stick to it. Coming together to create a plan for money and utilizing it is life-giving to any marriage. (4)
“His master replied, ‘
Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things; I
will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Prayer is huge. It changes our hearts to become more like God's. It helps us become content with what we have. It reminds us of the hope of eternity. It satisfies us with enough so we can bless others with our excess.
‘Call to me and I will answer you
and tell you great and unsearchable things
you do not know.
Love and money do mix beautifully together… in God’s economy. "For Richer, For Poorer" is a gentle reminder that whether we have much or we have little, we're a team. We are committed. We can thrive in the lean times and in the times of plenty.
Regardless of which side of the spectrum we are on, we will lock arms and hearts for the glory of God and for the good of our marriage.
Wedding Vows Series
I Do? Who Knew? - Part 1
Heat Up Your "To Have and to Hold" - Part 2
Winning Solution in "For Better or For Worse" - Part 3
Do not Grow Weary "in Sickness and In Health" - Part 4
1. Focus on the Family.
2. Fierce Marriage
3. Bible Money Matters