The Truth About Finances
The Truth About Finances
If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. (Job 36:11)
I read some marriage research the other day that made me laugh. Apparently someone did a study of married couples in which they asked the husbands and wives separately how much money they earned as a household and how much total wealth they possessed.
The typical husband tended to report that the couple earns 5 percent more income and has 10 percent more total wealth than the typical wife reported.
I laughed when I read that because I thought to myself, “It’s no wonder there is so much conflict in marriage over money. Couples can’t even agree on how much they have!”
One survey indicated that the average family felt that their financial difficulties could all be solved with 25 percent more income. But when income does increase, a family’s wants and expenses seem to increase right along with it.
Many people are surprised to learn that the Bible has a lot to say about these issues. Luke 19:12-13 records a parable of Jesus that has an important message about money management. “Therefore, a certain nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’”
The practical application for us is that Jesus is the nobleman, and we are the servants left in charge of certain resources. The lesson we can learn from this story is that God owns everything. It is not my part, your part, the bank’s part, the government’s part—it is all His. Like the nobleman, He gives it to us to “do business with” for an undetermined time.
The ancient Hebrews had a view of life which I believe has been largely lost today. They believed all of life was God’s business. If you were a carpenter, you were an ordained carpenter—God’s carpenter. If you were a fisherman, you were God’s fisherman—and fishing was holy work.
In your marriage, it’s important to establish financial priorities, agree on a budget you both can live with, and then work together to keep the financial ship afloat. When you do this, there is harmony in the area of your finances. Just remember, true prosperity is not wealth. Prosperity is progress toward a predetermined, worthwhile goal.
Talk It Out | Each of you take a sheet of paper and write down, in order of importance, the top five financial goals you would like to achieve. Compare your lists and discuss how you can form one list from the two. Then pray and ask God to bless these goals and help you achieve them.
Walk It Out | This week, come up with a creative way to go on an inexpensive date. Instead of dinner and a movie, take sandwiches to the park, browse a free museum, or visit a local attraction. Think of other ways you can save money toward achieving your financial goals, without sacrificing your time together.
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