Speaking of Money
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. (Psalm 139:4 NIV)
For the first fifteen years of our marriage, money was the most difficult subject for us to discuss. Today, money is a blessing and we can talk about it without any friction. Let me tell you two things we did that helped us in this area.
First, we submitted our finances to the Lord. Before making decisions, we pray. We don’t try to dominate each other or “win” arguments over money. We both realize that if we pray and find God’s will, He will bless us and we won’t fight.
Second, we began to honor each other’s money language. In the bad days of our marriage I would call Karen a tightwad and she would call me a spendthrift. We each see money very
differently and it caused us to argue and accuse each other.
Then one day I read an article by financial psychologist Kenneth Doyle about the four different money languages. Each of us has a predominant money language that affects our perceptions and decisions. The four money languages are:
Driver - Money means success. A driver says “I love you” by buying things and showing you through material objects you are important to them. Obviously, taken too far this can become materialistic and non-relational.
Analytic - Money means security. Analytics say “I love you” through saving and planning for the future. Taken too far they can become miserable, no fun and controlling. They can also communicate more value for money than people.
Amiable - Money means love. An amiable says “I love you” by sharing and giving. Without balance and wisdom, an amiable can be impulsive and unprepared for the future.
Expressive - Money means acceptance. Expressives say “I love you” by buying, showing and sharing. Taken too far, expressives use money the way some people use alcohol—to deal with pain and anxiety in a wrong manner.
When reading these descriptions, most couples are able to immediately identify themselves and their spouses. Approximately eighty percent of all couples have different money languages. Understanding these differences helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses you both have, and it can actually help you make better money decisions because you are able to balance each other’s perspective.
Talk It Out | Identify which money language you think describes you and share that with each other. Talk about the ways you can balance each other’s tendencies when making financial decisions.
Walk It Out | Set aside a certain amount of money to help someone. Ask God to show you a family or individual whom you could bless by giving them a gift card or buying a specific item they need but can’t afford.