Marriage and M.O.N.E.Y., God’s Way
by Brian Horvath
Purpose Ministry Director
It’s here! The wedding day!
The bride has been dreaming of this her whole life. The groom is an aisle walk away from seeing his favorite girl like never before! It’s exciting times on marital bliss lane and married life is about to become reality. After becoming a believer in Christ, I learned that marriage is a blessing from the Lord. Today, I view the holy institution of marriage as two of God’s unique creations, man and wife, united in a powerful way to change the world. I have heard it said God designed marriage to make us holy, not happy. When I became married, myself, I quickly learned God wanted to change me first. I wasn’t ready for the “heavenly” makeover.
There are many lessons to learn through marriage. One of the hardest, yet one of the most influential is the M.O.N.E.Y. lesson. The purpose of this writing is to you help you with this powerful tool God gives us.
Make money a part of your marriage mission
I often teach people about writing out their vision statement, mission statement and goals. I have learned from authors, such as Dan Miller and Dave Ramsey a mission statement says more about what you are not than what you are. It keeps you focused and “on-mission”. These statements include your dreams and passions, skills and abilities, personality traits and things you like to do. I encourage you to write a mission statement for your marriage and your family. Make how you view and desire to utilize money a part of that statement. Check out Dave Ramsey’s Legacy Journey class for further teaching on how to write and live out your mission statement.
Ownership belongs to God and He wants you both to manage it for Him
I cannot stress this enough. How we view God’s relationship with us and whether it’s our money is important. We may have different backgrounds, experiences or even have explored different religions growing up. To succeed in your marriage, you must do money God’s way. Make a decision to live your life by Psalm 24:1 NLT – “The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him.” You might say, “Well, that’s great but now what?” I would respond by encouraging you to go the Holy Bible. Some call the Bible the “Operators Handbook” or “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” No matter what you call it, the Holy Bible is the authority on financial wisdom. I encourage you to read, as a couple, the book of Proverbs.
Negatives can be limited with better management
I believe everyone would agree married life has its difficulties. Marriages can be torn apart by money fights. You can reduce the effect of negative events by becoming a better money manager. Good money managers who do well with what they have get more to manage (see Matthew 25:23 NLT). How can I be good, you may ask? It starts with creating and living out a monthly budget. I suggest the Zero-Based Budget tool. This Zero-Based Budget is created by figuring out your income sources and amounts for the coming month. Then you subtract the expenditures you have for that same month and balancing it out to zero. If it doesn’t balance to zero at first, no worries! Simply, keep tweaking to arrive at Income minus Outgo equals Zero. Negatives in life can be eliminated altogether by completing a Zero-Based monthly budget! These budgets will assist communication, trust and achievement in your marriage.
Everyone struggles, stick with the plan
Marriage and money are not easy, but the plan works. Through my almost 10 years of leading Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at Grace Family Church, I have never had someone ask for their money back. This program works when people enrolled decide to apply it in their lives. Take heart, everyone struggles but you must stick with the plan. There are many positives to being married and managing your money together. Take the challenge, hold each other’s hand and walk this journey together. When you join Financial Peace University, you will be teamed up with a small group that is going through this journey also.
Yes, you can do it and you’ll learn to help others
You can do it! Over 2,000 people have taken FPU at Grace Family Church and over 2.5 million throughout the world. Grace Family Church’s FPU graduates have paid off over 2.5MM in debt since 2007 and have saved over 1.5MM into emergency funds. Yet, there are thousands more at GFC and millions more we can reach in our community by sticking to the plan. I have had the privilege to work with many over the years who have made tremendous strides. Because of God’s way’s of managing money in their marriage, they have come to an agreement of how to raise their kids, build emergency funds, pay off debts, pay for homes in cash, buy cars without a loan, give like they never thought they could and much more. These same people are so fired up they can’t contain the excitement. They share what they learned, their enthusiasm and the wins with others. Now, that’s the body of Christ at work! I pray one of our favorite ministry scriptures will bring you hope — Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God!” Luke 18:27 NIV.