married Life – Week 2 (Marriage and Money)
Jason White


Divorce statistics tell us that money is one of the top reasons married couples get divorced. Money struggles, fights, and arguments can make life miserable. But there is hope! When we begin to look at money and marriage from a biblical perspective, Jesus can turn things around!



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Sermon Audio Transcript
There was a story that came out in the Washington Post a few years ago about a husband who had lost his job but apparently was too embarrassed to tell his own wife…so he didn’t…he just continued to get up at the same time each morning, get dressed for work like he always had done, and walked out the front door of their house pretending to go to work every day. Now, that was the easy part of covering up this lie…the hard part was that the money would stop coming in and the bills they still had to pay. So his solution for that was to get his own credit card that his wife knew nothing about and he would pay bills and certain other things on that to keep up the appearance that their normal checking account numbers were fine. And somehow it worked for an entire year. His wife never really noticed…he just kept getting up and pretending to go to work every day and paying for things with his hidden credit card for an entire year…but eventually the truth came out…and when it was all said and done, he confessed to his wife that he had racked up over $30,000 of debt on this credit card that she had known nothing about.WE - This is what is known as financial infidelity…I think we are all familiar w/sexual infidelity, but financial infidelity is more common than you probably think…According to various surveys, between 40-50% of Americans admit to hiding accounts, debts, or spending habits from their spouse. So this is more common than we may think…& if 1 out of every 2 of us who are committing financial infidelity then we have a problem in our marriages when it comes to money!As a matter of fact, divorce statistics confirm that money is a major problem in our marriages because divorce statistics tell us that money problems is the 2nd most given answer as to why couples are getting divorced. Now, to be fair, financial infidelity isn’t the only type of money problem that is causing money fights in marriages and sometimes leading people to divorce, there are a number of other money problems…Who handles the finances in the marriage? The husband or the wife? Who gets to decide what is needed and what is not needed?Whose money is it? If I make more money than my spouse, should I get to spend more money on my stuff? Do we have a joint account or should we have separate accounts? Debt… debt is another huge thing that causes money fights and can lead to stress and divorce in marriages.So there are a # of things that can cause fights in our marriages, put stress on our marriages/families, and even lead to divorce…and I think it’s common to all or at least most of us who are married…So I want us to talk about money and married Life today. But I also want to say again, just like I did last week…if you are here today and you are not married please don’t tune me out. We all have to deal with money. And Scripture has a lot to say about money & the role it plays in our lives. And so, I really believe that what we are looking at today will apply directly to your life with where you are at today…and of course it can help prepare you for this aspect of marriage if you do end up getting married one day as well. Ok, so let’s dive in. GOD – Now, I told you last wk it’s my belief that most of the problems we experience in our marriages is a result of us looking to get our needs met through our spouse or through some other means instead of in Christ whom we are designed to get our needs met from. We talked about how Jesus taught several times about how He is the Life…that He is our Source for life…He is who all of our needs are to be met in…Jesus put it this way in John 7… “37 … “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”In other words, when you come to believe in Jesus…when you put your faith and trust in Him for salvation, His Life begins flowing through you. All of the needs that you have are constantly being met from within you by Christ. There is a continuous flow of everything you need for life and godliness being poured into your life by Jesus.And so we talked this in regard to specific needs that we have…how we each have needs of contentment (peace, satisfaction), security (acceptance, love), and worth (value, significant) in our lives…BUT if we are in Christ…if we have come to know Him as our Lord and Savior and are in union with Him then contentment, security, and worth are flowing within us as part of that river of life Jesus was talking about. In Christ, we have contentment…in Christ, we are secure…in Christ, we have worth. And so all of this becomes true of us the moment we accept Jesus as our Lord/Savior…The problem is that sometimes we don’t know Christ as our Life or even if we know it, sometimes we don’t feel like He is our Life & meeting all of our needs…& so then we go looking to get those needs met from someone else (spouse) or from something else (like $)…I think money is one of the most common things we go to in order to find contentment/security/worthAnd so that is the 1st thing we need to see from Scrip…that $ will not provide contentment/security/worth in our lives. 1 Tim. 6…9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.Paul says it’s a trap! Don’t fall for it! And it is…Satan knows that Jesus is the Life and so he works to deceive us into thinking that Life is found in other things, and money is one of those things he uses. He convinces us that having a full bank account will give us security, that it will give us peace/contentment, that it will give us mng/worth. He convinces us that the things we can buy with money…the bigger house, the Mercedes, the Gucci purse, the latest Callaway golf clubs, the latest 4K smart TV, or the latest iphone, or whatever it is for you…He convinces us that it will bring us satisfaction, make us feel significant…like we matter. And so we bite…and we chase after it, but then we realize that they don’t ultimately satisfy us…they don’t ultimately give us peace and so we have to go buy something newer again and again… And sometimes we don’t even have the money for these things, but since we NEED THEM, we rack up credit card debt chasing after these things we think will fill the void in our lives…and then we are left with the double whammy…not only did these things not ultimately satisfy, but now we have this huge debt hanging over our heads that we don’t know what to do with…that is causing worry/stress and fights with our spouse.So Paul warns us about the love of money & putting our hope in it to fill the void in our lives…to meet our needs… “it can plunge people into ruin & destruction,” he said. You’ll find yourself doing whatever it takes to get it…spend all of your time away from your family chasing it…or trying to manipulate, control, blame, shame your spouse to get your hands on more of it. And our marriages are filled w/ruin & destruction b/c we buy into a lie that $ will fill a void in our lives. A little later in 1 Tim. 6, Paul says…17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God…Remember, you have rivers of living water flowing within you if you are in Christ…and it is constant…so don’t put your hope in money, that it will provide contentment, security, and worth…it’s uncertain…it will fail you. Instead put your hope in Christ b/c He is not uncertain, and you have contentment, security, and worth in Him! And when we trust that we have these needs met in Christ, then it will free us up from the ruin and destruction it can cause in our lives & in our marriages. So that’s the 1st thing I want you to see: Money does not provide contentment, security, or worth, Jesus does! But here’s the next thing I want you to see about $...It’s God’s…it’s not yours or your spouses or y’alls together…it’s His.This is one of those areas within marriage that can cause so many fights and arguments and stress. “Is it my money?” “Is it her money?” “Is it our money?” Whose money is it? And so we fight over whose money it is… who made the money…should we keep separate bank accounts? Or should we have a joint account? And if we have a joint account, then whose money is whose within the joint account? But really, when we are asking questions like this, we have the wrong perspective on money in the first place b/c Scripture tells us that is not my money or her money, it’s God’s money. Psalm 24:1…1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. As the Creator of all things, all things are His…including money. Now you may argue and say, “But I made that money…I worked hard to go to school and get an education…I worked the hours at the job…they wrote the paycheck out to me.” The problem with that thinking is not taking into consideration “Who put you here on this planet in the first place? God! And when He did, who gave you the brain and the skills and abilities to be able to perform that job? God!” And so without Him, none of it would be in your possession anyway.So the answer to the question, “Whose money is it” when it comes to marriage is “It’s all God’s money.” And this is important b/c when we come to see it from this perspective then it will free us up from all of the fights about whose money it really is, and it will change the way we interact with that money and what we do with it…which brings up my 3rd point…We are stewards of God’s money. A steward is a manager or administrator. It’s not our money, God who is the owner of it, loans it to us to be used for His purposes. I say “loan” not “give” b/c we don’t get to take it with us when we die. So He loans it to us and entrusts us to steward it (Lk16/Mt25)…Now, He doesn’t loan it to us and expect us to steward it on our own…Remember we have rivers of living water flowing through us. So Jesus will give direction and guidance as to how God wants us to manage His money. In Eph. 5 Paul says15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,Paul is pointing out that God has put us here for a reason (He has a will for our life – don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is)…He wants to use us in what He is doing in our world to rescue people from their sins and make this a better place…so Paul says, “don’t be unwise” and just live however you want to or by being controlled by substances or other things…NO, live wisely by being involved in God’s will for your life…what He put you here for! How? By being “filled with the Spirit,” meaning to be led by or controlled by the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to move you along His path and direction for your life…And this would include money. It’s His money…He loans it to you…He fills you with the Holy Spirit to give you guidance and direction as to what to do with it, how to invest it in this world…so don’t be unwise with money, be wise!And when it comes to marriage, that includes both of you. God makes you one in marriage. In Mt. 19 Jesus says… 5 …‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh.Through the institution of marriage, God does a supernatural work of making 2 individuals into one. So, when it comes to the money that He has loaned, He is loaning it to you as one. Now, He may use one of you or both of you to earn the money…and sometimes if it is both of you, one of you earns a significant amount more than the other…but He is still loaning ALL of it to you as one… and He is calling you to steward it or manage it together, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of course.Now that is not saying that one of you can’t be involved in being the nerd or organizing the money by doing a budget or by paying the bills…that kind of thing. But what it does mean is that even if that is the case where one of you is more directly involved in that area, BOTH of you are still involved in praying and discussing together in how the Lord is leading you to save that money, give to his Kingdom work through that money, and spend that money on your own needs…Now here is something else that it means to “be one in regards to money”… we don’t hide money from our spouse. There’s no room for financial infidelity if we are “one.” So that means that we talk before making purchases. Now again that doesn’t mean that you might each be given part of your budget to spend however you personally feel led to spend that money…but you’ve talked about that and prayed about that and agreed on the amount that would be and anything outside of that we discuss.YOU – Okay, so these are 3 things that we see in Scripture which I think could transform your life and your marriage… #1 – Money does not provide contentment, security, or worth, but Jesus doesAnd so just like last week, part of the application of then learning to experience contentment, security, & worth being found in Jesus, the lies have to be exposed. We have to come to an awareness of how we might be trying to find contentment, security, or worth from money so that when we see it happening in our lives, we can turn away from the behaviors associated with that need we are feeling in the moment and to Jesus and the Life that we already have in Him. So that is the first thing that I want to encourage you to be praying about and searching for…the ways you might tend to try to get your needs met through money.The second thing was the truth that: #2 - It’s all God’s money.God has to reveal to us this truth and we have to allow Him to change our perspective on the way we view money and possessions. WHY? Because the behavior and actions associated with money come from what we believe about it in the first place. And understanding that it is God’s money then changes the way spend it…what you do with it…which again was kind of that last thing we looked at…#3 – We are stewards of God’s money.And so if you are single, then maybe this week you are going to find some time to seek God out in prayer & ask, “What do you want me to do with your money?” And if you are married then maybe you are going to find some time to seek God out in prayer and ask, “God what do you want US to do with your money?” Again there is a one-ness thing there to contend with. So aside from asking God to speak into your budget, maybe if you haven’t been allowing your spouse to be involved in the stewarding of God’s money then you are going to be having a conversation w/them about how that is going to look in the future. And if you haven’t been involved b/c you just don’t want to at all…then you too are going to have a conversation about how you can be involved in praying over & sensing the Lord’s direction in the budget.WE – And please remember that we have home groups that are meeting each week and breaking down these messages and the way it might apply to us specifically through conversations with others. Listen, we had our 1st group in our home this wk, & it was so encouraging to me. I watched God give every couple there a peace about opening up & sharing what was going on in their marriages. Satan can deceive us into thinking that our problems are unique & that we shouldn’t seek out help & talk about what’s really going on, & when we buy into that things continue to fester & grow… but when we get into biblical community & get things out into the light then Jesus works through that & through others to bring hope, healing, and encouragement. And for a lot of us, money is the struggle in our marriage & we need to get it out into the light…so I hope that you’ll make it back to your group (or get plugged into a group if you haven’t)