Monday, May 24, 2010

His Finances - Praying Wife, Chapter 3

Finances are one of the leading causes of conflict in marriage. The way we handle money is so deeply tied with how we value and view ourselves and others; most of the time I aren't even aware of how deeply this connection runs until it is tested. No wonder we struggle to agree how to use such a powerful tool.

Walking in unity with our husbands can be a challenge, especially in the area of finances, but it is vitally important if we are to display the glory of God in and through our marriage. As we look at praying for our husbands to have a proper, Godly view of money and our family finances, we also need to evaluate and pray about how we handle money.

Do we fear lack of money? Maybe we need to look at where we are placing our trust and security. Do we splurge, treating ourselves? Do we often feel guilty about our spending? Maybe we are trying to make up for the feeling that we aren't valuable ourselves, or that we are "worth it" as marketing (unbiblically) tries to tell us. Do we even pay attention to how much money we are spending? Maybe we need to remember that we are only stewards of all that God has given us.

Here are some important areas to consider and pray about. You should come to an agreement with our husband in these areas, but remember to pray for the right timing before bringing them up. Finances are difficult to talk about at the best of times ... don't add poor timing to the conversation.
  • Tithes and giving - Malachi 3:10, Psalm 41:1-2, Psalm 34:10, Proverbs 21:13 - Again, I must stress that how we give to God and others reflects our hearts. Examine your response to giving tithes to your church and gifts to the poor. Pray for yourself and your husband to understand God's will for your finances.
  • Planning for the future - My husband has been self-employed for several years now. This means that we do not receive regular paychecks. God has been dealing with us (and mostly me, because I handle the day-to-day finances) on cash-flow management and saving appropriately for the slower months. We also are being challenged on how we save for the future -- that it would not be out of fear, but out of a desire to be able to bless others even when we are no longer working.
It doesn't matter who handles the day to day finances -- each marriage functions differently, and normally one or the other will be stronger in this area -- but as husband and wife, you should agree on a budget that includes giving and saving. The details of your budget really depend on your strengths and weaknesses, how well you keep track of spending, and ultimately, how well your income covers your ongoing expenses. If you are currently making very little money in comparison to your expenses (including debt, house payments, etc), your budget will need more details and will need to be more carefully tracked.

"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt 6:21). God wants us to find our treasure in him, not in our finances or belongings. And remember, "my God will supply all your needs..." (Phil 4:19). He is our ultimate provider, where our security resides.


Let us pray
Here are some thoughts as you pray for God's view of money in your lives and for unity with your husband in your finances.

Lord, I pray ...
  • May we both be good stewards of all that you give us, and walk in total agreement as to how it is to be dispersed.
  • Give us wisdom to handle money wisely.
  • I pray that we will find it easy to give to you and others, as you have instructed.
  • Help us remember that all we have comes from you, and to be grateful for it.
  • I pray that we will not be anxious about finances, but will seek your kingdom first, knowing that as we do, we will have all we need. (Luke 12:29-31)
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For more resources on the topic of finances check out Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and Crown Financial Ministries.
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Next up, Chapter 4: His Sexuality. We will look at how to view our sexuality from God's perspective, and learn how to pray for our husband's sexuality and our physical intimacy in marriage.

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