Money, makes the world go round. It has become the answer to almost everything. Proverbs 10.15 states, “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, the poverty of the poor is their ruins.” Money opens doors for opportunities, both good and bad. It is the medium we use to access our needs. I would rather have money, of course, than not have it. I know I am in good company here. Used wisely, money is good. It is the love of money however, that is the problem. You really don’t need to have tons of cash for you to have an unhealthy affinity for money.
If you pursue money to fulfill your happiness, you may be pursuing an elusive dream, for we know that money comes and money goes. That’s not to say that there aren’t some who seem to bask in its glory all the days of their lives. But certainly, this love of money can have serious effects on parts of our lives.
For instance, what does money mean to marriages, what does control of purse strings mean to relationships?
There have always been varied views between men and women regarding money. Men usually see a need to put their finances in order before getting married, because they need to provide for their women and family. It is a reason that has caused some men to fear or feel discouraged in getting married at an earlier (st)age, since they feel they are not ready to take care of a woman’s needs or even start a family. After all, our society frowns upon a man who cannot provide for his family.
On the other hand, women usually look for some form of financial security. To some, a whole lot of cash matters but to others, the guy needs to demonstrate that he has a plan for his life. He shouldn’t be a ‘woman eater’.
Finances shape the kind of expectations that both men and women have in relationships. When going on a date for example, a man is expected to settle the bill. Woe unto him if he allows the date to choose a fancy place she considers romantic and ideal, yet his pocket appears to have holes all of a sudden! (or his wallet seems to have a distant relationship with the bill).
Expectations may have played a role in the world changing a great deal. More women are out there fending for a livelihood and doing well. It is not odd to hear that a wife is earning more than her husband. However, this, at times, is not taken very well. The effect being seeing ladies who are seemingly doing well before getting married forced not to disclose all they have, literally ‘hiding their finances’, so that their would-be pursuers aren’t intimidated. Does money eliminate options for us when we are deciding who to be with for the rest of our lives?
There’s a worry that a growing number of relationships are deeply and negatively affected by finances. The reasons vary from agreement on how to use the monies, individual pursuits of financial success that cause strife, and access to or denial of finances. Not knowing how finances affect marriages has caused turmoil, abuse and relationships whose power play is money. They truly depend on what the spouse provides. And it’s an abuse that not only affects women, but cuts across board.
A number of ladies are of this view; his money is our money and my money is, well, my money! And there are men out there that are comfortable with this. Should this be the case?
One of my pastors taught us the principle of the common pot. This means that first, you appreciate that all the wealth you have comes from God. “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8.18.
Secondly, you have an understanding that whatever each of you brings to the table is for the family. Decisions therefore are made for the mutual good of the family. You can decide who is responsible for a particular responsibility, but such should be on the basis of agreement. This has worked very well for some.
I am reminded that the Lord did say that you cannot serve both money and God. And this is true. There is something that happens when we choose to serve money – we lose our souls. There are three words that I heard that are so profound. Master – Mission – Mate. Ken Graves expounds on these three words; they give you a purpose in life and if they are not right, one’s life can be messed up.
When you decide who your master is, everything else falls in place. Your master determines your mission. So, if God is your Master, He determines your Mission. Then and only then should you seek to find your Mate who can help you fulfill your purpose. For your finances to work, God must be Lord. And He must be Lord of the couple and Lord over all that they own.
In the context of a relationship, knowing your mission is key. Do you have a common mission, including a mission statement? This can also direct how you utilize your financial resources with your Mate.
It’s time for a little introspection. Who is my Lord? Do I honor Him by the way I use my financial resources? Do I understand that all wealth comes from Him? Will I allow finances to get in the way of God’s business? For better or for worse, will I stick in there?
Till Money do us part? They say that a true test of a good husband is what happens to his relationship with his wife when his wealth increases. And the true test of a good wife is what she does when her husband loses his wealth. Do you agree?
Regardless of the gender of the highest wage earner, the balance of power in the relationship will suffer if the higher earner uses control of the purse strings as a system of reward and punishment. It will also suffer if the lower earner takes a chippy, haughty attitude to spending money they haven’t actually generated themselves. ~ Marian Keyes