I am a creature of habit. Every morning upon waking, I slide my feet across the carpeted floor in search of my soft slippers, wrap myself in my pink robe and stagger to the kitchen. I grab the same brown mug and pour a cup of coffee then head outside to my front porch. This time of year, the mornings in Michigan are simply glorious! They really are the reason we put up with January, February and March. Fluffy white clouds skim the treetops as the morning sun reaches above them and awakens the day. The only sound is the creaking of branches as birds flit from one tree to another and eventually land on the feeder a few feet away. I enjoy watching the flurry of their activity and they have become a favorite part of my daily routine.
One morning as I was in my usual spot, I noticed something out of the ordinary as I watched my feathered friends. Their usual behavior is to flit around and all fight for a turn at the feeder. Most of their time is spent warding off other species that are also looking for a morsel. The cardinals will chase away the blue jays while the robins watch from a distance. Then they all scatter as the woodpecker arrives and only return when the coast is clear. But on this particular day, they all sat and enjoyed breakfast at the same time. To see them together was stunning because the variety of color was spectacular. I thought to myself that each individually is beautiful, but collectively they were breathtaking.
The same creativity God displays in nature, He does so with people. We are all different in our personalities and perspectives which is a good thing because God designed us that way! He is not after uniformity rather unity and he especially desires it in our marriage relationship. We were not meant to compete with one another in conflict but to complete one another in harmony. Too many times we let our differences divide us rather than unite us and the way we view money is the number one thing that comes between couples. Did you know that Jesus spoke about money more than any other topic? Perhaps His words are there to warn us of the potential money has for destroying marital unity. It is vital for a couple to come together and talk about their views and the value they place on money. Such conversations aren’t always easy or pleasant but they are absolutely necessary if we want to stay united on the marriage front. The following biblical truths can be used as starting points to promote healthy discussion…keep in mind, the goal is to be united in your view, not divided!
Money does not determine my worth. A healthy view of money understands that our net-worth has no bearing on our self-worth. Our value is determined by our Creator not our checkbook and no amount of money will make God love or value us any more or any less. In Jesus’s own words he assures us, “What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
Money does not determine my level of happiness. One thing we can bank on (pun intended!) is fluctuating finances. If our emotional state is tied to something so fickle we will be continually unstable and insecure. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12-13, “…for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation…For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
Money does not control me. Money itself is neither good nor bad but according to Jesus it is his number one rival for our heart. His words are recorded in Matthew 6:24 as stated, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Perhaps together we can make a commitment of adding one more habit to our routine which is to have regular conversations with our spouse about money… keeping in mind our goal that “for richer or poorer” we will be united.