How Should Money Be Handled in Marriage?
Answer: The Bible does not specifically address the handling of money in a marriage, but the principles regarding the relationship dynamics between the husband and wife touch on all aspects of the marriage. In other words, the principles set forth by the Lord in Ephesians 5:22-33 and Colossians 3:18-19 speak to all facets of the husband-wife relationship. This means that the spiritual balance of the spousal relationship, in all aspects, is directly impacted by the individual spouse’s personal relationship to God. In any relationship there is both blessing by association and suffering by association, and these principles are affected by the choice of each spouse to walk in obedience to the Lord.
Both spouses bring to their union strengths and weaknesses. Molding these individual characteristics into a workable relationship is a matter of understanding the order of God and the gift of grace. Financial decisions that impact the success of the family are a shared responsibility. Whatever the source of God’s provisions, whether the result of the husband’s employment or the wife’s employment or both, the assets accumulated are the responsibility of both partners together as a team. The important principle in regard to financial decisions is to “do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 14:8; Colossians 3:23-24).
Inherent in the marriage of two people in Christ, however, is the understanding that the husband is the ultimate authority. He is responsible to God to lead and shepherd his family, while his wife’s responsibility is to submit to him and be his helper. In the realm of finances, this could mean that the husband has sole control over the checkbook, pays all the bills, and sees to the family savings and investing as well as giving, while at the same time consulting his wife and getting her input on financial decisions. It can just as legitimately mean that he delegates this function to his wife, especially if she enjoys or is better suited to the details of the financial realm, and that she takes over the financial details of the “family business.” But the husband still has the responsibility to oversee the process. In the end, a couple that works together in the financial aspect of the family will be a couple that usually has good communication and mutual respect.
Finally, we are also given principles such as the one in Luke 6:38, which states that the more freely we give the greater the blessing. This means that there is a correlation between the giving that we do as unto the Lord and the blessing that we receive in return, both spiritual and financial. We cannot out-give God. The more faithful we are in giving back to the LORD, the more we find that what we retain is multiplied and, indeed, more than sufficient to the point of abundance.
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