And they twain SHALL be one flesh.
The reality of having an impact on every area of life, including finances, is essential in the harmony of a new marriage union. Having the right perspective on finances will serve three important purposes: Unity, Communications, and Conflict Resolution. Rather than just seeing the goal of a new marriage as the accumulation of things, couples should strive to build a strong team relationship when it comes to reaching their monetary goal and aim to create a shared financial philosophy that works.
A biblical concept of stewardship begins with understanding that we will be judged by how well we take care of our resources, including the people in our lives. So it’s quite possible that being united and upfront on the topic of finances can be crucial in making both partners feel safe and equal within the marriage.
So how can we have unity about money in a marriage? Understanding how your spouse see money, risk and long-term planning is a key element in making financial decisions together. Most enter relationships with independent habits that embellish his money or her money mindsets. Prospering as a team begins with putting all skills, assets and liabilities together to make a plan for two people to become more together than they were as individuals. It is highly recommended that couples avoid having separate anything and work together in choosing how to spend or invest assets. It has to be our money… and all things are shared, including debt.
Be financially transparent. Financial transparency is the foundation of good communication, says Bethany Palmer who co-authored the book First Comes Love, Then Comes Money: A Couple’s Guide to Financial Communication. “Oneness” calls on us to being open and transparent to one another, especially in finances, and it makes a difference in many marriages. “Being honest about your finances from the start—including any debt you carry, for example—will enable you and your spouse to avoid financial infidelity. If both parties aren’t on the same page, it leads to secrets, which can undermine a marriage,” says Matt Bell, author of Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples. When couples work together and take an honest look at their current financial picture, they can communicate how to develop or adjust their financial plan. Too often, some put off planning until they are so deeply in debt that it seems impossible to get out.
Avoiding Conflict. Sometimes couples are blinded by their own views on spending and saving, and often can’t see or understand their partner’s perspective. Deciding ahead of time on how decisions are going to be made when discussing money matters is critical. Especially before things get heated. When it comes time to make decisions, agree to make them together as a unit and not move forward without the other’s consent. This approach can serve as a great way to reach peaceful agreements. Differences are often seen as complimentary strengths and can build a strong team relationship.
Ultimately, marriage couples should seek the “best interest” of the family in every area, including a unified commitment to the family’s financial plan, have ongoing discussions about stewardship over money, and avoid conflicts that lead to financial dissent.