“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:21
When we were dating and for the first few weeks of our engagement, my wife and I hardly ever had disagreements. Then we went to register for wedding gifts. We had little idea how dissimilar our tastes were. Talking with a good friend in the midst of that tense time, he tried to clarify the situation, asking as only he could with his southern drawl, “Well, you didn’t set yourself upon the slippery slope of expressing your opinion about any of those decisions, did you?”
Today we can laugh about that situation. However, money and material things often become sticking points in marriage. Husbands and wives usually bring different attitudes about everything from debt to decorating and from investing to vacations into marriage. Sometimes those differing views lead to squabbles. Sometimes they lead to divorce. Which why it’s essential that couples learn how to navigate the often rough waters of marital money management.
Our culture encourages a “mine/yours” low-trust approach, with separate checking accounts and even prenuptial agreements. Our God encourages an “ours” approach that recognizes God’s ownership over everything and calls for unity in managing all that he entrusts to us.
In his excellent book, “Sacred Marriage,” author Gary Thomas makes the counter-cultural assertion that marriage is not primarily for our happiness, but for our holiness. Combining financial accounts may seem like a small thing. Yet it speaks volumes about our willingness to submit to one another. And, whatever attitudinal hurdles we have to clear in order to do so will likely draw us closer to God as well.