Remember when you became friends with your spouse? When you did whatever you could to make each other laugh? I’m going to take a wild guess that you were broke at that time. We certainly were.
Photo Credit: earl53 (MorgueFile)
Four years later, we’re still quite broke, but we’re still married and still in love. We laugh about it and say, “Hey, we’re broke, but we’re not poor!” By that, we mean broke is temporary. Poor is an identity.
I’m not an expert on marriage, so I won’t insult you by pretending to be. However, I will direct your attention to the One who is.
I was at a wedding this weekend in which God was mentioned several times. Pastors have the freedom to do things like that at marriage ceremonies in this country without risking much persecution – something I certainly take for granted. The pastor, Nirup Alphonse, is a very good friend of ours, and gave me permission to share the key points of his message with you. At its heart is marriage as God intended it to be.
Here are three powerful ways to stay married and in love, even when you’re broke:
Serve your spouse. Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” It’s completely unnatural to put our spouse’s needs and wants above our own, but that’s just what God is calling us to do. Do you write the budget in your family? Are you lording it over your spouse instead of respecting his/her perspective on how you allocate your money? Does your spouse do the budget? Do you respect what amount is given to you for spending?
God sent His son Jesus to earth, not to be served, but to serve (Matt. 20:28). How can you serve your spouse this week?
Pursue your friendship. I don’t know what hurts have transpired in your relationship, but try to remember what drew you together in the beginning. What made your spouse laugh? Budget for date nights. Make them a priority, no matter how little extra money you have. Especially if children have entered the picture. This is a journey you signed up for together. Invest in your friendship.
Keep Christ at the center of your marriage. The number one cause of divorce in America is conflict over money, according to researcher Sonya Britt at Kansas State University. God is the Provider, but when we hold tight to our possessions, our opinions and our hearts, we carry a terrible burden never meant to be carried alone.
Are you feeling the weight of burdens in this marriage? Then keep your eyes on Christ, who loved us enough to die on the cross for our sins (Phil. 2:8). He then rose again three days later, conquering death once and for all (II Tim. 1:10).
Don’t you think the conqueror of death is powerful enough to provide for your financial, relational, physical, emotional and spiritual needs? Praise God that He is.
Let God take the reins in your marriage. Especially your finances. I’m speaking 100% from experience. I strongly encourage you to sit down with your spouse and share these truths that Pastor Nirup preached. They’re not my words – and honestly they’re not even his. They’re from God, the One who is fighting for your marriage.
Then, take a step of obedience together. For example, start tithing again. Or budget for a date night.
Or do both.
Join the Discussion: What remedies would you suggest when financial conflicts threaten to overpower a marriage?