I checked my bank account and tensed up a little. Whoops, I mean, “our” bank account.
As the days to my marriage were sneaking up closer, more and more preparations had been taking place. Pre-marital counseling, wedding dress fittings, and of course, figuring out our finances together and opening a shared bank account.
The idea of sharing money with someone else has been a difficult concept for me to grasp, as it is for many engaged couples fast approaching married life.
I am an extreme penny pincher, which is a nicer phrase than just calling it like it is – I am cheap. I find a strange thrill in finding great deals on clearance or digging through thrift shops to find pieces that still have their original tags on them. Costco is my natural habitat, nibbling at food samples while slinging a year’s worth of toilet paper over my shoulder.
My husband has a different approach, at least when it comes to clothing and other necessities. He aims for quality over quantity, a method I’m starting to see the appeal of as my clothes become threadbare after a few months; meanwhile, his are in their third year, still going strong.
So, imagine my nerves about merging finances as we have such different spending styles. I desperately was wanting to cling to each cent and to talk us out of making purchases for items of necessity because I was so worried about the dropping balance of our new shared bank account.
I blamed my anxieties on the fact that we were different with money. But perhaps I was missing out on a deeper truth, that I had an unhealthy relationship with money.
While there’s nothing wrong about enjoying a bargain or creating a responsible budget, the underlying tension underneath it all was a red flag I should’ve caught long ago. There was a large factor missing from the whole equation – God.
Yes, finances are one of the major stressors within a marriage and are sadly at the root of many divorces. May it be a lack of cash, working multiple jobs and still being unable to make ends meet, or lack of communication with spending—all can put a strain on a marriage. But, we have a crucial component that should set us apart from others—the fact that money is not truly ours.
If we truly surrendered our finances to God, acknowledging his Lordship over every aspect of our lives, imagine how differently we would live, and how peaceful our marriages could be.
We would be able to lay each penny provided by God down at His feet, seeking His guidance when the going gets tough. We would consider our spouse before making a purchase, putting their needs above our comfort and desires.
This season of my life, starting a marriage while adjusting to all of the changes that come with it, has been filled with uncertainty and false expectations at times. But most importantly, they have been bursting with revelations of my true character – the good, the bad, and the ugly. God sees it all, yet He gently molds and shapes both my husband and me, continually joining our two lives into one.
Submitting our finances to the Lord has just been one example of an obstacle we’ve had to overcome and change our mindsets. I’m sure as the days turn into years, there will be ongoing moments like this one, that remind us of just how much we need to share every aspect of our marriage between the three of us. Myself, my love, and our God.