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Staying United Through a Financial Crisis – Marriage and Money Seminar

by | Wed, Apr 12 2023

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The end of cheap money is a game changer, especially for the younger generation who are experiencing unprecedented rises in interest rates and costs of living. Marriages and relationships are being tested as major economic changes are hitting the unprepared harder than others. The enormous stress of financial hardship can make men feel inadequate when they are suddenly faced with not being able to provide for their families. Preparing for difficult times and having a plan of action will be of immense benefit to staying united through a financial crisis.

Vision has partnered with Brett and Kate Ryan from Focus on the Family, and Alex Cook, founder of Wealth with Purpose to bring you a special Marriage and Money seminar live-streamed at Vision’s Brisbane studios and hosted by Neil Johnson from 20Twenty.

It’s not just couples who can benefit from the valuable insights and expertise shared by Brett, Kate and Alex; everyone will find gold nuggets of wisdom in this seminar series they can apply to their lives to help them make sound financial decisions and build strong relationships.

Spenders and Savers

It’s important to acknowledge that people come from different backgrounds and have different ways of handling money because of what money personally means to them. One spouse might be an overspender while the other wants to save. This can cause friction that escalates into treating each other as the enemy. This is not how God designed marriage. Marriage is a partnership, it’s working together as a team, with God at the centre, to resolve issues when they arise, rather than take out their frustrations on each other.

‘My father spent a lot because he came from a poor background, so his children were never going to go without,’ said Kate. ‘Whereas my mum came from a very stable background, and she was a planner and a budgeter. So I got to watch the two extremes of how each handled money.’

Some people don’t have role models to guide them, so they walk into a marriage with two different viewpoints and end up in warfare about finances. Talking about money before getting married is crucial to avoid it becoming a big issue down the track. Discuss how money was managed in your family and what worked well and what didn’t work, and come to a solution together. Try and see things from the other person’s point of view then you’ll understand what makes the other person tick and what are the triggers that make them react negatively.

‘Just a simple thing like somebody asking to see a receipt of something you bought that day can be a trigger that makes them think you don’t trust them and you’re trying to control them,’ said Kate. ‘You may have just been trying to balance the books and they have taken your request as an accusation. So, it’s really important to be open to discussion about money, so that both of you know where the other is coming from.’

Putting God at the Centre of Your Marriage and Finances

There can be a lot of tension and disagreements when it comes to needs versus wants or when couples think about money as his or her money. It helps to take the focus off ourselves and think about money as being God’s money. Couples are required to steward it together and are responsible and accountable to God for how they look after it.

‘It’s when we’re under pressure that our faith starts to get tested, and we actually have to start thinking about who God is and do we really trust him. Do we really believe that he will provide for us?’ said Alex. ‘So I think it’s a blessing in the sense that it can really bring you closer to God.’

Alex believes that while it’s important for couples to meet their family’s needs, there’s another dimension to the purpose of the money God has put in our hands. We need to think about how we can use it as a tool for serving God, doing good and blessing others. This takes the focus off us and puts it on what is God calling us to do as a couple to come to great outcomes.

The Bible has a lot to say about money and the wisdom around handling money.  Here is one verse about the importance of preparing for hard times.

“And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” (Genesis 41:35-36 NKJV)

Staying united through a financial crisis is always the best outcome and will be worth the effort. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and working through it together will make you both stronger, wiser and prepared to win the next battle. Unfortunately, this life does not promise us smooth sailing all the way. There are always times of storms but those who are prepared, or are prepared to work through them, are the ones that get through relatively unscathed.

Related Articles:

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To view the full Marriage and Money seminar, click on the link below. The topic of Staying United Through a Financial Crisis begins at the 9:18-minute mark.