Financial Oneness in Marriage
God’s Design for marriage goes beyond one man and one woman for one lifetime. He calls married couples to “oneness” in all aspects of marriage. From the beginning marriage God stated His intention for oneness in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” How would you evaluate your pursuit of oneness with your spouse? How about your financial oneness?
Oneness is a challenge, and it does not occur the instant you say, “I do.” Couples continue to grow in oneness throughout marriage, if you’re seeking God’s desire for your marriage.
Oneness is not the end goal, instead the end goal is to glorify God by displaying the union between Christ and Believers. Because Believes are united with Christ, through the Holy Spirit, Believers also are united in all the blessings that Christ has accomplished. What does this have to do with finances in marriage? Financial oneness is a portrait of the union between Christ and His Church.
If we are honest, we like to hold tight to our finances, and we don’t appreciate when others tell us what to do with our money. Money represents our labor, our sacrifice, and it’s the reward for our hard work. With our money, we can provide housing, food, and clothing for our families. Our money also buys us our ways of recreation. With enough money, you can pick the private school you want your children to attend, take vacations, and enjoy what others have created with their time and talents. And that’s partially why we are so concerned about our money.... We find security in it, and we find joy in the things we can buy with money. Therefore, in our flesh, we want nothing to do with anything that might threaten our finances.
This is the point where it is important to remember God’s call for marriage: Oneness. God calls us to follow His example uniting with our spouse. He calls us to make the interest of our spouse, our own interest. This is oneness. Financially speaking, the money that I earn and control is my spouses, just as much as it is mine… because we are one.
What does this look like practically? It likely looks like shared bank accounts, shared names on your home, shared car titles, and shared investments. It looks like both spouses being involved in financial decisions.
Ultimately, our hesitancy to be one in finances reveals a bigger hesitancy of fully trusting our spouse.
If you have a separate bank account, you may say with your lips that I trust you or I’m not going to leave you, but in the event I want to I also have the means to leave you. If you have one name on your deed to your home, you may say with your lips that I love you and want to live with you forever, but in the event you change your mind, it’s pretty simple who will continue to live in the home.
We know what betrayal feels like… We have thought about it, experienced it, and done it. We know how easy betrayal can occur. In marriage, it is crucial to guard against betrayal, and ultimately to become like God by displaying his character to our spouse, children and the world.
Oftentimes, separate assets in marriage, is a safety net for the case of the marriage not working out. Many don’t want to combine finances because they want to be assured, they won’t be left high and dry if something goes wrong. If that is in the back of your mind, how can you truly open up and be one in any area of marriage?
Instead, be vulnerable. Trust your spouse...In all areas, be so unified with your spouse, it is impossible to define what is his and hers. This type of oneness helps foster a relationship that can experience vulnerability and trust. In this type of marriage, one does not have to fear the end when they act out, but instead expects to work through difficulties. This type of marriage has no financial secrets and banks on the marriage lasting a lifetime. Our finances reveal a lot about our hearts.
Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that God hates divorce. Divorce blasphemes the character of God. God will always be united to His church. When divorce happens, it tells a lie about God. Divorce says God is unfaithful. We want to display God’s faithfulness! We do this by pursuing oneness in marriage… in every area… even finances.