So this post is going to be a little different, I’m going to write it in two parts, because I have so much on my mind, and honestly I just needed to get it out. These posts are for those young couples in committed relationships, those newly married couples, or even those married couples who have been together for years! This part A, is going to have some Scripture and a little about my life and faith. You are more than welcome to keep reading, but if you wish not to, then part B might be more for you. If you’re single, but would like to be married, then you are also more than welcome to keep reading! My husband and I fall under the category of newly married couples. We were married in October of 2016, so we’ve been married for a little over a year. Now, I am most definitely not pretending to be a marriage counselor, or even pretend I have marriage figured out. Trust me, I know we haven’t even hit hard times yet! The reason I’m writing this post is because my heart is a little heavy about relationships, and what marriage has become in today’s society. To be a little transparent with you guys, one of my biggest fears in the world, is getting a divorce.
My parents divorced after I graduated from high school. I knew it was coming, because they fought my entire life, so it wasn’t a surprise. Honestly, it was more of a relief. Now, this isn’t some sob story about my life. My parents have been able to work out their differences and now everyone gets along great! We are very blessed. Both my parents are remarried, and we ALL vacation together. You heard me! My parents, step parents, step siblings, all of us! It’s amazing, and I don’t take it for granted. This is definitely rare for families, but God has completely redeemed my family and it has been amazing. But, that slight fear of divorce still lingers in the back of my mind. I never want to put my children through what I went through. Through all the fights that occurred, one main them stayed, money. I remember my parents fighting about money constantly.
I was looking up some statistics on couples, marriages and money. I found some pretty disturbing statistics from an article on CNBC.com (https://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/04/money-is-the-leading-cause-of-stress-in-relationships.html). The article stated that the main source of stress for a couple, was money. That statistic didn’t surprise me that much, and it may not surprise you either; but when I kept reading, that’s when the statistics got worse. The article goes on to say that not only couples but, 3/4 of individuals are stressed about finances some of the time, and 1/4 are extremely stressed about finances. The main statistic that caught my eye was that 1 in 5 Americans have made large purchases over $500 and KEPT IT A SECRET FROM THEIR PARTNER and 6% of people in committed relationship have a secret bank account or credit card. WHAT?! I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one that’s really blown away by this statistic, but I think these numbers are absolutely crazy!
Why is this happening? I can’t fully answer that question obviously, because it could be a lot of different reasons. But here is what I think can help with these stressors and miscommunication. First of all, communication and honesty! Any person who has gone to a pre-marital counselor knows that this is the basis of every session. If you do not have those in a marriage, it is going to fail. This could be a reason why the divorce rate is over 50% in America. Often times, rates can even be higher for individuals whose parents have divorced. With these statistics, the future isn’t looking so bright for my husband and I. But, I have found some things that have helped so far, and I am planning on using them for the rest of my life.
First and foremost, I pray and ask God’s guidance regularly. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Prayer is a huge factor in my life and I try to do it as often as I can. There is something so freeing, about giving up control of a situation to an all-powerful God, that I know is going to handle any situation much better than I can. My husband and I try to live our marriage by one of the most famous passages concerning love and marriage, and is used at almost every Christian wedding “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Now I know this can be extremely difficult for us to do all of these, but could you just imagine what your marriage might be like if both you and your spouse lived like this? I think it would be pretty amazing. I think more marriages would stay together, keeping secrets in the marriage would not happen, and I would argue that the financial stress would become significantly less! So the major things I have been trying to work on with my husband are prayer, communication, and not being self-seeking.
All that to say, that my husband and I both grew up in Christian households, but faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ was not always emphasized. First and foremost, we are looking to change that in our relationship. We want to be centered on Christ, and lean on Him for everything. Then, we can worry about our finances and learn how to better keep track of those. Continue on to Part B for some tips on communication of finances with your spouse.