On Finances

Earlier this week I got an email from a friend about the topic of finances. He sent it out to a number of people and asked for any tidbits, words of wisdom, advise, caution that you have learned, experienced or heard concerning discussing finances with your significant others.

FinancesI thought about it for a couple of days, nothing came to mind, and thinking that’s no reason to not reply, I wrote something up. Here’s what I said.

Amy and I are very different in terms of finances, both as a goal and in our family histories. But, while there have been tensions at times, I don’t think we’ve ever had arguments or battles. Partly because for the most part we really haven’t had much finances to work with. 🙂

That being said, I’ve been thinking about why it’s never been a huge issue even as we have different understanding. One, I think it has to do with our general pattern in marriage. We’re a team. That means there’s give and take, letting go insisting that our individual assumption of reality has to work in every situation. More important, seeing as being on a team means we think more about common goals. What is our mission in life and how do our finances 1) reflect this and 2) lead us deeper into this mission? We also make it a matter of prayer and trust in God, and learning how to trust each other. There are times I’ve taken risks and Amy feels tense but then sees God working in the midst of those moves. Then there are times I know God is using Amy to lead us to very wise financial decisions.

We both seek God, we seek fullness for each other, we try to live out our faiths in our finances, and give ourselves grace at times. There’s a place for “sabbath” in finances too, using what God has given to help bring restoration or rest or renewal in life. But, that’s not about satiating either our desires or our frenzy–that concern for absolute security that leaves no room for faith.

Which means we start by talking through our visions of life, not formally, but as part of a continuing commitment to openness. By being on the same page with the big issues–life, faith, mission–the financial stuff falls into place as we talk about finances in the context of the other, bigger, already agreed upon ideals.

I don’t know if that was helpful (my friend said it was), but it’s what came to mind. Amy likely would have something else to say.

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