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Marriage and Money. Jim Sutherland,, Expectations. Life after the fall of Adam and Eve is not easy, especially if the Trinity is not in our life.

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marriage and money

Marriage and Money

Jim Sutherland,,

  • Life after the fall of Adam and Eve is not easy, especially if the Trinity is not in our life.
    • The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. (Psa 90:10 ESV)
    • Marriage joins two selfish-by-nature sinners.
    • Childbearing and child raising are hard.
advantages of being americans
Advantages of being Americans
  • Life could be much more difficult. In the USA we have:
    • The rule of law, political freedom, balance of government powers, and strong public institutions such as schools, churches, healthcare, and a decent infrastructure.
    • Our biggest problems do not revolve around surviving in a nation with unchecked corruption at every level, and completely unrestrained leaders.
  • 80% of Americans are satisfied with their standard of living (6/6/14), while 22% of the global population lives on $1.25/day or less (12/23/13).
us cultural ungodliness
US cultural ungodliness
  • Materialism: “preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.”
  • Sexual immorality expressed or practiced virtually everywhere.
  • Relativism. This is a denial of all absolutes (except that there are no absolutes), leaving us with no point of reference for what is right or wrong.
  • Scientism: “an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation”
the bible gives moral absolutes and wise financial principles which are not generally accepted
The Bible gives moral absolutes and wise financial principles, which are not generally accepted.
  • Biblical marriage principles:
    • Two become one in marriage. (Mat 19:5). Have finances in common.
    • Two are stronger than one. (Ecc. 4:12)
    • “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.” (Pro 18:22). She brings him good all her days (Pro 31:12).
    • “…a wise man listens to advice.” (Pro 12:15)
    • The chain of headship: God, Christ, husband, wife (1 Cor 11:3). Marriage is interdependent, but not a democracy.
the husband servant leader normally provides for his family
The husband (servant-leader) normally provides for his family.
  • Adam provided-- Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Male provision for the wife is illustrated in
  • 1 Timothy 5:8 If anyone [masculine in Greek] does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
  • Hosea 2:7-8 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.' 8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold-- which they used for Baal.
the husband may delegate responsibility not renounce it
The husband may delegate responsibility, not renounce it.
  • If the wife is better at handling and tracking finances, let her do it, but the husband must know the overall state of household finances and intervene as needed.
  • The husband has final authority in finances, and final responsibility.
  • Listen to your wife and husband. If either end of the financial boat goes down, you both sink.
general financial principles
General financial principles
  • We don’t know, but God does.
    • “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” (Isa 46:9-10 ESV)
    • If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (Jam 1:5 ESV)
  • Always, we must balance current demands and future demands. Only we don’t know the future.
general f inancial principles
General financial principles
  • Always face reality (the providential truth).
    • Often people will avoid totaling their debts.
    • People will add a “faith” factor and ignore present truth.
    • After significant income or expense events, people fail to adjust before they get into trouble.
    • Some people are perpetual dreamers, always chasing something big, but not catching anything.
      • Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ecc 6:9 NIV)
  • 17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
  • 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
  • 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. (1Ti 6:17-19 ESV)
a generous life
A generous life
  • The median per person household income globally is $2,920. In Liberia it is $118 and in the USA it is $15,725. Where do you fall in the spectrum? Would you be considered “rich” in this spectrum?
      • accessed 6/26/14
  • Generosity should characterize our life at any point.
  • What would it take for someone to accuse you of being generous?
    • What does your being generous look like to you?
    • We can give 10% of gross income, not be generous (and also love money).
a few other principles
A few other principles
  • Money, or wealth, is a leading, perhaps the leading idol. It is singled out in competition with serving God (Luke 16:13).
  • Riches deceive and don’t provide ultimate security.
    • “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Pro 23:4 NIV
    • 1 Timothy 6:9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
should mom work outside the home
Should Mom work outside the home?
  • A mother’s normal work is to nurture the children and to manage the home.
  • 1 Timothy 5:14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.
  • Titus 2:4-5 Then they [older women] can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
  • Mothers need to spend adequate time mothering.
    • Malachi 2:15 Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
  • The Prov. 31 lady successfully met family needs and was a businesswoman Proverbs 31:16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
marital stages
Marital Stages


d isclosure before marriage
Disclosure before marriage
  • What financial patterns were in my and your family of origin—discipline, balance, panic?
  • Are we savers, spenders, or balanced?
  • What (total) debts do we have and what impact will they have upon starting marriage?
  • Will we go into debt, and if so, for what?
  • What does each expect of the other with regard to finances?
  • Who will work, when?
  • What Kingdom goals will we have? What giving goals?
  • Will we live on a budget, and who will maintain it?
  • If you can, have children. The creation mandate is still in force to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:22).
    • If we can multiply, God can add. All four of our children graduated with no school loans from four-year colleges.
  • God wants godly kids, not just kids (Mal 2:15).
    • Nurture of young children is normally the work of the mother, and is more important than a higher standard of living.
      • I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. (1Ti 5:14 ESV)
      • They [older women] are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Tit 2:3-5 ESV)
teaching children
Teaching children
  • This is also the job of the father.
    • And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You [masculine in Hebrew] shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deu 6:6-7 ESV)
  • Teach through the book of Proverbs several times. These are principles for living according to how God has constructed our world, and give the greatest chances of success if those principles are followed.
    • They will teach your children about the proper use of money and sex.
plan very early for children s education
Plan very early for children’s education
  • Consider starting their bank account at birth and have them contribute toward it as they grow.
  • Teach children a strong work ethic. This will enable them to succeed regardless of barriers.
    • “Pay-as-you-go” through college or technical schools.
    • Teach them to excel academically, and to get scholarships.
      • Put them in environments where they are encouraged academically.
  • Seriously consider home schooling in some form.
  • We are to train a child in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6), or the way in which he is “bent”.
    • College does not fit everyone’s gifting.
  • The average debt for college grads is about $23,500. Total student debt surpasses credit card debt, at about 1 trillion dollars. Some retirees still have college debt.
        • William Bennett, Is College Worth It?, 2013, ISBN: 978-1595552792, p. 3-4.
  • Consider starting a 529 Plan, as offered in your state.
    • Startup and contributions can be small amounts, and others can add to it.
young marrieds 20 40
Young marrieds (20-40)

Avoid debt and save

construct a financial timeline through to age 70 80
Construct a financial timeline through to age 70-80
  • Commit your plans to the Lord (Pro 16:3).
  • Those goals you have faith to pursue, put on graph paper or spreadsheet, so that goals will be tied to an exact year or range of years.
    • Keep asking God to grant you success in these goals.
      • This is how my wife and I got to Hawaii on our 20th anniversary.
sample long range goals graph your time left based on 70 80 years
Sample long-range goals: graph your time left, based on 70-80 years








Take a day or weekend with your spouse to pray over and plan for longterm goals.

focus upon savings not your credit score access to more debt
Focus upon savings, not your credit score (access to more debt).
  • Breaking even is foolish—”devouring all” we have (Pro 21:20).
  • We save against future “evils,” such as breakdowns and poor health (Pro 22:3; 27:12).
    • Know for what you are saving, to avoid hoarding.
  • Develop an emergency fund of perhaps 3-6 months.
saving tips
Saving tips
  • To make it harder to “raid” your savings, make it harder to access them.
    • Automatically debit your checking account to savings at a bank account hard to access.
  • Automatically debit your checking account to invest in the stock of a solid company through a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP). Such stock purchases may cost little or nothing. Visit for details on how to establish this account.
  • Consider for $4/month stock purchases. It’s harder to liquidate shares than simply draw out money.
  • Establish a “ladder” of savings.
    • Begin with a passbook savings account.
    • When you have sufficient funds, transfer it to an out-of-town money market account with low fees (such as Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund).
    • From there move into higher-paying investments—bonds, CD’s if interest rates are high, mutual funds and stocks, or into tangible investments such as land.
  • Try to save at least 10% of your gross income. You only think you are saving if it is not there at the end of the month.
social security is not enough
Social Security Is Not Enough
  • Currently, if you were born in 1960 or later, you will not be eligible for full Social Security benefits until you’re 67.
  • As of 2000, if you are a man and live to 65, you will live another 13 years—to 78. That’s a lot of Christmases1.
  • Women at 65 live an average of 17 more years—until they are 82—4 years longer than men. Will you be able to take care of both of you, and will your wife be provided for when you’re gone?
  • The average monthly Social Security payment in January 2012 was $1,229 for a retired worker and $1,184 for a widow(er)2.

1 answer ID 418 2 answer ID 310, accessed 9/7/06)

2 accessed 5/25/12

save early
Save Early
  • The earlier you save and invest the better. If you start investing $2,000 annually at 8% in an IRA at 25, you will have $606,487 at 65. If you delay until 35, you’ll have only $266,427, a loss of $340,0601.
  • If your employer offers matching retirement money, utilize it.

1 Dean O. Webb, “Don’t delay, start saving today,” Christian Financial Concepts, Money Matters, 10/99, p. 3

two approaches to spending
  • From a false assumption
    • of what “ought” to be able to spend.
    • “I owe it to myself!” “I deserve to be able to ….”—a deductive approach
  • From actual income/provision
    • From within the circle of God’s provision—an inductive approach
develop a budget 7 steps
Develop a budget--7 steps

1. Pray for wisdom (James 1:5) and for self-control (Galatians 5:23). Habitual overspending is a spiritual issue.

2. BEFORE spending, plan MONTHLY expenses and LONG TERM GOALS (greater than 1 year, requiring savings).

3. Record DAILY expenses in a columnar ledger or software program—keep a running total in each expense category (using the ledger or on the outside of a cash envelope).

budgeting steps
Budgeting steps

4. At month’s end, TOTAL expenses in each category and compare with target figures, and adjust for next month, if needed.

5. Compare ALL expenses and with ALL


6. Move any surplus to savings, earmarking it for a particular need.

7. Deduct any shortfall from your next pay before spending it.

debt is discouraged
  • The Bible discourages debt, but it isn’t a sin.
    • Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another….”Romans 13:8
    • The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7
    • [The alien] will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail. Deuteronomy 28:44
    • Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:42.
  • Bankruptcy should be avoided and all debts satisfied.
    • The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; Psalm 37:21
older marrieds 40 onward
Older Marrieds (40 onward)

Getting and keeping our house in order

goal of financial freedom no anxiety about money and are prepared
Goal of financial freedom—no anxiety about money, and are prepared
  • The goal is to be completely free of consumer debt, including autos and credit cards and student loans.
  • Then work to pay off your home, normally, so that is not an expense when retirement income is usually less.
  • If Mom didn’t work due to children, she can enter the marketplace, if you both agree.
consider long term healthcare insurance for catastrophic illness
Consider long-term healthcare insurance for catastrophic illness.
  • The earlier you purchase this, the less will be monthly payments. The better your health, the lower your rates (MassMutual).
  • God expects family to care for aged members (1 Tim. 5:8), but sometimes it is too much, as with advanced dementia. If we can’t afford this insurance, God will provide.
try to work until age 70 in the usa
Try to work until age 70, in the USA
  • Currently your monthly Social Security payout will increase 8% a year between the ages of 67 and 70.
    • Of course, if you do not live as long, you will be better off to take payments are full retirement age of 67. We don’t know the future, but longevity of our parents and grandparents, as well as our personal health can give indications. Again, only God knows the future and He can guide each of us.
kingdom investing
Kingdom investing
  • “Do your giving while you’re living, so you’re knowing where it’s going.” Larry Burkett
  • Provide for your spouse, children and grandchildren (Pro 13:22).
    • Provide enough for them to do something, but not so much that they can do nothing.
    • Our legal will should be current.
    • Our spouse and perhaps our executor should know how to locate all assets, including websites, user names, and passwords (a paper copy).
  • Aim for Level 6 giving.
6 levels of giving

1. Giving little or nothing. Among born-again Americans, 24% gave nothing to churches in 20071.

2. Inadequate giving--giving less than 10%. Only 24% of evangelicals (the 7% most strongly committed Christians) tithed in 20072.

3. Obedient giving. Giving a tithe.

4. Giving beyond obedience--beyond the tithe.

1,2 George Barna, “New Study Shows Trends in Tithing and Donating,” April 14, 2008, accessed 2/3/10

6 levels of giving1

5. Giving generously, being “willing to share”

1 Timothy 6:18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

6. Surpassing generosity. Giving out of God’s bounty, becoming a conduit of His blessing

2 Cor. 9:11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

his and hers
His and Hers
  • It’s generally better to have unity of finances. One checkbook, one debit/credit card account, etc.
  • Be careful that separate inheritances, if any, do not divide the husband and wife.
    • Forge an agreement. For example, each has liberty to spend it as s/he sees fit.
    • If there is separate money, split certain expenses.
  • Unless one is an addict or otherwise untrustworthy, have assets in both names and have each other as primary beneficiaries.
divorce a financial disaster
Divorce—a financial disaster
  • Baby boomers continue to divorce at high rates. In 2010 about 46% of those aged 55-59 were divorced, and about 43% of those aged 60-64 were divorced.
  • In general terms, those divorcing will have to live on half the income, and maintain their own household on that income, not considering any alimony.
    • The next worse thing is to divorce twice.
golden years
Golden Years
  • Typically couples will spend more on travel during early retirement, when their health is good.
  • Every good gift comes from God. Continue to pray about purchases as stewards of God’s money.
what if your personal income is more than sufficient
What if your personal income is more than sufficient?
  • Are you a bucket or a funnel (L. Burkett). Will you give at least a tithe of your income to the work of God? Or will more money lead you away from God (Matt. 11:14)?
  • Will you be more generous and a better steward of your life and gifts, or simply enjoy personal financial freedom with a focus upon this life?
  • Will we use resources to reach the 2 billion who have never heard of Christ?