Joint Hands, Joint Account
It is not proper to put money on the same level as marriage. They don't belong in the same category. However, money is an integral part of marriage. Money is an important factor in the planning of everything from weddings to funerals. It is not the most important thing, but it is one of the most tangible. It does not make a marriage, but it can easily break a marriage.
The issue of money does not begin with marriage; it begins with the intention of getting married.
When a Christian couple contemplates joining hands in holy matrimony, they should realize they are pledging to join their lives together as one flesh. The one flesh concept does not only speak of physical union; it also speaks of unity in all areas. Unity in purpose in serving God; unity in honoring parents; unity in raising children; unity in managing finances; union by mutual submission and mutual respect.
When a couple is not willing to be totally open with each other about their finances and/or is not willing to pull their resources together, it reflects two very serious fault lines in the foundation of their future marriage.
The first fault line has to do with trust.
One man said, "I have $80,000 on the side which my fiancee knows nothing about. I am not going to tell her. Because if she knows about it, she is going to insist that we have a more lavish banquet."
The real issue here is not about money. It involves values and judgment. It may involve the issues of worth and security, or the lack of them. Behind his line of thinking, this man betrays a lack of trust in his fiancee. He does not trust her judgment. Their values differ at a very fundamental level.
If he cannot trust her before marriage, is there any reason to believe that he is going to trust her afterwards? Chances are the fault line of trust will multiply after marriage as more and more issues arise.
It is far better for him to be honest with his fiancee and talk about his reservation about her judgment and their differences in values before entering into marriage with such a faulty foundation.
It is safe to say that any unwillingness to fully disclose one's financial resources is a symptom of lack of total trust. Such a lack is a potential cancer cell waiting to grow rapidly in the new one-flesh body. Treatment of such cancer is best performed before the union of the two bodies.
There are many married couples today who are not totally open about their finances. Even though the fault line is not physically visible, its presence is felt by the occasional tremors caused by verbal or non-verbal dissonance. The sure way to prevent the big earthquake from coming is to work on the fault line of trust.
The second fault line has to do with misplaced priority.
If a person is willing to share everything and in every way with one's fiancee except in the area of finance, what is he saying about his priorities? If he is willing to share his ideas, his time, his feelings, his past and his dreams, but not his money, this man is putting money above everything else. He is placing the relationship with his wife on a very unstable foundation. And any woman who is willing to be married to such a man puts her happiness in serious jeopardy.
If a man puts money above his wife, where do you think he will put their children? And if the children feel that their father does not treasure them as much as his wealth, how well will they turn out as adults?
It is unfortunate that some married people put their ability to make money above the interests of their families. The union of a man and a woman is far more significant than any number of shares of any Fortune 500 company. The security of a marriage should not be subjected to the risk and volatility of the financial markets.
Money is not the lifeline of a marriage; it is its reflection. How a couple views and handles their money speaks loudly of the quality of their relationship.
Before you join hands with another person in holy matrimony, make sure the issue of money does not become a fault line.
When you join hands together, make sure you join your two accounts as well.