This week’s marriage prep/enrichment topic is marital finances. Avoid the trap of “my money” vs. “your money” by realizing that everything we have comes from God who loves us and knows how to meet our needs. Read Chapter 5 of The Four Keys to Everlasting Love: How Your Catholic Marriage Can Bring You Joy for a Lifetime, and join in the discussion with the 4 Keys Online Book Club on Facebook. FOR A PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION OF THE WORKSHEET, CLICK HERE.
Turning Ownership into Stewardship:
Six Tips for Trouble-Free, God-Centered Finances
Marital finances are a hot-button issue for many couples. But frequently couples are fighting over who’s in control and who gets to make the decisions as much as they’re fighting over the money itself. It helps for them to commit fully to the idea that what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine. It helps even more for them to realize that everything that is theirs has been given to them by a God who loves them.
We are not so much owners as we are stewards, caretakers of God’s blessings. As Manny and Karee say in Chapter Five of The Four Keys, “An attitude of stewardship can set us free. Good stewardship recognizes that everything we have comes from God, even the talents and opportunities that enable us to earn a living. God gives us these things so we can use them for his glory, not just accomplish our own personal goals.”
In Chapter Five, Manny and Karee use Scriptural quotes and stories to detail six tips for trouble-free, God-centered marital finances:
- Talk to each other
- Establish joint financial priorities
- Plan wisely
- Save for your family’s future
- Tithe (or donate a fixed percentage of your income)
- Pay your taxes (yes, really!)
You can use the following conversation starters to get a discussion going among yourselves or in a small group. If it helps, think it over on your own time, take it to prayer, and jot down your answers before talking about them.
1. Do you and your spouse have different spending and saving patterns? How different are they?
2. Are you comfortable discussing finances with each other, or does it sometimes cause conflict? Which financial issues have the most potential for conflict?
3. How important do you think donating to charity is? Which charities do you (or would you like to) support?
4. How often do you pray about any financial worries you might have?