When it comes to money and marriage, intimacy matters!
You may have heard it said that sex and money are the areas that cause the most marital troubles. I can certainly believe it.
When sex is a struggle in your marriage, it tends to occupy a lot of your attention and energy, and it certainly seems to garner a lot of attention in the many marriage blogs I follow. But sexual intimacy is just one part of the intimacy equation. God intends for you to have intimacy in every dimension of your relationship, finances included. I have a theory that every dimension of intimacy is tied to every other dimension.
What is Financial Intimacy?
Intimacy, in whatever form, is about living as one. Intimacy reaches its zenith when we are fully known and still find that we are fully loved.
It’s no different when it comes to money.
That means being free to be your true self, without shame or secrets concerning money. And it means being fully loved by your spouse regardless of your financial circumstances. It means approaching your finances as a team and applying plenty of grace toward each other when it comes to money matters. That’s not a pass for being financially irresponsible, but it means putting your relationship above money.Staying intimately connected to your spouse has to matter more than your bank balance. Click To Tweet
1) It’s Not Really About the Money
As with sexual issues, contention over money tends to be a barometer of other troubles in your relationship.
Discord over money might point to poor communication, lack of trust, control issues or other troubles in your marriage. Money might just be what causes these issues to bubble up to the surface. When you are facing financial difficulty, it can be especially hard to choose to focus on your relationship instead of your circumstances. However, I truly believe that every hardship offers a chance to grow your marriage and strengthen it for the long haul.
One important side note: if you don’t have good agreement on how to walk out the biblical framework of headship and submission, that is going to show up in the financial arena as well. If you haven’t had that foundational conversation, I’d suggest you do that before trying to sort out your finances. Read the two linked posts and talk them through together.
2) Where Control, Fear and Shame Thrive, Love Does Not
Negative feelings about finances can often tend to be driven by fear or a need for control.
The Bible says that fear and love are antithetical to one another (perfect love casts out fear – 1 John 4:18). If fear is driving your finances, it’s likely true that love is not.If fear is driving your finances, it's likely true that love is not. (1 John 4:18) Click To Tweet
Because money is so important to our daily lives, it is easy to slip into control mode. Fear and doubt over money can easily drive you to try to control your spouse. Shame is fear’s sister, and shame over money will drive you to hide things from each other (spending, accounts, desires, fears). Secrets in marriage do damage to your relationship. Money is no exception.
If fear, shame, and control are happening over money, they will more than likely happen over other issues too.
3) Be One In Everything
I believe that when we marry we become one in every way. That includes being one in finances.
If you are living separate financial lives, then there is a cap on the amount of intimacy you can enjoy in the rest of your relationship. When you try to selectively limit your oneness to certain areas of your marriage, you inevitably damage unity and intimacy in other areas. It’s all connected.
4) Money is a Biblical Priority
Certainly, the Bible talks a lot about money. Jesus himself talked a lot about money. Money matters to God. More accurately, how you handle money matters to God. And so whether or not you have financial intimacy in your marriage matters too.
Financial intimacy matters. If you need some insights on how to grow in financial intimacy with your spouse, be sure to check out my previous post “The Four Pillars of Financial Intimacy.“