Marriage and Money

Bible Book: Psalms  24 : 1
Subject: Money
Series: M&Ms: Sweetening Up Our Family Life

How many of you are fans of M&M’s? As far back as I can remember, I have enjoyed M&M’s. After all, they melt in your mouth, not in your hand!

Let’s take a quick survey: Plain or Peanut? How many would say PLAIN? How about PEANUT? Well, M&M’s sure have a way of sweetening things up.

The four messages found in this booklet I’m calling The M&M’s series: Sweetening Up Our Family Life. It is my pray that God will use these four messages to help sweeten up, straighten up and strengthen your family life.

So what are these 4 M&M’s? Well, the first M&M is Marriage & Money. The second M&M is Marriage & Mates. The third M&M is Marriage & Morality. And then the fourth M&M is Marriage & Mentoring.

M&M’s: Sweetening Up Our Family Life! Now the first M&M: Marriage & Money is found in Psalm 24. In a Gallup Poll recently taken, 56% of the families surveyed indicated that the biggest problem they faced as a family was finances. One common denominator in the majority of divorces is tied to MONEY.

“Theirs was a beautiful marriage; but for one little flaw. He was quick on the deposit but she was quicker on the draw.” It is true, you wives control most of the money. I read recently that 80% of family grocery spending is decided by women and that you control 80% of family travel spending. In that same article it said that it’s the women who control 70% of family medical spending, 55% of family automobile purchases and 55% of family insurance spending.

And don’t think that the manufactures are not noticing. That’s why they are making women’s handbags bigger and men’s wallets smaller! Somebody said that “the man who gets his money the hard way is the one who has to ask his wife for it.” Well, I’m not so sure about that, but I am sure about this: we need help in sweetening up our family life, especially when it comes to money! That is the first M&M: Marriage & Money.

Now as we think about Marriage & Money, we are going to consider three Bible principles that God wants to use, to help sweeten up your family life when it comes to money. The first is:

(1) The Principle of OWNERSHIP.

Whose money is it? Now a husband says, “That’s easy .. my money is mine. I worked for it. I earned it. It’s mine. And because it’s mine .. I can do with it whatever I want.”

A stay at home wife says, “No, it’s our money. I take care of this house, pay the bills, wash your clothes and if I wasn’t at home doing these things, you wouldn’t have clean clothes to go to work. Therefore, it’s not just your money,. it’s our money.”

A wife who also works outside the home says, “Well, you have your money and I have my money and the two shall never meet.” So .. whose money is it? Is it the husbands? Is it the wives? Somebody says, “Well .. since they are married it’s now THEIR money.” Well, according to the Bible, the money is not the husbands nor the wives nor theirs, it’s His!

Psalm 24.1, “The earth is the LORD’s and all its fullness. The world and those who dwell therein.” Do you have any silver or gold? Perhaps a ring or a necklace? Listen to Haggai 2.8, “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

Leviticus 25.23, “The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land if Mine ..” Psalm 50.10-12, “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” Hey folks, it’s ALL His!

God created it all and God owns it all! And nowhere in the Bible do you find that He has ever transferred ownership to you! You say, “Wait just a minute. My money belongs to me. I worked for it. I went to school and got the education required to make it.” Oh is that so? Who gave you the brain in your head to begin with? Did you have anything to do with that? Who gave you the gifts and skills needed to do what you do?

Do you want to know how to sweeten up your family life? It begins by understanding the biblical principle of OWNERSHIP! All your money is God’s money! And when you begin recognizing that bible principle, it will sweeten up, straighten up and strengthen your family life!

But don’t stop there. There is a second principle to embrace:

(2) The Principle of STEWARDSHIP.

Now once you understand the principle of OWNERSHIP, that it’s not your money but rather it’s God’s money, then every spending decision becomes a spiritual decision.

The question to ask is not: “Lord, what do You want me to do with MY money?” But rather, “Lord, what do You want me to do with YOUR money.” We are not the owner, we are the steward! The Bible doesn’t teach OWNERSHIP, it teaches LOANERSHIP. Everything we have is on loan, not own.

One day after John D. Rockefeller died his accountant was asked how much he left. The accountant replied, “He left it all.” Here’s how Job put it in Job 1.21, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

The Apostle Paul said it this way in 1 Timothy 6.7, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

So what does it mean to be a steward? Well, the word used in the New Testament means manager or administrator. That’s the word Jesus used in Luke 16 in His parable of the unjust steward.

We read in Luke 16.1-2, “ He also said to His disciples: ‘There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’”

He goes on to say in vv.12-13, “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the others, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

In other words, there is a day of accounting to the owner! Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4.2, “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” Why? Because one of these days we’re going to give an account to the owner regarding what we did with what was placed under our guardianship.

Jesus said, “to whom much is given, of him much is required.” We read in Genesis 2.15, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” Another translation puts it this way: “Then the Lord God placed man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and to guard it.”

God has placed wealth in our trust so that it may multiply, flourish and grow! We are called to be stewards of wealth, not owners of it. So, there is the principle of ownership and stewardship. There is also:

(3) The Principle of PARTNERSHIP.

Now if God owns it all and has made us stewards or managers over what He’s given us, knowing that one day we’re going to give an account of what we did with what He made us stewards over, what that means is this: we are in partnership! There is a partnership when it comes to our money and possessions!

Now there is at least a 3 fold partnership.

A. We have a partnership with our SPOUSE.

Julie and I got married my senior year in college. Two things happened just a months into our marriage: One, I was called to serve a church in Dallas, Texas as their Student Pastor. Two, Julie became pregnant.

I remember thinking, “if this child comes early, my ministry is over.” Well, our first child didn’t come early and we were able to serve that church for over five years. And during that five year period, all three of our children were born.

Poor Julie. It seemed that she was either pregnant or having a baby the whole time we were at that church. I can only imagine what those Senior Adults must have thought!

So, I was in school serving part-time at the church and Julie was having babies. During her first pregnancy and before our first child was born, she worked at Arthur Anderson Company in down town Dallas. And as a 22 year old husband, I struggled with that. I felt that I should be able to take care of my wife and family. After all, I was the MAN of the house.

There was only one problem with that, I couldn’t do it! Our monthly house payment was more money than I brought home each month. Well, I was really feeling bad about it and so I called my Father and explained to him what I was feeling. He gave me some great advice. He said, “Son, your wife is your partner. God gave her to you as a life-partner. And a partner is somebody who does whatever is necessary at the time to help.”

That was some great advice to a young husband! And now for over 28 years, Julie and I have been partners when it comes to making and managing money. We have a partnership! As partners, we understand that “it is God who gives us power to get wealth.” As partners, we understand that it all belongs to God. As partners, we understand that every spending decision is a spiritual decision.

Let me ask you a question: if God is the One who enables you to make money and if all the money belongs to God, doesn’t it stand to reason that God expects you to make money?

In fact, Paul says in 1 Timothy 5.8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.”

There is nothing wrong with making money. But as you and your spouse make money and manage money, remember that it all belongs to God.

Years ago, John Wesley wrote some wonderful and practical advice about finances: “Earn all you can without injuring your soul, your body, or your neighbors. Save all you can, avoiding any unnecessary waste. Give all you can.” Earn all you can! Save all you can! Give all you can!

So, there’s a partnership with our spouse.

B. We also have a partnership with the SAINTS.

We find that in Acts 2.44-45, “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”

Acts 4.32-35, “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Now was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”

During the early days of the church, those who believed were in partnership. They partnered in ministry! When needs arose within the fellowship, they came together to meet them. That’s one of the joys of being in a fellowship like this! When a need arises among us, we make it our aim to meet it because we have a partnership in the gospel!

Not only did the early church partner in ministry, they also partnered in missions! Paul tells us in Philippians 4.15, “Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.” That fellowship of believers partnered in missions! They got together and gave an offering to partner with the Apostle Paul in missions! Verse 16, “For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.”

We talk about church membership and how every Christian ought to be a member of a local bible believing church. Perhaps we ought to be talking more about partnership! That joining our fellowship is to partner with us to get the gospel of Jesus Christ out across the streets, across the states and across the seas!

So there is the partnership with our spouse and with the saints. But there is one other partnership we need to keep in mind:

C. The partnership with the SAVIOR.

Paul explains that in Colossians 3.23-24, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ.”

What a partner! Do you understand that we are in partnership with Jesus, the savior of world! “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord.” Every Sunday School teacher is in partnership with Jesus as you Teach His Word! Every Deacon is in partnership with Jesus as you Serve His Church! Every Bible Preacher is in partnership with Jesus as we preach His Word! Every Saint is in partnership with Jesus as we tithe and give offerings to minister to His church and to reach those who do not know Him.

Partnership with your SPOUSE, with the SAINTS and with the SAVIOR. So, let me ask you a question: what kind of partner are you in this partnership? Are you a helpful partner or a hurtful partner?

Proverbs 3.9, “Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.”

Jesus said in Matthew 6.19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

All you have to do to find what’s important to you is to follow the money trail! What does your checkbook say about your love for God? It’s true, your checkbook is a reflection of your love for God.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get; but we make a life by what we give.” It is the first M&M that will sweeten up, straighten up and strengthen your family life: Marriage & Money.

.. the Principle of OWNERSHIP.

.. the Principle of STEWARSHIP.

.. the Principle of PARTNERSHIP.

A partnership with your spouse, with the saints and with the Savior.

“Earn all you can without injuring your soul, your body, or your neighbors. Save all you can, avoiding any unnecessary waste. Give all you can.”

Earn all you can! Save all you can! Give all you can!