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Prominent research firms tell us that the top two leading causes for marital strain (and divorce) are money and sex. I think most people would agree with this statement even if it wasn’t backed by statistics.

Interestingly enough, both of these have a common denominator that works like a virus, slowly infecting every aspect of our relationships. And that common denominator is secrecy. So let’s talk about money and its impact on marriage.

Managing Money Wisely

There are many things that Kate and I aspire to, but one of the top ones is managing our money wisely. We want to get this right. We want to look back decades from now and see the harvest that resulted from prudent and consistent seed sowing.

2 Timothy 1:14 tells us to guard the good deposit that was entrusted to us from the Lord. We are stewards and money managers. Money was here long before I took my first breath and it will be here long after me. Many aspects of this life revolves around or is influenced by money.

But you cannot chase after money AND serve Christ (Matthew 6:24).  Jesus called out the problem 2000 years ago and the problem still persists today.

It has everything to do with your allegiance, your time, and your heart. Our heart—the inner self that thinks, feels, and acts—is guilty of deceiving and misleading us. How many times have you followed your heart only to wind up in turmoil or pain? I know I have. And at the time, I thought I was doing the right thing.

Keeping Separate Bank Accounts

Every now and then, I listen to talk radio in the morning on the way to work. On one particular morning, they were debating the question on whether married couples should share the same bank account or keep it separate. The common answer to support the separation argument was around gifts and surprises. The calls that continued to come in shocked me.

Many individuals had separate bank accounts that their spouse didn’t know about. They kept their “fun money” in there, and savings in case “things went sideways”. When questioned, many of them saw no problem with it and really felt that it was the safe, respectable, and smart thing to do. They had thought it through, it didn’t feel wrong, and so they acted on that rationale.

100% commitment is what is required for marriage. You can’t hold anything back, and this includes your finances. Anything that is held back equals secrecy.

The old fashion saying is true, ‘what’s mine is yours, and your’s mine’. Secrecy breeds distrust. And a solid relationship can be built on nothing other than trust. Secrecy slowly dissolves your foundation, working in the shadows until finally you’re facing collapse and ruin. Don’t let this derail your marriage.

Unity, Not Secrecy

Money should be front and center in your marriage. It should be something that you dialogue on often and challenge each other on—spending habits, investment habits, leisure habits, and giving habits. Let the transparency in this area free you of the burden that so many couples deal with.

And hey, if you want to surprise your spouse with something, just go pull out the cash anonymously—you can get really creative here. Don’t let your heart take you down a path that will erode the core of the greatest establishment and relationship design that God has ever created.

Given that we have stepped into the giving season, let’s not forget a key application of our money. On top of unity, let’s embrace goodness and generosity. Let’s stop for a minute and move past our busy lives to see what we could do for just 10% of our efforts.

How do you and your spouse handle money?

Reposted with permission. Read original post here.