It is widely recognized that couples fight more about money—how much to spend, how much to save, how much to borrow, and how much is enough—than about any other topic. Check out these stats. According to the National Survey of Marital Strengths, 80 percent of happy couples agreed with the statement, "Making financial decisions is not difficult." Only 32 percent of unhappy couples agreed. Agreement with the statement, "We agree on how to spend money," for happy couples was 89 percent. But only 41 percent of unhappy couples agreed.
Obviously, conflict over money is a powerful romance killer. Happy couples share similar philosophies of how to manage and spend money. Unhappy couples do not. Clearly, we can renew marital happiness by creating unity on this touchy topic. But how?
The best way I know to get couples on the same financial page is to teach them the financial stewardship principles in God's word. My wife Marisa and I have had our share of conflict over the last 20 years—because she's not yet fully sanctified ;-)—but we've almost never fought over money. That's because we each entered marriage committed to living out biblical standards of financial stewardship. In the fifteen years I pastored in Denver, Colorado, I saw many couples find new marital peace and happiness as a direct result of my annual stewardship series. When couples learned that they are stewards, not owners, of God's money and possessions, when they learned their responsibilities to give, and when they learned to live without worry, while trusting in God's promises to provide, they quit fighting over money. And their marriages were transformed.
This Valentine's season, instead of preaching from the Song of Solomon, try teaching stewardship principles from 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. It's certainly not your normal Valentine's banquet topic. But in the long run it might just prove to be more romantic.