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Money. Sheesh! We need it to survive in this world, yet it is the cause of conflict in towns, countries, businesses and even marriage. Yes, of course, even Christian marriage. Christian money management is a topic that many couples avoid but money is important in how we live and how we give!
In Timothy 6:10 we read:
People use money as weapons and greed drives them to sin of all types.
It hurts my heart when I hear about Christian marriages struggling due to financial pressure. I think it hits so close to home because in my previous marriage, we fought about money all of the time. (My husband passed away in 2012 and I spent years cleaning up the financial mess).
My husband, Mike and I, never fight about money. There’s a few reasons for that, I believe.
- I have spent a lot of time, since my first marriage, studying budgeting, money, saving vehicles and more and I am more financially savvy than I was years ago.
- We don’t fight about anything. We pray and give the issue to God.
- Being a single mother for years forced me to watch every penny and develop a budget and bill paying plan that worked for me.
- Following biblical financial principles.
Finance and financial matters are important to everyone, but I believe that Christian finance is particularly important. Why? Because our money, our resources, are not ours. They belong to God and He has entrusted us with them to use wisely. We are to give our tithe and manage the rest responsibly.
So, how do we responsibly manage our money the way God had intended for us?
12 Tips For Christian Money Management
1.Remember that your money (and house, car, even your coffee maker) don’t belong to you. They are from God, who has entrusted you with them.
2. Get out of debt. Change the way that you handle debt and the financial habits that put you in debt including overspending and borrowing (loans). After tithing, pay yourself first by saving money so you don’t have to borrow. (more on tithing and saving below)
3. Giving is an important Biblical concept. Throughout the Bible, we are called to give generously. Remember that our money and possessions belong to God and not to us.
In Exodus 35, we see the Israelites giving generously for the materials to build the Tabernacle. They gave of their time to build it as well. If the Israelites did not give what they had or help to build it, the Tabernacle would not have been built!
In Matthew 10:8, we read “freely you have received, freely gived.”
And of course, the greatest example of giving is from God Himself. He gave us His only Son to die on the cross because He loves us so very much.
What can you give? Money to feed the poor? Clothing that you no longer wear to someone who is lacking?
Time to read to a child? Paint the room of an elderly widow?
4. Tithing is not optional. One of the most important concepts in biblical money management is tithing. According to Deuteronomy 14:23, one purpose of tithing was to teach the people of Israel to put God first in their lives and, in Malachi 3:10-12, God tells us to test Him. giving is the one thing God tells us to test him with tithing and “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Give back to God what is already His. When you tithe, you are showing God that you not only follow His commands, but that you trust that He will care for you.
5. Stop worrying about money. Of course, the Bible tells us not to worry about anything, but in everything present your requests to God in prayer and thanksgiving. Money is no different. Sure bills come due and the car breaks down, but worrying about these things just causes grey hair and indigestion.
6. Budget your money. When you make a plan, you are more likely to handle your finances responsibly. Knowing how much money you have coming in and what needs to be allocated for bills, helps you to spend within your means. After your tithing and saving, you know what you have left to pay bills and spend on lattes.
7. Save some for a “rainy day”. This biblical money principle goes hand in hand with budgeting and staying out of dept. When you actively put money aside and build up your bank account, you are more likely to have money on hand when an unexpected bill pops up and, therefore, less likely to have to borrow. As mentioned above, it is a good practice in biblical money management to add to savings right after tithing. In our home, after tithing our 10% (or more), we put 10% into savings. What’s left is what we use for bill paying and dinners out or other “treats”.
8. Be content with what you have. It’s easy to see the friends from church buy a new car every year or wistfully “admire” the friends who just moved into a Pinterest-worthy showcase of a home. We see what others have and want the same. When I was a child, my parent’s called this “keeping up with the Joneses”.
God, however, instructs us to be content with what we have. And, when we are, we are less likely to go into debt to have the things we really can’t afford, anyway.
9. Trust that God will provide. Believe God’s promises that He will meet your every need. Sometimes He’ll provide through the generosity of others. Sometimes, through our own efforts, but God has never promised to give everyone the same amount. As a believer, it’s important to accept what God has provided for you. What He entrusts to you is part of His plan that He has for you and your life. This hold true for Christian money management, as well.
12 Biblical Principles for Christian Money Management: Believe God’s promises that He will meet your every need. Sometimes He’ll provide through the generosity of others. Sometimes, through our own efforts, but God has never… Click To Tweet
10. Don’t help others get in debt. God says in Proverbs 27:13 to exercise extreme caution in cosigning. This verse infers that it is a terrible credit risk to take on a stranger’s debt. When a person cosigns a loan, he is the one who is really borrowing the money. The reason a person needs a cosigner is because the lender is unwilling to lend that money to the person requesting the loan.
I understand helping others, but a bigger blessing would be to provide the person with sound biblical resources on Christian money management.
11. Seek godly counsel. Before buying a house, purchasing a car or taking out a loan, pray about it and seek the counsel of strong Christians, preferably those knowledgeable about Christian finance. Wise counsel can keep you from making bad mistakes.
Many, choose not to seek counsel because they don’t want to hear that their decision is poor. Pride comes before the fall, they say.
12. Work hard. So often, when I hear people lamenting about their financial hardships, you learn that they aren’t working very hard to make money or get out of debt. They spend all of their time complaining, but don’t take action. There are probably thousands of ways to earn extra money. Don’t complain, work hard, take action and trust God with everything, but, also Christian money management.
As I grow older and my children leave the nest, our finances are starting to look a bit different and we are looking toward the future and retirement. Times change, finance changes, but the Bible never changes.
Resources for Christian Finance
I continue to study what the Bible says about money and read reputable books and blog posts about Christian finance.
My favorites are Biblical Money Management and Managing Money God’s Way. The latter is a thirty one day devotional. Each day, focusing on a different insights, questions and discoveries on biblical money management. My husband and I are working our way through this together and love the biblical foundations for each concept.
Both are solid for instructing on Christian finance.
Of course, many Christians are aware of the teachings of Dave Ramsey in regards to Christian finance, particularly Financial Peace University. I have personally used his methods for paying down debt and am an advocate for most of his books.
What do you do to ensure that you are following biblical financial principles? What other things would you add to this list?
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