2012 Marriage & Money Class Presentation


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When you made the decision to marry your spouse, what were your expectations about how the family finances were going to be handled? Did you even have any? Marriage and money go hand in hand. When there is unity in handling money God’s way, it helps lead to unity in your marriage as well. Whether you are a newlywed or married for 50 years, in this class, you will learn what the Bible says about handling money God’s way and the importance of this in our marriages. Come and learn how to have unity in money and in your marriage.

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2012 Marriage & Money Class Presentation

  1. 1. Class Developer: Ron SederClass Description When you made the decision to marry your spouse, what were your expectations about how the family finances were going to be handled? Did you even have any? Marriage and money go hand in hand. When there is unity in handling money God’s way, it helps lead to unity in your marriage as well. Whether you are a newlywed or married for 50 years, in this class, you will learn what the Bible says about handling money God’s way and the importance of this in our marriages. Come and learn how to have unity in money and in your marriage.Over the past 13 years, my wife Kim and I have had our ups and downs financially and made our share of mistakes.But we have been trying hard to learn new principles and make life-style changes. We have taken all kinds ofclasses on marriage and finances which has resulted in a lot of knowledge and wisdom obtained through thesecourses but it is the real life, walking out application of this knowledge in our marriage that matters. I am a firmbeliever that “the burnt hand teaches best”. Experience, especially the mistakes are the best teachers and wecertainly experienced our fair share in our relationship. So as we delve into this class of "Marriage & Money" andhow the two relate to one another in our relationships, my purpose is to share what God has placed on my heartand use bits and pieces of what we have learned to help you to avoid making the same mistakes in your Marriageand Finances.KnowWhat were your expectations about how the finances would be handled in your home?? • Were you determined to be the one in control? • Or did you just bury your head in the sand? • Or did you even have any?People’s views of money vary considerably from those who are “Spenders” to those who are “Savers”. When youfactor that in, along with all the differences between men and women, a mathematical explosion of possibilities forconflicts can result without even realizing it. Most people have an idealized view of marriage which starts early onin childhood that has been so ingrained into our subconscious. The picture has been painted in our minds of thewoman as a princess and that one day her knight in shining armor will come. Through the years Disney hascontributed many different movie installments with this one central theme that ultimately ends with the tag line“and they lived happily ever after….” When you think of the constant bombardment of unrealistic fantasies, it isno wonder that the wedding day is the quintessential moment that every little girl dreams of. Months and monthsare spent planning a wedding, working on the invitations, searching for the dress, the rings, the music, the flowers,and working on all the intricate details. But what is usually left out of the equation is what happens when the 1
  2. 2. Honeymoon’s over (literally). When you think about this, it is absolutely insane, planning for months for one daybut giving little thought for the future. Now I must confess, when Kim and I got married we were no different.And if you are wondering, I was the one in the relationship who buried his head in the sand. The simple truth isthat when a man and woman decide to “tie the knot” they typically never talk about how the finances will behandled and when that happens it will not take long for money fights and arguments to begin. • In a radio interview (2-24-2011 KCBI), Crown Financial Ministries CEO, Chuck Bentley stated that: “40% of people are living beyond their means.” • “The wall street Journal reported that “70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, one step away from bankruptcy!” and • According to a Markmen & Stanley Study, “The #1 cause of divorce in America is financial disagreements”So the question is, if… • 4 out of 10 people are living beyond their means and • 7 out of 10 Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and the • #1 cause of divorce is financial disagreements or money fights,How do we get to a place of unity in both our marriage and our finances? Many people do not realize thatMarriage and Money go hand in hand. When you have unity together in how you handle your finances, you willhave unity in your marriage.Tonight we will be covering 5 areas in regards to Marriage & Money:  God’s plan for Marriage  The differences between Men and Women  God’s plan for our Finances  The differences in people’s views of money  How the enemy uses all these differences to attack marriagesNow it will not necessary be in this order as I will not be so linear but we will weave and blend together these 5major points.God’s Plan for MarriageSo without further ado, let’s start from the beginning, in the first book of the bible, in Genesis chapter 2, after theHeavens and the Earth, and everything else was made, God formed Man out of dirt from the ground. He planted agarden in Eden and placed the Man to work the ground and keep it in order. But God saw the man and He said, “Itis not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” and so God created theWoman to share life with the Man. Verse 24 says: • “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 (NIV1984)THAT IS IT…that was God’s plan for Marriage. For the Man and Woman to live in paradise united together whowould have fellowship with Him. What a simple and wonderful plan but the very next chapter of Genesis recountshow that perfect plan was ruined when the Serpent (AKA Satan) deceived the Woman to eat the forbidden fruit ofthe “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”. God had told Adam not to eat of the fruit or else he would die, so theserpent spoke to the Woman instead since she had not been created at that time. In chapter 3, verse 6 it says: • “…So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.” Genesis 3:6 (NKJV)I remember so clearly when I was at a bible study and heard a teaching on this verse and those underlined wordsjust popped off the page…"Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her." I always thought that she wasalone and that explained how it happened but the whole time that Satan and the Woman were having thisdiscussion, Adam, “The Man” was standing right there and did nothing to protect his wife or stop what he knewwas wrong and to make it worse he ate the fruit too! And here is the key to this whole class, don’t miss this, if we 2
  3. 3. don’t work as a team, in unity we will fail in our marriages and our finances. Though the timing in Genesis isunclear, the original plan for Marriage was created in Chapter 2 and destroyed by Chapter 3 as the Man andWoman fell into sin of Pride from the Serpent’s deception. We need to understand that Satan is working in thebackground creating problems in our marriage, problems in our finances, and problems in our life. Ephesians 6:12(NIV1984) says, • “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”We will delve into this throughout the class but I do want to say one thing before we go any further, that theenemy of our soul is not behind every problem, there are many times that we create our own trouble by nottrusting God and not following His principles. Or not loving and respecting our spouse as we ought to or by makingfoolish financial decisions because of “wants” instead of “needs”. Someone once said “God promised to meet ourneeds, not our greeds.”But Ephesians is clear, there is a battle raging on that we need to be aware of. Though it is not confirmed, JuliusCaesar is credited with the concept of “Divide & Conquer” which is one of the greatest strategies in battle. Andthat is exactly what Satan does as he attacks us in our marriages and finances by deceiving one of the spouses todoubt, to fear, to be distracted or to focus on the wrong things. We are at war and if you do not know that thentake a look at what it says just 9 verses later in Genesis, as God reprimanded the serpent, He cursed the serpentand said because you have done this, • “…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15 (NIV1984)Enmity is also translated as hostility but I love how The Message translation states it: • “Im declaring war between you and the Woman” Genesis 3:15 (MSG)There it is, proof that we are in a battle against a real enemy, not a cartoon character with horns and a pitchfork.Satan has many descriptions and names in the bible, he is called:  Accuser (Revelation 12:10),  Liar (John 8:44)  Adversary (1 Peter 5:8),  Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-14)  Apollyon Greek name meaning  Murderer (John 8:44) “Destroyer” (Revelation 9:11),  Power of darkness (Col. 1:13, 14)  Beast (Revelation 14:9,10),  Prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:1-2)  Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24)  Roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8)  Deceiver (Revelation 12:9)  Ruler of demons (Luke 11:15)  Devil (1 John 3:8)  Ruler of this world (John 12:31,32)  Dragon (Revelation 12:9)  Satan (Mark 1:13)  Enemy (Matthew 13:39)  Serpent of old (Revelation 12:9)  Evil one (John 17:15)  Son of perdition (2 Thess. 2:3,4)  Father of lies (John 8:44)  Tempter (Matthew 4:3)  Lawless one (2 Thess. 2:8-10)  Thief (John 10:10)  Leviathan (Isaiah 27:1)  Wicked one (Ephesians 6:16)Enough said?? Just like this list, Satan’s reign will come to an end. Now I am spending extra time here, not tocreate fear but to underscore the importance of not idly going through life oblivious to Satan and his schemes. Thereality is that as a believer in Jesus, we already have the victory through Jesus’ death and resurrection, as it says in1 John 4:4 (NASB): • “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He [Jesus] who is in you than he [Satan] who is in the world.”I love how Pastor Jack Graham once said it, that "Satan is a defeated foe." 3
  4. 4. That is of course, when you have Jesus in you, you have the power to overcome the enemy. There is power andvictory through Jesus. We can overcome the enemy’s attacks by calling on Jesus’ name not only for our marriagesbut finances too! Jesus has a list of his own which is called The “I Ams” of Christ:From the Book of John… From the Book of Revelation…. “I am the bread of life”  “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and (John 6:35, 48, 51) the ending” (Revelation 1:8) “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12)  “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the “I am from above” (John 8:12) last” (Revelation 1:11) “I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7,9)  “Fear not; I am the first and the last” “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11, 14). (Revelation 1:17) “I am the Son of God” (John 10:36)  “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and “I am the resurrection, and the life” the end” (Revelation 21:6) (John 11:25)  “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and “I am the way, the truth, and the life” the end, the first and the last" (John 14:6) (Revelation 22:13) “I am the true vine”  “I am the root and the offspring of David, (John 15:1,5) and the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16)Now I much prefer to mediate on this list for sure as there is power and victory through Jesus.In the book of Matthew it recounts the story when some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is itlawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" And Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24 in chapter 19 verse 5and then continues the thought in Verse 6 of Matthew: • "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate." Matthew 19:6 (NASB)I love how Jesus answers their question so clearly and succinctly. He has a great way of flipping things. If ahusband and wife are no longer two but one flesh then the answer is clear. God’s intention for marriage was to beshared between one man and one woman forever...what God has joined together let no man separate. But as wehave been discussing, the enemy has other plans to strain and tear apart the unity of marriage. Malachi 2:16(MSG) says, • "I hate divorce," says the God of Israel…"I hate the violent dismembering of the one flesh of marriage. So watch yourselves. Dont let your guard down. Dont cheat.”Divorce is real; many of you sitting here may have experienced one in your life whether it was your parents oryourself. I know firsthand what that “dismembering” felt like, having experienced this at the age of 5 when myparents divorced. That description is right on, it was a violent dismembering of the one flesh. I have alwaysrelated my parents divorce like a chess match where I was a pawn pinned between the King and Queen who werebattling one another, using me to hurt the other. Now I don’t mention this to condemn anyone but to show whatGod intended for marriage and what He thinks of Divorce.In November of 2010, Time Magazine published a starting issue, entitled “Who Needs Marriage”. Within thepages, findings from the nationwide survey of 2,691 Americans by the Pew Research Center were presented. Thesurvey was conducted with TIME magazine, and an analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau data. They dug into thequestion is “Marriage Obsolete?” Over the past 50 years there has been a sharp decline in marriage and a rise ofnew family forms of people never getting married (but still having children) and people getting divorced orseparated. In 1960, 72% of American adults were married. By 2008, that share had fallen to an all-time low of52%. The Pew Research survey found that nearly 4 in 10 Americans think marriage is becoming obsolete. And if 4
  5. 5. that was not disturbing enough, to further illustrate the disintegration of the importance of marriage, on February23, 2011, the President ordered the Department of Justice to abandon defending the “Defense of Marriage Act” orDOMA in the Courts. For those who may not know, DOMA is a United States federal law that defines marriage as alegal union between one man and one woman. The law prohibits states from providing certain benefits to same-sex couples, even when those states recognize gay marriage.On November 10, 2011 the Senate Democrats passed the DOMA Repeal Bill in Committee. It is unlikely that therepeal bill will pass in a divided congress but this is the first time that headway has been made to end DOMA. OnMay 5, 2012, the President Obama openly announced his support for Marriage rights for same sex couples.Last Friday (December 7, 2012), the Supreme Court announced that they will hear two cases whether same-sexmarriage deserves equal treatment under the constitution. This is being called "The Roe vs. Wade of Marriage".The two primary questions before the Court are whether the State of California may legally ban same-sex marriage(Proposition 8) and whether Congress may withhold federal benefits from legally married same-sex couples(Defense of Marriage Act). They will begin to hear arguments in March with an anticipated decision at the end ofJune 2013. The next six months will be a historic chapter in the story of marriage in America.So not only has the value of marriage been diminished but now the very definition of marriage that God created atthe beginning of time, is being redefined and who do you think is behind that movement? Satan of course!!In 2009, Chuck Colson, Robert George, and Timothy George, with input from over 100 Christian leaders, authoredthe Manhattan Declaration stating a commitment to the principles of Human life, marriage, and religious freedom.Here is an excerpt: • Marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all. Where marriage erodes, social pathologies rise. The impulse to redefine marriage is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture.Differences between Men and WomenSatan hates God and he hates us and thus comes at marriages with great ferocity that is why it is so important forus as Husband and Wife to be aware of the battle we are in and to try to understand who the person is that wehave become one flesh with. Jesus said in Mark 3:24-25 (NAS): • "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand."And Amos 3:3 (NKJV) says: • "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?"Without agreement, it is impossible to move forward. Men and Woman are different and with those differencescan conflicts can arise. Someone once said that: • “90% of the friction of daily life is caused by the wrong tone of voice.” Unknown.Instead of battling our spouse, we should see Marriage for what it is, a gift from God and a special covenant witheach other. If we could all grasp that simple concept to approach our mate with love and respect, then perhaps“90% of the friction could be eliminated.” Colossians 3:18-19 (MSG) says • “Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master [others translations say “the Lord”]. Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Dont take advantage of them.” 5
  6. 6. This verse is sometimes taken advantage of by men who use it as a tactic to control their wife. I love how theMessage translation says before the word “submit” to “support” your husband. God knew that Men needed helpand He blessed us with the perfect companion. In Genesis 2:18 (NKJV) God said “I will make him a helpercomparable to him.” Submission does not mean less than, our wives are comparable or equal to us. God set theman as the head of the household but he knew that the man was going to need help, for all aspects of our livesincluding the finances. We need to work as a team loving and respecting one another.In Ephesians 5:24-25 (NIV1984) the Apostle Paul says it a little differently comparing our actions to that of Christ, • “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”The Greek translation for Love here is agape, which is a spiritual love, not sexual. It is by definition a selfless, andunconditional love that is not based on what the other person does for me but instead it is about sacrificingyourself for your spouse, just like Christ did. When we submit and love each other as the Apostle Paul instructs,we are being sanctified and made ready to be the bride of Christ. This of course is not what the enemy of our soulwants at all so he twists and distorts God’s Word to see submission as negative. The reason for this is clear inJames 4:7 (NIV1984), • “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”There is power when we submit to each other and especially to God. Submitting or humbling ourselves eliminatesthe sin of pride, if we don’t then Satan wins and we loose, just like in the Garden. Husbands we need to love ourwives as we love ourselves just as Christ loved the church, which he laid down His life for. And wives part of thesubmission is respecting and supporting your husband.You know the old cliché that “it takes two to fight”?? Well it’s true. The key is getting to the root problem of whywe fight and try to understand the other spouse’s point of view. In 2010, Author of the best selling book “Men arefrom Mars, Women are from Venus”, John Gray released a follow up book called: Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice:Hormonal Balance - the Key to Life, Love & Energy. In the book he discusses that • “The Difference between the sexes and how they relate to one another is biochemically based and can be found in our hormones.”Gray talks about the unique ways that each gender deals with stress and how the stress hormones harm our healthand complicate our ability to relate to one another. What I found most interesting about the book was how polaropposite Men and Women really are. The Hormones of Fire and Ice or Men and Women are Testosterone andOxytocin:  Men, release the hormone,  Women, release the hormone, Testosterone to deal with Stress, Oxytocin to deal with stress  Called the Emergency hormone  Released in situations that require  Released in safe, cooperative, caring, urgency, sacrifice for a noble cause supportive and nurturing situations and problem solvingGray explains when a man springs into action and solves a problem, he releases Testosterone to deal with stressand as he acts he feels competent and powerful but then soon after has to rest to rebuild his Testosterone levels.A woman on the other hand needs to share herself in nurturing situations to release Oxytocin but then afterwardsshe needs to receive nurturing and understanding herself to rebuild her hormone levels.The wisdom to understand here is that relaxing on the couch is crucial for a man because he is rebuilding a vitalhormone to deal with stress. Conversely getting nurturing support reduces the stress for a woman so Men, sheneeds to share her feelings and we need to be available because this is vital for her to be able to deal with stress. 6
  7. 7. That is where the analogy comes from that Men are on Ice because they need to shut down and go into their“cave” while Women are on Fire needing to communicate and receive love and support; to deprive either personof this only builds stress in them and ultimately in our relationship.So why am I mentioning all this? Because the same hormones that help to alleviate stress are also the samehormones that connect us romantically.  Testosterone is the Hormone of desire  Oxytocin is the Hormone of Love for a for a man. woman.  He feels romantic and passionate  She feels happy in love when levels when levels are high. are high  Romance = Testosterone  Romance = OxytocinSo these two critical hormones not only help us individually but also relationally. Gray also cites in the bookfindings from the Researchers at the prestigious Schupps Clinic in San Diego, who concluded that: • “Heart Disease is most often triggered by unresolved emotional issues like financial stress, Divorce, loneliness or an inability to effectively communicate with a child or Spouse.”3 out of the 5 items cited in this finding are exactly what we are talking about tonight. When I read this statistic itwas a huge red flag that “unresolved emotional issues” can cause Heart Disease. We need to recognize thestressors and help not only ourselves but our spouses to deal with the stress. The symbolism of “Men are fromMars” and “Women are from Venus”, two entirely different planets is great to make the distinctions between thesexes but God made us just the way we are and if we want unity in our marriages then we need to accept oneanother just how He made us. Psalm 139:14 says: • “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 (NASB)Men and Women are different and that is a good thing, the question remains though “How do you achieve unity inyour marriage“? Well the answer may seem obvious but HE is often not engaged when problems arise, the answeris….”God” • Unity in Marriage will only happen if God is at the center of your marriage and as the Husband and Wife, who have “become one flesh”; move closer to God, they will get closer to one another.This is the key to everything in life. It starts as individuals (hopefully when we are young) and then continues intoour marriages as adults. Here is a school project that my 8 year old daughter, Mia did this last year to show what ismost important in her heart. This blessed me so much to see God in the center and with the largest piece. HavingGod at the center of our hearts and our marriages will not only help us relate to one another but also in ourfinances. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT) says • "A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two [husband and wife] can stand back-to- back and conquer. Three [with God at the center] are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."“A triple-braided cord is not easily broken”. I did a little research on this and found that people have incorporatedthis scripture into their wedding ceremony by braiding three colored cords, Gold for God, Purple for the Groomand White for the Bride. What a beautiful way to publically declare that God will be interwoven in your marriage.With God is at the center of our marriages, Satan does not have a chance to break us up because when a Husbandand Wife are bound together in Christ, they are stronger than as individuals themselves. By keeping God at thecenter, His love will continue to bind the two of you together as one throughout your marriage and you will trulybe “One Flesh” not knowing where you and end and where the other begins as this image illustrates. 7
  8. 8. BELIEVEPeople’s View of Money vs. God’s View of MoneyNow that we have talked about Gods plan for marriage and the enemys attacks, we are going switch gears andtalk about Man’s View of Money vs. God’s View of Money and how this plays into our marriages. When you andyour spouse tied the knot and married each other you became “One Flesh” right? Well your finances should beunified as well and when they are not all kinds of strife and enmity results. Financial expert Dave Ramsey said • “In order to have a financially successful marriage, the money has to be ‘ours’...not ‘mine’ and ‘yours’.”We have focused a lot of time on marriage but that was to set the foundation for the financial side of things,because every thing that we talked about marriage also applies to money. Remember they go hand in hand. Weare going to look at Man’s view of money and Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount which outlines God’s view ofMoney. For simplicity sake I am saying “Man’s View” but that goes for the women as well.There are more than 2,350 verses in the Bible instructing us on how to handle money and possessions that Godhas placed in our care. I have always found it ironic that on back of our money it says “IN GOD WE TRUST”. Thatseems to be such a strange statement to be placed on our currency, especially in today’s culture of instantgratification and entitlement. It seems that “IN DEBT WE TRUST” would be closer to the mark. Earl Wilson said, • “This would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt.”That is a bold statement, but the simple fact is that we love our credit cards. We are willing to go into tons of debtso that we can live in the best neighborhoods, we will work ourselves to the bone to drive nice cars and to have allkinds of nice things which ultimately leads to money problems if we are not careful. Now let me be clear, there isnothing wrong having a nice house or cars or having lots of stuff, the key is acquiring these things by handling itGod’s way and not trusting in debt. Jesus taught that in Matthew 6:19 (NASB), • "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”Storing up stuff here on Earth is going in the wrong direction. Christian financial expert Larry Burkett said • “How we handle money is simply an outside indicator of our internal spiritual condition.”1. The first view we are going to look at is Debt and Contentment • Man’s View o “I want it and I want it now” – All about instant gratification and just plain impatience…cannot wait to save up and pay cash for something. o “Don’t have enough” – Envious of what other people have which drives us to want more. o Busy trying keeping up with the Joneses’ to look like we have more than we really do. • God’s View – Proverbs 22:7 (NASB) says, o “The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lenders slave.”The amazing thing is that as we are buying all the stuff on credit we never realize that we are willingly entering intobondage to the credit card company or the car finance department or the mortgage company. I am no differentthan anyone else in this room. I grew up poor in a single parent home and once I got married I determined that Iwas never going to “do without”. I am the natural spender in the marriage whereas, Kim grew up in a family thatsaved money so when we got married it was a challenge to say the least for her because she approached ourfinances as the “saver”. Ultimately you need to have a little of both because spending everything you have is notgood but neither is saving everything you make, you need to have a little fun, just have to find the right balance. 8
  9. 9. The key is to be a wise consumer and not try to keep up with the “Joneses”. The question I have for you tonightare you content with what God is doing in your life? I Timothy 6:6 (NKJV) says, • “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”See that was my problem, I was not content with waiting to have what I wanted and as a result I brought a lot ofpressure into our marriage. In his book, the ABCs of Financial Freedom, Pastor Barry Cameron said two incrediblethings in regards to debt, • “When you go into debt you are asking someone else other than God to meet your needs.” And he said also, “The devil leads us into debt so he can keep us in bondage and keep us from doing great things for God and His kingdom.” Pastor Barry Cameron, ABCs of Financial FreedomHave you ever thought about what you could do for the kingdom of God if you were not buried under credit carddebt or car payments or a mortgage that you really cannot afford? You know when I read that quote about thedevil and debt; I could not help but draw the parallel to Proverbs 22:7 about being the lender’s slave which isexactly what Satan wants. Too often we cannot say no to what marketers are selling, think about it, part of anyeffective advertising campaign is to make potential customers discontented with their existing product. Thesefeelings that accompany discontentment are enough to make people buy things they don’t need or can’t afford.And sometimes it doesn’t even need to be a big screen TV or expensive purse it could just be eating out too much.According to CardTrak.com, “Americans spent $1.7 billion on fast food with their credit/debit cards in 2000. In2008, that number had climbed to $70.4 billion.” $1.7 billion to $70.4 billion! Now that’s a whole lot ofMcDonalds! I love what Dave Ramsey says about debt, • “Debt is not the problem, but a symptom. Debt is a symptom of overspending and undersaving.”Debt is just a symptom of a bigger problem that we cannot say no to stuff and Proverbs 17:18 (MSG) puts a finepoint on it, • “Its stupid to try to get something for nothing, or run up huge bills you can never pay.”So how do we erase debt? You have to choose to say no to what you want and focus on what you need. You needto learn contentment. Howard Dayton, from Crown Financial Ministries said: • “If you cannot be content with what you have, you will never be content with what you want.”How many times have we seen this play out with celebrities who are on top of the world and are still not happy?The Apostle Paul knew about contentment and trusting in Gods Provisions. When he was in prison he wrote inPhilippians 4:13 and 19 (NASB) about Gods Provisions, • “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” • “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”If you look closely verse 19 says “all your needs” will be supplied. Discontentment ignores the provisions of ourneeds and focuses on what we do not have and conversely on what we want. We need to get to a place where ourcircumstances do not dictate whether we have joy or peace.2. The second view we will look at is a hot button issue and that is Tithing • Man’s view o All the church wants is my money” o “I can’t afford to loose 10% of my income” o “I will give after I pay my other bills” o “Is it on the Gross or the Net?” 9
  10. 10. All of these comments I have thought at one time or another. Growing up and into adulthood, I have seen a lot ofhypocrisy in the church on how they handled the money and how they would badger the congregants to give moreand more. These experiences happened in different denominations so I know that it is not based on churchaffiliation but on the human heart. The simple fact is that Man will always let you down but the key is not lumpingGod in the same category as a church or pastor that misrepresented Him by their actions. Jesus said in • God’s View - Matthew 6:20 (NASB) Jesus said, o "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;”God does not need our money but He wants our hearts to be focused on the Kingdom of Heaven, not on stuff hereon earth. He knew that we would have an issue in this area which is why God made the requirement in the firstplace so that MONEY would not have a hold on OUR HEARTS. The tithe or 10% of our income is actually theminimum required by God. It’s comical to think that we own any of our income when you shine the light of Psalm24:1 (NIV1984) on the issue, o “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”Rather than gripping about “loosing” 10% we should be happy that we get to keep 90%! Malachi 3:10-12(NIV1984) says it all, • “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.”I love this verse because it is the only place in the Bible that God challenges us to “Test” Him. And if we pass thetest he promises to throw open the floodgates of heaven (or other translations say the “windows of heaven”) andbless us so much that we will not have room enough to store it. Now that is what I want. He also promises toprevent pests or the enemy from devouring what we have and that is not just finances and possessions but ourmarriage, our children and our health. So you see we really can’t afford not to give our tithe to the Lord. I coulddo an entire class on these three verses alone so we are not going to go much deeper in terms of offerings orextravagant giving but just know, the closer you get to God, and the more you love God, the more you will want togive to the building of His kingdom! Proverbs 3:9–10 (NIV1984) instructs us to, • “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”One thing that I have noticed is that if I do not make my tithes and offerings a priority there will always besomething else that will eat up the money. When it says “First Fruits” here it means above all things, first andforemost, Honor the Lord with your wealth which He has provided for you. I love this church sign message, "GiveGod whats right not whats left." If we dont make our tithe first on the budget that is exactly what will happen,God will get the leftovers, assuming of course there is anything. But I think Deuteronomy 8:18 (NASB) puts it allinto perspective: • "But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth…”Pastor Robert Morris said perfectly: • “It doesn’t take faith to pay all your bills and THEN give to God. Put the kingdom of God FIRST … and see what happens to your provision!”If you do that the blessings will overflow!! If you are not already tithing, I urge you to start and I promise you willnever regret giving the Lord. 10
  11. 11. In Luke 6:38 (NIV1984), Jesus said, • “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”Your level of giving will be measured against you on what you receive. My absolute favorite question is…"Is thetithe based on the gross or the net”? I have asked this question myself and the best answer I have ever heard was,“What do you want to be blessed on??” You see it is all about the motive and the heart of the giver and howmuch you trust God. Pastor Rick Warren said, • “God’s BLESSING on you is always in proportion to your DEPENDENCE on Him. Great anointing is the fruit of great trusting.”2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV1984) says, • “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”If you heart is not in the right place, you will not please God with you giving, you can read about Cain’sunacceptable offering in Genesis chapter 4. We don’t have time to go through the story but the very first murderresulted over tithing when Cain killed his brother Abel because God found his offering acceptable and not Cain’s.God knew what hold money and possessions would have on our hearts and that is why so much teaching in theBible deals with this.3. Stewardship is the next view we will look at. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Stewardship as: 1. the office, duties, and obligations of a steward – I always love how they define a word with the same word, I thought that was not allowed. A Steward (is defined as a fiscal agent or manger). 2. the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to ones care.So when we talk about Biblical Stewardship, we are talking about management of money and resources for God.This however is not the conventional wisdom of this age • Man’s view o “It’s my money” o “Live for today” o “I need the money more than the church”We need to understand that it is not our money. God is the owner and we are His managers entrusted with Hisaffairs and His possessions. • God’s View - Jesus warns Matthew 6:21 (NASB) about this, o “…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” o Two-thirds of the parables that Jesus taught are about money, possessions and stewardship. Stewardship is the second most discussed subject in the Bible!So if Jesus spoke so much on the topic, don’t you think it may be important for us to understand what we areexpected to do as managers of the resources God allows to come into our hands? I love how Pastor Robert Morrismakes the point, • “Many believers aren’t aware of this, but EVERY time you get paid, you are facing a test.” 11
  12. 12. The test is, whether we can be trusted to be a good manager. Luke 16:10-11 (NIV1984) says, • “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”So then how do we handle money as faithful managers? I will give you a hint, it is the B-word of finances….Youguess it the “Dreaded Budget”. Yes we have finally gotten to the point of the class that you have all been dying toget to. The budget is the absolute key to winning at money. John Maxwell said, • "A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went."Dave Ramsey suggests the that you use a • Zero-Based Budget approach which is where the Total Expenses = Total Income. Every dollar is spent on paper before it is actually spent. If done this way, when you work through every category on your budget sheet you should end up with a zero (no extra money left over or extra money spent).It always amazed Kim and me when the checking account was empty and we had no idea where the money went.Though we did not spend large sums of money on expenses items, we were $20 and $50 ourselves to death. Oneof my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein is: • "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."Trying to manage your finances without a budget, without a plan is the very definition of insanity because you willnever know where the money went and in most cases you will end up with “more month” then there is money togo around and I don’t need to tell you what a breeding ground for conflict that causes. The budget is paramountto reduce strife in your marriage and help control you to control your spending. In the Financial Peace Universityclass, Dave Ramsey said… • “When you agree on your spending… you are agreeing on your value system, you are agreeing on your goals, you are agreeing on your dreams, you are even agreeing on your fears… the ‘Budget’ takes all the knots out of your marriage and you will get oneness in your marriage and unity.”4. The number four view is Idolatry and Greed • Man’s View o “More money will make me happy” o “It’s all about me…I deserve it” o “He who dies with the most toys wins!” – I need a new car or new Plasma TV o “I don’t have the money but I will just throw it on the credit card”Money and possessions cannot make you happy or fill the void, it cannot buy happiness. Jesus furthers the pointin Matthew 6:24 (NASB) when he said, • God’s View o "No one can serve two masters; (the Message translates this as ‘two gods’) for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” 12
  13. 13. Money can become an Idol and if we are not careful, it can replace God. And no discussion on greed can becomplete without us mentioning one of the most famous scriptures from 1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT), o “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”This is one of the most famous and most misquoted verses. Many people say “money is the root of all kinds ofevil” but if you look carefully it says “for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” And that love of moneycan cause us to wander from the faith and cause many problems in our marriage and finances. It is all about theheart and until you have that right, you will continually spin your wheels and never please God.5. Worry is number five • Man’s view o “I am the provider” – I need to worry about providing food on the table and a place to live o “What will I do if I lose my job?” o “I cant afford to tithe, I need to save every dime because you never know” – That is called hoarding, which will stop you from tithing • God’s View – Matthew 6:25 and 27 (NASB) says, o "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”In this day and age with unemployment rates at all time highs, we are seeing the worst economic times since thegreat depression. There may be some sitting here tonight that have lost their jobs due to no fault of their own so Iwant to be careful in how I pose this section contrasting Man’s view with God’s view. But what Jesus is saying hereis that we need to put out trust in Him and not be troubled but the nightly news headlines because He is in control.We need to rely on God and God alone. Take a look at this cartoon; I love the punch line from the man’s wife,“Why don’t you stop wondering what is wrong with the world and just read the manual”. The bible is the oneand only manual that will point our lives in the right direction. As we place our concerns in Gods capable hands,we find a quietness that only He can provide. God gives peace to those who are quiet before Him as Psalm 46:10(NKJV) reminds us • “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”And Philippians 4:6 (NASB) says we are to, • “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”Boy that is a hard one for me sometimes but the longer I walk with God the more I realize when I just put in hishands (and leave it there), He will take care of my every need. I am not the provider for my family, God is theprovider.6. The final view we will look at tonight is Legacy • Man’s view o “Do not care about the future so long as I have what I want now” o “Pay the Debt Forward” – A little pun off o the “Pay it Forward” slogan.According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the National Debt has continued to increase an average of $3.88billion per day since September 28, 2007 (As of 12-10-2012)! 13
  14. 14. • God’s View - Matthew 6:33 (NASB) says, o "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”God should be ahead of everything else, if we do, everything else will be added to us. It should be a great concernof ours about the debt just continuing to grow with no thought of the future. 1 Timothy 5:8 (NASB), which says, o “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.”If you are not thinking about the legacy you leave, you are considered to have “denied the faith” and are “worsethan an unbeliever!” To add to that thought, Proverbs 13:22 (NIV1984) says, o “A good man leaves an inheritance for his childrens children, but a sinners wealth is stored up for the righteous.How much would people change their spending habits if they thought about providing for their “children’schildren”….if they thought generational? One of Dave Ramsey’s most famous quotes is • “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.”How we live now will greatly affect how we will live in the future.DOSo what’s next? Prayer / Word / WorshipPrayer • Prayer really works. Someone once said, “Prayer should be our first response rather than our last resort.”Word • Get into the Word of God; find out what the bible says about marriage and money. Don’t just stop at this class, dig in for yourself and continue to learn.Worship • Get into the Word of God; find out what the bible says about marriage and money. Don’t just stop at this class, dig in for yourself and continue to learn.The first step is always the hardest but Proverbs 16:3 gives us the direction, • “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The LORD works out everything for his own ends.” Proverbs 16:3 (NIV1984)So if you want unity in your marriage and in your finances you need to get into the Presence of the Lord throughthese three areas.Here is some Practical Application, common sense but good reminders….1. Teamwork = Unity in Marriage. You are a team so you need to act like one! • Ephesians 4:2 (NIV1984) says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” • James E. Hunton once said, "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." 14
  15. 15. 2. Forgive One Another – No one is perfect and you are bound to make mistakes. • Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV1984) warns us that, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.” • And follows up in verse 32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV1984)3. Think Before you Speak • Proverbs 16:24 (NLT) instructs us that, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” • And Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV) says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”4. Work on Budget Together = Unity in Finances will result • Proverbs 21:5 (NLT) says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” • The Living Bible translates Proverbs 21:5 a little simpler, “Steady plodding brings prosperity.” If you have a plan, a budget and you work that plan consistently, God promises that you will be prospered.5. Learn, Learn, Learn • The late great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar said that we need to “Commit to being a lifetime learner”. You can’t just read one book or attend one class; you need to continually learn in order to be successful in Marriage and Money. I love what Dave Ramsey said about winning in your finances, • “Winning at money is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge.” Dave Ramsey, Total Money MakeoverI will close with an awesome quote from John Wooden: • “There is a choice that you have to make, in everything you do. So keep in the mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.”So now the choice is yours. What will you do with this information? • Will you chose to trust God and put him in control of your life? • Will you chose to change your behavior in how you relate to your spouse and your finances? • Will you chose to start tithing? • Or will you chose to do nothing at all?"In the end, the choice you make makes you.” If you will commit to follow God’s principle’s for our Marriages andFinances than we will have unity in both, remember "Nothing changes if nothing changes".Bible Translations used in this class • New King James Version (NKJV) • New International Version 1984, ©1984 (NIV1984) • New American Standard Bible (NASB) • New Living Translation (NLT) • The Message (MSG) • Living Bible (TLB) 15