|from The NIV Engaged Couples’ Bible
Welcome, wedding season!
The summer months are filled with weddings! If you and your fiancé are planning your wedding this summer, then you are likely happily busy with exciting preparations – location, invitations, flowers, dresses, photographer, cake, honeymoon plans… and the sometimes sticky wicket of finances. As challenging as it can be to plan and pay for a wedding these days, it is even more important to plan and prepare for the financial life after the wedding.
Begin your future together correctly by discussing your finances.
Have an honest discussion about your credit history, debt, income, and savings.
Talk openly and honestly about your financial goals, and the lifestyle you intend to strive for. These issues are often ignored, and only emerge later when couples find themselves in a bind and in conflict that could have been avoided with careful planning from the beginning.
To help open up conversation we offer a two-part discussion from The NIV Engaged Couples Bible. We encourage every couple to dig into in this topic to strengthen your relationship, and to build a firm financial foundation for the future.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. – Proverbs 2:6
Read Proverbs 2:1-11
What kind of financial shape are you in individually?
Begin your marriage with complete transparency and honesty about your finances.
As you establish your household, include budgets. It’s important to know about past individual issues, debts, or troubles that could impact your finances as a couple. These verses in Proverbs give some good advice about how to deal with this matter that so often becomes divisive to a marriage.
Words like wisdom, insight, upright, blameless, right, just, and fair form the basis for a financial partnership that will be successful. They don’t guarantee buckets of dollars in the bank, but they do guarantee a healthy relationship with money and with each other.
Stop here, and pray together about the discussions you have had and the decisions you have made together. Ask the Lord to take control, and lead you in the paths He wants you to walk.
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-13
When money is tight, one of the most difficult actions God asks of you is to give some of it away.
No matter how much or little income you have, some of it belongs in God’s pocket rather than in your own. It’s all His anyway, right? He’s just asking you for part of it back. He doesn’t leave you hurting when you’re generous (not so you can have more). Take a look at the exciting system of giving outlined in Malachi 3:10-12. Giving like this takes courage, but now is the time to begin as you plan your financial life together.
Discuss how you both feel about generosity and what part you want it to play in how you handle your income after you are married.
Why do you think God calls believers to give some of their money away?
If you’re in need yourself, what does God promise to do if you act generously (see 2 Corinthians 9:8, 2 Corinthians 9:10)?
Stop and pray about the amount you intend to give back to Him. Ask the Lord to bless your decision and to cause your generosity to increase as your life flourishes together.
The NIV Engaged Couples’ Bible is filled with studies and discussion topics, which are important for every couple planning their life together. If your wedding is still in the planning stage, or if there is a recently engaged couple in your life, a prolonged study through The NIV Engaged Couples Bible would be a great start to a financially stable marriage.
While you’re working on building from a firm foundation, start off with Beyond Boundaries in Marriage! Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend are experts at helping couples learn to respect and honor one another’s individuality to build and protect a strong, vibrant, happy marriage!
Are you engaged? Congratulations! Are you ready to begin your marriage on a firm financial foundation? Have you talked about money, made plans together, and asked the Lord for guidance? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you!