Today we are launching a brand new blog series called Not on the Same Page. The heart of the next few days is to talk about things that probably aren’t going to cause us to get divorced, but keep us from experiencing the marriage God has in mind. There are times in every marriage that a husband and wife just miss each other. Nothing major is wrong, but you can sense that something is off. You just aren’t on the same page.
That is the term that Trish and I have learned to use when it seems like we don’t have a major problem, but we aren’t firing on all cylinders either. One of us will say, “I just don’t feel like we are on the same page.” What we have found is that phrase is a lot easier to digest than, “What’s your problem?” “What’s wrong with you?” “Why are you so gripey?”
Today we are going to share with you what to do when you are on different pages financially. Trisha and I spent 10 years of our marriage on different pages financially. Sometimes that lead to huge fights. Most of the time it just lead to us not experiencing the unity we should have experienced. Here are some things to do to get on the same page. These are things we’ve had to live out…sometimes over and over again.
1. Stop being a control freak
Most of the time if a couple struggles with being on the same page financially, one spouse is a control freak with the money. (I raise my hand here) If you are the control freak you are going to have to give up control in order to get on the same page with your spouse. Here is the key: don’t give up control to your spouse…give up control to God. You can’t control what isn’t yours. Living with an awareness that everything belongs to God will help you with this.
2. Stop Manipulating
If you aren’t on the same page financially, most of the time one or both spouse manipulate finances to make purchases that may or may not be in the budget. They spend money without consulting the other and then justify it on the backend. You are never going to achieve unity in your finances by manipulating your spouse or your finances.
3. Share dreams, goals and hopes
Nothing creates momentum and unity more in the area of finances than dreaming, setting goals and sharing your hopes. This will give you common vision as a couple. It will help bring you onto the same page.
4. Communicate, budget, communicate
You will not be able to be on the same page without talking to one another. Most couples don’t talk about money unless they are arguing about money. When we talk about money, we open ourselves up to being more known by our spouse which paves the way to intimacy. Intimacy will bring you on the same page.
5. Get out of debt
If you want to live on the same page with your spouse, both of you have to be committed to getting out of debt. Debt weighs you down. Debt sucks life out of you. Debt keeps you from living the life God wants for you. Getting out of debt is the pathway to unity.