Monday, June 9, 2014

Why Marrying Young can be Good Financially

Ok, so this post's title is a little bit of a misnomer. I am not trying to say that marrying young has untold benefits of increasing your financial wealth. There are some financial benefits, such as having a combined residence and combined utilities. However, these financial benefits are relatively minor and are not going to make you and your spouse wealthy.

My point with this post is that marrying young can make you wise financially, earning and spending money according to God's plan and allowing you to develop a deep trust for your spouse through joint, transparent finances. When you marry young, you are able to get rooted as a couple in finances instead of falling trap to the rigidity of your spending habits if you marry later in life. As Marisa and I pointed out in this post, living independently for a long time can result in people acquiring habits that are selfish and will not work in marriage. One such habit is selfish finances.

Marriage, in essence, is about maturing as a person spiritually. It is God's way of allowing us to learn at our roots how to be selfless and how to let our selflessness radiate and not affect merely our families, but the community too. When a person is solely concerned about their financial well-being when they live on their own and make their own choices with their personal money, selfishness is likely to following. 1 Timothy 6:10 warns Christians of the pitfall the love and pursuit of money can be in our lives:

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money,    have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows."
Image source:
I am not saying that people who marry later in life after being financially established will have marriages doomed to failure. What I am saying is that people who learn to be financially independent may have a more difficult time combining finances in marriage and being financially transparent with their spouse.
In marriage, God calls two to become one, which (in my opinion) includes every aspect of their being, including their finances.

One author blogs about her and her husband's experience growing financially together through marriage. She got married to her husband when she was 19 and he was 21 and admits that things were never a walk in the park financially, especially since they were both not out of college. However, she writes that the rewards of growing financially together, learning to earn, spend, and save transparently with the other, have given them both the benefits of being financially smart and saved them from the enslavement to the pursuit of money. This young wife writes about how being married young and being accountable financially has allowed her and her husband to be tremendously blessed by forming wise financial habits and by placing their trust in God, and not themselves, to get through tough financial times:

I think the difference is that, since we both made minimum wage at our first job {where we met}, we have looked at money as both of ours. We never had money of our own to spend. We didn’t live for 5 years by ourselves making all of the decisions on our own about money. I wasn’t used to taking my own money and going clothing shopping whenever I wanted to with no one to answer to.

The beauty of marrying early is providing young couples with accountability to each other about joint financial resources and realizing that money does not belong to one person or the other, but the family and, ultimately, God. God has called us to love one another and to love our spouses with the sacrificial love of Christ. The Book of Hebrews warns against misplaced love and encourages us to be happy with what we posses: "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5).

Like Marisa, I, and anyone who believes that young marriage should be a thing society, the church, and families not just approve of, but encourage, we understand that young marriage is not for everyone. If you are not at a place where you honestly can sacrifice your personal spending and financial habits for the betterment of your spouse and family, you probably aren't ready for marriage (young or old). As the blog author I quoted earlier puts it, "If we are to be one within marriage, why doesn’t that extend to money?" I don't believe in separate marital accounts or pre-nuptials. Lying and deceit are the products of serving money instead of God's plan, and having separate accounts is an easy way to let lying and deceitful purchases seep into your marriage and possibly destroy your relationship with your spouse.

Image source:
Summary: I believe that if you are mature enough to make sacrifices and are wanting to get married young, you should be willing to start off your journey financially together. Young married couples need not be rich or even "well" established financially... they simply need to be at a place where they are selfless and ready to serve God and their spouse. I plan on getting a part-time job next year in college to get my footing now in preparing for financial independence, and Marisa has told me that she considers doing the same. Marriage is about maturing in Christ spiritually and emotionally. I know marriage (especially young marriage) will not be easy, but I believe the benefits that starting off in life with the woman I know God wants me to marry and love will prove to be awesome in all aspects of my life, but especially in encouraging me to change from being a boy to being a man. It's time more young men and women step up to the plate and marry Godly spouses instead of becoming selfish, lazy, or idle. I want to heed God's call in my life by marrying Marisa and in turn learn to not rely on money, but trust in Him. Marriages are destroyed because of the love of money, which stems from the love of self. Learning to be selfless with money through frugality, sharing, and agreed spending with your spouse early in life before you are "financially rooted" and "independent" will have untold benefits for the success of your marriage.

No comments:

Post a Comment