I am excited that Awesome Marriage can Partner with Jeff Anderson and acceptablegift.org to bring you five outstanding blogs by Jeff Anderson. Jeff's latest book "Plastic Donuts: Giving That Delights the Father's Heart" is a must read for every couple and now available everywhere. You will never look at giving the same again. Dr. Kim
"What do I do when my spouse and I are not on the same page about our giving?
#4 - Connect Financially
Just as spouses bring different spiritual alignments to a marriage, they bring varying financial styles and experiences as well.
A free-spirited, free-spending spouse will clash at times with a tightly-wound, bookkeeping spouse. Often the spouse who appears inclined to be more generous is also the one thinking about a new swimming pool or the next vacation destination.
Meanwhile, the one who reacts more cautiously about giving ideas is thinking about this year's IRA contribution or an extra month's savings for that unforeseeable economic crisis. When the giving conversation surfaces, resentment concerning how the other spouse views money gets in the way.
Couples need to find their common ground. Neither spouse is fully right or wrong in their position. Both need to be affirmed…and both need to be challenged.
The bookkeeper needs to be affirmed for their helpful management skills; but they may also need to be challenged to take steps of faith and give past their comfort zone.
And the free-spirited spouse needs to know their desire to give freely is admirable; but they may also need restraints on their personal spending to "earn the freedoms" to be generous that come from practicing sound stewardship.
Even couples with similar money styles become disconnected.
My wife and I graduated with accounting degrees and view money similarly. In the past when I gave my wife the "time to cut back" speech, that was my signal to tighten our spending.
Then weeks or days later I might come home with a grand giving idea. She'd call "foul" on my mixed signals (rightfully so) and I'd have explain my cryptic thinking. Since then I've worked harder to keep her in the loop with the financial picture and how possible giving sacrifices might affect our overall situation.
To connect financially, consider taking a financial stewardship course together. If scheduling seems problematic for you, consider going through a self-study as a couple. Early in our marriage, my wife and I went through a financial bible study together as a couple.
For stewardship resources, check out Crown Financial Ministries or Compass - Finances God's Way or Financial Peace. For generosity-specific resources, consider our Plastic Donuts materials.
For many couples, a budget coach or counselor may be helpful to press into some of the more difficult areas. Often financial stress and difficult circumstances stand in the way and require a third party help to resolve.
For a couple to advance together in their giving journey there must be togetherness in the financial journey.
Get your copy of "Plastic Donuts" in the Awesome Marriage Store: http://tinyurl.com/l8kuuvk