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3 Common Reasons Money Becomes a Marital WMD


Nearly every survey and poll lists money as one of the top stressors in marriage. It can cause marital discord, dysfunction, and divorce. Due to the widespread damage that it can create, money is a potential WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) of marriage.

As someone who has been professionally associated with managing money nearly his entire career, whether in my current position as an executive pastor or my former position as a foundation director, many people assume that finances must be one area in our marriage that poses no stumbling block.  Wrong.

Numerous times a $20 purchase wreaked more havoc in our marriage than managing a $20 million endowment ever did.

So why is money often a marital WMD?

Here are 3 common reasons:

Lack of Trust

As I shared in a previous post, God wants us to become one flesh in our marriage. If we are to be as one in the area of finances, we must bring everything to full knowledge of each other.

One spouse cannot keep a stash of cash or even a separate bank account that the other spouse is unaware of and expect that they are living as one. Keeping secrets from each other is nothing more than a ticking WMD.

Lack of Generosity

You’ve heard the saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely? The same could be said for greed. When one spouse is greedy, it can corrupt a marriage, but when both spouses are greedy, it will absolutely corrupt, and likely destroy, a marriage.

Conversely, the outflow of a generous marriage that gives to others often translates into a more giving relationship to each other. If we are mindful that our resources are merely on loan and not owned, God’s purpose for our money will be at the forefront, and the WMD of greed will be destroyed.

Lack of Vision

In our modern culture, the use of money seems to be limited to two purposes: spend or save. We are either spending money on something we need/want now (groceries, clothes, electronics, etc.) or we are saving it for a need/want in the future (house, car, vacation, etc.).

While we may view our life or our relationships through a spiritual lens, that lens is rarely applied to our finances.  It’s when we turn that spiritual lens on our finances that we begin to view money as a pathway to further the Kingdom of God. How can we use this money to win souls? What can we do with our resources that will point people to Jesus? These are questions that “feel” very out of place when discussing family finances. But shouldn’t we actually lead with these questions?

Money can be a tool or tornado in our marriage. One builds up. The other destroys. To keep it from being a WMD, we must realize our money is “borrowed” from the One who gave it to us.

We should heed the words of Jesus when discussing money in our marriage:

“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Luke 16:13, ESV).



This post is part our He Said/She Said series, where we’ll get to peek at one topic from two points of view: both the husband’s perspective and the wife’s. We’ll be running it for the next five weeks, on Wednesdays (where you’ll read about what “she said” on a topic) and Thursdays (where you’ll read about what “he said” on a topic).

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  1. My husband is out of control, control freak about money. He screams and yells constantly at all of us about money. (Myself and our 4 kids) yet he always has the time and $ to play golf. But when it comes to grocery shopping or other things needed he screams and carries on like a 2 yr old. I am tired of it. I am in my forties and a registered nurse. I could probably make it on my own. I am thinking about it. We have been married 19.5 years. Hard to throw that much time away but not sure I can take his temper tantrums anymore regarding things that are out if his control.

    1. Jennifer,
      I’m very sorry to hear this is happening in your marriage. This boils down to a lack of trust and a desire to control. I would encourage you and your husband to go talk to your pastor or a Christian counselor. This doesn’t have to destroy your marriage, but you need to start communicating in a way that honors God. God bless and thanks for commenting.

    2. Jennifer, your husband shows signs of being abusive. I highly suspect that if we were to talk, there would be other signs as well, as this doesn’t just appear all by itself. You do need to start setting boundaries with him as this is the only hope of helping him realize that he has a major problem and to save your marriage. Just remember that setting a boundary means “If you choose to act like *, then I will *.” You can’t change him or his behavior, but you can change how you react to his behavior. If you need help with your situation, please contact me at courageous,wildflower@gmail.com. I am a Christian Life Coach.

  2. first of all….you said you are a nurse and yes you deFiNaTELY CAN make it on your own but please be careful not to think the grass is greener on the other side……having been down this path I can tell you starting over is HARD! Also I like both of these comments on advice and have read this book called “Love and Respect”. It’s an amazing book! But unless your husband is willing to read it with you it’s not going to be all that effective as ever relationship has two people becoming one so BOtH have to work at it so I DEFINATELY think you should both talk to your pastor or see a Christian or faith based counselor along with reading the book. Also do not underestimate the power of prayer! Pray for you husband. Start thanking GOD in advance for doing a work in his life…..for taking away his fears. Speak 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given a spirit of fear but of power of love and a sound mind” over your husband as all lack of trust and insecurity and anger have thier root in fear…….and I am praying for your victory as well! Hope this helps!!! ❤️❤️❤️

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