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The following was written by Marshall Potter, a Senior Financial Advisor with Everyday Steward®, a division of Ronald Blue Trust.
Recently, at our company’s Money & Marriage Retreat, we saw how critical a solid marriage relationship is to successful financial stewardship. As couples, what motivates us to be good stewards? According to God’s Word, it would be a desire to do what Jesus commands us to do (love the Lord and love our neighbors) in response to His love. This then, is what motivates us to be faithful with the Good News we’ve received, the time we’ve been given, the talents we’ve been entrusted and, finally, the financial resources we manage as a family.
If good stewardship means loving well, it would seem the biblical model of marriage (with Jesus relating to us as a loving groom to a bride) provides us with guidance for how good stewardship might be manifested. We see, in various places in God’s Word, examples of honor, words of blessing, sacrificial dedication, grace, forgiveness, attentiveness, joy, and relational pursuit modeled as examples of how we are to love our spouse and others.
CHARTING A COURSE
With this destination in mind, how do we learn to love others as Christ loved us and to steward God’s resources accordingly? I suggest spending time understanding what matters in your relationship to God and others in your life. To do this, consider:
Praying and asking God as a couple to give you a heart for what is important to Him.
Regularly reading God’s Word together, so you are soaking in the priorities God has already revealed.
Seeking advice from other couples who have traveled this road ahead of you and can provide ongoing encouragement.
Investing time in those you are specifically seeking to love to gain a clear picture of what matters to them.
Pursuing a desire to love one another and others well and to be a good life steward will require dedication. It won’t be without its obstacles or distractions. It will require daily dependence on God for His provision, humility, commitment, grace, and unity as a couple, even when it’s hard. To help you create an environment where this is possible, consider the following:
Time and Priority Management:
Weekly: Establish a short standing meeting with your spouse to prayerfully review priorities, schedules, and vision and to resolve any outstanding relational conflicts.
Quarterly: Review your family activities. Are you committed to the right things or are you overcommitted? Are there new opportunities God is putting on your radar? Does your schedule support your stated priorities as a family?
Annually: Go on a retreat together as a couple to set goals and to review your priorities for this year as well as your progress last year. Ronald Blue Trust has developed a booklet called Goal Planning: Focusing on What Matters Most, that can be used as a guide to facilitate discussions on your annual retreat. To receive a complimentary copy, simply contact your advisor.
Weekly: During your family meeting, do a quick check of your progress on your monthly spending plan as well as any major purchases or upcoming expenses.
Quarterly: Review your family’s progress year to date, and evaluate new or major expenses that may have arisen as the year has progressed.
Annually: Take time to plan as a couple for the coming year and think about your short-, intermediate-, and long-term (10 years+) goals. What sort of funding/strategy needs to be implemented to accomplish these goals? Ronald Blue Trust's Goal Planning booklet (mentioned previously) is a great resource for financial discussions as well as relationship topics.
On an annual or quarterly basis, you may also want to evaluate whether your current giving of time, talents, and treasures still aligns with biblical priorities. Through all this, remember to seek Him and His Word daily, which is what gives families the spiritual grounding necessary for good financial stewardship.
At Ronald Blue Trust, we believe that developing a unified financial plan can be instrumental to your stewardship journey. For more information, please contact your Ronald Blue Trust advisor, call 800.987.2987, or email
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