Should Married Couples Have Separate Bank Accounts?

8/20/19

His money. Her money. Our money…? It seems to be a trending topic in society today about whose money is whose and for married couples to have separate bank accounts. Hubby pays the mortgage, wifey pays the car payments, and whatever is left over in their own bank account that they each earned is theirs to spend and or save.

But what does the Bible have to say about money and how we view it?

What does God say about our views on his money vs her money? Let’s dive in!

Did you know that money/finances is the second leading cause of divorce in America just below infidelity? According to previous studies, the more frequently a couple argues about their finances, the more likely they were to get divorced. I don’t know about you, but that’s a scary and startling statistic for me. I want to beat the fifty percent divorce rate, not become another statistic! In our divorce prone culture, many argue that keeping your finances separate and having separate accounts is wiser. When married couples have separate bank accounts and keep their finances separate, it gives them a sense of independence in their marriage. But neither of those are Biblical principles and I want to chat about the whys behind that today!

So why do couples argue about money so much?

Money represents a lot of different things in our lives. It can represent freedom, independence, power. It’s a way for us to take care of our needs, but also a way to satisfy the things we want and desire. Matthew 6:21 tells us “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” How we spend our “treasure” represents our fears, addictions, the things we value, and the goals we have. So why do we argue about money so much? Because we’re broken and sinful people, so arguments stem from competing goals, fears, and values. Sometimes the way we actually spend our money doesn’t align with the ways that we wish we did, so that can cause lots of arguments.

Why should married couples not have separate bank accounts?

Reason #1: When Christians get married, they become one flesh.

In today’s society, marriage is a contractual relationship. Two people come together with their two different jobs, two different bank accounts, and agree to live together in the same house. But as Christians, our view of marriage is rather different. Christian marriage is about a shared, kingdom vision. It takes a bit more effort to live this vision together when you have a joint bank account. If the accounts are separate, it’s much easier to just have separate visions rather than what Scripture tells us to do.

In Genesis 2:24, God instructs us about marriage: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This scripture is talking about more than just the physical aspect of becoming one flesh. It’s talking about every aspect of your life. Your hopes, your dreams, struggles, finances, debts, all of it are joined together. The poor decisions of one spouse will affect the other spouse. The joys of one spouse will affect the other spouse. The two become a team chasing after Jesus and a Christ-driven life together. So when married couples have separate bank accounts, they aren’t truly one — they’re still separate in one or more areas of their lives.

Reason #2: Your spouse and you are a TEAM, together.

His money. Her money. This mindset really has no place in a Christian marriage. After becoming one flesh, everything you have is now shared. Even your bodies. You become a team! Even though society places a dollar sign on our work and things we contribute, God sees us in a different light. Multiple income families struggle with sharing money, single income families struggle with sharing money — when you become one, you become a TEAM. So Christian married couples should not have separate bank accounts.

Reason #3: Shared money is about mutual submission.

Another reason married couples should not have separate bank accounts is because when you SHARE your money, it’s basically having intimacy in the area of your finances. When you share a bank account, you can’t hide your flaws or imperfections. It’s practically standing there financially naked with your spouse. It says a lot about your hearts when we are much more willing to be physically intimate with someone than we are to be financially intimate.

Reason #4: Share finances exposes our sin.

When Christian couples share a bank account and become one in that area, they can’t hide their shopping addiction, their lack of tithing, or their habit of not being generous with their money. Remember earlier when I mentioned Matthew 6:21 and how our heart is where our treasure is? Having a shared bank account and sharing your finances with your spouse means that there is someone there to hold us accountable when our financial actions aren’t aligning with the kingdom of God. Having that accountability can help us deal with those specific heart and spiritual issues we may have.

Reason #5: In a Christian marriage, more money doesn’t translate to more power.

Society tells us that we need to take care of ourselves and lead independent lives. Our culture also deems that when you have more money, you have more influence and more power. BUT, in God’s Kingdom and in His eyes, this idea of society is contradicted quite a bit especially if you look in the New Testament. Marriages should mirror this as well. Just because one spouse makes more money than the other, it doesn’t mean that they have more power or more say over the other. Remember like we said earlier, marriage is about becoming one flesh (a team) pursuing one common goal : Pursuing a Christ-like life together as one.

So friends, in closing, we are one flesh, with one bank account, and one purpose — which are all healthy expressions of a Christian marriage based in the Bible. Which means we shouldn’t have separate bank accounts. But the biggest thing I want to encourage is to not just share finances on paper together. Put sharing finances into practice too. Talk about your finances together, share your financial visions together! Pursue that intimacy and oneness together!

Should Married Couples Have Separate Bank Accounts? What does the Bible say about becoming one flesh?

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