Pastor Advises on Unifying Family Finances for Marital Harmony

A picture of coins and money on and beside a Holy Bible
1/2A picture of coins and money on and beside a Holy Bible(photo:
Rev. Jeffry T. Lee, the director of the Gospel Operation International For Chinese Christians
2/2Rev. Jeffry T. Lee, the director of the Gospel Operation International For Chinese Christians(photo:
By Peggy ShiMay 30th, 2024

According to statistics from numerous divorce cases, financial issues have become one of the top three problems leading to marital breakdowns. Recently, Rev. Jeffry T. Lee shared a lecture on how to manage money in marriage in an online program called "Second Generation Christian Classroom."

Dr. Lee comes from a family of pastors and is a third-generation Christian who moved to the United States during high school. He served as the director of the Gospel Operation International in the United States and is currently the director of the Family Ministry at Christian Communication Inc. of U.S.A. He frequently travels across Asia and North America, promoting second-generation education, and has authored books 100 Days of Blessing for Children and The Heart of Fathers Everywhere.

Dr. Lee identifies six financial issues that can lead to marital discord, one of which is the failure to combine incomes. The underlying problem is often a lack of trust between spouses, preventing them from merging their finances. Not combining finances can also result in inadequate planning for long-term goals such as home buying and retirement.

Another factor involves "power games," in which one person controls the use and distribution of money in the family. Couples often face four scenarios in these power dynamics: one spouse earns significantly more than the other; both want to work but one is unemployed; one is employed while the other is not; or one comes from a wealthy family while the other does not.

Deciding whether and when to have children is also a crucial problem. Besides the cost, couples need to consider whether they should reduce work hours or sacrifice their careers to raise children. Couples should communicate, adjust, and change their relationship dynamics, retirement plans, or lifestyle when the family structure changes or they move through different stages.

He also shares other issues, such as carrying debts, ignoring personality differences, being cautious when lending money to relatives, and managing changes in the extended family.

One of Dr. Lee’s suggestions for handling financial issues is to practice generosity and avoid being calculative. Once basic principles for managing money are agreed upon with the spouse, they can give as much as they can, especially in supporting elderly parents or helping the poor and weak. Building trust is essential, not only between the couple when financial management or decisions go awry, but also in believing that God will provide for the family.

It is important to communicate with empathy, increase transparency with compromise, and seek professional help. Dr. Lee explains that financial disagreements are normal, but if handled properly, they can be transformed into opportunities for growth.

Additionally, he offers practical advice for family finances, such as teaching children about money, budgeting, and resolving debt. Investment is also a method to consider; among financial investments, investing in a child’s education is invaluable.

Dr. Lee urges couples to trust in God’s provision, maintain a heart of contentment and gratitude, and use money wisely.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

related articles
LATEST FROM Church & Ministries