Money and Compromise

Money and Compromise Money is one of the touchier, more challenging subjects for couples and relationships. Complicating the issue is the somewhat mixed messages given on the subject. Some scriptures point out the dangers and even problems of money and a materialistic focus, whereas other scriptures emphasize providing adequately and getting out of debt as positive things. Here are some various scriptures on the subject that frame the pursuit of money in a rather negative light:

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
--I Timothy 6:10

But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.
--2 Nephi 26:31

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
--Matthew 6:19-21, 33

Conversely, here are some scriptures that give a more positive framing of money and providing:

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
--I Timothy 5:8

By divine design, fathers…are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families…In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
--The Family—A Proclamation to the World

And again, verily I say unto you, concerning your debts—behold it is my will that you shall pay all your debts. And it is my will that you shall humble yourselves before me, and obtain this blessing by your diligence and humility and the prayer of faith. And inasmuch as you are diligent and humble, and exercise the prayer of faith, behold, I will soften the hearts of those to whom you are in debt, until I shall send means unto you for your deliverance.
--Doctrine & Covenants 104:78-80

In short, earning money is important for providing, though we need to maintain a spiritual attitude towards money and keep out priority on the Lord and building up the Lord’s kingdom. It is a challenging balance.

Money and Compromise:

In relationships, money issues can be a challenge to maneuver, often leading to contention, frustration, and resentment. Usually one person likes to spend more money and the other likes to save more/show more discrepancy in purchases. The problems in relationships will occur in the extremes: spending too much to placate the person who likes to spend—or—spending too little to placate the person who is more frugal with money. Usually it is best when the main priority is preserving the relationship and making money decisions that both sides can reasonably live with. Strangely enough, most money decisions together by a couple are best when both sides are both somewhat satisfied and somewhat frustrated with the decision. This shows that both sacrificed when coming to the decision, and that the feelings ande considerations of both sides were considered.

Ideally, a balanced approach including reasonable enjoyment of life now as well as a practical strategy for saving, investing, and getting out of debt is best. If you overly enjoy money now, debt will remain high, savings and investments will be low, and stress and anxiety will increase over time. Conversely, if you overly save and pay off debt, current opportunities to enjoy life and have some fun along the way can be missed or lessened and the one spouse more valuing those things could become resentful. And remember—a divorce is much more expensive than an occasional trip or regular date night. So please don’t forget to nourish and nurture you relational bond along the way. Juggling financial issues effectively can be a true balancing act.

Often when a combination of good conversation, listening, and compromise has been exercised with any noteworthy money and budgeting decisions, the best results will follow. Some articles with further ideas on listening and compromise can be found here:
https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/listening-skills-14/
https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/workable-compromise-16/
Also, another article on money that can also be helpful is found here:
https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/money-priorities-and-relationships-199/

Final Thoughts:

Remember that a marriage and your relationship with that person should be the most important priority. Even though money and practicality is very important as well, please do not engage is contention and arguing about money. Get along first, decide about money as a second priority after that. Communication and compromise on money is challenging. But when done with a spirit of love, mutual understanding, and compromise, the best results will follow. You can do this. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.”

Dr. G
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at drgilchrist@yahoo.com.

2020-07-06 Endre Szasz Marriage preparation, Conflict resolution, Finance

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