Money & Finances, Podcast

Should we tithe? Separate bank accounts? What if we disagree about money?

copper-colored coins on in person's hands

Money has a tricky way of grabbing hold of our hearts and it certainly has a way of infiltrating our marriages in an unhealthy way. This episode is all about stewarding our money in a manner worthy of God. Join us!

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Transcript Shownotes

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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • Referenced scripture:
    • Proverbs 22:2
    • Psalm 24:1
    • Leviticus 27:30
    • Number 18:26
    • Deuteronomy 14:24
    • 2 Chronicles 31:5
    • Leviticus 27:31
    • Corinthians 6:1-2
    • Acts 20:35
    • 2 Corinthians 8:2-3
    • Romans 12:1
    • Philippians 4:17-18
    • Luke 6:38

Full Episode Transcript

Selena: I think when you and I got married, we just assumed that we would combine checking accounts and share our money. Right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Selena: There was no like he money, she money, or anything like that.

Ryan: Well, it helps me have none. [both laughs]

Selena: First of all-

Ryan: That helps.

Selena: Or very little because you want to share it all because-

Ryan: Well, I spent all my money getting you and us fancy ring.

Selena: Yeah, right. [laughs]

Ryan: Just so I could seal the deal and then deal with the details later.

Selena: That is true.

Ryan: You know, I think that was our MO. Also things like tithing, those sorts of questions were already kind of stuff that we agreed on. But we have a question from a listener today that asks about those very issues. That we do not agree on these things. How should we manage our finances?

Selena: Yeah, she’s asked that.

Ryan: And there’s a lot of kind of baked-in beliefs there that they need to be articulated, they need to be understood biblically, not just based on whatever we can reason in our heads. But we need to hear what God has to say about money and in particular how that impacts our marriage in terms of how we find unity around it and how we seek God in it and we structure our lives accordingly. So we are gonna talk about that today on the other side.


Ryan: I’ll often say Selena married me for my money.

Selena: Jokes on me. [laughs] Jokes on me.

Ryan: Gold digger. [laughs]

Selena: But you can’t say that. And that song just goes in my head. [laughs]

Ryan: Well, you shouldn’t be such a heathen about things.

Selena: You met a gold digger. [laughs]

Ryan: Yeah. We had nothing when we got married.

Selena: Living in water and sunshine.

Ryan: Water and sunshine. I was a janitor, a master of the custodial arts.

Selena: One of two for a humongous building. So I’d say that’s pretty important.

Ryan: Excuse me, I was the only master of the custodial arts.

Selena: What about your friends?

Ryan: Victor was the maintenance man.

Selena: Okay. [laughs]

Ryan: It’s different. Goodness.

Selena: You were buddies.

Ryan: He was living eye on the hog repairing toilets while I was scrubbing floors.

Selena: You were scrubbing, he was fixing?

Ryan: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Only in case of emergency did I get to help Victor. Anyway. You were-

Selena: I was barista.

Ryan: We had to deal with these issues, but we kinda got to grow in it together because-

Selena: We did, yeah.

Ryan: …of our marriage story. So we’ll hopefully untangle it. If you feel like it’s unclear for you, we’re gonna untangle some of that today and let God’s word have the final word on this. But first, if you’re not familiar with us and my snarky wife, this is Selena. Selena Frederick.

Selena: Like you’re not.

Ryan: What?

Selena: That’s our second take on this part.

Ryan: Oh, whatever.

Selena: If you’re not in the know-

Ryan: You want a third take. Is that what you’re trying to get?

Selena: If you’re not in the know. No. Because we don’t have time for that. So keep moving on.

Ryan: I’m Ryan for the Fredericks. We do the Fierce Marriage Podcast on Tuesdays. If you’re a parent, we have the Fierce Parenting Podcast as well, where we give all our expert parenting advice. [Selena laughs] Every answer to every parenting question with zero humility and complete know-how. [both laughs]

No, parenting’s a lot different because a) we’ve not been parents as long as we’ve been married. But also parenting is… I can say this. I don’t generally believe in subjective things. Parenting is very subjective in that every household is different. God’s truth is objective and weighing its… and putting-

Selena: I was like, where’s my husband going? Where is he leading us right now?

Ryan: But like our kids are not your kids. That’s what I’m trying to say. So you have to figure out how to apply God’s objective truths to your subjective situation. And Fierce Parenting hopefully helps with that. Check it out on Thursdays. Alright.

Also the Fierce Fellowship. You can be a part of how God is providing for this ministry. We are entirely listener-supported, whether that’s through other fierce fellowship or through those listeners who choose to purchase our books. That’s how the Lord provides for us. So thank you for considering that. or find our books on our website.

So we got another message from Selena’s old friend Anon.

Selena: If you know you know.

Ryan: I’m familiar now.

Selena: Do you want me to read it?

Ryan: Sure.

Selena: “My fiancé and I are months away from getting married. I grew up in the church and just recently started to understand the importance of deepening my personal relationship with God, along with trusting Him with my finances. I began tithing. But my fiancé is newer in the faith. He believes in God and that Jesus died and rose again for our sins. However, he’s hesitant on tithing. I believe for our future marriage and finances to be blessed both of us should trust God with our finances and tithe. I wouldn’t want to be the only one tithing. What should I do?”

Ryan: What should I do?

Selena: Hmm. Lots of questions here.

Ryan: First of all, I wanna say congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Seriously. I mean it. Because you’re marrying somebody who says they believe in God and in Christ that He died and rose again. That is the foundational thing. So, congrats, well done. That’s awesome.

And here’s the kicker. Now you can grow in this. Like he’s not figured it out, but he can figure it out. And this is where the rubber meets the road in terms of that belief that Jesus is who He said He was, that what He says is now gonna be the reigning authority in my life-

Selena: In my marriage, yeah.

Ryan: …as opposed to just what I think is a good idea. I’m encouraged by the fact that you’re starting on the foundation of Christ. I want to encourage you to firmly set yourself upon that foundation and encourage your fiancé to do the same as you head into marriage. Because frankly, none of this stuff will make sense unless you do that.

Selena: It’s true. It’s true.

Ryan: Okay. So that’s the first preamble. So with that baked into this are a number of questions that we need to consider. And I’m just gonna go through what the questions are and then we’ll walk through each one.

Selena: Okay.

Ryan: So the questions that I thought of in terms of as I was listening to this-

Selena: What would a listener be thinking.

Ryan: …is what does… we need to know this. We need to know what does the Bible say?

Selena: Yeah, 100%.

Ryan: Because the Fredericks, it doesn’t matter what we say. It doesn’t matter what you say, listener. It matters what God has to say about it. We wanna obey God so we need to know what God says about tithing, about giving. We need to understand those things and apply them rightly.

The second question I wanna ask this listeners is, what do you believe about giving and tithing? And then the reason we ask that question is we wanna find ways-

Selena: Does it align or does it not align? Right.

Ryan: We wanna find out if it aligns or doesn’t align. The third question is, now in light of that, how should we approach finances in our marriage? So there are oughts and then there are shoulds. And these come from scripture and correct our beliefs based on what scripture says and now apply that. That’s the how.

Then finally, if you disagree on this, and it seems like you do currently, listener, how do you get on the same page? How do you get on the same page?

So let’s go back up to the top. Let’s talk about what does the Bible say about giving and tithing. So there’s a number of principles at play here.

Selena: Yeah. And we grew into this, I think, in our own marriage because we believe that tithing was 10% right? I think we still believe that?

Ryan: Nope.

Selena: Nope, we don’t.

Ryan: Well-

Selena: I mean, we believe-

Ryan: We’ll talk about it.

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: We’ll talk about it. But we had some of these kind of baseline kind of popular Christian notions around money and giving and tithing and things. We were generally in agreement about it. But let’s talk about what the Bible has to say here.

Selena: Sure.

Ryan: Number one.

Selena: Proverbs 22:2, “Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the maker of them all.”

Ryan: So here’s the big principle governing the rest of this conversation. God made all things, God owns all things and He gives what He wants to whom He pleases. Period. So He is the arbiter of all of this. Now He has given principles too that we now say, Okay, God, you’ve created the universe with order and with governing principles.

Selena: With value, yeah.

Ryan: And He’s given us those principles in His word. It’s not a mystery to us.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: We need to live in the fear of the Lord. We need to live with wisdom. We need to be diligent and not frivolous with our time and our money. These are principles that are baked into it. But God owns all things. He’s the arbiter of all wealth.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and the world and all who live in it. That’s Psalm 24:1. Now here’s to those principle piece. Our ability to make a living is also directly tied to how wise or foolish we are and how wise and foolish our parents were. That’s gonna affect our current situation. If you had foolish parents that squandered everything versus parents who were wise and stored up wealth for the generations as we read about in the Bible, that’s gonna affect our state. Also that the wisdom or the foolishness of our government, right? If they’re taxing, overburdening the people-

Selena: Right. We see this throughout history.

Ryan: Or if they’re making the cost of living go up by the… anyone heard about inflation recently? [laughs] Right. That’s gonna all have an effect. Wisdom or foolishness, whether it’s yours or others, it’s gonna have an effect on how this-

Selena: This conversation’s gonna go.

Ryan: Yeah. And our ability to make a living and or have discretionary income, things like that. So just to see proverbs, look up the word slugger, look up the word wise, look up the word fool, and start to see a theme develop, particularly around money. So that’s the first governing principle is that God owns all things and He governs it. The second one is our ability to make living is directly tied to wisdom and foolishness. Another one is in terms of what the Bible says.

Now the giving question, Christians are unequivocally commanded to give. To give of our resources, to give of our time, to give of our talent. People will say, your time, treasure, and your talent, right? Those three things, you are supposed to figure out how to give those back to God because He’s given them to you.

We are called to give unequivocally. A lot of Christians may be think in their minds, well, “That’s just kind of like an old school thing,” or “I don’t really have to do that. That’s just money-grubbing pastors. That’s just money-grubbing ministers on TV. Look at this building. Look at…” No, no. That doesn’t matter. Like, you don’t wanna give to bad ministries, but it’s not just money-grubbing. The Bible tells us to give. Paul’s letters are littered with this.

Now the question around tithing. How is giving different from tithing? Right?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: So tithing, it’s a requirement of the Levitical law. So if you go to passages like Leviticus 27:30, you can go to these later if you want. We’re not gonna read them right now. Number 18:26, Deuteronomy 14:24, 2 Chronicles 31:5. Maybe I’ll just read Leviticus 27:31. It says, “Every tithe of the land…” That’s a 10th. So that’s what the word tithe means. “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, of the fruit of the trees, is the lord’s and is holy to the Lord.”

So what that meant was that part’s not yours. We just said it’s all God’s. But what He said specifically, that 10th needs to be given to the Lord, specifically into the Levitical priesthood so that they can live by it. Because they had no land, they had no inheritance. This was how they were support… And they were the ones that were in charge of the sacrifices. They were in charge of all the priestly things.

Of course, now we don’t have a Levitical priesthood. As Christians, we have Christ who is-

Selena: Our priest.

Ryan: …the priest, our mediator, the sacrifice. He satisfied all that loss. So that’s where the tithing question is answered.

Selena: So is that why we don’t-

Ryan: We don’t tithe. We give, but tithing is not something that is in a New Testament concept. It’s an Old Testament concept. So the question then comes up, if we’re not required to give by the law, but we are required to give because of the New Testament, well, how much? Well, this is why… Notice how Jesus always deals with the heart? Because it’s from the heart that your behavior wells up.

So we are not given a percentage in the New Testament. 10% tends to be kind of the thing that people default to. But that’s not a biblical thing for us outside of the Levitical law, which has been satisfied in Christ. So we are called instead to give in a certain manners of giving. So generously. Don’t be stingy. We’re called to give sacrificially.

Selena: Right. Oof.

Ryan: We should feel it. If you’re a billionaire and you’re giving a thousand dollars a year, you are not feeling that. That’s not a… You know, or if back-

Selena: To all the billionaires listening out there.

Ryan: Say you make $80,000 a year and you’re giving 100 bucks to your church every year, I’m pretty sure you’re not feeling that. So the sacrificially thing matters. Obediently, that has to do with listening to the Holy Spirit, being in step with the Holy Spirit, being sensitive to what God is saying in His word, and how that’s pricking your conscience to act.

This next one is so important. It’s the final one for here is you are called to give joyfully. Like, you don’t grit your teeth, as the, you know-

Selena: Well, I think it should be an indicator if you’re not able to give joyfully, right? Something’s going on in your heart. Something’s bubbling up to the surface, like you said and there’s some sin and some… sin. Sin is there. [laughs]

Ryan: Yeah. Because on some level you’re not trusting God with it or you’re not, you know… and if you can’t give joyfully to a ministry because of what the ministry’s up to, well then don’t give to that ministry. Or get your questions answered-

Selena: Look at the fruit.

Ryan: …so you can prove it joyfully.

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: So 10% is not the hard and fast requirement. And it’s also according to your means. So that’s another thing that is pretty clear in the New Testament as well.

Selena: Interesting.

Ryan: That you don’t give in a way that is going to impoverish you. It’s not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: So like, we don’t get down on somebody who’s poor because they can only give $2.

Selena: It’s the parable of the talents, yeah.

Ryan: It’s the woman with her-

Selena: The woman and the coin. The widow with the coin. Sorry.

Ryan: Again, people love the hard and fasting because they just wanna check it off the list. Like, I just wanna give my 10%, I wanna call it good, and I wanna go live with the 90% and live, you know, however I wanna live. No. We don’t have that freedom. We are called to be sensitive to the spirit, to be obedient, and in some cases to give extravagantly as the Lord would lead and to do so with a happy heart.

We know some people who have drained their entire savings accounts multiple times because they felt the Lord leading them to give towards certain projects, to give towards certain things. And they just live by faith radically. Can you imagine? We’ve never done that. And I like to think-

Selena: That if the Lord asks.

Ryan: …if the Lord asked, I would have the heart to hear it and we would have the courage to obey it and the faith to obey it. That’s the struggle of working out your faith is you need to be ready and willing if the Lord does ask you to do that.

Selena: Right. Right. These are things as a young almost married couple… like people divorce. I think one of the top reasons, one of them was money, the finances. It’s communication-

Ryan: It comes up on the form that way but I think it’s probably deeper than that.

Selena: Of course. Of course. Because money has this weird way of getting into our hearts, right?

Ryan: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: If you’re wondering where the scriptural evidence for this is, we have a number of references that we’ll give you. I’ll read one Corinthians 6:1-2 here. It says this. “Now concerning the collection for the saints…” This is Paul writing to the Corinthians. “…as it directed the churches of Galacia…” So we’ve done this before in another place. It’s normative. “…so that you also are to do. On the first day of every week each of you is to put something aside and store it up as he may prosper…” So as you’re willing, as the Lord prospers you. “…so that there may be no collecting when I come.” So Paul’s basically saying like, we’re coming, prepare a gift because you are the way that the Lord is sustaining us.

And he’s commanding the churches to do this. Not just one or, you know, but it’s normative across the letters that Paul has written. We see evidence of this in Acts 20:35, 2 Corinthians 8:2-3, Romans 12:1 talking about giving yourself and present your bodies as a living sacrifice wholly and acceptable to God. Now that verse is about giving all of you, not withholding anything, but being obedient at any cost. Then Philippians 4:17-18 are all kind of ways where this is touched upon.

Again, we’re in the first big bullet point here, which, what does God’s word have to say about giving and tithing?

Selena: Yeah. I’m just thinking of the question up here. So clearly I think that they might have… there might be a misunderstanding of what tithing is, right? Maybe that’s one of the hang-ups for why he might not wanna tithe, but she wants to. So defining kind of your terms with God’s law, with God’s truth, the Bible. So tithing was an old test… Just to kind of recap, I think. Because she’s like, “We need a tithe so that we can be blessed.”

Ryan: We’ll talk about that. That’s another thing to make sure you’re on the same page about. We’re just looking right now at what God’s word says about it. We haven’t really performed a theology of giving quite yet. Pardon the seminary speak. I’m not supposed to do that anymore. So not by your… but by… anyway.

Selena: No, you swim in it.

Ryan: So the other things that the Lord’s word has said about this is we are commanded to give quietly, not in a way that feeds our ego, you know, like the Pharisees would’ve done.

Selena: Taking off some of that glory for yourself.

Ryan: Jesus said this, He said, But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be in secret and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. That’s kind of where that thought comes from. Like, if I give I’ll be rewarded. Clear the air. Yes. Like you should want God’s blessing Yes. To not want-

Selena: It’s a good thing. That’s a good thing.

Ryan: To not want God’s blessing, to not want God’s reward is to not take Him at His word and it’s to be, frankly, pious. You’re acting as if you’re somehow above what God has. God said, Give so that you can receive. Give so that you can be blessed. Now does that translate into Jesus is jackpot Jesus? I put the coins in the… whatever you call it, the slot machine, and if I put the coins in enough, I’m gonna get a big return? Is that?

Selena: I mean, that’s something I felt like we operated under early on in our marriage.

Ryan: We were actually taught that in our first church that as a married couple, the church that we attended. And I can tell you wholeheartedly, that is not biblical.

Selena: I think we were the most broke then. No, we had the most money coming in, but we were having the most debt.

Ryan: We were young and foolish and all that sort of stuff. [Selena laughs] There’s ruts on both sides of this road.

Selena: Yes, yes. True.

Ryan: You can say like, “It doesn’t matter what I give, God doesn’t care. He’s not gonna give anything back. He doesn’t bless people. He doesn’t provide in that way. He’s not beholden to me.” Like, He’s not beholden to you.

Selena: No.

Ryan: But He’s a god of His word and He said that the Father who sees in secret will reward you. What we need to hash out is what the reward means.

Selena: Reward and blessing, yeah.

Ryan: Because we will read that sometimes and think-

Selena: We’ll just read into-

Ryan: …it means that if I, then now I’m somehow coercing God to give me what I think He needs to give me. Because I want the hundredfold return, I need 10 grand, so here’s a hundred bucks. Alright?

Selena: Yes.

Ryan: So I’m banking on… you owe it to me. That’s not biblical. So that’s this final point is that those who do give will be blessed, but we need to be careful to say how that blessing should or will look.

Selena: It’s good. It’s good.

Ryan: And that’s what you’re touching on with this young lady. She wants to give so that they’ll be blessed. That’s a good thing to want. Now, as long as you understand that God’s blessing-

Selena: May not.

Ryan: …may be in heaven. It may be something that you never see in this life. It very well could be something here in this life.

Selena: Yeah. I do think that there’s blessings and things that we oftentimes miss, you know, and we don’t see. And so some of that I think is the Lord lifting our eyes and teaching us what blessing is, what it looks like, what it means. I mean, blessings are not just… The Bible says that children are a blessing. Children and being a parent can be tough some days. Like it takes work to steward the blessing, if that makes sense. It takes work. And work can be a joy and you can find delight and value in it. But a blessing is not just ease and pleasure and money. Right?

Ryan: Right. Jesus said this in Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. It’ll be poured onto your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Selena: I just see everybody getting outta their seats getting excited. [laughs] I’m just kidding.

Ryan: What Jesus is illustrating there is a spiritual truth that has earthly and heavenly implications.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: And the shaking down, pressed together, it’s not just a material thing. I’m not saying-

Selena: It’s a visual thing.

Ryan: It’s never that. I’m just saying that’s not solely what Jesus is talking about. So we need to be discerning about these things. And that the heart is what Christ is after. So when we give freely to Him, because He’s our king and our Lord and it’s out of pure worship and gratitude and thankfulness that we give, that’s the heart Christ is after.

Selena: Yeah. And it’s a visual.

Ryan: You know, the thing about that heart-

Selena: It’s a complete visual.

Ryan: The thing about that heart is you trust God so much that he could give or He could take away and it wouldn’t have any effect on your affections for him.

Selena: Goodness.

Ryan: Either way you’re gonna give glory and worship to him.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: That’s where our hearts need to be friends when we talk about money as believers and as couples when you come together around this topic. That’s the first big bullet here. That’s the longest one. What does God’s word have to say? Now, you as a married couple, what do you actually believe functionally? So it may or may not be aligned with scripture.

Selena: If he’s a newer Christian like she said, she may have some anchored beliefs that may not be rightly anchored and he may not have those beliefs, or maybe he has some different ones that are the way they should go. So I don’t know what those are, but clearly they’re not aligned.

Ryan: Right. And so she may be under-

Selena: …and for the wrong reason. Right and wrong reasons, probably.

Ryan: So he may think giving’s irrelevant, not needed, not commanded, don’t need to do it because the pastor has plenty of money and they don’t need my 200 bucks a month or whatever.

Selena: Sure.

Ryan: She may be thinking, “If we don’t give, we’re going go bankrupt. If we don’t give, we’re gonna fall under a curse or God’s gonna stop blessing us, and this tap, whatever it is, is gonna shut off.” If whatever you believe, you need to work that out and align it with God’s word. And does your giving affect God’s blessing? Well, I will say this. Your obedience, sure. For sure does. Like, we can’t expect God to bless us if we are neglecting our prayer life. Paul even goes so far to say that if you are not treating your wife well, your prayers will be inhibited. Like God will not hear your prayers.

Selena: Right. There’s an obedience factor for sure.

Ryan: All throughout scripture, it’s, Hey, you want blessing, be obedient. Choose life. Obey. You want cursing, keep doing what you think is right. You know?

Selena: Keep acting your soul.

Ryan: I’ll say that it is tied to our obedience and to God in some regard. Now, I always have to put these caveats because we’re so quick to fall off these cliffs. Are you guaranteed that if you obey God then you’re somehow gonna be in the top 1% of income earners in the us or that if you’re an impoverished nation, that somehow…? You know, that’s the prosperity gospel that is sold and it’s a bill of goods.

Obedience to God, the blessing that you get is God Himself. That is the riches that…

Selena: He is sufficient.

Ryan: And when we all get to heaven one day, we’re gonna look ourselves in the mirror and look at each other and say, Man, how grossly did we underestimate the blessing it is to have God Himself? And we saw all the things that God made and we forgot that He Himself is the blessing. So we keep that in view.

So you might be thinking, goodness, why did they just go through all that? [Selena laughs] Like my wife is thinking right now. You know, why, Selena?

Selena: Why? Tell me.

Ryan: Because what we believe about these things is always 100% of the time gonna fuel our behavior.

Selena: Yes, 100%.

Ryan: So if you don’t actually know what God said… we could say true things and you might just believe them as-

Selena: But we could say things that sound true.

Ryan: And you know what? That will not sustain you. If you know what God said and the Holy Spirit is enlivening you through His word, you will be ready to obey for a lifetime, not just for the next couple of weeks.

Selena: And it’s for freedom that He sets you free, right?

Ryan: Amen. So how do you approach finances in your marriage? She said she wouldn’t wanna be the only one tithing. Now this begs the question is, in what world would that happen if you weren’t separating your finances? Because how can you only tithe unless you have your own money and he has his money?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: So should husbands and wives join their finances together?

Selena: Yes.

Ryan: Yes.

Selena: You join your bodies together in one flesh, why should money be any different?

Ryan: And where your treasure is, there your heart is. Also if you are one, why would you not do this? What reasons would you have for having his and hers money? Like, okay, I’ll pay half the mortgage, you’ll pay half the grocery bill. How does that even work? You cover groceries, I’ll cover gas this month.

Selena: You’re just roommates. It just chips away your relationship, chips away at your unity, it chips away at your covenant and your ability to just be one, your oneness. Right?

Ryan: Right.

Selena: If money is so attached to your heart or it’s one of those things that can so quickly just grab a hold of your affections, then why would you keep that separate from your spouse? There’s no good reason. So-

Ryan: Now in terms of discretionary income, budgets, and things like that, hey, you know, we get a kind of fun money or whatever and you kind of have whatever. That’s for you to figure out.

Selena: I mean, for us, we just talk about anything over a certain dollar amount usually. You don’t-

Ryan: And as our lives have changed, the dollar amount has changed. We have some months where it’s like, Hey, tighten the belt, other months where we don’t talk about it as much. So that’s for you to figure out. But the spirit of unity in marriage I think it’s a no-brainer. You need to keep your accounts together, transparency, that way there’s no secret spending. And you’re moving toward the same goal and you’re saving together, you’re getting together. You’re doing it together. Alright.

Selena: Right. Don’t have this entitlement issue too. I mean, I think that we were both making actually quite a bit of money when we were first married-

Ryan: Relatively speaking.

Selena: Relatively speaking.

Ryan: Speaking emphatically, we were this-

Selena: No. But-

Ryan: We were dual income, no kids.

Selena: It felt like a lot of money to us. I think that there was this kind of like… at least with me, I’m like, well, I make this much money so I can buy horse stuff and I can get a horse.

Ryan: That’s why we had no money.

Selena: And then we had no money. No. But that’s the reason. Like, you kind of get this like, “Well, I make enough and it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t really care if I do this.” You know, one late-night Amazon purchase after another starts to add up. Again, it’s that heart orientation. How is your heart oriented in your spending?

Ryan: 100%. And I’ll say that if one of you is a higher earner, you don’t hold that over their head.

Selena: I try not to do that to you.

Ryan: It’s you together. Like, everything I earn is ours, everything you earn is ours. That’s just how it works.

Selena: It’s mine.

Ryan: And I’m not saying you’re like, I earn money and therefore you have to… No. We all do this together. What fruitfulness is there to be had by throwing it in each other’s face? None. Okay.

Selena: None fruitfulness. [laughs]

Ryan: None fruitfulness. Now if you disagree on these things, you need to get on the same page about it. How do you go about doing that? And friends, the right answers in these cases are often annoying because they’re simple to understand but hard to do. So here’s the annoying truths about what to do if you disagree. Understand what God says about giving and tithing.

Two, gain unity about what God says about giving and tithing. To do that, you need to talk about it. And you need to gain unity around your need and desire to conform to what God says. Do you want to be people that obey God? Do you want to be people who are set apart and therefore doing things that maybe don’t make sense from a worldly standpoint?

Do you want to be the, the kinds of people who are seeing God’s mission advance by way of the craft He’s given you and the income He’s given you? Is that who you want to be? Okay, now act accordingly. So you agree to a plan, you give what you can. You do so obediently and not—there’s a key—not pragmatically. We don’t give because it’s easy, because it works, because whatever. We give because we have a God who gave.

We are the recipients of the greatest, grandest, most extravagant, most costly gift of all. And that’s the life of Christ Himself. He’s given it on our behalf. Which is a beautiful segue into how we like to end these episodes.

If you don’t know who Jesus is, He was the gift of God for eternal life given to sinners that they might be saved out of their sin, brought from death into life because of what Christ did on the cross, and the fact that He didn’t stay dead, but He was resurrected and now reigning at the right hand of the Father.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: He is the gift given to you. Here’s the thing. That Grace, that gift was free to you, but it was not without cost. You are not saved by your works, but you absolutely are saved by work. And it’s by Christ’s work that we are saved.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: And that’s the gift that we’re talking about here. So we want you to understand that, we want you to embrace that, and we want you to live in light of that. So to that end, we say, read, read your Bible. Find a friend, read the Bible with you, say, Who’s Jesus? Can you show me? Find a church that preaches outta the Bible because… We say the Bible because that’s how we know who God is. Otherwise, we don’t have any way of knowing.

And if you have a hard time with either of those things, you can’t find a friend or a church to talk to, go to That should help you understand these truths. But also find a church hopefully in your area.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, You are good. You have given us so much from the very bottoms of the soles of our feet to the tops of our heads. We are awash in Your gifts, Your blessing, Your grace over our lives, Lord. So thank You for that. Thank You for giving.

Help us to see money rightly so that we might not be miserly with what You’ve given us, that we might not be faithless with the income that You’ve given us, Lord, but that we would be faithful people, generous people because we have a faithful, generous God.

I pray for the couples who are lacking unity in this area they would find it, they would go to Your word, not to their own minds, but to Your mind and what You’ve given to us in Your word. I pray for couples that are just struggling in general, that You would strengthen them embolden them to fight harder for their marriage, to fight hard for one another, that You might be glorified in the victories that they would experience because of just Your grace and Your goodness in their lives. Help them. Give them special grace to work through whatever they’re working through. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: Okay, thank you for joining us. This has been a little bit longer of an episode, but that’s totally fine. Right, Selena?

Selena: Mm-hmm.

Ryan: Okay. [laughs] I’ll just end it there. This episode of Fierce Marriage is-

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: Listen again in about seven days. So until next time—

Selena: Stay fierce.


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