Marriage and Financial Responsibility: Who Should be Responsible for the Finances?

Ideally, a marriage union should be one pot (It could mean one pot as in a pot or many pots that belong to us both for our use). What this means is both of us i.e. the couple bring whatever is theirs together for the family. They are a team and they can do anything they agree on together, working and walking towards their goals as ONE unit. There is no script for how to apportion the percentages with regard to financial responsibility. It really depends on whatever they have agreed as the working modus operandi for their union, which both are happy to run with without resentment!

Before entering into a marriage with your fiance or fiancee, finances (money) is one of the important topics to discuss as an intending couple. You need to find out your partner’s saving and spending habits, their attitude towards money, and their expectations concerning expenses; who should be responsible for the family’s expenses? if the expenses are to be shared, is it on a fifty-fifty basis or is one person contributing more than the other? Are there financial obligations that need to be fulfilled? For example, is there a debt that needs to be repaid, is he or she expected to support members of his or her extended family after marriage, do they have any long or short-term goals e.g. going back to school, buying a house, starting a business, relocating, etc.

All of these plans cost money, therefore it is important to have these discussions before marriage so as not to enter blindly and get surprised when problems and disagreements begin to arise.

Regarding the question “Is the man who is the head of the home supposed to be a hundred percent financially responsible for the home or can he share financial responsibilities with his wife who is also working?” One thing is sure, a responsible God-fearing man provides for his family as much as is within his means and a woman helps the man, whatever that means to them both. These are the things we trash out in personalised premarital counselling and why they must never be overlooked! No couple should venture into a marriage without getting premarital counselling. You can book a session here.

In cases where the man is the only one covering all the expenses of the family whilst the woman who is also generating income is not contributing her own quota towards the family’s financial needs, do we now regard the woman as being selfish? It’s not selfish depending on what the woman is doing with her own hundred percent. That is what determines whether she is selfish or not.

Is she saving her hundred percent for the family? Or she’s spending it on the household and the children? What the woman does with her hundred percent is what determines if she’s selfish or not.

Do we also call a woman selfish for desiring a man who provides his hundred percent? No! It is not selfish to desire such a man. The reason you desire a man like that is what is important i.e. the “WHY” and how much that desire drives you in the selection of a spouse.

As a single lady, please feel free to desire anything, just ensure that the reason and the motive behind such desire is right, loving and holy! This is what matters!

For example:
● Could it be because your father did so or didn’t do so?
● Is it because you need to save all you earn because someone you know lost it all when
her husband married another wife?
● Is this because you cannot work and share your income with your spouse?
● Or is this just an honest and honourable desire?

The WHY is crucial. If your reason is any of the first three, I’d like to have a session with you. Please don’t get in the way of your future. Your parents’ marriage is not your marriage. Your husband is not your dad just as you are not your mum.

The next thing to do is to ensure that this desire for such a man doesn’t blind you. It is possible that you have such a man in your hands now, but maybe he cannot fully foot all the bills now. If you make a choice over him because of that then you have shot yourself in the foot.

It is possible for a man to start with 50-50 and in 3 years he is doing 70-30 and in 6 years he is doing 100-0, if your vision is blurred by what you see today or by the desire you have, you will lose that which has been prepared for you.

This is why you must let the Lord lead your heart and let His love be what you look for in a man or woman.