The Secret to Financial Intimacy? Communication!


Whether football, basketball, or any other team sport, it’s essential that players on the same team communicate with one another in order to run their plays. The key to winning in any human endeavor is effective communication. If you and your mate are experiencing financial turmoil, don’t go silent. “Burying your head in the sand” will most likely put you on a collision course with divorce. Your relationship does not have to become a statistic. You can overcome financial tension or thwart its development with effective communication; it is the bedrock of a harmonious relationship.

Nothing is impossible when people come into agreement. So says the ancient wisdom found in Genesis 11:6-7 which relates the story of what happened after the great flood. Contrary to God’s orders to scatter throughout the earth and re-populate it, the people decided to stay in one place and build a skyscraper that would reach into the heavens. They were so united in their efforts that God had to step in and implement drastic measures:

Look!” he said. “The people are united; they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”  In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. Genesis 11:6-8 (New Living Translation)

After God confused their language and made communication impossible, they had to abandon the project. Here is the moral of the story:  If you can’t communicate, you can’t build…anything!  But when people get on one accord, nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  So, couples, it’s important that you communicate, confront and resolve the issues that threaten your unity.  Here are my sure-fire strategies for effectively confronting your thorny financial and other relational issues:

  • Select the right time and place to put the issue on the table; don’t be guilty of doing the right thing at the wrong time! Don’t force your mate to communicate when he or she is tired, hungry, or stressed.
  • Be specific about the problematic behavior; don’t generalize or beat around the bush.
  • Seek first to understand, rather than to be understood. In other words, Listen, Listen, Listen!
  • Make constructive comments only. Do not attack your mate’s character or judgment. Simply stay focused on the behavior that needs to change.
  • Agree on your spending priorities and commit to specific strategies for staying on track.
  • Forgive the violations and missteps of the past. Let them go. Make a fresh start.

If you need more detailed strategies, consider getting our resource: FINANCIAL INTIMACY available at:



Father, I have been financially disadvantaged in my dealings with X. By Your grace, I lay down my anger, frustration, disappointment, and unforgiveness. Because You guard all that is mine (Psalm 16:5), this outcome did not catch You by surprise. Help me put the loss in perspective and to remember that You can restore exceedingly and abundantly above all that I can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Father, I need Your wisdom for how to proceed in resolving this matter—through legal channels or by simply forgiving the debt. I do not want to enable X to continue in her evil, dysfunctional,  or irresponsible ways, but neither do I want to destroy her emotionally, financially, or otherwise. Show me where I may have failed to communicate or formally document my expectations. Help me to see if I set X up for failure with terms or conditions that were too vague, too onerous, or even too lenient.

O Lord, You know the current state of X’s finances and whether she has the ability to repay me now or in the future. If she has dealt with me deceitfully, convict her of her sin. Your Word declares that bread gained by deceit is sweet, but afterward the deceiver’s mouth will be full of gravel (Proverbs 20:17). I pray that X will find no satisfaction, profit, or peace in the fruit of her deception.

Give her the courage to come forward and resolve this issue in a manner that honors You. Let her not be named among the wicked who refuse to pay back what they owe (Psalm 37:21). Rather, help her to become an upright person guided by integrity (Proverbs 11:3).

Father, thank You that You have made me a lender and not a bor rower. I acknowledge that You own everything I possess (Psalm 24:1). I want to be a good, discerning  steward of all You have entrusted into my care. Please do not let a root of bitterness spring up in me and stop me from helping others because of this disappointing outcome.

I submit this financial loss to You. I choose to walk in forgiveness and in the freedom-giving truth that You are the avenger of every wrong. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.