You can tell me all day long what is important to you and your spouse, individually or as a couple. But if I can see your checkbook register and your daily schedule, I’ll tell you what’s really important to you. The 9th Axiom of Marriage says, “Your resources always flow to your priorities. Where you spend your time and your money indicates where your priorities lie within a marriage.” This is an inescapable truth. Your time and your money will always go to your priorities. And in a marriage relationship, it will be the strongest mirror of what is important to each spouse individually, and the main indicator of whether or not you and your spouse are on the same page about what is really important to you as a couple.
When a couple agrees on how to spend time and finances, you are bringing your priorities together. All of your relational priorities—spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual, and intimate—are revealed in the physical realities of how you use your two greatest resources. While you may not always be in 100% agreement, you and your spouse need equal input on how you manage your money and time. In marriage you are one, not two living in the same household. The way you use your time and money is a gauge—it is a gauge of your love, respect, and honor for your spouse. Equal input builds up those qualities, while giving you a deeper understanding of what is important to each of you individually and what is really important to you together as a couple.
For some couples, there is a real temptation to say, “Our time and money don’t say much about our priorities, because we don’t have enough of either to say anything.” But the reality is, that is when it says the most about what you and your mate value. When hard choices and sacrifices have to be made, that is when our strongest priorities rise to the surface. It is in times of want that you best see you and your mate’s core convictions, desires, and drives.
Whether you are living in a time of plenty or a time of need, a busy season of life or a time of relaxation—I would challenge you to sit down with your spouse and take an honest look at where your money and time are going. Compare your calendars and see where you are spending time, both individually and together. Look at your finances. As your priorities come to light, ask yourself some questions.
"According to where we spend our time and money..."
- ...what do I value most?
- ...what does my spouse value most?
- ...how aware are we of each other’s priorities (actual priorities as reflected by the daily schedules and bank statements, not just what we wish for or proclaim)?
- ...are our values in line with each other, or in contrast to each other?
- ...do I try to hide or distract my mate from where I am spending time or money?
- ...what do our priorities say about marriage, children, family, and having appropriate boundaries?
- ...most importantly, what does the flow of our resources say about our spirituality and how we use our marriage within the Kingdom of God?
Honestly evaluating one’s self and together honestly evaluating the marriage relationship can be a sobering undertaking. But knowing your priorities, knowing your spouse’s priorities, and knowing where your priorities line up and where they diverge will open up new conversations—conversations that will lead to a healthier marriage and a better understanding of each other.
To see the 10 Axioms of Marriage, click here.
To read a more detailed explanation of
The 1st Axiom of Marriage, click here
The 2nd Axiom of Marriage, click here
The 3rd Axiom of Marriage, click here
The 4th Axiom of Marriage, click here
The 5th Axiom of Marriage, click here
The 6th Axiom of Marriage, click here
The 7th Axiom of Marriage, click here
The 8th Axiom of Marriage, click here