We've been married for three years, and the only thing we ever argue about is money. Now with the economy getting worse and my husband's job in danger we're arguing even more. How can we avoid this? It upsets us to argue, but it's becoming a real habit. — Mrs. R.McD.
Disagreements over money can easily spiral out of control, and unfortunately studies show that arguments over money are responsible for a high percentage of divorces. Don't let this happen to you!
What can you do? First, try to understand what the real problem is. For example, one of you may have been raised to be very careful with your money, while the other grew up in a family that put things and pleasures first. Or one of you may want the very best of everything, while the other resists this. In other words, face your differences and understand them - and then learn to compromise. Often the problem isn't money, but differences in personality and upbringing.
Then take practical steps to get control of your finances. Don't argue over things you can't control - but do control the things you can control. Make a realistic budget - and stick to it. If your credit cards are a problem, lock them up. Avoid piling up debts, especially in this economy.
Above all, commit your lives - including your finances - to Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have" (Hebrews 13:5). This may seem impossible in our materialistic world - but with God's help you can. It will make all the difference.