Today is Tax Day in America. It is the day we all must pay our dues to the government whether we like it or not. If they have taken too much from us during the year, it is a time when a refund check is due. While raising small children, those refunds were an unexpected blessing.
Now that we are retired we are facing a new challenge–taxes due. It’s always difficult to pay the government taxes because it seems we don’t get anything out of it. Of course, that isn’t true. We benefit much from what the government does for us. Infrastructures that make our lives easier, protection from our enemies, healthcare for seniors, National Parks to enjoy and interstates to help us get there.
Jesus, when asked about paying taxes to Caesar, startled those questioning him…
“Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.b 17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19Show me the coin for the tax.”And they brought him a denarius.c 20And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”21They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.” Matthew 22:16-22 ESV (emphasis mine)
It is right to pay taxes and not complain about it. It is good to be faithful in our finances. It matters because Jesus spoke a lot about money including this verse, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
Money is one of the leading causes of arguments often leading to divorce in marriage. Either the fight is over how it is spent or how it is saved. Both can be tense conversations.
Dave Ramsey, with Financial Peace University says,
“There’s no denying that men and women look at money differently. Typically, one spouse is a nerd and the other is a free spirit when it comes to the budget…Nerds enjoy putting together the monthly budget and calculating the numbers. They like that it gives them a sense of security, and they feel like they’re taking care of their loved ones. Free spirits don’t want to have anything to do with the numbers and tend to “forget” about a budget. They may feel controlled or not cared for, and appear irresponsible to the nerd. This can be a dangerous combination that leads to problems in your money and your marriage.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Communication is the key to gaining understanding in this conflict. Don’t give up! Work through the misunderstandings and come to a place of resolve together. The goal isn’t winning the argument…
“The challenge in marriage is to work through the different identities, ideals and values you each bring to the relationship. You win at marriage by losing your need to get your way in every battle. You get a happy marriage by giving up selfish desires in order to win together—you create shared visions and goals out of your own individual goals!”
We love Dave Ramsey and how he has helped countless couples overcome this tension in marriage. If you have never attended a Financial Peace Class we highly recommend it. We led a group through our church and it was one of the most beneficial weekends we have attended. The lessons learned and applied have helped us navigate the financial strains all couples face. Our son even works for Ramsey Solutions Group in Tennessee. He just celebrated his 5th anniversary with the company.
Yeah, Dave Ramsey has been a blessing to our family in many ways. We pray he will also be a blessing to you, if this is an area of struggle. The important thing is to not ignore it! Find a resolve whatever it takes. Just like Tax Day comes around every year, you can be sure this conflict will roll around often until it is resolved.
For more information about Dave Ramsey and his resources click here.
This is my 15th post in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in April.