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February 2, 2016, 8:00 AM

How to Get You and Your Spouse on the Same Financial Page


We all know the stress finances can place on a marriage. Money (or the lack thereof) has been known to decimate a husband and wife’s relationship. But it does not have to be this way. Financial matters do not have to bring division to a marriage, but can serve as a point of unification. If you are married, consider these seven steps to bring oneness to your money:

Agree that you need to agree. This seems simple enough, but many couples operate as if it is not important. He has his goals, and she has her goals. And at times, they pull their finances in completely different directions. Getting on the same financial page as your spouse starts by acknowledging the need to be on the same page. It means that chasing separate goals will lead to frustration and a financial future full of unachieved goals.

Replace “mine” with “ours.” The way in which you communicate ownership of your and your spouse’s money is telling. When talking about money, start using “our” instead of “mine.” “Our money” is inclusive and promotes cooperation. “My money” is exclusive and promotes individualism. This can be particularly difficult for newlyweds, especially with money they earned and saved prior to the marriage. But as a couple joins together, this slight shift in language conveys a crucial shift in perspective.

Take a look at reality. What does your cash flow really look like? What is your real wealth? How far are you really from retiring? How much do you really owe? One of the greatest mistakes you can make with your finances is to assume you are better off than you really are. It is an assumption that leads to many poor money decisions. Uncovering reality is not always fun, but it is necessary for making the best money decisions moving forward. Figure out where you really are financially, not where you think you are.

Dream together. After determining where you are, determine where you want to go. I recommend doing this in 10 to 15 year increments. What do you want your future to look like? Both you and your spouse will have differing dreams. Be willing to do a little compromising and create an envisioned future you can both chase.

Develop dream-reaching goals. Once you have agreed what the dream looks like, figure out what goals must be reached to get there. How much must be saved? How much do you need in retirement? Your dream will inevitably require you reaching a few major financial goals.

Identify goal-reaching milestones. It can become wearisome chasing a 10-year goal. Identify milestones along the way to celebrate. Paying off a major credit card balance, downsizing your home, and a certain amount saved can all be great milestones.

Every year, ask, “What do we need to accomplish this year?” As you look at your goal’s milestones, figure out what must be done each year. Set priorities for the year. This can greatly reduce conflict over how money is used throughout the year. If you are both on the same financial page with yearly priorities that help you get to a shared dream, you have made a huge step in reaching those dreams.

What about you? How do you promote “oneness” with your marriage’s money? Please place your comments in the section below. 


Written by Art Rainer. Art serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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January 26, 2016, 8:18 AM

6 Reasons Why Married Couples Fight About Money


One of the greatest causes of marital disagreement is money. According to survey results from Fidelity, 51% of couples admitted to arguing either frequently or occasionally about their finances. So why do we do this? Why do these conversations get so heated? Here are 6 reasons why you may find yourself arguing with your spouse about money:

1). Different financial personalities. Are you a spender, or are you a saver? What about your spouse? More than likely, your financial personality differs from your spouse. While the difference in personality may provide some balance to your financial decision-making, it will also create conflict.

2). Different financial goals. You would like to pay for your kids’ college. Your spouse would like to pay off the mortgage. You both are passionate about your goal, but you cannot do both at the same time. The lack of consensus creates tension anytime tuition or a mortgage payment is due.

3). Different financial histories. You grew up having little. Your spouse grew up having plenty. Therefore, you find yourself more cautious with money than your spouse. Your prior experience with money shapes your financial preferences, and can create a perspective on money that differs from your spouse.

4). Different bank accounts. This is a big one. I am always concerned when I here that married couples have separate accounts. When God created marriage, He intended it to be an all-in deal. For married couples, joint bank accounts communicate trust, transparency, and commitment. Separate accounts communicate the opposite.

5). Different reactions to financial troubles. Perhaps pointing your fingers at others is your thing. You just blame whoever is sitting closest to you at the time for your woes. Your spouse suppresses their emotions until they can do it no longer, and then there is an explosion of emotions. It is likely you have or will face financial troubles in your life. A job is lost. A medical bill appears in the mail. The economy plummets. When faced with financial turmoil, differing reactions to the situation can prompt arguments.


6). A lack of perspective. All of us can lose perspective. And when financial turmoil strikes, it can seem as if it is the only thing that matters in life. We become obsessed with it. This loss of perspective can injure our walk with God and our marriage, inevitably leading to a fight.

For a variety of reasons, money can create arguments among married couples. Different financial personalities, goals, histories, accounts, reactions to financial troubles, and a lack of perspective can prompt marital fights.

However, financial matters do not have to bring division to a marriage, but can serve as a point of unification.


Written by Art Rainer. Art serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.


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January 13, 2016, 10:00 AM

Flu Season

With all of the cases of influenza, bronchitis, and even the common cold going around, I thought it might be a good time to refresh everyone's memory of First Baptist Church of Gholson's policy regarding infectious diseases (other than the fact that we're against them!)

If your child has experienced a fever within the 24 hours preceding any event here at our church, you may not bring them to the event. So, using tonight's events as an example, if your child ran a fever anytime since 6:30 pm last night, they may NOT attend Little Sprouts, J.A.M. and Youth Group.

I understand the inconveniences and difficulties that a child's sickness can impose. But if you think about it, this policy is no more than Jesus' Golden Rule put into practice. If we work together and make sure to consider the needs of other people and their children, we can help to limit the spread of these viruses during this vulnerable time of year.

Thanks for your help.

Bro. James

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November 19, 2015, 11:25 AM

Celebrate Christmas At First

Celebrate Christmas At First



6th     -        Community Christmas Celebration with Wesley Chapel United Methodist  Church. Our  Kid’s                    & Adult Choirs will be presenting the musical “Christmas is Jesus” 6 pm here @ FBC                            Gholson

7th      -        Ladies of the Lord Soup Dinner and Cookie  Swap 6 pm

13th   -        Christmas Caroling 4 pm

24th   -        Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 11:30 pm

31st    -        New Year’s Eve Celebration 7pm-Midnight


Special Christmas Messages by Bro. James

6th-    God’s Greatest Gifts: The World We Live In

13th -  God’s Greatest Gifts: The Final Word

20th - God’s Greatest Gifts: The Way Out



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October 9, 2015, 10:10 AM

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering


Church Family,

As many of you know or have read about our International Mission Board (IMB) is bringing home at least 600 missionaries from the field and laying off 200 employees because of budget shortfall. For the past several years the IMB has ended the years in the red and has tapped into its reserve account.  Basically, the IMB is about to run out of money. It breaks my heart to think about this. I believe God has given Dr. David Platt a vision on how to get the IMB finances corrected so we can in the years to come support many more missionaries as Southern Baptist. Remember we are still the largest mission organization in the world.  Please know other mission organizations are struggling as well.

My purpose for this brief letter is to ask you to pray about giving something to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering for the next three months. Yes, would you give something extra in October, November and December to help keep our missionaries on the field?  Please know that 100 percent of the offering supports our missionaries. 

Some may ask how much does it cost to send a missionary around the world?  Glad you asked! Here is the answer (based on averages).  The cost per year is $51,400 …per Month $4,283 …Per Week $988 …Per Day $141 a day. This support includes housing, salary, children’s education, medical expenses, retirement and more.

I want to challenge you to consider basing your Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Family Goal on the cost of sending a missionary for a month, a week, or even a day. Yes, that may mean not eating out once or twice during the next three months, so you can support a missionary for a day. 

Our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal is $4,000.  To date our church has sacrificially given $360 towards our goal.  That is awesome but I believe we can exceed our goal if each one of us gives something extra for the next three months.  What are you willing to sacrifice so someone else can go and tell people about Jesus?


All for Jesus,

Bro. James

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