The pressure of getting married young continues to increase, especially when you think you’ve found the one you want to settle down with, but you are still struggling through living expenses and studying full time.
Should you settle down and trust God to work out your finances?
Or should you wait until you are financially stable to support a wife and family?
Well each situation is very different, given background, age, and family support. But there are some basic principles to remember when figuring out what God would have you do:
DON’T LET FINANCES DECIDE YOUR FUTURE
Money is not everything, but if you don’t have it, then you complicate everything. You don’t need to be rich, but you do need to provide.
The goal is to do all you can to be not only emotionally and spiritually ready for marriage and a family, but also financially ready. Toward that end, Pastor Mark and Grace Driscoll offer five principles from God’s great Word.
1. YOU NEED MONEY
If you want to be a husband and a father, you need money. You need a lot of other things, like theological convictions and a love for your family, but you also need money. Kids get hungry fast if all they get for dinner is a lecture on the atonement. And while a hug is a big deal, kids also need a pair of shoes and a warm coat.
Don’t be so spiritual they are impractical.
2. YOU NEED MONEY FOR YOURSELF
Before a man gets a wife or a child, God the Father expects that man to take care of himself. If a man cannot provide for himself, he should not take on the additional responsibilities that a family brings.
Genesis 2:24 says, “a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
3. YOU NEED MONEY FOR YOUR FAMILY
Once you have money for yourself, you will need more money for more people as you get a wife and children. There’s nothing wrong with your wife working a job, but the Bible does lay a major responsibility on the wallet of the man, saying in 1 Timothy 5:8, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Your family is your responsibility in the sight of God.
Part of wise stewardship is trying to figure out how to get your wealth to extend as many generations into the future of your family as possible, just like it says in Proverbs 13:22
4. YOU NEED WISE MONEY COUNSEL
A wise financial plan has to account for how you earn money, how much of it you tithe to the Lord, how you save money, how you invest money, how you pay your taxes, and how you spend money. It has to forecast your future needs. It has to account for rainy days, unforeseen expenses, medical costs, and possible unemployment for a season.
If you have not done so already, you need to ask some other men for counsel on your particular case. If you have a wise father, ask him for counsel. If your girlfriend or fiancée has a wise father, ask him for counsel. If you know a godly older man, with a good marriage and family, who is a good financial steward, meet with him respectfully and ask him for counsel.
5. YOU NEED TO WORK HARD
Any young man who does not have both wisdom and a good work ethic ends up looking for a life piggyback from his mom, girlfriend, or government.
Work hard. Proverbs 16:26 says, “A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on.” And Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10–11, “We would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.”
WORK IS GOOD
Work was given before sin entered the world, therefore making work good (Gen. 2:15).
But because of the curse, both the man and the woman must now toil painfully at their work (Gen. 3:16–19). Work is good for a man, especially a young man. Ecclesiastes 3:22 says, “There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot.”