Is it wrong for a husband and wife to have separate bank accounts?

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Question: "Is it wrong for a husband and wife to have separate bank accounts?"

For various reasons, couples want separate bank accounts. Money is the number-one cause of problems in marriage, and because the issue of finances is the most common source of arguments in marriage, engaged couples would do well to take the time to decide how these things will be settled prior to entering into marriage. The Bible speaks very clearly about the joining of a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:25-33), and those verses all show that the two shall become one entity, with the man as the spiritual leader and the woman in submission to him. This is the principle which should be brought to bear upon the issue of finances in general and separate bank accounts in particular.

A couple who are truly “one” will be one in all areas of their marriage. Most importantly, they will be of one mind regarding spiritual matters. Men are called to be "priests" of their homes (1 Corinthians 11:3), which means that they are to be the spiritual leaders and to bring together the family to serve the Lord. Wives are to submit to their husbands’ leadership, helping to bring up children in the “training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). In parenting, as in all things within a marriage, unity and harmony are essential.

This unity of spirit is to be present in temporal matters as well, where husband and wife are again to be of one mind and one heart. This means that money and possessions are seen as belonging to both partners equally. Just as there is no “your child and my child,” there should be no distinction between “my money and your money.” All is shared equally in a true partnership, and no partnership is more equal than two people united in Christ. Therefore, there is really no reason to have separate bank accounts. Usually the situation of separate bank accounts occurs when there is a severe issue with trust, and in such a case there are greater problems in the marriage than just where the money resides. Lack of trust is deadly to a marriage, and if it exists, prayer is crucial to seek the wisdom of the Lord (James 1:5) on how to resolve this. The Bible says that we are one with our spouses, and so we should be resolved to show this unity to our children, our friends, our church, and the watching world. Where conflict over money exists, there is an opportunity to grow in love and most importantly in trust to bring together the entire family for God's purpose.

Recommended Resource: Money and Marriage God's Way by Howard Dayton

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Is it wrong for a husband and wife to have separate bank accounts?

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