Deliberate Planning


Peter Joseph

Keeping family and finance in harmony requires a deliberate effort to understand the function of both. Any disregard for such vital enlightenment will result in misunderstanding and full-blown conflict. So, let us first take a look at the function of finance. Finance or money is something for which we readily exchange our goods and services. So, finance is a circulating medium of exchange. However in the bible, finance is used in the context of stewardship to test and shape a person. Moreover, it is a means of glorifying God. (Philippians 4:11-12;Luke 16:11-13;Matthew 5:13-16; Malachi 3: 8-10). As such it is important to know that finance must never be a component of self-worth. Neither can it be a component or guarantee of contentment. Further, it is not a measure of success but part of God appointed vocation and stewardship. Russ Crosson (1995). The importance of finance to better the quality of life cannot be disputed. However, it must never become more important than people and God. It is a tool to enhance the quality of life and give glory to God. Amazingly, the God who gives us the power to get wealth also gives us family. (Psalm 68:5,6)
As for family, the functions are effective when the family members know the expectations of individuals in financial matters. Let us list briefly the functions of family. Included are reproduction, emotional closeness, socialization, status definition, and social control. In every function the expectation of what role finance plays is critical. The old saying is true, " you can't make love on a hungry belly “. Procreating, caregiving, education, socialization all have a price tag. Hence, every family who understand the function of family and the function of finance immediately see the need for budgeting and planning. Family budget eliminates a lot of conflict and provides order as well as freedom because the guidelines allow the family to live within its income. So, a family needs to harmonize family and finance in the budget. Every category needs to be listed (e.g. tithe, insurance, food, transportation, vacation, offering, mortgage etc.) Realistic amounts must support each category. Patience, humility, perseverance are important components to make sure the budget works. The harmony between the family and finance remains in tact when the budget works. This is valuable because our personality predisposes some to be impetuous in spending, while others could be more frugal. Hence, the need for patience, humility and perseverance. Remember, the goal is harmony.

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