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What is your most precious possession? Would you be willing to give it away?

Three books of the Gospel record an event that demonstrated such love and sacrifice, that Judas, the disciple in charge of the moneybag, questioned the action. 

Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, broke an alabaster jar of nard, poured it over Jesus’ head and feet, then wiped His feet with her hair. Nard, a powerful perfume from a plant grown in India was valued at more than a year’s wages. It was sealed in a jar that had to be broken in order to access the perfume. This possession may have been a family heirloom. Perhaps it was her dowry.

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5 Financial Tips for Newlyweds

My wife, Ann, and I got married at Christmas our senior year in college. This year we will celebrate 39 years of marraige! Unfortunately, it took us 21 years before we were on the same page financially.

A Crown Study was what finally got us on the same page about our money in 1999. There is so much freedom when spouses are united around what the Bible says about money and setting proper goals. But that doesn't make it easy! 

No matter how long you have been married, it is difficult to get on the same page as your spouse about money. But there's no better time to start than now, especially for young couples.

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8 Tips for an Affordable Wedding

Weddings are expensive! With the average cost of a wedding at $26,645, I am very thankful to have 4 boys! My church recently
announced the upcoming wedding of a young couple. The event will take place after our morning service, followed by a potluck and wedding cake provided by the ladies in the church. How practical is that!

A simple, beautiful and memorable celebration is possible if you ignore what the world says you need. Here are is my advice for throwing an affordable wedding and tips from Trent Hamm at TheSimpleDollar.com:

1. Decide how much you can spend. A specific and intentional budget is a must for planning a wedding. There are a lot of helpful guides online that you can use as a reference to how much you need to budget. No matter how tempting, don't spend more than you have budgeted for! 

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4 tips to raise your children to become financially independent

Third John 1:4 says, “I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the Truth.” Amen to that!  I would add my own corollary. I have no greater relief than to see my children able to pay their own way when they become adults.

We all want to help our children financially, but it is more important to teach them to become financially independent.

Here are some tips:

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What are your plans for Valentine's Day?

Valentine’s Day can be an expensive day! Last year an estimated $19 billion was spent on this man-made holiday. As people who desire to steward well, yet show our love, we can find budget-friendly, creative alternatives to honor those we hold dear.

So here is my advice for not breaking the bank to honor your love:

  • Instead of going out, try cooking new recipes together.
  • Support a local coffee shop and try some new flavors.
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What Should Valentine’s Day Cost You?

Originally posted on the Christian Post on February 10.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

 

Dear Chuck,

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I wonder if it’s really necessary to spend a lot of money on a holiday that feels a bit made up. I’m feeling manipulated but I don’t want to disappoint my wife. Is Valentine’s Day worth celebrating, and how much is too much?

Husband Needs Help

Dear Husband,

As a husband myself, I understand that Valentine’s Day can be an expensive day! Last year an estimated $19 billion was spent on this holiday. As people who desire to be good stewards and still show our love, we can find budget-friendly, creative alternatives to honor those we hold dear.

So here is my advice for not breaking the bank to honor your love.

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Want to know how to avoid fighting about money and have a better marriage?

My wife and I are working on a book together right now on this topic. It will be published and available early next year, but in the meantime we will share some of our tips and advice. 

In every home, it is vital that at least one of you takes the responsibility to be the Peacemaker. Now it is even better if you are both assuming this responsibility, because it is almost impossible to avoid misunderstandings, hurts, and stress over money in any home. The question is not if you will have stress and arguments, but how you will resolve them.

Nicky Gumbel, founder of the Alpha Course, has a wonderful way to frame the role of the peacemaker. It is worthy of writing on a note and posting it in your home to see everyday. 

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Baywatch Bummer – Lessons from Divorce Issues

Originally posted at Christian Post July 15, 2016.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can ask Chuck your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

 Dear Chuck,

I saw recently that the former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff headed to court to try and challenge the judicial order to pay his ex-wife $21K a month in alimony. I’ve read his assets went from $1.2 million in the bank to $600 after his divorce. What happened here, and how can I avoid this kind of financial fall?

Bummed for Baywatch Star.

Dear Bummed,

After decades of being known as “the most watched man on TV,” actor David Hasselhoff said in legal documents that his finances are a disaster, telling the court that his monthly expenses are $72,415 a month, including $21K in alimony to ex-wife Pamela Bach, and more than $18K a month going to support his two adult children who live with him. He’s asking the court for some relief, including an end to the alimony payments from the breakup of his marriage in 2006.

There is a lot for all of us to learn from this tragic story.

Famous, infamous, or unknown to the world, it is best to work to stay married because divorce is disastrous for everyone. And it’s been that way from the very beginning. In Matthew 19, the Bible records this exchange between Jesus and religious leaders of the day on the subject of marriage.

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Does God Really Require Fathers to be the Breadwinner?

Originally posted at Christian Post June 17, 2016.

Dear Chuck,

As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, it seems to me that today’s dads are under pressure of all kinds as well as having to endure being the butt of the joke too much of time. Father may not always know best, but Hollywood makes dads appear weak, stupid and clueless. What kind of leadership does God require of husbands and fathers? And does God require men to be the primary breadwinners, bringing home more than their wives? My wife and I both work, and I’m not sure how God sees that.

Duel Income Dad


Dear Dad,

Your question raises a common confusion: the distinction between leader and provider, and how God instructs men on both. God the Father – the image that we are given in scripture for the highest and best leader of all – provides us with a template for understanding what is expected of men … and what is not. In the Bible, God lays out a chain of command, which does not subjugate, but rather organizes how people work together, and at the foundation of the structure is sacrificial love by the leader who is held to the highest standard.

When it comes to organizing leadership, 1 Corinthians 11:3 puts it like this, “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” In this outline, we see God detailing who is accountable for whom in relationship. God, out of love for the world, sent His Son to die for us. He made a plan to care for all of us. He asks the most of Himself. The husband is told to lay his life down for his wife and family as well, following God’s example. Accountability does not equal tyranny, but rather describes a sacrificial relationship.

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Do you consider it “Financial Infidelity” when you hide financial information from your spouse?

Recently, I was interviewed for an article in Fortune Magazine about a survey on “financial infidelity”, and they said this, “One in twenty people in the U.S. admit to having started secret bank accounts or credit cards without their partner’s knowledge.”

Another headline on the topic in The Guardian observed: “Cheating isn’t always sexual – many admit to hiding financial information from their partners, and a frank discussion may be the best way to approach the issue.”  I don’t do this very often, but I agree with the media on this one!

When the Bible says that two become one in marriage, it acknowledges something that many of us understand painfully well – coming together is a process. Merging finances is one of the hardest things a couple does together. And in counseling couples, I have found that there does come a point at which couples can undermine their marriage with financial secrets.

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