How Love & Money Helps Couples Work Together
In 1986 while at a professional conference, financial advisor Don Blanton heard a presentation that changed the way he worked with clients. The lecture, a precursor to the Leading From Your Strengths profiles, outlined four personality types and their strengths. The descriptions intrigued Don, who was eager to help clients understand how they solve problems, process information, manage change and face risk. “When counseling couples about their finances, I noticed they usually had a much deeper issue than money,” says Don. “It was how they communicated with one another.”
Don believed that including personality profiles as part of his practice would help him serve clients at a higher level, and also allow couples to grow stronger by seeing one another’s differences as strengths, not weaknesses.
So when he formed MoneyTrax (a software development and training company for financial services professionals), Don invited emerging strengths leader Rodney Cox to speak at the company’s annual conference in what was the beginning of a unique ministry partnership.
Love & Money Meets a Need for Clients
There is no secret that the biggest area of conflict for couples is how they handle their finances. Management or mismanagement of money is named as the number one reason for divorce. From a personal standpoint, Don had taken the Leading From Your Strengths information to heart. “I was an ignorant man in understanding how the differences with my own spouse were meant to complete me, not frustrate me,” Don admits. As a believer, he knew others needed to understand God’s divine design for differences, citing Hosea 4:6: “People are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”
If clients could connect the dots and use their natural strengths in their marriages, Don reasoned, they could communicate on a higher level. That skill would transfer to how they manage their finances as well. He saw a tremendous ministry opportunity by using the Leading From Your Strengths profiles combined with a biblical perspective on money in his practice.
Together he and Rodney began leading Love & Money events in churches and soon collaborated on a Love & Money book, which gave people the opportunity to read about the message prior to a conference and allowed readers to go deeper afterwards, too.
Love & Money Impacts Couples Relationally and Financially
Love & Money speaks first to the love relationship and how to see Gods divine design in our differences. The money section covers how money works and how to be a better steward of resources. The financial focus is on the function of money from a biblical perspective and how to avoid, minimize or eliminate losses. Both the book and the event help couples identify their individual strengths and how those strengths contribute to the marriage.
The Love & Money experience has impacted marriages powerfully. In one instance an attorney and his wife, married 40 years, shared about a conversation they had during the conference, citing it as their most meaningful interchange in four decades together. The husband confessed that he had ruled his wife with an iron hand, holding her in an emotional prison. He asked for her forgiveness and committed to honoring her as the precious gift with which God had blessed him in order to complete him.
Love & Money: A Universal Message
“To serve someone, you must know them,” says Don. Today, he uses the Leading From Your Strengths profile with every client he counsels about finances. The profile results help Don know how to better serve his clients, and the data also opens the door for discussion between husband and wife, allowing each to see the strengths in the other and to understand how their differences complete them.
Learning how to love more deeply and manage finances more efficiently is a topic that interests nearly everyone, says Don. That is a big reason the message of the event and the book have resonated with so many people.
“Our desire is to help bring understanding to differences in marriages and a better understanding about how couples look at money,” says Don. “So they can live as one.”