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Giving As a Couple With Bob Doll

FaithFi: Faith & Finance | Jun 12, 2024


Show Notes

Knowing where and how to give to God’s Kingdom can be a challenge for any one person…but all the more so if you’re married.

It’s beautiful when couples agree on how to manage their money—how much to spend and save…but finding agreement on giving is just as important. Today, Bob shares what he and his wife, Leslie, learned about it.

Bob Doll is the CEO and CIO of Crossmark Global Investments. He regularly contributes to Faith and Finance and other media outlets, such as Bloomberg TV, Fox Business, and CNBC. 

The Foundation of Giving

Financial disagreements are common in marriages, and the Bible provides wisdom on handling money in over 120 passages. This connection between our spiritual lives and finances is crucial—God wants us to integrate our faith with our financial decisions (Matthew 6:25, 33).

Five Core Premises for Giving

In their home, Bob and Leslie follow five guiding principles:

  1. God Owns It All: The question isn’t how much to give but how much to keep.
  2. We’re Temporary Residents: We’re on earth briefly and in heaven eternally.
  3. Send It Ahead: You can’t take wealth with you but can invest in eternal treasures (Matthew 6:19-21).
  4. Increase Your Standard of Giving, Not Living: As Randy Alcorn puts it, “God prospers us by raising our standard of giving.”
  5. Give While Alive: They prefer to give their money away during their lifetime.

Navigating Differences in Giving Preferences

Bob and Leslie have different giving styles—Leslie prefers focusing on a few causes, while Bob prefers to give broadly. They’ve learned to compromise and respect each other’s preferences. Each initiates about 20% of their giving individually in their system, while they jointly decide on the remaining 60%.

Structuring Their Giving

Their giving strategy involves a pyramid approach:

  • Top Tier: Large gifts to a few organizations they’re deeply involved with and trust.
  • Middle Tier: Causes they know well but are less involved in.
  • Bottom Tier: Smaller donations to various ministries or individuals.

A Practical Process for Giving Decisions

Here’s the process Bob and Leslie follow:

  1. Pray Together: Remember that it’s God’s money, and aim to be a faithful steward.
  2. Respect Each Other: Listen to each other’s voices and be open to the Spirit’s guidance.
  3. Be Strategic: Research potential opportunities and be mindful of red flags.
  4. Engage Personally: Get involved with some of your giving to maintain the joy and avoid feeling like a checkbook.
  5. Allow Flexibility: Be open to new ideas and understand that some giving may be seasonal.
  6. Learn from Mistakes: Don’t dwell on mistakes; learn from them and strive to be faithful.

Key Truths to Remember

Bob concludes by reminding us of three critical truths:

  • Time is Short
  • The Need is Great
  • The Cost is High

Investing in God’s Kingdom yields eternal returns, far surpassing any earthly investment. As believers, we’re called to do “above and beyond” for the honor and glory of God’s name, our good, and the benefit of others.

For more detailed guidance, see their article, How to Plan Your Giving as a Married Couple.” 

On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:

  • Both my parents are in their 80s. And my mom didn't work a lot. She stayed home with us. And then my dad worked, you know, work the job for a long time. And someone told her that if something happened to him, she could not draw his social security and that she wouldn't be able to draw his pension. So I didn't know if there was something that they could do about the retirement so she could pull it since he had worked all those years and made that money. Could you give me advice on any of this?
  • I'm updating my will now that I live in Texas. Is it God's will for me to give my children a percentage of the funds that the Lord has gathered for me rather than splitting it three ways for them? I would like to give it to two to three nonprofit organizations I support now.

Resources Mentioned:

Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.

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