How to deal with tithing?
First, there is no right or wrong way to deal with this issue, it is best decided couple by couple.
Here are some ideas of what works for some couples in a mixed faith marriage.
(Sometimes you need some ideas to get the juices flowing in order to brainstorm solutions for your unique situation. Here are some ideas to consider:)
-In a 2 income household each partner pays or does not pay on his/her income.
-In a 1 income household (note: both work to make this income possible) spilt the discretionary income 50/50 and then the believing partner pays on his/her 50% of the discretionary income.
-5% paid to tithing, 5% paid to another charity.
-If paying 10% in tithing is non negotiable for one partner, then the other partner gets to also choose a non negotiable spending category in the family budget that is a comparable amount (eg. house cleaning, vacation fund, etc.)
Keep in mind:
-Tithing is often more than just about money for both people in the relationship. For one spouse, it also ties into temple recommend, eternal salvation, and personal righteousness. It also may be hard for the transitioning spouse to continue to support an organization that has caused pain or injustice.
-Many bishops are understanding of these situations and do not “punish” the believing partner. It may be worth a conversation. This is not universally true for every bishop.
-You can also pay on line so the bishop is not directly involved.
-Money is power in our society, you may learn some important things in your marriage about the balance of power.
PS – This post is a bit backwards for me. I do not usually teach action items. If tithing is an issue in your mixed faith marriage the first step is to explore your emotions. Yes, you read that right. Your emotions.
Often our emotions are key to what is really going on. We often use tithing as a reason to avoid the real issue. It is a symptom but not the actual root cause. So you may be well served to ask – Is it power? Is is choice? Is is betrayal? Is it fear? Is it something else?
If you are ready to dig deep into your emotions and find the real cause of these surface level disagreements. I am here to help.