(A note before we start: Regardless if you practice the Christian faith, another faith, or no faith at all, tithing or making offerings is found in all major world religions and is a universal principal of the earth. What you sow, you will reap from. You can’t get away from it. So we have chosen to use this principal to our benefit and as a form of gratitude…here is our story…)
I know what it is like to look at other people and think “well if we made as much money as they do, it would be easy to tithe.” I know what it is like to have a spouse who isn’t on the same page about the subject. I know what it is like to write out a check to our church, while thinking about ALL of the other place that the money should be going. And, I know what it is like to be so frustrated at God, wondering when it would be our turn, and we wouldn’t have to “just get by” anymore.
But, I also know what it is like to be blessed. To be so completely overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness. For His gifts to be so abundant that I don’t feel worthy, afterall, we were just giving the minimum, our 10%.
Tithing has been a journey for my husband and I. And looking back on our 5 years of marriage and commitment to investing into the Kingdom, the rewards are far greater than anything that we could have ever imagined.
This is why we continue to tithe:
1) It builds our faith and brings blessings on our family:
Few things build your faith more than mailing a check for a bill that is due, knowing that you do not have enough money in your checking account to pay for it. Oh the stories we can tell of ALL of the times that God provided for us in ways we wouldn’t have ever thought of. Here are just a few:
– A $10,000 insurance check for hail damage to our house that allowed us to finish remodeling it when Tom was laid off.
– Getting a phone call from a gentleman to buy a car Tom had listed in Craigslist 5 months before, he thought the posting had expired. The guy showed up with cash and didn’t even try to talk Tom down.
– Receiving a check for a deposit return on a house I had lived in in COLLEGE
– An incredible job for Tom when we wanted to relocate closer to family…the benefit package was so good that Tom had to email back and clarify to make sure we weren’t reading it wrong.
– And most recently, the ability for us to cut-out my full-time income to stay home with the kids, and a year and half later find ourselves with a better lifestyle than we had with the income.
2) It gives us financial peace:
It’s no secret that money is generally the most disputed topic in marriage. The lack of money can be very, very stressful, and as a women, I desire the feeling of security in all aspects of my home. However, because of our track record now, we have the peace of mind that we will always be provided for. It is often at the last minute, and in ways we wouldn’t have expected, but we trust that any bill that comes into our house will be paid on time. And that many of our wants will be provided for in time as well.
3) It causes us to hang on more loosely to our things:
We have made sacrifices to be able to tithe each month. When I lost my job, Tom sold his new truck (which was not easy, he LOVED that truck, it was what he had always wanted), but now, we have replaced it with an equally nice vehicle. When he was unemployed, we sold just about anything that we could, but the house and “things” we have now, exceed anything that we got rid of. And if we had to do it all again, we would. God’s faithfulness has been SO evident that sometimes we joke “Well, maybe we should just give away our new car or house and see what God replaces it with” :)
4) It is setting a standard for our children:
Tom and I are first generation “tithers.” Don’t get me wrong, my parents are some of the most generous people I know, but when it comes to month in month out consistency, Tom and I are treading new ground for our family. But how awesome that our kids will be raised in a house where tithes and offerings are just a way of life. How cool for them to witness the fruit of it and be blessed because of it.
Tithing is a step of faith, and for most, it isn’t easy…at least not at first. But then it becomes a joy to give, because we serve such faithful God! Here are two things that have made it a little easier for us:
1) Pay your tithe FIRST. This is a must. I’m so glad that we can give electronically online to our church (The House) and don’t have to wait until the weekend. As soon as a check hits our account I go online and donate right away. Then it can’t be questioned or undone :)
2) Have a budget. Please, please, please do this! We went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and it rocked our financial world. We got serious about paying off debt and maintain a budget religiously now. This has really helped to take stress off of our financial situation. It has shown us that we really can afford to tithe when we thought we couldn’t. And, the months that we couldn’t afford to tithe? It provided concrete evidence for how God provided for us, time and time again, it has really helped to build our faith in this area!
So this is our story…I’m not sharing it with you to tell you what we “should” do as Christians, and definitely not to bring condemnation. I’m sharing it with you because it has changed our lives, and, chances are that you know in your spirit that it is the right thing to do. I would love for you to experience the freedom and blessings that it brings. And, I think it is ok to talk about the awesome things that God has done for us…it isn’t bragging, because it is equally available to everyone :)
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