Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Of Houses and Things

Today I am beginning a series of posts that share many of the things my pastor-husband and I have learned about money management and God's faithfulness to supply our needs. With the state of the economy today, perhaps these thoughts will give you ideas of how to survive financially when you lose a job or your income is reduced or inflation cuts into what you earn.

In 1972, my husband, a career Army officer, was advancing rapidly in rank when he felt God calling him into full-time ministry. But first, he needed to go to seminary. I knew our income would be drastically reduced. I had been enjoying the financial security his job afforded, and we were nearing the point where my dream of buying a house and early American furniture could soon be realized. Having grown up in a missionary's family, I did not see pastoring as the pathway to financial security. If we answered God's call, I felt my dream of owning our own home would probably not be realized for a long time.

Without realizing it, I had been sucked into the world's religion of materialism. Advertising on television and radio, in magazines and newspapers aims to create a "need" for a product, whether real or imagined.

The Lord reminded me of my favorite Scripture verse as a teenager: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). A look at the context showed me "these things" refer to material needs of food, clothing, shelter. God had certainly proven faithful to supply my needs and more in my years growing up in a ministry family. I could trust Him for my future too.

I can now testify that through our years of seminary, pioneering a church, 35 years of pastoring, and now in retirement, God has been faithful to meet all our needs and then some. To remain debt-free often required much self-discipline and planning, but isn't that what stewardship is all about?

Tomorrow's Blog: Part 2: Setting Goals and Priorities

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