Only a year into our marriage Ryan and I were $60,000 in debt. His car, my student loans, our credit cards. I was watching those credit card balances go higher each month instead of going down and grew very concerned. See, money was the only thing I could remember my parents ever fighting about…at least in front of us kids. I didn’t want that for my marriage, but I didn’t know what to do either.
I prayed, crying out, asking God for help. He answered by bringing a Christian radio program to my attention. I was sitting in traffic outside Fort Bragg, North Carolina when I heard the one-minute Money Matters show and knew that I would find what we needed to get this growing debt problem under control.
You can imagine me going to Ryan with the “great” news that we were going to become debt free and the way to start was to give a tithe,10% of our income, to God each week.
“What?” he said. “You’re telling me we already can’t meet our bills and that giving 10% to church is going to help somehow?”
Ryan said, “Okay,” and we’ve never looked back.
I didn’t have to tell Ryan the Bible verse about this, but we began learning together. I told him this was the only issue about which the Bible says to “Test” God and see what He will do, that He fulfills His promises.
Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way,” says the LORD of Armies. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. (Malachi 3:10 CSB)
Who doesn’t want the floodgates of heaven opened for them, pouring out blessing? Of course the “blessing” of God doesn’t mean He’s going to rain money down on you…or men. The awesome thing is He knows what the best gifts are for you, individually, as a couple, as a family.
We tithed. We began following a budget. We learned and applied the principles for handling money that are in the Bible. And in four years we paid off that last credit card. Another four years after that we had the savings to do an international adoption and bring our first children home from Ethiopia. At the same time, we saved and switched to used cars, so we have never had a car payment again.
Did you know when the military moves you overseas, God can provide you with a BMW? He did for us. We got a $500 beater (i.e. old, been-around-the-block vehicle). One time I remember heading to the grocery because we were bringing a large dish to some get together and I needed BBQ sauce. When I got there I found the BBQ sauce on sale for $.25 each. I think I bought eight. There were so many times I went to stores with my lists and found the very things I needed on sale. I wish I had written down every time this happened. A few times you might write it up to coincidence. But over and over and over. That’s not happenstance or Chaos Theory. That’s our God, coming through for our family. Coming through on this one promise with a mighty hand just as He comes through on all of His promises.
My heart soars into song.
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Kristin King began her study of the financial principles in the Bible during tight times and has never stopped learning and teaching. She recommends joining the Crown.org newsletter for uplifting testimonies, solid teaching and applications. Kristin is also available for speaking engagements about this, women on mission, and Future Hope Africa project. Message her on Facebook at Kristin F. Chaudoin King for more information.