I was warned. Young married couples tend to go into debt when first married because they need (want) so much. They want what Mom and Dad worked 25 years to get. My husband and I did pretty well in the beginning then we bought our first house. That was instant debt but so much more was added because we need new furniture, new appliances, new lamps, and the list goes on.
Before long we were up to our eyeballs, okay, over our heads in debt. We were struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck. My husband and I were getting tired of being in debt so we decided to give our debt to the Lord. We were also convicted that we needed to pay our debt because we created it. We started by repenting of using God’s provisions for selfish reasons, for mismanaging the things He had given us and promising to give Him control of our finances.
At the top of that list was tithing. We started with a little step of faith by tithing off of our net income for one year. We had to trust the Lord at His Word and so after that one year we started tithing off of our gross income. It never ceased to amaze me how month after month He met all our needs and we still had money left over. His word proved true. (Malachi 3:10)
My husband and I took a class at church, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and started to practice some of the principles in that program. We started to pay off credit cards and loans and our indebtedness declined. It was still a struggle but learning to lean on the Lord and trust Him was the benefit of our journey.
At one point in this journey my husband left his job but we continued to tithe, even the 2 weeks vacation he received when he left. That turned out to be a testimony to the person who collected the tithe in our Sunday School class. She wanted to give it back but we insisted that it was God’s money and He would take care of us, which He did.
It took 5 long years to get us out of debt. God is wonderful. It was not easy and we suffered through it. We ended up losing our house to fire and I lost my job in the midst of this but through it God delivered us from debt. My husband and I have been debt free for 13 years and we do not own a credit card and have not for over 13 years. Without a credit card I have to trust God for my provisions. As yet He has not let us down.
When I look at the lessons learned from this experience the one that stands out the most is that an extreme debt has to be paid by suffering. Just as Jesus suffered to pay our debt. He paid my debt on Calvary and that is for eternity. My financial debt was paid by my suffering but God was there through it all. I learned that I can trust Him with my needs. He is all I need. Jesus is sufficient.
Continually seeking Him,
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. — Malachi 3:10