It brought a peace I was not expecting.
Who knew that a 6-hour financial class could bring years of peace? Not me. I wasn’t expecting that at all. After all, I was the one being dragged there by an eager spouse. I was convinced that a budget would never work after watching my parents try and fail numerous times growing up. But something needed to change, big time, so I went.
Von and I were a pretty typical American Christian couple, loving God but living the world’s way financially. We both grew up in lower-middle-class families, and felt like we were pretty frugal. We didn’t buy extravagant things, but we had just gotten out of college and felt like we “should be able to afford” some luxuries that we hadn’t had during the college years. So now we had a car payment, two mortgages on the same house, and student loans. Ah, the American Dream! But we also were now down to one income since baby #1 arrived. We were really struggling to pay the monthly bills, let alone the emergencies that kept popping up. Just thinking about paying the bills raised my blood pressure; talking about it was another problem entirely.
Let’s be honest, marriage is hard enough; add in a baby and financial stress, and peace is gone.
So as surprising as it was, Living Debt Free Workshop brought us a peace we never expected. You might wonder how. How? Well first, it made us realize that the money isn’t ours, it’s God’s. He’s entrusted it to us to take care of us and to bless others. When it’s not yours, it takes a little pressure off. I don’t have to hold on so tight because it belongs to my Father who loves me!
Secondly, it made us look at real numbers and figure out what our income really was and what our expenses really were. Our needs versus our wants, and the bottom line. While that sounded scary at first, not knowing and always guessing caused far more fear! Asking, will I be able to pay for this? The first time I wrote a check to pay for yet another trip to the shop for our old van, and I KNEW that there was money in the account to pay for it, was my “ah ha” moment! Peace had arrived!
Thirdly, it allowed us to choose where to put the money that God had entrusted us with, to use it most efficiently and generously. That ability to choose was huge! And to know that the choice wasn’t permanent, but could be changed as needs changed, while still keeping within our means. And because of this ability to choose, we were able to be more generous and debt started falling away. That was peace right there!
Lastly, talking about money was no longer an emotionally charged blame game. We were now a team, working together on solving a problem, and dreaming together. Ok, this may sound weird, but we actually LIKE talking about money now. Crazy, right?! Peace, once again.
After we saw the change in our lives, we had to share it! So, about 13 years ago we started teaching financial bible studies and classes, and have had the privilege of working one-on-one with singles and couples to help them along the same journey. We would love to share this peace with you!
If you are looking for some Biblical financial tools for 2020, we would like to invite you to join us for the Living Debit Free Workshop on February 1 from 9:00am – 3:00pm in the MCC Fellowship Hall! Practical topics including what the Bible says about money, how to set up a spending plan, saving, debit payoff, and more! Lunch and child care provided! Sign up in the foyer or contact me, Elisa, to learn more!