Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Proverbs and Money - Freedom

I started looking at Proverbs and Money because I was asking God to free me from the chronic money worry in my life. I wanted to get personal in this post, and glorify God for what He has done, and how He has done "a good work in me" and brought "it to completion." (Philippians 1:6)

Its amazing to me that we can search in one place, but God will find us in another. I was looking for freedom from money worry in Proverbs, but God freed me in Ephesians. Ephesians 5:22-24 says:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 
"What do submission and money worry have to do with each other?" you may be wondering. For me, everything.

It all started with a fight. Todd and I both wanted to make some changes in how we did things financially. We disagreed on how to make those changes, thus the fight. I thought he was wrong; he was just angry. As I prayed through our fight that day, the Lord showed me that I was the one who was wrong. Part of how God did that was from listening to this sermon by Mars Hill Church pastor, Mark Driscoll, which 'just happened' to be already on my itunes account.


See, God made Todd head of my house, head of my family, and head of me. That means he lovingly, sacrificially, gives up his life for us as a family, and in return, we give him the leadership and respect that God commands that we give him. That includes our finances. What I understood as I listened to Mark Driscoll speak was that my worry about our finances came from two places:

1. I didn't have peace because I was in sin. Even though I was unaware of my sin. Peace comes from obedience, not sin.

2. I was taking on responsibility that wasn't mine. I felt the burden to make the right decision. That burden wasn't mine! AND, I was missing out on God's blessing. God gave me Todd not to RULE over me, dominate me, boss me around. God gave me Todd to CARE for me, provide for me, lead me, and take responsibility for me and our family. I was taking the responsibility and burden that God gave to Todd and putting it on myself. What a fool I am! I felt worry because I was carrying a burden that was not mine. The truth is, Todd takes much better care of me than I can care for myself. He is more aware of my needs and generous with me than I am. I spent 11 years missing out on the blessings of being led by my husband. He is a good, kind, loving, generous man. But I didn't trust him. In my pride, I thought I could do it better, and I'm the one who suffered.

I humbled myself before God, and then Todd, and repented of my sin. I had failed to submit in this area for our entire marriage. And I was the one who was reaping the fruit of my sin -- worry! Todd, and God!, of course forgave me, and we moved ahead into uncharted territory: Todd leading our finances.

We did bills a couple days later with Todd at the helm for the first time in our married life. And I saw him shoulder the burden (so I didn't have to!) for the first time. I saw him look critically at our budget for the first time. And the truth is, he is the one with the administrative gifts! Not me! He is a much better problem solver and critical thinker than I am. I realized that night how badly in error I had been, but also, how grateful I was to watch my husband pick up his responsibility and carry it - for me.

The first decision Todd made was to sell his car. I had been telling him it was foolish for many months, but I was the fool. Within a week, God had provided a new car for free. And in one month's time, we saved $160 in gas alone! God added blessing to our obedience.

It's been a month since we made the change. And I tell you, I feel free! I don't feel responsible! Because I'm not. I play an active role in managing our monthly cash flow, but I don't feel the burden of managing our money, big picture. What a relief! Because ultimately, Todd is responsible before God for every decision he makes. So even if I disagree, it doesn't matter. That's for God to work out, not me.

Living God's way brings peace and blessing. We are called to take that step of faith and believe Him and what He says in His Word. Then we can watch Him show His faithfulness!!! I would encourage you to do the same.

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