I am really curious what others think about this series that I have been posting. I'd love comments! Here is part 3 of the series from Kristi at Courageous Homekeeping:
Oh boy, oh boy! Am I geared up for this subject today! I have some really great things that I think God has revealed to me in order to really get to the heart of this subject. I was going to put this verse at the end of my part 2 post, but it was just so good and I was encouraged by a friend to really unpack this issue…so I’m taking the advice! If you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 of this series yet, please do that before continuing on…I’m starting at the beginning and building on the ideas, so you’ll need to catch up first.
I read something the other day while studying this subject that I found really, really interesting. Do you ever have those moments when you’re reading the Bible and you read something that absolutely leaps off the pages at you? Maybe you’ve even read it before, but all of a sudden God just opens your eyes to a new way to look at it? I sure hope you’ve had that experience, cause if not, you’re totally missing out! Such was the case the other day, when I read this passage in Hebrews. I’m not a Bible scholar or anything, and so I can’t speak with authority whether these verses were really meant to go together or not, maybe he was just making a list…but since they’re right next to each other, it seems like there may be a good reason.
Hebrews 13: 4-5 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
I find a few interesting things there that should be considered. First of all, we’ve all heard that part of the verse, “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you”. Originally, God said this to Joshua as He was telling him about how he was going to go back and win the promised land. And now it is quoted here in reference to being content and not having a love of money. Could it be that God has to remind us that He will take care of us, especially when we are faced with what looks to be an impossible situation? Taking back the promised land seemed to be an impossible situation. Learning how to be content, not envious, and not “stuff-driven” seems like an impossible situation sometimes too, doesn’t it?
I also find it interesting that the part about being content, not loving money, etc comes directly after the part about honoring marriage and keeping the marriage bed pure. Do you think there’s any correlation there? The part about being sexually immoral is pretty self-explanatory. But what about the part about the adulterer? Is that also self-explanatory? I would argue that the word ‘adultery’ can mean several different things other than just having sex with someone who is not your spouse. I believe that the word adultery could also mean sinning against your spouse and being unfaithful to the marriage vows…completely apart from the act of sex. So then…does that mean that keeping the marriage bed pure might possibly have something to do with money– loving it? Or learning how to be content with what you have and not envious of others? Could it be that the “Love of money” can somehow affect the purity of the marriage bed?
Whoa. Did that just rock your world like it did mine?
Here’s the big idea. You are selfish. I am selfish. We live in an incredibly selfish society. We want big houses. We want nice, new cars. We want our kids in the “best” private schools. We want nice furniture. We want what we want and we want it now. We are motivated by money. Our identities are wrapped up in which neighborhood we live in and what kind of car we drive. And the terrible, dangerous reality is that our society caters to our selfishness. Want a new car? Sure, go get one! No money down and only $450 a month car payment! Want new furniture? Sure! Check out our 90 days same as cash payment plan! Want a new wardrobe? Sure! Here’s a credit card, go get whatever you want and you only have to pay a little bit of the total next month! No worries! We can have everything that we want and we don’t even have to have the money to pay for it. Right?
And could it be… could it be, that we have elevated our standard of living above our marriages? If the Bible warns us against having a love of money directly after telling us to keep our marriage bed pure, could it mean then, that loving money, valuing money could somehow be dishonoring to our marriages? If we are out working to bring in money so that we can afford that big house, and keep up that standard of living, and yet we have no time or energy left at the end of the day for our husbands and our children, do you think we are honoring God?
I think, that actually breaks the heart of God.
Some of you may read these words and think, “I agree with you…but you have a choice. I don’t have a choice.”
That. Right there. Is a deep, dark, lie right from your Enemy. You have a choice. You ALWAYS have a choice when it comes to how we order our priorities. When Josh and I first got married, I was working and both of us were making right about minimum wage. When I got pregnant with my first son 11 months after we were married, (Surprise!! Wasn’t planning on that one!) I ended up quitting my job because I was working around food, and the morning sickness was awful…and my employer wasn’t real supportive. I always knew that I would be a stay at home mom, so why not go ahead and start early?
We lived for several months on one income, barely over minimum wage. And then Josh lost his job. Thankfully, God provided right away for us, without much drama or time to panic, another job where he was earning more! A full $10 an hour job! I remember feeling rich! He had that same job for several years, and then moved on to another job, where he earned something like $11.50/12 an hour. We had two kids at that point. Money was never something we’ve had a lot of. We’ve never made perfect financial decisions…in fact, we’ve made a lot of financial mistakes along the way. But we made that decision long ago, to value me being at home with our (now) 5 kids. We still are not rolling in money. But over the years, we have NEVER gone hungry. God has ALWAYS been faithful. He has always honored our decision for me to be home.
How did we do it?
We’ve lived in tiny places.
We’ve never had a brand new car.
I buy 95% of our clothing second-hand or on clearance. Same goes for our household items.
I make meal plans and cook mostly from scratch.
I use coupons.
The list could go on and on. But my point in this, you have a choice. Do you have to live in that neighborhood? Can you sell that car and get something cheaper? Do your kids have to attend that private school?
God says, “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.” That is His promise to you. There are so many verses that could go here…throughout the Bible God promises to take care of us. Always.
On the other side of the coin is the verse in Psalms (106:15) that says, “He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”
I don’t know about you, but that is frightening to me. I can probably talk God into giving me what I want, if I ask enough…I’m really good at talking people into things…just ask my friends and my husband. And God has shown that He is willing to be moved by us. But is getting what I want, worth gaining a leanness in my soul?
Don’t hear me wrong…it is not sinful to have a big house or a new car. Not in the least. But what I do believe is sinful, is placing those things above our marriage and above our families.
I also believe that a way to cultivate that “leanness of our soul” is to not allow God the opportunity to take care of us. He wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to know that He will provide for us. He wants us to know how important we are to Him. And sometimes we don’t allow that. We get caught up in our own strength, and our own ability to provide for ourselves. And we miss the absolute joy of having a dependence on God.
I am absolutely so excited for part 4 of this series. What? You didn’t think I was done, did you? There is definitely going to be a part 4…and likely a part 5 to wrap it up. But part 4 is going to primarily written by my husband, from the perspective of a husband who’s wife has stayed at home. I’m really excited to not only give him an opportunity to write, but to hopefully help us women understand how a man feels about this subject. So stay tuned!