Friday, October 5, 2007

Tithing for the 1st time

Trayc started attending our church when he was, well actually his mom was pregnant with him so, since he was born and I started attending our church in the 4th grade so we've grown up together in the same grade and hearing the same preaching our whole life. Our church always spends the month of September in the Book of Malachi preaching on tithing and then in October we have a special service called "The Chest of Joash" where the entire church takes turns walking down to the chest and placing their pledge (their intended tithe for the year) inside, it is an unbelievably touching service as you watch people "bring their tithe into the storehouse". But hearing the message on tithing and actually applying it are two different things! Trayc and I have were both raised in Christian homes, had the same moral values, were both saved at an early age, we lived for the Lord, we took our Bibles to school everyday, we witnessed, we went on church visitation, we didn't drink, we didn't smoke, we kept ourselves pure until our wedding night and we tithed, but the tithing stopped when we got married. Why? Well, the same reason most people don't start tithing - we didn't think we could afford to. We got married in Oct. 1990 and if you recall "Desert Storm" started in Jan. 1991 and 1000's of people were laid off their jobs, Trayc was one of them, so besides being newlyweds and trying to make it on our own for the first time, we were now living on just my income and the only thing we saw in our budget that we could stop paying was the tithe. We did not intend on stopping for good, just until we could get stable again. Well, I'm embarrassed to say that 17 years of marriage have gone by and we never started back. Every September when the tithing message was preached I knew it would become a discussion we would have on the way home from church but I kept insisting that we couldn't afford to and as the years passed by we gradually became in $30,000 debt. As of March 2007, we are completely out of debt, we have no credit cards, no car payments, we only use cash and we have been living on Trayc's income alone for 3 years. So, when the September tithing messages came this year I honestly didn't have a reason not to tithe, but to be really honest, I have also never felt so convicted about it until this year - maybe it's where we are this year and who our reliance is on - solely on the Lord. Tristan has caused us to become even closer to the Lord and certainly only relying on Him and daily seeking out His will for our lives because really nothing else in our lives has mattered since August 15th. So, tonight Trayc sweetly said (as he does about everything), "I want to talk to you about something and I want you to try and have an open mind about it" I said, "okay!" He said, "I really feel convicted about us not tithing. I feel like we have given everything in our lives to the Lord and we have already given Tristan to Him but we haven't given him our all until we trust and obey Him by tithing." I said, "I agree", he said, "you do?" I said, "yes, I have felt convicted to and I realize this is the only thing we have not turned over to the Lord". He said, "I don't believe the Lord would take Tristan away from us any sooner just because we don't tithe but I want to feel like we have nothing else to turn over to Him." We agreed that come this Sunday morning, during the Chest of Joash, we will, for the first time again in 17 years begin tithing no matter what. So, a part of me is embarrassed that it has taken me this long to become convicted about tithing, but at the same time I am so excited, excited that we will be doing what the Lord is asking us to do and that we will be doing it with a pure heart and a sweet spirit! What's really special is that we are beginning this at a time when our financial expenses regarding Tristan are very uncertain but we know the Lord will take care of us as long as we are obedient to Him. Please pray that even when finances become tight we will not falter on our commitment to the Lord. We are looking forward to sharing our tithing testimony as it develops.

Malachi 3:10 says: "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And prove 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 such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it."

1 comment:

Kim said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I think a lot of people never start up tithing again because they are too embarassed to admit they quit. I am the same way - I haven't tithed in ages because I am so in debt. But I do know that God wants our obedience.

Praying for you and your precious boy...