Tithing changes a young couples outlook on finances
…a church that taught the Bible based principle of tithing and its importance to the financial well being of the believer
Our story is a long journey of two very young adults (18 & 19) that didnâ€™t know much if anything about being married and even less about the Lord. What we did know is that money didnâ€™t come easy for either of us. My dad, an abusive alcoholic, left my mom to raise 6 children (ages 12 â€“ newborn) on her own. Though she made sure we went to church and she made sure there was never any alcohol in the house, we certainly didnâ€™t know what a godly marriage looked like. Shirleyâ€™s mom and dad on the other hand were married but never lived the easy life and came to Christ when Shirley was in her teens. Adding to the difficulty was the fact they were much older when they had Shirley, so she was raised largely by her siblings.
What we did learn from our parents was what it is to be dedicated and devoted to someone other than self. My mom demonstrated it as she sacrificed for me and my brothers and sisters every day. Shirley saw that in her parents too, she also saw what it was to be a giver. Even though her parents seemingly never had two nickels to rub together, they always found ways to give of their time and any money they did have.
As new Christians and as newlyweds these traits served us well, first the dedication and self sacrifice. As we determined to work together and to not let man separate or destroy what God had joined together. The giving came later. In fact, we lived our early married life as pseudo-Christians, we would be considered lukewarm. But when Cassandra (Cassi) was born, we began to realize we were now responsible for her upbringing and for making sure she and eventually her younger sister, Jordan, knew who Christ was and our responsibility to the both of them. This brought us back closer to the Lord. This in turn, brought us to a church that taught the Bible based principle of tithing and its importance to the financial well being of the believer.
Tithing was a foreign concept to me. Being raised on welfare until my younger brother was in school, when my mom went to work outside of the house for the first time, we never had money. We did give but it wasnâ€™t a tithe. Some would say she didnâ€™t have any money to tithe and in the natural; that was true. But knowing now what the Bible says about tithing, I wonder what could have been. I wonder if my mom could have experienced sooner the provision of God in a bigger way.
Thankfully, I had a godly wife. She knew enough to know the tithe was the Lordâ€™s. We started giving and as an enlisted man in the Army, that was a challenge. But what we saw, was God provide. Time after time, God provided. We never lacked any good thing. We came to realize that Godâ€™s promises truly are Yes and Amen! And when God told us to test Him in this, as He does in Malachi 3:10, He wasnâ€™t joking. He has brought us to a place where neither of us never ever considered being. As a child all I knew was poverty, as an adult, God has blessed us exceedingly abundantly more than I could have ever thought or imagined. And Epicenter Church is continuing to show us how God wants to use us. We truly believe we are blessed to be a blessing and we both strive and long for the day when the provision of God will allow us to really give to give in ways that astound. We want to see the lost, found we want to see the sick, healed and we want to see the poor and needy, fed and we want to see the day when the change is evident as Epicenter truly becomes the epicenter of change in this community and beyond!