If one spouse balks about tithing, is he/she stealing the blessings from the other one?
|More Questions Than Answers
By Marilyn Mackenzie
I do not pretend to understand or to follow all of God’s commands, but I do know that once I GET something, I do not ever lose that knowledge. Once I have figured something important out about God’s word, I am forever convicted.
My grandmother was such a blessing to me. She had a very simple faith, and a very simple way of explaining things. She often said that she only had a seventh grade education and because of that she had a childlike understanding of God. Since the Bible tells us that we must become like children, I have always considered that my grandmother was blessed to have that childlike understanding. And I was blessed to learn from her.
Grandma’s teachings included the fact that we must tithe our time, our treasure and our talents. To her, this was just a given – because it was written in the Bible. She taught me that if I was awake for 16 hours a day, then 1.6 hours belonged to Him. She reminded me that whatever I earned, I should certainly give at least ten percent back to Him. And she was rather adamant that whatever talents one had should be shared with God and the church.
The Bible is that simple. If it says that if we DO THIS, God will DO THAT, we must remember that the opposite is also true. If we DO NOT DO THIS, then either we will NOT GET THAT from God, or we will GET SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT. The whole thing is rather simple, simple enough for a child to understand.
I always remembered Grandma’s words, and have been actively involved in church. But it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I really GOT something, something that even if I tried I could not forget. I realized first that God sends all the people needed to each individual church organization or group. Secondly, I realized that individuals bring with them certain Spiritual gifts and talents. And next, I figured out that if a person is not sharing those gifts and talents with God and with the church, that they are really stealing from them both. Because of that conviction, I am never comfortable just being a “pew sitter.” I cannot sit back and watch as a church struggles, especially if the struggle is one where my gifts or talents would help.
Earlier today, I wrote an entry in my blog that included some words about tithing. If you have not yet read that, I would urge you to do so, so you understand the conflict in my own mind and heart about this. Within that blog entry are also two links for other things I have written about tithing. You might want to check those out as well. I’ll wait while you read all of those things…..
This is the blog entry: "Some storms in life are okay"
Here is one of the links in the blog entry: http://ezinearticles.com/?Who-Is-Really-Tested?&id=367412 (The other one – about time, talent and treasure is basically covered above where I have written about my grandmother.)
Okay, here’s how God touched my heart today.
Remember, I know that God does provide. I know that God can bless your socks off, if you just do as He asks – in this case, tithe. I have tithed, both in a marriage and as a single mom. In each case, I received blessings that were just too numerous to count.
Some folks might think that you can tithe, go out and buy your groceries, then wait for God to help you pay the rest of the bills. But, as I understand things, that’s not what God has in mind. The house or apartment that you live in is a blessing that God has already provided for you, and you’re supposed to be good stewards of the blessings God has already provided. Rather, if tithing is your goal, then you should tithe, pay your bills, and then trust God to provide food and other essentials. Basically, that’s what I did as a single mom. I tithed, paid the rent, and then God provided, often in ways that surprised me and always in ways that blessed me. By doing things this way, His way, we’re most certainly showing that we trust Him, and that’s what God really wants to see.
So, here are the questions I’m pondering today.
What if a husband and wife cannot agree on tithing? What if one balks, while the other wants to tithe? Is the balking spouse stealing the blessings from the willing one?
If both parents ignore this test of God’s provision, are they stealing the blessings from their children?
I don’t have the answers to these. Do you?