A common phrase is “opposites attract”, and when it comes to my husband and I’s views on finances, this could not be more true. I’m what you call the “saver” , and he is what you call the “spender”.
At first these two separate views caused tension. When we were first married, we were young graduate students working multiple part time jobs while both going to school full time. We lived by a checkbook, and there was no single free spirited spending. We each had to check in with the other before we spent any money, because a few dollars was a big deal during this time.
While I was busy teaching my husband the importance of a budget and saving, I didn’t realize how much I had to learn from him. I came to see was my husband’s kind and compassionate heart: he would give away everything to help someone else. I can remember some of those first few months where he would tell me about a missionary in need of support, or a family in need, and I would tell him that while I wish we could help, it’s just not in the budget. I remember how broken he was that we could not freely give.
That is when I learned a valuable lesson.
Giving isn’t about the amount, its about glorifying God with what He has given to us.
So while we didn’t have a lot, I learned to make room in our budget so that we could give above and beyond our tithe. Sometimes it looked like giving up our $10 date to Zaxby’s once a week, or cutting back our grocery bill by a few dollars, or working a few extra hours one week. Over time the stickler in me found joy in giving. I found joy in knowing that we were able to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and I found joy in showing God that I valued His kingdom over this earthly one.
Though we started off small, over the years we have been able to find room to give more, and be a part of more. It may not be a lot to some, but it’s not about the amount, it’s about the heart.
I love the story of the Widow’s Offering in Mark 12:41-44. It once again is a reminder of what God values. He values the heart of giving and sacrificing for things that matter eternally.
So what does your checkbook or bank account value? I challenge you to get together with your spouse and figure out ways you can make sacrifices in your budget to bless others and make a kingdom impact.