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CMWF Blog

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Welcome to the CMWF Blog! We hope you'll find some encouragement and comfort here through stories of military life and truth from God's Word.


You Can't Put A Pricetag On Freedom

By Mary Parker

 


My life so far can easily be divided into three distinct phases: A time when it was out of control, a time when I tried to control it, and the current phase, in which I accept that God is fully in control of my life (although I often have to remind myself of it throughout hectic days).

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the more I trust God to be in charge, the more freedom I feel in my everyday life, and in the storms that occasionally arise.
Because we come from different places and diverse backgrounds, I’d like to use an illustration I believe we can all relate to: money. Unfortunately, our husbands don’t get paid a lot to serve our country and it can often be difficult for military wives to access the education or careers necessary to provide a secondary income. Money can be a huge cause of stress on the individual and family unit. At one time or another, we all could use more money.

Before my husband and I were married, my finances were out of control. I had a limited understanding of a balanced budget and I LOVED shopping. I opened several store credit cards with sky-high interest rates and kept rotating balances. Things were not good, but I couldn’t even see it.

Shortly after we married, my husband and I began to struggle financially. The transition in lifestyle from single to married affected our money in ways we had not anticipated, and when I became a full-time graduate student my income essentially went out the window. Times were hard, and we knew it. My struggle to make our life easier often resulted in conflict as I grasped for control over our lives.

After my husband and I invited Jesus into our lives, things began to change. We heard a message about tithing that illustrated why we give financially and how Jesus wants to bless our money. I was amazed to learn that God actually challenges us to follow Him financially:

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be enough room to store it.” (Malachi 3:10)

God promises that when we are obedient to him financially by giving back the first fruits of what He has blessed us with, He will reward us with more than we can count. What an incentive!

We began to pursue Jesus by managing our money responsibly, always putting Him first. Although it wasn’t much to begin with, we gave with faith that those who can be trusted with little can be trusted with much (Luke 16:10). As we became more obedient with our purse strings, our lifestyle shifted a lot. Things that once seemed so important no longer were, and even though we were making less money and giving the first 10% back to God, we had more expendable income.
When my husband entered the Air Force, we applied these financial principles to our lives. We have been able to save, plan vacations, and live well. Recently, I’ve started working full-time, which has definitely helped, too. But, rather than splurging and living above our means, we have learned to first praise God for what He has given us--our jobs and ability to earn--then apply discipline to the rest of our spending so that we strive to please God.

Freedom means different things to different people. Maybe money isn’t a burden God has put on your heart, but I encourage you to trust him with anything you’re currently holding back and trying to handle on your own.
I can honestly tell you I feel free from the burdens of monetary stress and trust God fully with our family’s finances. And you can’t put a price tag on that!

Reflection

Do you have areas in which you struggle to give up control?

How do you think giving that control over to God might bring you freedom?

 

Prayer
Lord, thank You for being in control over all things in my life. Thank You for the freedom You give when I trust You with everything. Help me to let go of the things I am trying to control. Amen.




Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects at her blog, Mary's Mischief.