God gives His children good gifts, and guidance is one of those good gifts. By guidance, I mean the wisdom that He gives to show us how to live our lives. Starting Monday, May 14th, I will begin my full-time job as cataloger in the library. Through thinking about the job, my graduation, and future wedding, the Lord has been convicting me about how frivolously I use my money at times. He's also been sending others my way such as my friend and accountability partner Moy and others to give me advice and counsel, giving me the guidance and wisdom that I need to live a holier life for God's glory. The Lord's timing is good, and I now think about what I spend and have certain guidelines in mind. One such guideline is to tithe (10%) from the money given to me as a gift from others and deposit %50 into savings immediately. I still allow myself the pleasure of using the remaining %40 as I please.
These steps and others will help me to walk wisely before my God and my neighbor. The Lord has been impressing upon me the need to live an examined life. My biggest problem is that I'm not always walking in the spirit (Gal. 5:16). I don't always think enough about the words I say, the money I spend, or even the commercials on TV that I mindlessly watch. These things seem minor, which caused a family member to wonder why I changed the television when an inappropriate commercial was on the other day, just for one example. The Christian must think deeply about life. Running on auto-pilot only leads to harm. This is why Scripture tells us to think on certain things, for instance. On auto-pilot, we're not likely to think on things that are holy or true, among other things (Phil. 4:8). My spending is one such area that the Lord has brought to my attention so that I may prepare for the future, particularly for my future bride.
With that in mind, I mostly wanted to write to pass along a helpful article that I came across today. Boundless.org is a wonderful ministry of Focus on the Family designed for adult singles. They have some solid material with several contributors associated with solid groups such as 9 Marks ministries and Sovereign Grace Ministries. I highly commend this site especially to young men and women who hope to marry one day. The specific article that spurred me to write today is entitled, "Saving It for Marriage." I encourage my single and engaged guy friends to read this. As men of God, we must set the stage and lead our families in the area of finances. Wasteful spending and rampant consumption reveals a core of pure materialism and greed, yet we are called to love not the world or the things and possessions in it (1 John 2:15). Instead, we save up for heaven, things that are spiritual and cannot be destroyed by moth or rust (Matthew 6:19-20).
So, read the article, and let me know what you think from either a man or woman's perspective. I pray that the article was a blessing to you as it was to me.
Expect another blog entry soon sharing some more thoughts about marriage in general soon. A comment on a show last night reminded me just how vast the chasm is between the world's view of marriage and the teaching about marriage found in Scripture. Sadly, spending is only the tip of that iceberg.