Angie’s Marriage Column ~ January 27, 2010
Becoming Self-sufficient in the Lord

Heaven Ministries

 

Ask Angie: Since the husband's role is to provide, what do we do in these economic times when he has not been able to find a job? Not being able to provide puts him in a precarious position and tensions rise. We are living in my mother's basement and not being in our own home is hard on him. We argue often and moments of harmony and peace are short lived. We also have three kids to think about - the last being 11 months old and this is another added stress. I pray. I read. What more? What do you suggest?

Marriage Guidance: I want you and your husband to take your time reading this different perspective and suggestions on making a living for yourselves. I know how upsetting, disappointing and frustrating it might be for you right now, but lets look at the positive aspects of your situation. First off, your family is blessed with the ability to live temporarily in your MIL’s basement, until you get your livelihood back up.

You will come to see that there are different perspectives to how Christians manage their finances. Not to offend anyone but a lot of people think inside this tiny square, afraid to come out and explore new ideas. They are only focused on one aspect of money-making, such as “getting a job” that they don’t see any other means of livelihood expect for what they have been brought up to believe.

Let’s step out of the square for a moment. Please take your time reading this new perspective on managing your livelihood and click on all of the links that lead to another article that puts this subject in more detail.  I promise you will not get your feet wet.

What is really important to you? Is not our relationship with God important? I think that when we focus on our treasures in heaven first, God will bless us with everything we need.

We have to take a look at what relying on a “job” has done for millions of people in this country? They have lost their homes, been laid off, or fired from their jobs that they relied on for their livelihood. The attitude that they have only one skill or no skills and must rely on “getting a job” is thinking only inside the square.

My first suggestion and most important one is keep your faith and your focus always on the LORD. We can pray to God for money or a job to mysteriously come our way, but God is not going to grant you this wish. Instead, pray for God to reveal to you the craftsmanship He has blessed you with.

“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and all kinds of craft—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood designs to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.” Exodus 31:3-4

Put yourselves in each other’s shoes and give each other encouragement in your roles in the marriage even if money is tight and the husband is out of work. Use your Christian spirit to be considerate of each other and stop bickering over money and the stressful situation. Help your mother in law out around the home when you can so she will not feel resentful or taken advantage of.

The believer must seek to avoid debt as much as possible. In this world there is only one certainty and that is God and His truths. So when we feel uncertain and ridden with anxiety about our financial situation we can take confidence that our life, no matter how much or how little money we have, is on solid ground. That’s what matters. Read this article on “how to find bargains and stop using credit cards”

Look what has happened to millions of people who have relied on loans and employers to eke out a living? They lost their homes, jobs, and owe thousands to creditors and many of them now can’t find work. How can a man be happy with this going on in his life? The statistics are that 40,000,000 people are living on foods stamps and 30% of the country is living in the poverty level.

God’s Children Do Not Have To Be a Part of This Financial Woe

How can we stop focusing on the negative money woes in our lives and start focusing and relying on God for our sustenance? One way is to develop your God-given talents and become more self-sufficient in the Lord. Christians should never rely on one avenue for prosperity, such as “getting a job” and being a wage slave and a slave to the lender.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7)

God’s avenues for prosperity are infinite!! Christians must rely on God and not be in fear of lack. Pray that God reveal to you your calling and God-given talents and abilities. Write down on paper all the ways in which you can serve your family best. Include the subjects of “needs” such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, utilities, loans, etc.

For example on the subject of food, write down all the ways you can save on your groceries and then prepare a weekly nutritious menu for your family. I know that using coupons and buying foods in bulk can certainly save literally hundreds and hundreds of dollars in monthly groceries. Learning to cook with more grains, beans, and lentils also will save substantially when feeding your family. Plus it is healthier than eating red meat every night for dinner.

I will use my family as an example of how a family can save on groceries every month.

In my family we never use coupons because they are mostly for prepared type foods, which I never cook. We do scan the weekly ads and find what is on sale and buy that if it is something we use. Everything we cook is from scratch, which also is a big savings. Prepared foods/frozen meals cost about 90% more than buying whole/fresh, not only that but whole foods are much more nutritious. If something is on sale that we do use, such as olive oil, we stock up on it while it is on sale.

Make Use of Your Local Farmers and Growers in Your Community

Wheat is one of the staples in our home as is brown rice, beans, whole grain pasta, lentils and millet. We start out with buying a bushel (60 lbs) of organic wheat berries for $10 from our next-door neighbor who farms organic wheat. I then grind the wheat berries myself with my electric mill and make whole-wheat flour. I’ve been doing this for 15 years. I bake all of our own breads, pizza crusts, donuts, muffins, tortillas, some pasta, cakes, pies, cookies, pancakes and waffles from this wheat. 60 pounds of wheat for $10 lasts almost two years for a family of five!!!

We also buy soybeans from the farmers here in our area as well as locally grown honey. We buy organic brown rice in bulk, which is a substantial savings right there. My husband (Frank) used to have his own honeybees and we farmed honey for several years, but our next-door neighbor became afraid of the bees when they swarmed in the spring onto her horse farm, and so my husband, being neighborly gave up that hobby and passion. We now buy from a local bee farmer.

The bottom line is we save in so many wonderful ways on groceries by relying more on farmers in our area, gardening our own vegetables in the spring and summer and buying food items when they come on sale. Check out local food co-ops in your area as well, I have heard that you can save quite a bit through food co-ops.

Most people do not realize how industrious they can be. As a wife and mother myself I have come to know, through the knowledge given to me through our Lord, that being a helpmeet to our husbands is more than taking care of the children, cleaning and cooking, although these areas are all very important we must trust that God would want for us to serve our families in other ways too.

I do know for a fact that even though money is tight, God prefers that a wife and mother serve her family rather than employers. When a wife and mother works outside the home, it upsets the balance of the home in so many ways. Let’s take a look.

A Wife Who Works is Not Under Her Husbands Protection and Covering

When a wife is outside the home working she is not in her own home and under the protection of her husband. Some of you may find this old-fashioned but the truth is women fall under all forms of prey when they work outside the home. Should a woman submit her talents and abilities to another man or woman instead of her husband and family? That doesn’t make very much sense does it?

She Becomes Vulnerable to Abuse and Sexual Advances

I bet more than half the women on our marriage list have come under some kind of sexual abuse, demands abuse, or office politics. Do you think it is right for your wife to submit herself to an abusive, demanding man or woman? Why put your wife through such turmoil as this?

She Becomes Unequally Yoked With Unbelievers

Is it an encouraging environment for a Christian woman to be working with unbelievers? Should your wife allow her spiritual and emotional self to be subjected to unbelief and rebellion? Over time would not this atmosphere weaken her faith in the Lord? I’m not talking about mature Christians who are strong in their faith, who serve by volunteering their time and services to unbelievers. I’m talking about subjecting your wife or a wife subjecting herself to a negative environment just because you think you need the money!

Young Children Alone After School

If mom is outside the home working then who is managing the home front and caring for the children?  No matter what anyone says, motherhood is the most important job!!

Mom Tired and Drained After Working All Day

When mom comes home from working all day she is tired and hungry and needy herself, but who is going to take care of her? Because of her busy schedule how can she care for her family properly in the ways of the Lord. Who is going to cook hot, nutritious meals, tidy the house, and give love and respect to the rest of the family? You get the idea right?

Granted we do need certain things to survive and that takes money. But what happens when we trust in God for our provisions. We come to realize what our talents are and let our creative mind go to work and then we see that we have more abundance and prosperity than a mere job can give us any day! This is God’s blessings!

Did you know that most people don’t even realize how talented and creative they really are? They drudgingly go to their 9 to 5 job, all the while wishing they were doing something else. Their hearts just aren’t in their 9 to 5 jobs because they feel like wage slaves who have nothing to show for all of their work. This reliance and dependence on a “job” keeps them from discovering what God has freely given them!

Do You Need Lots of Money and Stuff to be Happy?

The mentality that you have to have so much money in your bank account, the best house and furniture on the block, the newest car to drive and the most expensive clothes to wear is what keeps people from God!! But the ironic thing about it is, you can still have everything you need and more without going into debt and working like a slave for a paycheck every week.

“Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed: a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

For an example we are rich and blessed in wheat. LOL J We are never in want for garden greens, sprouts, wheat, honey, baked goods and soymilk because we rely on God’s Nature instead of the grocery stores for these items. God provides His children with everything they need. God knows what we need more than we know what we need!!

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For the pagans (unbelievers) run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. Matthew 6:31-33

The last sentence to what Jesus said above is very imperative to our relationship with Him… “But seek first his kingdom and all these things will be given to you” Do you get it? Seek God—gain knowledge and wisdom in God—trust God—have faith in God—and be blessed because He will bless you. You too can become industrious and thrifty but have more than most people just because you stepped outside of the box!

Did you know that peasants in Europe have more than most rich people? I’m not talking about poor people who have no food, I’m talking about the villagers and peasants who garden, fish, hunt, etc for their sustenance-they rely on no person or institution for their livelihood. Not only do they have more but also they are healthier because they aren’t eating food that has been tainted by hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, dyes, sugars, and government sprays.

“Do not store up treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where moth and dust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

How a wife and mom can serve her family best is not always in monentary ways but with her Spirit. When the woman of the home is happy and content in the Lord so is everyone else. This is what’s important! How can she make everyone else happy do you think? It is because God blessed the woman to be the center of her home through her nurturing, caring and loving abilities. She is the key to a happy and content home front.

He did not give this gift to the male but to the female. This is why role reversal in marriage will not work in the long run. And this is precisely how she is the helpmeet to her husband and family. Unfortunately, most women don’t realize how important their management of the home really is and neither does her husband and one reason why so many women work outside the home. Consequently the spiritual and emotional balance of the home is quite upset, even though it doesn’t always seem apparent, because of her absence.

Stop Worrying About What You Don’t Have and Start Using What You Do Have

When we rely and depend on God for prosperity we see all the many roads that God can literally lead us down. As long as we remain in Him and do everything we embark on in the Lord, He will bless us!!  His avenues for prosperity and abundance are endless!

We have to come out of the square and understand that our lives CAN Change for the better when we look at our livelihood with a different perspective. Did you know that worrying too much about when and how the next paycheck is going to come in keep us from seeking THE avenues in God for our sustenance? God gave us all a creative mind with the ability to think way beyond the square we live in—we only need to make it go to work by putting our faith and trust in Him.

“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who give you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he sore to your forefathers, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)

Do What You Enjoy!

What do you enjoy doing? What does your husband enjoy doing? What talents and abilities has God blessed you with? Perhaps your husband can hone in on his craft, while you guys have the blessed opportunity to live in your MIL’s basement?  Perhaps your husband can freelance his services. Put ads out in your local newspaper for handyman services. There are still many people who need painting, tiling, carpentry, cleaning, landscaping, and repair work done on their homes and businesses. They do not have the time nor inclination to do it for themselves.

Do you like to sew, knit, crochet, work with wood, build crafty things, etc. These are all special gifts that people love because they are made from the heart. You can try to sell your craft in your local community fairs, markets, and newspaper. Put out ads in the paper about your special skill and have samples for people to see. Orders will surely come in for you.

Perhaps you or both of you could take a computer class in graphic design and arts. There are so many projects such as these where online businesses need logos, graphic arts, and photography for their web pages. There are typing, data entry, writing, photography, video making, and other type jobs to be found on www.elance.com and other freelance places online. Do a google search. Do you know a second language? Check out doing some online translating for the written word or through audio. The skills God has blessed each of us with are waiting to come out. Find out what yours is and come out!

God has given His people the ability to be prosperous and spiritually rich and content. God’s wisdom teaches us to be industrious and prosperous with less than what most people have. We have the ability to make our lives grow in abundance by serving Him in whatever capacity He directs us in.

For in God you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge”. (1 Corinthians 1:5)

Use the talents and abilities that God has blessed you with and prosperity will fill your hearts and your homes. When we stop relying on a wage, which is uncertain, and begin to rely and depend on God for our livelihood, which is certain, God will bless our life. Now get out your paper and pen and get creative with your calling. Pray about it and wait on the Lord. He will guide you in the way you should go. 

…Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31: 11, 12 NIV) She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (Proverbs 31:16,17 NIV)

“I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. (1 Corinthians 7:7)

For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)

In Christ
Angie and Frank
Heaven Ministries

 

 

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