The gold collection plate passed by me with my favorite song ďAmazing GraceĒ echoing in the sanctuary one Sunday morning. The plate was overflowing with otherís generous donations, but I was finally able to feel peace as I put in my few dollars. Being married twenty years, it had taken a very long time to come to the point where I was at peace about my perceived lack of tithing to the Lord. My husband was a non-believer and refused to allow me to tithe to the church, feeling we needed the money more than the Lord. Feeling trapped, I was panicked that I was disobeying the Lord in tithing. Conflicts over money escalate easily in marital conversations, and especially when your beliefs also collide.
The balance of being a Christian wife and remaining submissive is challenging, because I need to always remember that even my non-Christian husband is still the head of the household. Inner emotional struggling and prayer brought me to the realization of how to maintain that tightrope walk of being faithful to the Lord in my efforts to tithe, and being submissive to my unbelieving husband.
My favorite story is the widow putting in the small coin which somehow reminds me of myself every time I can only put in a few dollars in the collection plate. A wonderful pastor once assured me that God knew my heart and would honor the donations I make to His service. So I saved money here and there, and donated the cash each week I faithfully reserved. The amount seemed so small to me, but I knew God would honor my efforts to be faithful.
Tithing your time and talents cannot be left out as well when youíre limited by a husband who does not agree with tithing. I thought about the gifts and talents the Lord blessed me with, and I lifted those gifts up to the Lord and asked Him to show me what I could do to serve him. In Christís never-ending faithfulness and love, He showed me ways I could tithe my time and talents to further His kingdom. And miraculously, the Lord even showed me ways to use my talents from home since my husband got upset when he thought I was spending too much time at the church volunteering.
Living with a non-believer is a difficult, sometimes heart-wrenching challenge. Prayer gives you the power and strength you need to maintain your witness, and above all, to strive toward the goal of being an obedient and submissive wife who is pleasing to God. The Proverbs 31 woman is a goal women of faith strive for, and with the Lordís help, we can set the tone in our households as we become the spiritual example to our husbands and to our children.
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