“We are going to live on love!” An answer that usually comes after a pastor asks his two premarital counselees how the husband plans on providing for his wife. Older couples, realizing the difficulty marriage is and the financial burden of starting out, give a quick chuckle and a “good luck with that one” smile.
In my specific situation, I knew my husband was planning on going to Bible College full time while I was going to be a stay at home wife with the glorious future of raising children (Lord Willing). I knew that it wouldn’t be easy financially, but I didn’t realize how difficult it would be living in “poverty.”
I grew up not needing anything and having almost everything handed to me on a silver platter. I did know how to work though and had a good work ethic (outside of the house mind you). So there I was, married and the bills started coming in. The question, “Well, what else can be cut out?” became the mantra of our financial conversations.
I went from a 2004 Acura MDX fully loaded to a van was quickly scrapped. I went from having a smart phone to having a trac phone used only for emergencies. I went from eating steak to eating cheap ground turkey roll. I went from playing a grand piano to playing a half size electric piano that I got at a garage sale for $5. I went from being dissatisfied with my life to being content and satisfied. “Wait a second, don’t you have that backwards?” It might seem like I do, but I don’t need those things to be happy. I don’t need all the bells and whistles. I don’t need money to be rich. First and foremost, Christ has saved me from my sins and I am reconciled to God the Father through Jesus Christ. So no matter the circumstance—being burned at the stake, in prison, or apart of the underground Church, I am richer than the wealthiest person on earth. With that being said though, from a worldly sense, my income places us below the poverty line and here are five ways I am rich in poverty.
Here are five ways that I am rich in poverty:
- We (living in Florida) have Air Conditioning. We are so blessed to have enough money to keep that A/C going. Compared to some people sweating like pigs in their Florida home, we are quite comfortable. We are rich!
- We have a vehicle that runs. My husband and I have a vehicle we share. Yes, at times this is inconvenient and there definitely needs to be clear communication on when and who needs the vehicle, but we get by! Some people have no choice but to take public transportation, ride a bike, or walk to wherever they need to go. We are rich!
- We have food in our pantry. One of my neighbors has come over a few times asking for food due to her pantry being completely empty. She gets disability from the government and her cash assistance comes once a month and by the 4th of every month she is out of money. At the end of the month, she is usually out of food. But my pantry is stocked. The Lord has blessed with me with a great husband who works extremely hard to provide for his family. I do my best to save, coupon, and do as much as I can from scratch to keep that pantry full. We haven’t gone hungry yet! We are rich!
- We have a fantastic church family. If something came up where my family needed anything, I would call no more than three people and our needs would be met. We are blessed with this amazing family. These are friends money can’t buy. We are rich!
- Dave Ramsey says, “Poor is mentality. If you don’t have money, you’re broke.” Our Family attitude is not, “We are so poor, woe are we.” We strive to focus on how abundantly blessed we are. It is not easy at times, but the Lord has been so good to us. We love each other. We do live on love. It is the love God the Father gives to us and we give to each other. We are rich!
My husband thanks the Lord often for, “giving us a roof over our head, food on the table, and clothes on our backs.” There’s a quote from “It’s a Wonderful Life” where it says, “Bread, that his house may never know hunger. Salt…that life may always have flavor. And wine….that joy and prosperity may reign forever.” Poor is a mentality. Look to see how wonderfully the Lord has blessed you. Be content with what He has given you. Thank Him for all the bounties He gives to you and if you are in Christ, whatever circumstance you may be in, you too, are indeed truly rich.