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One of the coolest, yet most difficult things, about marriage is combining two different people into one new family. Two different people who grew up differently and have different points of view. Generally Andy and I agree on the big picture, but do we agree on every little minute detail? Absolutely not! One of the concepts Andy and I have to compromise on was tithing. We’re both evangelical Christians, but we don’t always agree on every little aspect of our faith. That’s totally okay! One of the things we disagreed on initially was tithing.
I felt strongly about tithing 10% of our income on a consistent basis. I grew up in a church where you cheerfully gave as much as you could. The prayer over the offering always included “Dear God, please bless those who have (money) to give and those who don’t.” Andy, however, was a little hesitant about tithing. He grew up in a church where you were forced to give them your money, using “fire and brimstone” preaching and scare tactics. He knew of too many television evangelists who conned people out of their money. I totally understood his concern.
Knowing that we needed to somehow come to a compromise on this issue, we made a list of what we agreed on.
Tithing is a testament of our faith in God’s provision in our lives.
We are called to be cheerful givers.
As Christians, we are called to help those in need.
We also talked about what we didn’t agree upon. For Andy, it was giving to a church instead of those directly in need. For me, it was giving “whatever we could” instead of setting a decided amount, like 10%.
We decided together that we would set aside 10% of Andy’s base pay to give away. Once I started my current job (working at a college), we decided to take 10% of my base pay for tithing as well. We continue to sponsor my Compassion child, Veronica Sarah, because we can see how the sponsorship is helping her and her family. For anything else, we discuss together. Sometimes, we give the money to our home church and other times, we give it to someone who we know is in need. On a rare occasion, we use that money to celebrate someone else for a special occasion. As a military family, we also receive a food and housing allowance, but currently we do not tithe from that money since those allowances are non-taxable.
Are we legalistic in how we give? Absolutely not. Our idea of “tithing” is not going to meet someone else’s idea of tithing. Just like in other Biblical topics, we came together as a team and in prayer and decided to follow what we felt God had laid on our hearts. We both felt like that God wanted us to give that money to others and not have to subscribe to a set of rules on how we would give that money away.
Do you tithe?
If you do tithe, how did you come to a decision on how you would tithe?