Updated: Dec 6, 2018
We had come to a financial crossroad early in our marriage.
Our bank account was happily flowing with cash from before-marriage savings and generous wedding gifts. It felt like security. I’ve always been a “saver” and was thankful to know we had cash for emergencies and extras like Christmas presents.
But let me back up a bit…
Back when we were engaged, Wes and I had taken a financial class by Crown Financial Ministries called Biblical Financial Study. It was a good foundational start for marital money bliss. One week of study on the topic of DEBT was discussed.
Ya know, looking back, I see my young naive self. And there are two things I’d tell little ole’ me about DEBT.
Number 1: "Self, you need to know HOW MUCH you are actually spending to get that college education and WHAT your plan is to eventually pay that back."
Number 2: "Self, you made a good decision (partly because you were too timid and afraid of new things) to not apply for a credit card. (Yep. I was maybe the only one in my twenties who didn’t have one, but it turned out to be a great thing.)
Let’s jump forward again to our post-wedding cash-heavy bank account…
Our bank account was happy BUT our debt was almost as much as our savings! We started to pay the monthly payment for that debt and felt the painful sting of paying lots of money but only having a very small percentage actually going toward the principle. Very discouraging. I’m sure some of you can relate.
Wes started reading Hudson Taylor’s autobiography and was struck by the fact that he didn’t do anything that would cause him to go into debt or owe someone. We also started reading some verses about debt and felt convicted by the strong warnings.
"Owe no one anything but to love one another…" Romans 13:8
"The borrower is slave to the lender..." Proverbs 22:7
Ultimately, we felt that since we had the money and knew that this debt was unnecessary bondage, we paid it ALL off at ONCE. (We were thankful there were no penalties for doing this!)
The Lord has called Wes and I to make many counter-cultural decisions, and this was no exception.
The decision came with worried turmoil at first but sweet peace and relief once the money was paid.
I can’t speak for your situation. I know that debt can leave a sinking feeling and something you would rather just not deal with. But don’t be like me in that I couldn’t tell you how much I owed or would owe from my time in college. You owe it to yourself (catch that one? ;)) to at least know what you’re dealing with!
Debt will LOAN you and then OWN you! (This was one of Wes’s signature phrases when he was a pastor.)
If you want freedom in your finances, FIRST get out of the unnecessary bondage of debt! If you are struggling to know how, I suggest you start with looking at Dave Ramsey’s resources such as his 7 Baby Steps or Financial Peace curriculum.