My kids go to school in New Hampshire and this coming week is their vacation week. Leading up to vacation week my oldest daughter (7) starting running off a litany of places her friends are going: Disneyworld, Hawaii, Turks and Caicos, etc. The natural and innocent reaction of my kids is "Can we go someplace?" We have a travel trailer that we use all summer, so we go a lot of places. This doesn't help with their desire to go someplace NOW.
It breaks my heart to not be able to take my kids to Disneyworld or any of those other places at this point in our lives. I expressed this to my wife and she said "we tithe $$$$ a month. If we didn't tithe and weren't committed to staying out of debt we could do what the others do." Good point (this should not be read as a condemnation of what others do, its just a commentary on what God has called my family to).
I'd like to tell you that it made me feel better. The draw of giving my kids everything is almost greater than giving what God calls me to give to His church. We believe that God calls us to give to the church and that He will take care of the rest - seek the Kingdom first and the rest will be added. So we trust that, but I would be lying if I said it was easy all the time - it's not. Our commitment to obedience in both tithing and making sure we do right with what God has given us (in this case no consumer debt beyond a house and student loans) and the example that it brings will be a greater gift to my kids than Disneyworld. I would encourage all Christians - CALLED OUT PEOPLE OF GOD - to ask what it looks like to be called out relative to their finances; what priorities are you setting financially to glorify God even if you have to take an earthly hit - like your kids missing Disneyworld?
Oh wait - don't worry, we start saving for Disneyworld this week and I know we will get there! But our desire to go to these places must never rob the job
Father, Pastor, Writer