Early in our marriage, Karen asked if she could give $40 to our church. At the time, I was making less than $800 a month to provide for us. She wasn’t working. We were barely getting by. I broke into a cold sweat just thinking about giving that money away.
It was bad enough that I had to go to church, I remember thinking. Having to pay for it sounded like something a fanatic would do.
But I allowed Karen to give the money. And despite my bad attitude, unbelief, and fear, we could tell an immediate difference in our financial situation once we decided to give.
Our income didn’t increase, but we could sense God’s blessing on our finances. So we gave again and again and again. The more we gave, the more we felt God’s blessing and pleasure.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house,” the Lord says through the prophet Malachi. “Test me in this…and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10)
As believers—whether as individuals or married couples—God directs us to test Him with our finances and let Him reveal His power and faithfulness by opening the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing until it overflows.
While it doesn’t make sense to our carnal minds that giving away money will somehow result in gain, it is true. The only way you will understand this truth is to test it. Once you do, God’s Word promises results.
Why? Because when we give the first tenth (or tithe) of our income to God, we affirm that He owns everything. We communicate our faith. Without the tithe, the local church weakens and stops functioning properly.
Tithing also communicates to God our recognition that all blessings come from Him. It is a powerful way to say, “Thank You, God.” As we do this, God responds with even more blessings.
Still, the issue of giving can be controversial. Some preach a false message of prosperity. They claim that when you give to God, He will make you rich. This is false. Here’s the truth: If you give to God according to how He specifically directs you, God will continue to bless and prosper you.
“Prosperity” doesn’t mean material wealth. It means “having enough to follow God’s will for your life.”
So do not give in order to get rich or manipulate a Scriptural promise. Give because you love God and appreciate His blessings. But also give expecting to see results, because He is faithful.
Today, Karen and I continue to give. We tithe to our local church, but also give special offerings to the poor, to special projects and mission works, or to Christian ministries. We have discovered the joy and blessing that financial generosity brings.
That’s why we suggest that all married couples give, because it is a way to honor and obey God’s word—and an opportunity to see Him work powerfully in your finances.