The Heart of a Single Woman’s Home: Time and Money (blog series part 3 of 8)

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

There can be temptation to be selfish in how I decide to spend my time and money.  I don’t know whether or not this temptation is stronger for me because I am single.  I am pretty sure, however, that I have less to balance and fewer constraints on my budget than a married woman.  My singleness, in some sense, gives me autonomy over the budget and decisions for hospitality, home improvement, travel, etc.  My salvation, however, means that I must submit every decision to God.  He is my husband to whom I bring my ideas and plans and wants and desires to save or splurge.  It is God’s money, how would he have me spend it?  It is God’s time, how should I use it? What works would He have me to walk in? How am I investing the talents He has given so that I can gain more for His kingdom? (Matthew 25)

I have also noticed a correlation between my contentment in Christ and my spending habits. I would suggest that a big part of contentment comes in realizing my life, possessions, time, and money are not my own.  I was brought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  My worth doesn’t depend on things or accomplishments, but, as God says of Israel, “because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you (Isaiah 43:4).  When I am content in Him, I can cease from striving to fill my life with worldly things. As Lydia Brownback writes in Fine China is for Single Women Too,

Being content means that we are no longer held hostage by a hidden agenda within our hearts.  When we are content to live as God has called us to live today, if we see that our boundary lines are falling in pleasant places, we are more discerning about how we spend our time and money…We no longer make choices based on the desire to escape our empty lives, because we have found that our lives are no longer empty.

Indeed, the life of a believer, regardless of marital status, is full.  I am filled with the Holy Spirit.  Life is full of challenges, yes, and yet full of everything needed for life and godliness.  One of the elders in my church challenges us to dream.  I can dream with God about the ways He would use my temporal possessions to advance His eternal kingdom.  Even living on one income, even with debt from college, or a house, or other things, God is unlimited even with a single girl’s limited means.  It is exciting to pray for the faith to live generously, to take God up on His ability to provide, and to experience the joy of seeing the fruit of time and money invested for Him.  So, I am reminded to continually pray for wisdom to know how to save well and how to save well.  To pray for the self-control to deny myself unwise splurges that are easier to make because I am single.  To pray for strengthened trust in God’s provision when finances seem insufficient.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others… 2 Corinthians 9:6-13

 

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