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2013_09_22 BC Financial

Disclaimer: This post is in no way is intended to financial advice. Nor is it intended to be to condemn those who are doing the best they can to support their families. This is merely an exhortation according to Word intended only to inform and inspire. I urge you to pray and study for yourself as to what would be best for your family according to your Faith.

Where child custody is the most dangerous hidden chain binding single moms, finances is the tie that binds openly and often most strongly. We have over time created an economy that often time requires either two median incomes or one large income for the average sized family to live comfortably. Most single moms bring home wages that would not even qualify as median, much less two of them or one large one. By the world’s standards, when a woman finds herself in this position she is then faced with working more than one job, relying on the governmental welfare system, or a combination of both.

Neither of these was in God’s plan for a woman. A woman was created from the bone of a covered place {Gen. 2:21}, subsequently placed under the covering of a man {Gen. 3:16}, and intended to be covered all her life, first by her father, then her husband, and finally her son{s}. That covering is tasked with providing protection, shelter, and provision as a bare minimum {Exodus 21:10}. God was so serious about this that He even spoke more than once on the matter of the welfare of those women, and their children, who had been left uncovered in the earth. He speaks of how important their overall welfare is saying, “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.” {Exodus 22:22-24 ESV}. Then later He defines His pure religion saying through the apostle James, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” {James 1:27}.

When Yeshua came to earth, His ministry embraced women and mentioned them regularly. He wept for them, protected them, and even raised the dead to provide for them. He showed in His time here that He was willing to not only fill in the gap that sin had left between mankind and God, but also to fill in the gaps that left women uncovered. While the world, and unfortunately much of the church, is steadily working to convince the uncovered woman that it is here responsibility to take on the position of a man to care for her household, Yeshua is still softly whispering for her to look to Him for Covering. {You can read more on His heart for the uncovered woman, including verses referencing those instances I spoke of, here.}

I’m not saying cut off all assistance and quit your job today. I am however, asking you to read through those verse slowly. Look up all the words, especially the ones you “know” already. Look to the original languages for other ways that word could have been translated and what root words it was built from. Give way to His Word and let Ruach {Spirit} renew your mind and chip off the weight of the shell the world has encased you in. Let Him guide you into the path to financial freedom that is right for you.

There are a few things that are pretty universal though that need to be considered and, at the very least, that beginning preparations need to be made for. The first is governmental assistance. I list this one first, not because it is the “worst”. Far from it! I believe that in many ways these programs, when used correctly, are in place to do the job that His church so often chooses not to. These programs do, however, come with many restrictions and guidelines that very few are aware of and that may even come to affect your ability to follow God’s will in time. Yet in still, I list it first because it is, in my opinion, the most urgent.  I am not a political person, but I would be remiss if I did not at least encourage you to, if at all possible, fervently pray over this matter, follow the promptings of Ruach with an obedience like never before, and do all you can to remove that assistance form your household before the current U.S. administration changes over.

Another thing to consider is debt. Please know that by debt I mean all kinds, current and delinquent. Even if debt it current it still binds you in many ways. You must maintain a certain income in order to sustain it and it can also bind you to a certain place such as in the case of a mortgage, or even a car note in some instances. Delinquent debt can be a debilitating weight to say the least and simply not something you want to carry around. It can even affect the opportunities available to you and to your children down the line. No matter how big it may seem, it is worth looking at and compiling so that you know exactly where you stand. Pray over each bill and each amount by name and with specific amounts and invite God into the process. He is far more capable of revealing a solution than any of us could ever be. Ignoring the problem, however, will solve nothing.

Last, but certainly not least, is employment outside of the home, particularly for those with non-adult children at home. I list this one last because for many it is the hardest to renew the mind to and thus often takes the longest to rectify. Please note here that I said “employment”. There are some women who are called outside of the home in various forms.  That is something that can only be judged between that woman and God. Most are fully aware though, that what they have is a job, or maybe even a career, or in other words that its primary function for them is income.  If you are uncertain ask yourself, “Would I still do it if I was not getting paid?” Then pray before settling on an answer.

Why is employment outside the home such a bad thing? Truthfully it’s not. The problem with moms working outside the home is the way in which employment is handled in the U.S. There is less and less consideration for families into today’s job market. Breaks, including lunches, are shorter leaving less time to check on your family and you can rarely find a spilt shift that would allow more quality time with your children. Work hours are now defined in a cookie-cutter fashion with little to no regard for the needs of the employee. In other words, equality has replaced compassion. Now instead of renting hours in your day to another that best fits the needs of your household, many times you are completely selling all your time to another.  Ironically, the lower the pay, the truer that statement becomes. Schedules are put out less frequently with less consistency, making even the small tasks of scheduling an appointment almost impossible. Even if you have a better position than that, there is now the pressure to keep it. It is a nasty cycle that can rot a household if not handled very carefully.

There are a few practical ways to be intentional about stepping away from these things and begin and prepare for the journey as you are studying and praying.

1. Make note of the amount of all the assistance that you receive and what it covers.

2. Get a copy of all three of your credit reports. List all of your debt along with the specific amounts due, including those that are not on your credit report. Look at the statute of limitations in your state and act according to your Faith in that regard.  Learn about the laws surround debt delinquency and how they affect you. A collection agency need not be your source of information on this matter. They are allowed to tell more lies than many are aware of. Learn the truth for yourself. There are many free legal aid places that would help you with this as well.

3. Write out all of your expenses. If your do not have a budget, now would be great time to start building one.  A simply spending journal is a great place to start. Look for any non-essential expenses that can be cut. This may require redefining what is considered non-essential as plain and simply something your family cannot live without.

4. Look for other ways to bring income into the household, preferably from the home. Keeping other’s children and even legitimate online opportunities such as Swagbucks and InboxDollars are just a few of the ways to bring a bit of extra money in. These are other opportunities out there, but you must seek them in order to find them.

5. Explore ways to become an independent contractor utilizing the skills you are most accomplished in. Usually you can even begin exploring these options and getting established before ever leaving your current job.

6. Pray over and compile a financial goal and plan. It does not matter how ridiculous it may look to you. My very first plan had me paying $5 a month to one creditor on a total debt of almost $50,000. I cannot recount the miracles that have taken place in my finances since then! I will tell you that many of them came through legal loopholes and ways that the creditor violated the law, thus nullifying my debt.

7. Most importantly, decide that it is a priority for you. Whether your goal is to be a stay-at-home mom or debt-free, it is going to take work. The kind of work that it takes, however, is not the kind you can clock in and out of. This is not a money issue. It is a Faith issue. You have to know and believe that it is God’s will for YOUR life that these things happen, know an believe that He will deliver you, and start heading in that direction. That takes time with Him to discern…time in His Word, time spent in prayer, intense spiritual work on your heart, and work on renewing the way you think and approach situations.

I know this was long and there is a great deal to consider, but do not be overwhelmed. This is intended to raise awareness, not to be thrown into action by the end of the day. Take your time and let these things sink in, pray over them for a few weeks, and study them out. Haste tends to create more problems than it solves, so avoid it whenever possible. If you have any question or would like a partner in prayer, you can contact me and I will be honored to do all I can. I pray you discernment and wisdom beloved! Shalom!~

Surrendered to Him~

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