Thank you for your helpful insightful responses. My husband and I both look forward to reading your column. I am writing because sometimes we listen to the radio show of a Christian financial counselor, and I am getting very frustrated. He has some good ideas about staying out of debt, but he also stresses that once people are out of debt they should work toward becoming millionaires.
He says no one should ever use a credit card, no matter what or even have a car payment. He also seems to look down on people who chose to live with lesser incomes. That is the impression I get from listening to him. He is always pushing for getting that income up so people can become millionaires.
I also get the impression that this money advisor does not know much or anything about Bible prophecy; if he did, you think he would be urging believers to spread the gospel and not be so big on people becoming millionaires.
He mentions some Bible verses but I am bothered because it seems that he is much more passionate about making money than serving the Lord. I think we can do both, but something just doesn’t seem right to me.
We read in an article that his house is about 14,000 sq. feet valued at $4,900,00, and that it has a basement with a full bar with whiskey barrels built into the walls; and also that he has a net worth of $55 million. I have heard him refer to people who have called him out for his excessive lifestyle “Super saved Christians.” I think that is very condescending and insulting.
I recently heard him speaking to one of the callers who had become debt free and was making a high six-figure income. The counselor asked what motivated him to make the change and get out of debt. The caller answered that he “stopped taking care of other people” and got divorced. Since the divorce he has been able to drive a very expensive car and pack away all his money for himself.
I could not believe how excited the money counselor was about the caller’s response. He condoned all of it and seemed especially impressed by the car the caller drove. I was horrified about this exchange of words. I have heard some good advice from this counselor. But when I heard him go bonkers over the man who divorced his wife so he could stop taking care of her, and spend his money all on himself, I was beside myself. he kept saying, “Very good, very good.” My husband was also very annoyed.
Do you think we should be totally debt free and never ever use a credit card, and not even have a car payment? If we did not have a car payment, I am afraid we would not have a reliable car to drive. We have little debt but sometimes we do need to use a credit card. I home school our two young children.
If I had to figure out ways to make more money outside of my husband’s income, it would be too much for me. Maybe some mothers can do it, but I cannot. I am busy around the clock taking care of my family’s needs. And I will not sacrifice my children’s well-being by being distracted so I can work toward becoming a millionaire.
But when I listen to this financial advisor I feel like a second class citizen because I cannot do more than I already am. Thankfully, I have a great husband and he feels it is his responsibility to provide for our family, and for me to make sure all is running smoothly at home.
I am wondering what you think about all of this.
Thank you for your letter and your kind words about this ministry. You do not mention the name of the financial advisor you refer to, but regardless, from what you say, there are reasons to be concerned.
Since you are stressed by what you are hearing, you have the option to stop listening to the radio show. I would be very cautious about accepting advise from a “Christian” man who has a full bar with whiskey barrels built into the walls of his nearly $5 million trophy house.
Sometimes when people become very successful monetarily, they can lose their perspective on many things—including how others live or need to live, and they love to dish out advice. Meanwhile, far too often they live like heathens, even if they profess to be generous Christians.
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
When we are truly born-again by the Spirit of God we can go directly to the Lord and the Holy Spirit will guide us in making decisions. Each person is unique and each situation is unique.
I personally don’t think having a second rate car with two young children is a good idea. If is possible to find some good used cars, but if this money guru you speak of thinks the car should be paid only with cash, then your choices may be very limited. This is something only you and your husband can decide with God’s guidance. I always say, “Safety first.”
Scripture does admonish us from being a slave to a lender, so it is very important to pay for everything with cash as often as possible. And to stay as debt free as possible. Sometimes that is not viable and if that is the case, then a careful plan should be made not to get so far into debt that it will cause a family to get into serious financial trouble.
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
If you use a credit card, then calculate what you can spend each month and do your best to try to pay the entire balance when the payment is due. Otherwise the interest will grow and that is when the problems begin. As believers we are to have self-control in all things and that goes for spending habits as well. Credit cards aren’t the problem when it comes to credit card debt, personal responsibility is the issue.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5: 22-23a).
Melanie, the fact that you are so committed to homeschooling your children and all that you do for your family shows that you are a great wife and mother; that alone is of tremendous value. I am always astonished by professing Christians who place their children second, above their own selfish desires.
There is always an exception to the rule and some parents cannot home school their children or send them to a private school. But if they both drive high-end cars, live in a very pricey house and want to keep up with the latest worldly trends—yet send their kids to public schools, then that shows that they rather satisfy to their own agendas than please God and care for their children.
I applaud you for your devotion to your family. Believers should let go of loving the things that are perishing, and cling to and cherish those things that have(relationships) of eternal value. We should all spend time doing things for His glory “redeeming the times for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).
When it is all said and done what matters is how we serve the Lord, and of course that extends to the choices we make in our daily lives with money. Money is a great tool; we all need it. But when it becomes an idol then we will lose sight of God’s best for our lives.
It sounds like you and your husband are on the right track. Be encouraged; our world needs more mom’s like you. I would say the second rate citizens are those who place the gratifications of the world above their precious children. I would say you are an exceptional person!
And remember, the Lord has promised us such a glorious future that nothing on this earth can compare to the riches of this life.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
In God’s love,
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).