Saturday, October 06, 2007

$8Hotdogs,$9Beer,$17Malaria treatment...

Chris Seay

In 1987 Shelley and I had a decision to make. We wanted children, but we had to decide the kind of family we would create. At that time we were both working and had a combined income of about $50k per year. Shelley's career was in transition, it was about to move into a very lucrative place of high volume sales with increasing commissions. I was building a construction company with my father and looking for my first full time ministry position. We wanted to build a strong family. One that would prepare children for a time and place that Shelley and I would never see.

After many late night talks, much prayer and individual soul searching we came to a conclusion.
The best way for us to build a strong family was for Shelley to become a full-time wife and mother. We knew our income would be cut in half when she came home. We also realized that if I moved into full-time church ministry, the income would be limited for years. We truly felt in our hearts that if we made this sacrifice, we would not regret the outcome 25 years in the future.

We now have two uncommon daughters and a family that has grown up together in many ways.
Our income has been less than in 1987 and it may never be more. The fact is, the last three years have been the toughest we have had in the financial sphere, but the greatest we have experienced in spiritual and personal growth for each of us.

We made the decision to be a one income family. We do not believe it is a mandate from God for all. I do hope that if you have attained some level of financial security, you will not allow USAmerican consumerism to influence who you are or who you will become.


  1. Back again. :)

    I am going to post this video on my blog as well. God has really been speaking the same message to my husband and I in the past couple of years. I call it a "Schindler" revelation, after Oscar Schindler and the scene in the movie at the end where he begins lamenting that he didn't sell the ring on his finger, and other possessions so that he could have saved a few more lives.

    Giving out of excess is one thing (and very good). Sacrificial giving is another... But the more revelation we get of storing up treasure in heaven by what we do with what we have here, and the more we understand that when we give to the poor, it's the same as if we are giving it to the Lord Himself... it changes you. And some of those frivolous things that used to be so important to us and our "lifestyle" begin to lose their pull on our hearts. They just don't hold the same satisfaction and unending rewards of saving lives and helping provide things like education and a future for those that would otherwise have no hope...

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Jimmy. What a great decision you made. I'm in the office four days a week, then make up the time spent at home on Wednesdays, my wife's one day at the office for her part-time job. And I wonder if we should scale back. It's tough because the circumstances surrounding the purchase of our home seemed directed by God, yet that's what makes my wife feel like she needs to contribute to our income.

  3. Dave,

    One day a week out of the home will not stop your wife from being a great mother. Our children are older, so just last week Shelley began working out of the house two days a week. It will take some pressure off of our finances and many folks will have the opportunity to meet one very awesome and shall I say foxy woman.

    A home can be a great blessing from God. It is not the house or the car or the private school. It is what these things can do to the basic fabric of a family. If a family is busy and stressed by paying for all the stuff, they probably are not enjoying each other or the Creator.

  4. Sarah,

    When I was 23, success was a Mercedes Benz and a closet full of Hugo Boss suits. By 30 it was does the car run and what does S&K have on sale. Now it is, is it paid for and is it clean.
    Now, that DOES NOT mean that I do not daily fight the battle of jealousy. I constantly must check myself when the covet monster creeps in. I also DO have dreams for my family and future, I just want to make sure they are true God breathed dreams and not pure fantasy.

  5. .. great post Jimmy, sometimes it really is a drudge being "just a mom" but the end results are priceless!!

  6. Amen!!! I see the fruits of your sacrifices and they are two beautiful (outside and inside!!) daughters who love the Lord and their parents and each other and those around them. Best "benefit" plan I know of! And I know there are many, many more souls who are blessed by you guys in ways much greater than money.