When I married my husband Kevan, one of the first things he said to me was: “Everything I have is yours.” I had been living happily on my own for a while, working in a downtown Boston ministry, making my home in the suburbs, and enjoying a life shared with church, family and friends. I was decidedly not pining for a husband, as young women often do, and was fairly independent and self-sufficient. I can honestly say I liked being single!
I drove a car I had purchased myself, with cash. I wore clothes that suited me personally and professionally. I paid my bills on time, tithed to the local church, and gave to the poor.
Then Kevan came along. He was strong and attractive. He loved me. Better yet, he loved God. He was the answer to a very specific prayer I had prayed about a husband, should there ever be one. We dated. We got married. We had three beautiful children. And all along, he kept telling me: “Everything I have is yours.”
We were a more “traditional” couple, so I took his name and we shared one bank account. I agreed to stay home with the children since he had a better job at the time. And although it was hard at first, I learned that if we were to survive, I had to lean on him. When I wanted new clothes, I no longer bought them with my own money. I bought them with his. When the children needed toys or food or birthday presents, it was not possible for me to buy them myself, since I had no income. So I bought them with his. Whenever I hesitated to purchase something out of doubt or fear, he would always say to me: “Everything I have is yours.”
It never bothered my husband to share all that he owned with me, his bride, because he loved me and trusted me. And so we laugh now that he makes the money and I spend it, and of course our story is not unusual, because really, what man enjoys shopping?!
But there is a deeper truth that God has been impressing on my heart lately. As the children grew and our need for finances increased, we struggled sometimes to make ends meet. Kevan didn’t always have a good job; in fact, there were times when he didn’t have a job at all, and we were taught to walk by faith in God’s provision. Philippians 4:19 came alive to me: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (NKJV).
God became our provider and sustained our family through many years of hardship. We still tithed, we still gave, we still ate. We never lacked because He supplied what we needed at just the right times. Like the Shulamite leaning on her beloved, we learned to lean on Him.
That lesson learned, God decided to teach us another. One day, in a quiet moment, the Lord spoke to me and said: “Everything I have is yours.”
I knew, of course, that God gave everything when He gave His Son, Jesus. What I didn’t know – really know – was that despite our circumstances on the outside, I was truly rich on the inside. His riches were my riches. Because I am His Bride.
There are times when God allows us to know hardship in order to train us to be content in every situation, to teach us to lean on Him, or to destroy the sinister spirit of self-sufficiency that creeps into our thinking to rob us of faith.
But God’s ultimate desire, as any husband or father knows intuitively, is to bless His Bride. To show her off, if you don’t mind the expression, because she is designed to be “for the praise of His glory.” (See Ephesians 1:6). His perfect design does not include a sick, poor, depressed wife, but a strong, capable, and even wealthy one.
Look at the biblical description of a wife as found in Proverbs 31. This is no wimpy stay-at-home mom in sweatpants! In fact, if you can receive it, this is the description God gives of the wife He envisions, the Bride of Christ, His Son. Please read it with this in mind:
Proverbs 31: 10-31, NKJV
I believe Proverbs 31 is a powerful declaration for the church - His Bride - in this time. Impending economic crisis does NOT mean that God is planning for us to be destitute! We readily accept verse 23 of this Proverb: Jesus is known at the spiritual gates when He sits among the elders in the land. We are blessed to serve a Husband who commands respect by virtue of His position; He is the King of Kings.
Yet we do not as readily see God’s heart for us, the church. Proverbs 31:31 actually repeats verse 23 as a blessing over His Bride: “…A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Emphasis mine).
According to the Word, God’s perfect design is for His Bride to prosper in spirit, soul, and body. She is planting vineyards from her own profits. (Verse 16). She has a purpose of her own, and is fulfilling her calling both naturally and spiritually. She is able to provide for her own household. She is, as verse 10 indicates, a very valuable woman. When the Bride is not prospering, something is amiss.
Please stay tuned, since I will write more about this in the next post. Within the pages of the Bible are the strategies we need to become the kind of beloved church who leans securely on her Husband’s arm, trusting Him for the kind of provision, fruitfulness, and security He intended when He said, “Everything I have is yours.”
c. Deborah Perkins / His Inscriptions
Deborah Perkins is passionate about connecting people with God.
She writes about knowing God and hearing His voice at His Inscriptions.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.