By M. Kay Cote
I don’t remember a time during my working years when I didn’t return tithe to the Lord, along with some offerings. There were times when it wasn’t easy. For years I didn’t recognize all the principles of stewardship, and I married out of the church, not taking into account God’s counsel not to be “unequally yoked.” This sometimes caused difficulties.
In the early 1970s I returned to work because I wanted my daughters to receive a Christian education. When it came time for the eldest to attend academy, a representative from the school visited my husband and me. We talked about finances. My husband isn’t a Christian, and he wanted our children to attend the local public school. I was determined that our daughter attend the academy, so he agreed to send $50 a month for her education. Later he withdrew the offer, which meant that the total responsibility for our daughter’s school bills fell on me.
The Lord is good. I faithfully returned His tithe on my salary, and He provided the money needed. The school gave her help from the needy student fund, and she worked on campus in different jobs to help with her tuition.
At camp meeting one summer, while our daughter was still in academy, the conference began promoting the 10+10 plan. We were encouraged to give another full ten percent in offering above tithe. I was impressed that this was something I needed to do, and frankly, I wanted to see how God would work. As soon as my next paycheck arrived, I instituted the new giving plan, and my daughter graduated, diploma in hand, with all her bills paid!
For the next two years she attended Walla Walla College, and she received her associate degree in early childhood education. Then she went on a Task Force assignment to Arizona for a year. She enjoyed teaching so much that she decided to go on for a full teaching degree. She returned to Walla Walla, and again graduated with her school bills all paid, except for a couple of small student loans that she was able to repay shortly. God never failed us.
Faithfulness in returning tithe and offerings from my salary has blessed our entire family. We are retired now, and daily we have evidence of His care in providing money to live on through some savings and retirement income. We are never short of funds to cover expenses and to help others, including our church, locally and worldwide.
I praise God for His goodness and care for us over the years. One of the best rewards is the change I see in my husband’s attitude toward God.
“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” 1 Corinthians 7:14