My wife, Heather and I were both raised in the Catholic church and attended Catholic schools through 8th grade. We both came away from that experience with a feeling that we were told what to believe rather than choosing and understanding what we believe. Church and organized religion really didn’t provide a positive experience for us after our childhood.
Our relationship with God changed for the better after two experiences.
First, Heather began attending a United Methodist Church in Chicago; there she could ask questions, express doubts, and really understand why she believed what she did. When we moved to Dallas in 2005, we found Christ United, and never considered another church family. That’s because we’re allowed to make decisions about our beliefs, and we can discuss our faith with other church members and pastors, without judgment. Each of us has a more personal relationship with Christ now, and our faith has blossomed.
The second experience started before we were married. Together, we attended Financial Peace University to help guide us in managing our money after the wedding. We thought we were taking a class on finances, but we came away with so much more! Our focus on debt reduction brought a few unexpected changes, each for the better. Our marriage isn’t 50/50; it is giving 100% to each other. We used to eat out almost every night. We found when we reduced quick take-out meals, and ate dinner at home, our family spent more time together. The kids chose to stay home for meals instead of rushing out to be with friends. Around the dinner table, we held conversations about school, work, life, and faith. We start meals with prayer, and we talk much more about how God is working in our lives.
Our experience with FPU was so transforming that we became leaders for the classes, and we sponsor new classes at Christ United every year. In our journey, we’ve seen marriages saved, crises averted, lives and family trees changed. What an incredible, humbling, journey to share a biblical approach to money and stewardship. Our experience with FPU continues to remind us that all resources belong to God, while we are charged to manage it for the Kingdom of God. Being a part of FPU has really grown our faith in God in ways we never could have imagined!