The question has been posed to me after Jesse’s house purchase: “Sarah, may I ask why you don’t own your own home? What if the Lord has a life plan for you that doesn’t include a husband, why can’t you live on your own and still serve our Lord? I truly am interested in your reasons.”
Plain and simple: the Lord has not led me to, and I don’t desire to own a house. Why would I want to take on the expenses of a home, and live by myself (hey! I honestly love being around my family!)–for what purpose?
It’s also been suggested that I should buy a house and rent it out. That holds no appeal to me. Remodeling projects are not my favorite (I’d rather write!).
Of course, I’m very capable of living on my own. The very word “can’t” implies something stronger. I can, but I choose not to.
Those are my simple answers. I love my life, and I’m so grateful to the Lord Jesus for what He’s given me to do. At the moment, my time is jam-packed between working on my newest book (just finished the first draft last week!), my normal Titus2 work plus part-time bookkeeping for three companies, and preparing talks to go on a ministry trip myself in less than two weeks.
Please note: this is only meant to respond to the questions, and I won’t approve comments that are negative or debating why I’ve made this choice! 🙂
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
[Excerpts from Buying a House Debt-Free: Equipping Your Son, Steve and Teri Maxwell,Chapter 8, “What Skills Will He Have?” Product description and pre-ordering available sometime on Tuesday, the 4th.]
Have you met Eric? You’d remember him if you had. He’s a likable, enthusiastic, hardworking young man. His heart’s desire is to seek first the kingdom of God. Eric’s family is very musical, and he started playing the cello when he was six. By the time Eric was 10 years old, the four oldest children formed a string quartet and began performing professionally for weddings and also had prestigious, high end background music jobs.
When Eric was 14, he saw an article in a gardening magazine about raising bees. First, Eric read everything he could on the subject of beekeeping. Then he found a local man who was retiring from beekeeping who sold him four hives and equipment at a very reasonable cost. Eric was now a beekeeper. The first year the bees did well, and Eric harvested over 200 pounds of honey. Through the years, he was able to expand his honey operation to more than 30 beehives.
The bee business was a way for Eric to bring in a small income and be productive with his time while he was still busy in school. He estimates that over the years, he earned $8,000 to $10,000 from his beekeeping. His share of the quartet appearances yielded another $5,000.
At 16 most young men want a car, but Eric wanted a cow. That’s right, a cow! Their family lived on the edge of the suburbs, but their yard was one acre. Again, after careful research and saving his money, Eric received his parents’ permission to buy a young heifer. All was well for a while. Then the cow grew, and the reality of a cow living in the backyard where little children played proved too much. Eric’s dad said the cow needed a new home.
Eric started knocking on doors in their neighborhood and soon found a neighbor who was willing to let the cow live on her open three-acre pasture. She also gave Eric permission to keep a companion cow, which he promptly purchased from a local dairy. Overnight, Eric was in the dairy business, milking five to six gallons of fresh whole milk a day. With a market of clients seeking healthy local products, a new business was born. Within a few years, the operation grew to three Jersey milk cows and a small herd of dairy goats with more than 100 hand-milked gallons of milk a week, supplying over 40 customers. Milking at five a.m. and five p.m. every day, in addition to his school and other work, kept Eric pretty busy. Over the course of five years, by the age of 21, his milk operation and the raising and selling of cattle allowed him to save close to an additional $10,000.
When Eric was 19 he studied, tested, and obtained his real estate license and began work under a local broker. It was a difficult time in real estate with a very soft market. He learned, however, to work hard in the midst of a bad economy, and when the market stiffened in later years his same work ethic yielded great dividends.
Eric sold about 18 homes in his first three years during very lean times in the housing market. At the age of 24 and with a desire to honor God in his business, he began his own real estate brokerage.
Years earlier as a young child, Eric had watched his parents work hard to get out of debt, and that made quite an impression on him. He decided he wanted to buy his house and live debt-free.
As a realtor, Eric kept his eyes open for a house he might be able to buy with the cash he had been saving.
Because of a slow market during the fall months, a significantly undervalued town home was listed at $79,900. It was presented as a “short sale,” and Eric wrote an offer on it in October. It was mid-April before the two lien-holding banks approved his offer. The house is a two-bedroom, one-bath, 900-square-foot town home in the Denver area. Now that the housing market is beginning to recover, a similar town home in his neighborhood has been listed for $150,000. God gets the glory.
Eric is a powerful example of a young man who is always learning and developing marketable skills. Eric made a statement that is dead on: “Things are for a season, and then you must be ready to move on.” This mindset yields a vocationally well rounded and marketable individual.
——- We’re excited to share with you so much more through Buying a Home Debt-Free! Watch for details soon.
“Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.” Proverbs 14:27
We are very excited to be working on a resource to encourage young men and families in being debt free. We would like to hear about young men that you might know that are committed to being debt free and have purchased homes. If you know of some, please write us. Use the contact us form. Please enter your telephone number and e-mail address. Thank you.
Steve and Teri
“Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.” Proverbs 24:27
Joseph bought a house Thursday! It is exciting to see how the Lord brought it all together.
Years ago, Dad and Mom laid forth a “vision” (meaning goals for their future) to my brothers which included purchasing homes debt-free. Each one has taken this goal seriously, working to save their money and praying about the house the Lord would have for them. Nathan, in 2001, bought his home. Christopher, in 2009, bought his home. Joseph, now in 2012, has also bought his. Houses are not bought debt-free easily as everyone knows. It takes years of hard work and saving to accomplish it. My brothers have taken the vision as their own, looking forward to the day they would be able to purchase their homes.
Joseph has been praying for a house, and one day last week, he felt prompted to look online, and found this one, which had only been listed an hour earlier. He was immediately interested and contacted the realtor. Joseph, John, and Jesse did the walk-through tour, and after praying and consulting with Dad (he was with the bus in Salina), Joseph made an offer. It was countered, and Joseph returned with his counter. The seller agreed! The house is about a mile from our house.
Thursday morning, Dad and Joseph met with the realtor at the title company, and Joseph presented his check. After signing his name on several papers, the process was done.
Joseph’s dream has been to either fix up a house or to build one. As it is, the house needs a lot of cosmetic work: from new windows to flooring, to painting, to bathroom work, and more. It is perfect for Joseph! Joseph will continue to live here at home until the Lord calls him to get married.
Truly, we marvel at God’s goodness. Each of my brothers’ house stories is different. Over and over, we have seen how the Lord has provided. Their years of saving and preparing have enabled them, with God’s grace, to achieve their goals.
So, with excitement, we share this with you. Don’t let the world tell you that it’s impossible to purchase a home debt-free or to raise children who won’t rebel. With God, all things are possible. With the Lord Jesus and His Word, it is possible to raise sons who can provide for a single-income family, who can live out the “vision” set before them, and who can live for the Lord Jesus. May each of us be found faithful!
With love, Sarah
Here are some initial pictures. More will be coming as the work progresses!
John and Anna stopped to pose for a picture. The kitchen already looks much different than it did on Thursday. Remodeling has begun!
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.