To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.
I want to plan a honeymoon for my autumn wedding. But, with student loans and car debt, I know I should not use a credit card or deplete my savings that way. I hate to disappoint my fiancé but believe we should wait to take a trip when we are better off financially.
Should we just wait or not worry since it is the only honeymoon we plan to ever take?
Dear Strapped Already,
I am so glad you asked this question. Helping young couples get started off financially stable gives me real joy!
My wife, Ann, and I were college students when we got married, so I totally understand limited funds! Our honeymoon began with a hotel room provided by a friend’s parents. We were able to put together an entire seven day trip without debt.
Don’t allow yourself to fall prey to the pressure to take some grand trip. The average couple spends more than $4,000 on their honeymoon, but with additional wedding expenses, the financial pressure can be intense. You can often find very reasonable honeymoon options if you just plan well.
If you both agree to avoid debt, which I believe you should, then begin to look at all your options before you give up on a honeymoon immediately following the wedding.
Ask God to Provide
Sometimes God provides miraculously. We may need to ask for help from others, where God meets our needs through the body of Christ, the church. And, sometimes He tests us to see if we will trust Him.
Consider these examples from God’s Word:
In the story of the widow and oil, God worked through Elisha, but the widow exercised faith in doing what he said. Her obedience brought relief in the bountiful provision of oil which she sold to pay her debts. (2 Kings 4:1-7)
The Macedonian church took part in the relief of the saints in Jerusalem. They experienced joy in giving and the believers were blessed and strengthened. (2 Corinthians 8:1-2)
Look For Creative Solutions
If you know someone who has a lake house, cabin, or second home, humbly ask if you can use it. People are typically thrilled to provide in such a way. I’ve also seen many couples ask for cash or donations to their honeymoon on their wedding registry. Sometimes that’s a much bigger blessing than a toaster!
Research inexpensive vacation options. A staycation or a short trip to a nearby city may fit your budget but still allow you the opportunity to get away for a few days following the wedding. An international flight and 2-week European vacation may not be an option right now but you may still be able to enjoy a few relaxing days away.
One of our staff members postponed their honeymoon until six months after their wedding and it had nothing to do with their finances. They were married in the fall but wanted to honeymoon during the warmer months of summer. It worked out great for them. If you do this, it will allow you time to save the cash for your trip and avoid more debt.
I’m glad to know you are willing to wait to take your trip until you’re more financially stable. Many couples don’t have that kind of self-control so they carry unnecessary stress by relying on credit cards instead of praying and waiting on the Lord to provide. Waiting is hard – but God tells us repeatedly to do it.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14 NIV)
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1 NIV)
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. (Psalm 62:5-6)
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope... (Psalm 130:5 ESV)
Starting your marriage with car and student loan debt is a challenge. Regardless of your honeymoon choice, I want you to evaluate your priorities. The demands of work, life, money, family and friends compete for our attention. Often, we are so preoccupied with things of this world that we miss the joy in living as God designed. We often choose:
· Personal comfort vs. serving others
· Acquiring more vs. living on less
· Keeping/hoarding vs. generous giving
Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He may be testing you and suddenly provide a honeymoon for you out of the blue. Or, He may want you to wait for reasons you don’t understand right now. Seek Him.
As one who’s been on both the giving and receiving end of God’s provision, there is nothing like it!
We all experience difficult and sometimes painful circumstances as a result of our actions, other people’s choices, or things beyond our control. Even simple life issues can be overwhelming.
But, God, whose ways are far beyond our comprehension, invites us to humble ourselves and turn to Him in faith. When we do, He provides answers to our deepest needs. And, though he already knows what we need and desire, he is most concerned about our relationship with Him.
Congratulations! May your wedding be sweet, your savings secure, and your marriage firmly rooted in the Lord.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:19-20 ESV)