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A Quality God Blesses

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“The Bible says it, so give 10%. The Bible says so, so let’s do it," said Tiffany Woodard. “So, I think that for a long time, that was sufficient for me.” Tiffany Woodard didn’t understand the why behind her tithing, she just did it. Then in 2004, she married Andy and money got tight for the couple. Both were school teachers and their combined incomes were almost less than half of their $40,000 in school loans. Andy said, “There was tension. Yeah. I felt the pit of the stomach. How am I going to provide, what, what do I have to do to pull this off?” 

Two years later, they purchased a fixer upper home and added to their debt. “So, we were way out of proportion at that spot already. And then shortly after that, we found out she was pregnant. We were going to have a kid coming along and I just didn't know how we were going to pay the bills,” said Andy. Tiffany said, “So, there were lots of times that I would just sit at the desk and just cry over the budget and pray.”

Andy left teaching to work construction with his father and Tiffany was now home with their first child, Hazel. Their financial situation improved, but it was short lived. The housing crisis of 2008 hit and Andy went months without work. Tithing now became a burden on top of their bills. Andy said, “There was a lot of frustration, there was a lot of that why is God expecting so much out of us?” 

“It was like God was demanding my money, how could he?” said Tiffany. “And I was so mad that He asked for that much, even though it's 10%.”

So, Tiffany and Andy started writing God IOU’S. “It would accrue maybe two or three checks. And I’m like, okay, we need to pay it. It’s getting too big,” said Tiffany. Andy said, “God was a bill. And it was the first bill that got pushed back because He was the easiest creditor, so to speak.”

While they struggled financially, they said God was answering prayer all along. Groceries and at times envelopes with money were given to them. Andy also began listening to a radio show that put finances into a biblical perspective. Andy said, “God gave us His son. God is the ultimate giver. If we are going to be more Christ-like, which is our goal as a Christian, if we are going to become more Christ-like we need to be more of a giver.”  

“Now we can do this because I want to be generous because I want to be more like Christ,” Tiffany said. “So, let's get this ball rolling.” The couple never wrote another IOU to God. They continued to pay off debt as the housing market began to pick up and Andy’s work increased.

Tithing was now the priority. Andy said, “Financially that's when things started to change. There was more intentionality, but God was opening up doors for us. There were opportunities that weren't there earlier. We absolutely see a correlation in our lives between our willingness to release to God and the blessings coming back in.” 

In 2011 the Woodard’s welcomed a second daughter, Leah. And within eight years they paid off all debt including their mortgage. Tiffany said, “There's a deeper joy that I didn't have before because I see the impact that it has on people and how it impacts me too.” 

“It gives freedom,” said Andy. “When I tried to be the one in control, I just felt that tightening. And so, when I am allowing God to step in, when I’m being generous, it's a more open, more freeing way of living life. Just completely changes how I view life.” 

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