We have been married for almost a year and a half now. Before we got married, we made a conscious decision not go on holiday by ourselves. Our first holiday alone together was our honeymoon in Hawaii.
People always ask us or make a remark about how much we travel. It always makes me question their real intentions… Do they think we spend too much money on holidays? Do they think we are not wise stewards of money?? Are they saying we are bad Christians???
To be honest, this is something we struggle with a lot. We love to travel but as Christians, we are mindful of how we spend our money. We recognise that finance is a gift from God and it belongs to God who gave it to us in the first place.
We don’t buy designers clothes, we rarely eat out and we don’t own much that’s expensive. Surely that means we are allowed to spend all our money on holidays?
So why do I still feel so guilty?
We did a session in our fellowship group at church once on the topic of money. I remember asking the group if it was ok for us to travel often. Although I got a resounding ‘yes’, the feeling of guilt never really went away.
I read a comment today about how people our age travel too much and it triggered those feelings of guilt again. As I did my quiet time, this passage came up.
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
Just to put this in context, the rest of the chapter talks mainly about how riches are meaningless. It is not about focusing on money. Reading that, I feel like I was given permission to enjoy life… I am allowed to use the money I earn from working hard. This is so liberating!
Don’t get me wrong, we are not luxurious-holidayers. All of our trips had been budget trips with various discounts or they are trips aboard to attend a friend’s wedding. But to read in the bible that it is OK to spend money on yourself sometimes is so refreshing.
We have enjoyed all our travels and our marriage had been deeply enriched by spending time away by ourselves. We have grown through marvelling at God’s creation together, through experiencing different cultures and religions and through team work (especially when we are lost in a new country). We are glad to have this season in our marriage where we can just get up and go and we give thanks to God that we can afford it! (I hear things are very different when the kids come…)
So to answer the question ‘Are you travelling too much?’, we will have to say no. We will work hard, give what we can, serve fearlessly and rest in the freedom given to us by the blood of Christ!