Recent posts about elders telling people to quit their jobs etc. reminded me of this.
When I was in my early twenties I decided that I really wanted to build a house (Id always wanted to, even as a kid). I justified my "selfish" desire in my own mind by thinking that once we were living in it we'd have more freedom and skills to volunteer to do things like quickbuilds and International construction (actually, it really did work out that way). My wife agreed that what I'd laid out made sense and we started making plans. Since both of us worked mainly part time we figured we could pull it off time wise.
How the flip did we get the money? Well, we were both good at saving money and so both came in to the marriage with savings. I found bargains on lumber and other materials. Also, in my late teens I pulled off basically a no money down deal on a triplex, so we lived rent free in one of the units.
Neither of us were the type to go to the elders and ask for advice and we knew that most of the people in the congregation tended to be negative, so we pretty much kept it to ourselves. By the time the elders caught wind of what we were doing we had already poured the daylight basement.
Two elders made a visit while I was working on the site. They told me I was crazy, because I'd never built a house before. They said that my marriage would fail. Of course, I was going to lose my relationship with Johoho and maybe be removed as a ministerial servant (damn, I wish that had happened way back then!). I was told to quit while I still could, "What if armageddon comes while you're in the middle of building this?". I thanked them for their input and when they left we kept building.
After this, elders and their wives started making negative comments at the meetings about people deciding to invest in this system of things. One elder, Bob J. and his wife, any chance they could, would comment and look at us while they said, "Why would anyone build a house in this system of things." Funny thing, I didn't really give a shit.
Our marriage didn't fail. In fact, when JWs would ask us we'd say we couldn't wait to build another one together. That really pissed them off. We still own the house and get a nice rent check every month. Yep, we built the house we're living in now too.
Funny thing, a couple of years ago I bumped in to Bob J.'s son at the lumberyard, he bragged that he was in town... BUILDING A HOUSE FOR HIS MOM AND DAD!
We're so glad we didn't listen to the wisdom of the "elders"!