So, my husband and I are shoving all our money at student loan debt, which we hope to be finished with in the next year or two. In the meantime, we are also saving a lot in order to purchase things we need with cash. Buying a car with cash can be a very sobering experience! We also rent an apartment, and will continue to rent until we are both out of debt and able to buy a home with cash. Sure, this will take a while, but the way we see it, if it takes us 15 years, we will be 40 years old with a debt-free home. Few people can claim that. We will also not have spent a single cent on interest, and we will not have become "slaves to the lenders" (Proverbs 22:7).
My husband and I have learned not to necessarily preach debt-free living, but to try to live it out as an example and answer questions honestly as they come. The family member who bought the giant house couldn't understand why we also don't want to buy a home. My husband explained our beliefs on debt (which can be an awkward conversation as you stand in someone's indebted home), and the family member just looked at us like we were idiots. He said "I'd rather be in debt and live well now than live debt-free and have to be frugal".
And that is the sentiment behind nearly all of our decisions to go into debt, isn't it? I used to have a lot of credit card debt, because I just decided that my future self could deal with paying for what I wanted at that moment. But as we know, God doesn't always follow our plans for money. He is the provider and he can use our finances to teach us very difficult character lessons. So if a time comes where he restricts our income, we need to bow to that, and not have promised his future provision for the next 30 years to a bank.
We live in an "I want it NOW" culture, where people drive themselves into debt to get what they want. We even have words like "good debt" in our culture (usually referring to mortgages and student loans), but that "good debt" is still just debt. The Bible repeatedly warns us away from debt and advises us to be smart with our money, so how can we as Christians buy into the "I want it NOW" culture we live in?
Yeah, it can be annoying when everyone around you lives in amazing homes, buys amazing cars, and does amazing things. But we know that with obedience comes reward, perhaps not in this world but in the world to come. Christians need to constantly be working to please God, and accept whatever happens as a result of that.
If people criticize and scoff when we dare to go against the grain, we can be comforted knowing in our hearts that we are being obedient to the God of the universe.