RRJ: We are thrilled that you’re both sharing how your faith is at work in the community. Was it a spiritual calling that led you to start up your company, Givens Team Real Estate?
Martha: Whether we are a teacher, salesperson, or worship leader, we see our spiritual calling is to serve Christ in every aspect of our lives, as we have served Christ throughout our lives. He has transitioned us into areas we never imagined. In 2007, as our youngest son was graduating from high school, I began to be drawn to working in the real estate industry. After several years of God blessing my business, Bill felt led to help me with the heavy load I was experiencing. Unknown to either of us, God had a bigger plan. Bill has had a very successful soft drink distributorship in the Central Alabama area for over 30 years, Givens Refreshment, Inc. His company has serviced school cafeterias, ball fields, daycares, and other activity centers in the local area. Last March, as the mandates for school closures and lockdowns began, we saw the income from this business come to a halt. However, God had already set the wheels in motion for real estate to escalate. And He provided above and beyond what the beverage business lost in 2020.
RRJ: How are you reassured that working in your occupation is exactly where God wants you to be?
Martha: Purchasing or selling a home is probably one of the largest financial endeavors any individual or family will ever make. As realtors, God has given us the privilege of guiding our clients with our knowledge and experience by maintaining a Christlike attitude in all situations. Anyone involved in a real estate transaction can attest that tempers, fears, and anxiety can run high. Our clients always know where we turn for our source of strength and direction. Our past experiences and our involvement with several Christian financial ministries have given us the wisdom we need to help young couples understand if a home purchase is a right decision for them.
RRJ: For most of us, we find solace in our faith journey. How does your faith sustain you in continuing to dedicate yourself to your career, even when there are challenges ahead?
Martha: Life always hands us daily challenges, and we live in a fallen world. In uncertain times we can be assured we have a GOD who is sovereign. Faith in Christ as our Savior and sustainer through all circumstances is our only source of strength. There have been many times of uncertainty in conflict or situational pressure that our only avenue was to go before the throne of grace and obtain mercy and find strength.
RRJ: For Christians who may struggle to live their faith beyond the church walls, what encouragement would you give them?
Martha: The encouragement we would offer is to prepare as you go into a world that is not our home. Keep in mind that we are to love others, even those we feel are unlovable. Christ died for them as He died for us. We try to remind ourselves that God brings people into our lives for a reason. Sometimes that reason is that God is refining “us” through the interaction with them. God uses them in our lives as our heavenly sandpaper. Sometimes it is rough, but He knows what we need.
RRJ: Being a believer of Christ, there are values that you live by each day. What are the values that define your personal and professional lives?
Martha: The most important value would have to be that we are Christians, bought and paid for by the blood of Christ. We are not our own. We are ambassadors for Christ on this earth, and we are held accountable to Him for our actions… to Christ alone. It is easy to say we live by or follow the Golden Rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Not sure if that is the way the Bible says it, but most people recognize it in that form.) Unfortunately, pride and sin cause us to stop short of this and only think of ourselves first. It is a daily struggle to walk in the Spirit and live a life that is pleasing to GOD.
RRJ: Your faith is a vital part of who you are as a couple, and it adds an exciting dimension to both of your personalities. How has your faith grounded your marriage?
Martha: Marriage has made us one in Christ. It’s exciting because we both know God created us uniquely, as individuals with different backgrounds and experiences, that make us who we are as individuals. He expanded our personalities through the bonds of marriage, teaching us to rely on one another for love and support, yet always looking to Christ as our guide. We are one in marriage and one with Christ.
Martha and Bill have been married for 42 years, and Montgomery has been their home while raising three boys: David, Daniel, and Jason, and nine grandchildren.