It’s one of the most valuable lessons you can teach your children – how to properly handle money. You see, we live in a world where more lives – and even nations – are falling apart at the seams because of financial irresponsibility. It seems that almost every day I hear where some nation is in chaos over an oncoming collapse in their economy or some family is facing foreclosure (or even divorce) because they never learned the first rule of finances – you can’t spend more than you take in.
One of the first lessons I have determined to teach my children is how to properly view and use the money that the Lord gives to them. I want them to see themselves as stewards of God’s money, not spenders of their money. I want them to see money for what it is – a way to be blessed and a means to be a blessing. I don’t want them to fall into the financial traps that so many people fall into today. I don’t want their self-worth to be tied to their net-worth. I don’t want them to hold onto to their money, yet lose their family. I don’t want them to get into so much debt that they can’t obey and follow the Lord. In short, I want them to have a Biblical view of money.
Over the past couple of years I’ve come up with what I call “Five Facts For Future Financial Faithfulness.” (I know, it’s a mouthful.) My children are not old enough yet to have a conscious grasp on the detailed financial concepts that they will ultimately need to be successful stewards. However, they are old enough for me to be teaching lessons and planting seeds that I trust God will use later on in their lives. That’s why I’ve determined to be the best role-model I can be in all areas of life, and especially in the area of finances.
So, let me pass along these “Five Facts For Future Financial Faithfulness” with the prayer that God will use these in your life and the lives of your children.
* Money isn’t a taboo topic. Don’t be afraid to talk about money with your children. It isn’t a dirty word. In spite of so many people’s misquoting of scripture, money is not the “root of all evil.” So, talk often about money. Share with them the importance and place of money in their lives. Get them to memorize scriptures that teach how we should view and handle money, our responsibility to give back to God, and the blessing of giving to others. In short, talk about money – a lot.
* “$$$$” is the sound of temptation. We live in a world that is more and more commercialized. Marketing companies know exactly how to entice people, including your children, to buy their products. They saturate television shows, DVDs and video games with advertisements meant to snatch money out of your children’s hands. So, cut back on the television, monitor their DVDs and video games. Don’t allow the world to put a desire in your children’s young hearts for more and more stuff that ends up ruining their lives and family when they are adults.
* Well seen is well done. Let your children watch how you properly handle money. Take them shopping with you. Explain how much money you have budgeted and then let them help you make the decisions on what to buy and what not to buy. Allow them to watch you clip coupons, check for sales and be a good manager of the money God has given to you. As they watch you properly handle the money that the Lord has given to you it will begin to build a proper view of finances in their young hearts.
* “Impulse” is a “four-letter word.” We’ve all fallen into the trap of “impulse shopping” – buying something that we really didn’t need, and maybe didn’t even like. If your child tells you that they “really, really” want something, put it on a Christmas or birthday wish list. Teach them that sometimes they have to wait for some things. This will not only teach them patience but will instill in them an appreciation for things that will be a real benefit to them later in life.
* You enjoy more what you work for. There is something vitally important about instilling in your child a strong work ethic. Give them jobs around the house – mowing the yard, washing dishes, picking up leaves or toys. This will not only make them more intentional about what they spend their money on, but will give them a greater since of personal pride and achievement.
I hope that these five little facts on finances will be a help and an encouragement to you as you seek to teach your children how to properly view and use the money that the Lord gives to them. Everything is His anyway (Psalm 24:1), so we should ALL learn how to be the best stewards possible.