At this point in our lives, God has blessed us with one amazing son, and boy do we love being parents! What a blessing children are! Junior Willhoit is just nine months old. He spends his days eating, screaming, crawling (backwards only for now!), playing with his toys, listening to us read to him, and sleeping. Life is simple. When he’s hungry, we feed him. When it’s time for bed, we put him to sleep. He knows nothing of want. He knows nothing of need. He’s just getting used to his surroundings. The last thing on his mind is money! But I’m already thinking about training him in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6). Training him to handle money in a way that honors Christ. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share some of the things I want to teach my kid (and future kids) about money.
What I’m Not Going to Teach Him
I don’t plan on teaching Junior that money is something to be coveted. I’m not going to push him into a high paying career field for money. I’m not going to teach him to idolize the rich by placing them in front of our eyes every night. I’m not going to give him everything he wants so he becomes entitled and doesn’t value God honoring hard work. I’m not going to teach him that the ultimate goal in life is retirement. I’m not going to teach him that more money equals happiness.
Earning Money Takes Hard Work
In today’s world, it seems that many are always looking for the quick buck or easy way out. When that doesn’t work, it’s on to the next get-rich-quick scheme. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever had a friend try to sell you the latest multi-level marketing scam. I can feel you squirming in your chair trying to come up with an excuse not to attend the “meeting” you’ve been invited to!
But contrast those attitudes with what the Bible says:
“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 10:4
“The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.” Proverbs 21:25
There are many more Bible verses that we could look at, but the overall theme is clear. Being a diligent, hard worker is necessary to earn a living to provide for yourself and your family. More importantly, honest labor brings glory and honor to Christ!
Love of Money Is Idolatry Against God
The devil is often clever in his repackaging of the same old lies. As Christians in America, we’ve traded in the truth of God’s word for the latest tactics by the television evangelists promising that God desires to make you healthy, wealthy, and wise. To be clear, there are certainly people whom God has blessed financially. But there are many more chasing after wealth in the name of Jesus.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24
Debt Restricts Freedom
I’m not one of the proponents who says debt is always wrong in every circumstance. But the Bible is clear that debt creates a contractual obligation to repay which limits your options in life. Want to take a more rewarding, lower paying job? Probably won’t be an option if you’re too far in debt. For some people who have an addiction to buying and debt, it should be avoided at all costs. For other more prudent Christians, debt should be used only with extreme caution.
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Proverbs 22:7
“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
It Is More Blessed To Give Than To Receive
I don’t know about you, but I always feel much better about giving than I do about any other use of money. Giving shows a heart and mind that are focused on others and not just ourselves. Giving helps us to acknowledge that it is all His money anyways. Giving generously as the Lord provides for you is apart of the Christian life!
“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:15-16
“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.” Luke 6:30
Bringing It All Together
The main thing I want to teach Junior is that our attitude toward money reveals the condition of our heart. Typing this in a blog post makes it seem much easier than real life. The truth is that handling money is very difficult task for the Christian. On one hand, it is a must have to provide the basic needs of life. On the other, it makes for a cruel task master. In teaching my kids about money, I want to point them to Christ. I want them to use their money to honor Him! I want to refine my own understanding of what the Bible teaches us about money so that I can be a better steward of what He has provided!
How are you teaching your kids about money? Do you think I left anything out?