Did you know that there are more than 800 verses in the Bible pertaining to money and finances? God knew we would struggle with our relationship with money, and He’s given us a lot of guidance regarding financial stewardship.
In my past posts about teaching stewardship (part of the series that began with MINE ~ Teaching – and Learning – True Stewardship), I pointed out that we parents must practice what we preach ~ before we preach it. Financial stewardship is no different. However, I want to acknowledge that there are many, many factors that affect a household’s finances. I understand that times are tough, and that things like an inconsistent income or an ongoing financial burden, such as illness, can make budgeting tough.
So, no guilt here. There are many wonderful books about money management and organizations set up just to help adults get their financial house in order. That’s not my goal. I want to talk about how we teach our kiddos to steward their finances – now and as they grow.
Money is such a big subject, that I decided to expand this to three posts. Next week, I’ll offer a post on how to teach financial stewardship to the little people (PreK through 5th grade), and another post with ideas on how to partner with your older kids to offer a solid understanding of economics and personal finance before they leave home. Now, I am by no means a financial expert (unless you want an expert in what not to do!). I’ll have suggestions for you, I’ll tell you what we did with our kids, and what we plan to do different the next time around. However, I would love to hear your suggestions. I just hope to begin the discussion.
I think one of the most important things I’ve learned about money is found in Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13: “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.”
I don’t think this means we can’t utilize money as a tool. I think Jesus is saying that we can’t serve money; it cannot become the primary aim of our lives. Money is just another thing that the God of the Universe owns. He owns all of it; even the money in our personal possession. We must remember to bow only to our Lord, and never to His creation – or our own. I think it’s important that our children understand that wealth can quickly become an idol. Our hope is not in our cash, nor in our charge card. Our hope is in Christ.
That said, with the littles, we’ll talk about how to teach the concepts of saving, giving and spending, basic budgeting, and I’ll post some suggestions for basic economic courses for the older elementary kids. For middle and high schoolers, we’ll talk about some options for economics, business, and personal finance classes you can conduct at home (and why that’s a good idea, even if your kids attend public school). I’ll tell you what we did with our teens and what I plan to add with our growing kids this time around.
What are your thoughts on teaching financial stewardship? How do you plan to teach your kids about money and economics? What are you already doing, or what have you done in the past? How did it work for you?
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.