Teaching Kids To Be “On Mission” with Money
Are you teaching your kids to be “on mission” with their money? Many parents wait far too long before teaching their children the Christian principles of giving, providing, saving, spending, and giving more. From the first days that your children earn money or an allowance, help them learn to manage their money in these five areas.
Priority 1: Giving
In the Bible, God sets “the tithe” (10%) as the baseline for giving (Malachi 3). Some suggest this is not a New Testament commandment, and regardless of where you stand theologically on this matter, I think it is helpful to think of the 10% mark as the “training wheels” for giving and generosity. Let’s start there, and move it up as God enables! When your children earn that first dollar, teach them to give the first ten cents to the church. Encourage them to be the ones to put that dime in the offering plate. Giving a dime is not too hard. When they earn their first $10, they give $1. Again, this is not too painful. But what about giving $10 when they earn $100? $100 when they earn $1,000? Ouch time. Training our children to give from the very beginning helps them exercise their “giving muscles” and helps keep their hearts free from the love of money.
Priority 2: Providing for the family
After giving our first fruits to the Lord, our next biblical responsibility with our money is to provide for our families (1 Timothy 5). Sadly, most parents today rob their children of the blessing and privilege of helping to support the family financially. Almost all the teenagers I know get to keep all the money they make from their part time job and spend it however they want. As an adult, how much of your money do you to spend like that? Probably next to none! In our family, when our kids earn money outside the home, 20% of what they make goes toward paying the mortgage, insurance, buying groceries, etc. They are blessed with the opportunity to help the family, the family becomes stronger financially, and our kids learn from the beginning to use their money as God intended – to support the home.
It used to be common knowledge, that the more children a family had the more financially stable they would become. Why? Because they would have more workers, more producers. Today, because we view our children as strictly consumers, people believe that more children = more poverty. Teaching your kids to help provide for the family from an early age is an essential ingredient for your family’s financial health and generosity into the future generations!
Priorities 3 and 4: Saving and spending
After giving to the church and providing for the family, help your kids set aside a percentage of their income for savings, and provide coaching and guidance for them to learn principles of wise spending.
Priority 5: More giving
As the Lord blesses and enables, we can give more and more! Can you make an anonymous gift to a neighbor in need? Can you make a monthly commitment to a missionary? Can you support a child on the other side of the world?
No matter what financial state your family is in right now, ask God for the grace to be “faithful with a little” so that you might increasingly use the resources He gives you to strengthen your church, support your family, and spread the gospel.