Incorporating Biblical principles into your families financial lifestyle is essential when raising children in a Christian home. This three-part series expounds on the benefits of having of a strong Christian foundation in your finances and how you can pass that heritage onto your children.
We live in a class conscious society that places great value on material wealth and the ‘abundance of things which we possess.’ It seems the lines of division between the “haves” and “have nots” are being drawn increasingly clearer by the day and many Christians are having to make tough decisions on where they want to be.
In all honesty, most people would certainly agree that “having not” has little appeal. However, Jesus had no trouble telling the rich yourng ruler who had come to Him seeking the secret of eternal life to “go and sell all that you have and you will have treasure in heaven, and come follow Me.” (Matthew 19:21). This sure does not seem to place material objects in high regard.
From this and other Scripture that can be related to finance, it’s plain to see that God’s financial system differs greatly from that of society at large. In God’s financial system, the concept of “having” or “not having” is not as important as recognizing what the true “treasure” is to begin with and valuing it above all. In the case of the rich young ruler, his “treasure” was his earthly possessions which he valued most of all. Ironically, his possessions did not bring him complete happiness, satisfaction or peace of mind. Otherwise, why would he go to Jesus for the answers he sought?
The Bible teaches that where your “treasure” is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21). Therefore, as a Christian, it is important to determine early on in life just what your “treasure” is going to be, as your “treasure” will have a big impact on the ethics of your finances at home. If wealth and material gain is your “treasure”, your financial decisions, career goals, business dealings, etc. will center around that purpose and, good or bad, your actions will be geared towards reaching that goal.
If you opt for “treasure in heaven,” it doesn’t necessarily mean you will lack financially. It does mean, however, that you’ll place greater priority on living God’s financial principles of generosity, selflessness and caring for the needs of others in your life.
Your perspective of what is truly valuable in life will determine how your finances play out in your home. Your perspective will have an impact on your family, friends, business associates and fellow employees. Your financial values (or lack thereof) could very well be the basis of the Christian financial education you bequeath unto your children.
We propose that you define your families treasure and lead your finances accordingly. Finances are not often discussed openly amongst families. Now, we are not suggesting that you sit down with your children and offer a breakdown of your income and expenses. We do suggest though, that you demonstrate biblical principals openly. Don’t just say that giving is good, but show your children how to give selflessly.
Make a routine of incorporating your entire family in your giving. Maybe you have decided that a percentage of your income or a particular dollar amount is dedicated to charitable contributions. A great way to involve your children is to allow them to choose the charity. An alternative is to match any amount set aside for donations that your child dedicates in their children’s budget (post coming soon in this series!) in order to show that you value their decision to give freely what God has given to them.
There is nothing more important than adopting Biblical principles into your financial lifestyle and passing those principles onto your children. God’s financial system carries with it a lifetime guarantee. Storing treasures in heaven begins with defining your families treasure, which should reflect your belief in God’s Word and His blessing for your financial supply.
In the next part of this series, we will discuss how to teach Biblical financial princples to our children and encourage them to adopt these principles into their lives.