There are three ways we can directly participate in global missions – praying, giving, and going. The purpose of this article is to encourage and equip you to teach your children 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). I believe this tithe should be given to our local church. 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.
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? In our house, this is when giving becomes the most fun!
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.