I thought it was time for me to start teaching my five year old daughter Andi about money when I saw that she was beginning to understand the concept of money, how money is used, and what it was for. We also began to discuss it in homeschool in Math.
Before teaching her the literal value of money and how to add and subtract, I felt that she had to understand a few things about it first…
God is the source of everything and that all the money that we have is not ours but God’s. Everything belongs to Him and we are literally just “money managers”. Thus it is important that I give her a guide on how to manage what she has.
Second, handling money properly is something that will benefit her, as young as she is now and even to when she is much older. Even right now, she is attaining habits that are beneficial to her when she grows up, and also can be destructive. So it is important for her to start early in building her financial life right. More importantly in a manner that honors God.
Thirdly, I have stressed this time and time again to Andi (way before we introduced the concept of money to her) that it is more blessed to give than to receive. This has always been something I’ve really wanted her (and all my kids) to have: a heart that wants to bless others. We see often how naturally she leans to selfishness. But I am hopeful that she will have a revelation of how blessed she is, her life will overflow, and she will be a blessing to others.
My husband and I have always desired to raise up children who know the value of hard work. So fourthly, we do not wish our kids to depend on hard work for provision. Work and careers are not our providers but God is. We want them to learn to love work, to be excellent, and to be the best that they can be in the areas that God has chosen for them. We want them to understand that they worship God with their work and God uses their work as one of the main channels of His blessings and provisions.
We know teaching Andi this is not something we can achieve overnight. It is something that we pray a revelation to come upon Andi’s heart and mind one day soon. It is also something that she has to learn through the years as she applies them. And it is something that she has to see in our lives as parents and leaders of the family as well.
To end this blog, I want to share a simple tool in how I introduced the concept of honoring God first, prioritizing giving next, the need to save afterwards, and to use wisely what is left.
God, give, save, spend.
I learned this in a parenting seminar a few years back. It was explained by the son of one of our pastors. He was recounting how his parents taught him this tool when he was quite young. And since then it has been ingrained in his heart and in his mind. At that time he was about to get married and still today he easily practices this with his finances and witness the faithfulness of God with his money and his work.
To my fellow parents I hope this inspires you to teach kids young. It is a hope that I have that my children and their generation will be good stewards of their finances, and ultimately that they will honor and please God in handling what God has entrusted to them.