The power of your influence on your child’s life during their upbringing cannot be overstated. Your children watch, and when what they see matches what they hear, that is a powerful influence; when what they see is not what they hear, that too is a powerful influence. So, the starting point in helping your children learn not only biblical principles about money, but also biblical principles about life, is with your own influence.

Some families do not talk about money, yet it is amazing how a young person can sense when there is tension in the room. Though you may not argue in their presence, they have a keen sense that an argument has already transpired, but they can also sense when there is peace and harmony.

I encourage you to have age-appropriate conversations with your children, talking to them about your work and why you work. Tell them about the principles behind your work-doing the best that you can, having favor in the eyes of your employer and God, doing all things as unto the Lord and being blessed and rewarded for that. Teach them why an income is to be earned, about the bills to be paid, and about the differences between want and need. Being more transparent in a matter that is appropriate for their age will have a great impact on their lives, helping them to develop healthy, God-honoring views of money that they will carry into adulthood.

When it is payday, if you were to pause either at dinner or another time when you have the family together, and verbally give God thanks for the provision, income, job, and abilities He provided, then either announce or talk about how you are going to honor the Lord by tithes and offerings (perhaps read Proverbs 3:9-10 together, “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”) That is a teaching moment! 

It is demonstrating before their eyes your acknowldgement that every good gift is from the Lord, that He gives you the ability to work, that He provides the income, and that you are going to honor Him with it. You may do that by writing a check and putting it in the envelope right then and there or, since nowadays there is more online activity and interaction, you may take out the computer and tithe, giving to the Lord in prayer with thanksgiving. This giving to the Lord seems like it would result in less money for the household, but it is trusting in His economic system. When He provides, you give Him glory for that and you teach your children “See, even though we tithed and we gave offering in worship to the Lord, trusting in Him, He still provided for us to have all of our needs met!” And if God does something extra in your life, perhaps a raise, an unexpected check, a refund ,or rebate, then be sure to inform and include your children, “Look what the Lord did.”

In your own Bible reading, mark the passages that deal with money, riches, and possessions. You may be surprised by just how frequently the subject comes up, generally dealing with the heart. Why not read this back to your child at bedtime. In addition to the young lad who shared his lunch (John 6:9), you’ll find King Solomon teaching the wisdom of saving (Pro. 6:6-8; 21:20), and Joseph advising Pharaoh to save for a future known need(Genesis 41). We learn of God’s miraculous provision when circumstances appear impossible (1 Kings 17:12), as well as the foolishness of hoarding money for ourselves, and not being generous with God (Luke 12:20). There are reportedly over 2,300 verses in Scripture dealing with these subjects, perhaps enough to share with your children throughout their childhood and beyond!

Reading to your children may inspire in them a desire to read themselves. Give them good books to read or read to them. Trustworthy resources, at the time of this writing, include books by the late Larry Burkett, by Randy Alcorn and Eternal Perspective Ministries, Crown Financial, Striving Together Publications, and Faith and Finances ministry.

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