Teach kids about money, not to love it or be covetous

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Farm (1 of 3)

For dad only:

How to Teach Kids about Money

We live in a world full of covetousness. Do not hurry through this devotional. Teach your kids about money. The craze for cash and things has crept into the church until even God’s people get carried away in the rush for more stuff.

Your kids should not grow up always desiring more. The love of money erodes the moral fiber of the home. It unsettles everything. Teach them contentment by being contented. Teach them thankfulness by being thankful.

Contentment is catchy

I remember living in an inadequate mobile home that we desperately needed to move out of. Almost everyday I would mention to the kids how fortunate we were to have a place to live. We did not complain. We thanked God for what we had. Only when God provided a better place for us did the kids begin to realize how bad things had been before.

I am convinced that if we had grumbled and complained about that old living environment, they would be grumbling and complaining about our current situation. Contentment does not arrive because of location. You locate this character quality in your heart.

Teach children to master money

If they do not master their money, it will master them. Teach kids to give tithes and offerings now, while it is easy to make it a habit. Teach them to save now so it continues throughout life. Teach them the difference between investing in things that earn them more money (a lawnmower) and things that burn their money (a candy bar).

Do you choose money over family? Overtime vs. family time? Do you think you are a better dad if you bring home a bigger check? Do you believe more money will solve your problems? Do you have feelings against people who owe you money? Do you exaggerate things or hide pertinent information if you are trying to make a sale?

If you are a “yes” to any of those questions, you need to work on you first. Your kids will be what you are. If you love money, they won’t love you.

The problem with money lust

All kinds of evil come from loving money. Sodom became homosexual because they loved money, luxury, and the finer things of life without caring for the needy (Ezekiel 16:49-50). People murder others for money, as we see in Mexico’s current drug wars. Corporations poison people with deadly ingredients in their foods and noxious compounds in their products because it turns millions of dollars in profits.

Get ripped off and like it

Most Christians are just as mean and nasty at the customer service desk as any other human. Yet God’s word teaches us to not get bent out of shape when we are taken advantage of (I Corinthians 6:7). Do you snarl when you get overcharged or morph into an ogre about paying the bills? How do you respond when the church handles finances differently than you would prefer?

Whatever has your heart will play your emotions. If you compromise all that is true and holy for the sake of money, then you love it. If you put your job and paycheck before church and your commitment to God, you love money.

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Read this to help teach kids about money:

Farm Frenzy

The raging black bull charged at Rusty as he ran across the field. Rusty looked back, gasping for air as he ran. He could see the bull was getting closer.

Rusty and Misty had come with Mom and Dad to spend some time with Dad’s parents this summer. They had played in the pool, roasted marshmallows, and had some great games of checkers.

When they arrived at the farm, Grandpa told Rusty, “You know the farm is not just a place of fun. You have to watch out or you could get into trouble.”

“I’ll be careful,” Rusty said. He really meant it.

He had gotten bored this afternoon, though. Grandma and Grandpa were napping, Mom and Dad had run into town, and Misty was reading a book. Rusty had chased a lizard all the way from Grandpa’s backyard, into the field. He climbed through the barbed wires and continued his chase.

The lizard had scurried across the dry ground, heading toward the barn. It ran so fast Rusty was nearly running to catch it. The cows started mooing when they saw him and scattered to get away. Rusty looked up at them and lost track of the lizard. Then he remembered Grandpa saying to stay away from the bull.

The bull lowered its head to the ground and shook it. Rusty wanted to get to the barn to hide, but the bull was standing in front of it. It began to paw at the ground. Rusty turned and ran for all he was worth to get back to the fence. The bull charged at him. Rusty’s two legs could not move faster than the bull’s four.

“Almost there,” Rusty huffed, “help me, Jesus!” When he reached the fence, he grabbed the top of the post and jumped over. The bull skidded on the dusty ground, but still slammed into the fence post as Rusty landed headlong in the backyard. He rolled away from the danger, ran to the house, and then looked back. The bull blared a long howled and pawed at the ground. He had bent the fence post, broken one wire, and put a big gash on his face. It yowled again and stared at Rusty.

Rusty was shaking so bad he could hardly stand up. He staggered toward the sliding glass door on the back porch when Grandpa came out it. His hair was mussed, and he was clipping on a strap of his overalls.

“What are you doing out here, boy?” he yelled. Grandpa looked at the bull. “He’s a mess—and look at my fence!” He looked at Rusty again. “Are you okay, son?”

Rusty nodded and fought back tears.

•       •       •

A few hours later, Rusty had calmed down, Dad had come back and given him a good talking to, and Grandpa had corralled the bull and treated his wound.

That evening, Grandpa had Rusty come outside to help him mend the fence.

“Here,” Grandpa said, “we have to take both broken ends of the barbed wire and stretch them back together.”

Rusty helped remove the temporary cattle panel Grandpa had put up.

“It’s a good thing he didn’t keep going,” Rusty said. “He could have come right through all five strands.”

“Yes,” Grandpa sighed, “that would have been a real mess. Not only would you have been hurt, but he may have run off, too.”

“Is he worth a lot of money?” Rusty asked, looking at the bull grazing in the field.

Grandpa nodded. “He’s worth twice as much as any other cow out there. He’s a registered black angus.” Grandpa pushed the metal fence post until it stood up straight again.

“Is he worth 2000 dollars?”

Grandpa nodded again. “More than that.”

“Wow!” Rusty said. “I wish I had a lot of money. How did you get enough money to buy a cow like that?”

Grandpa smiled. “Rusty, if you always spend your money on things that make you money, you will always have plenty of money.”

Grandpa hooked the broken ends of the wire into a puller and showed Rusty how to pull them together.

“If you have lots of money, why don’t you get a big swimming pool?” Rusty said. “That would be cool.”

Grandpa shook his head and looked at the plastic pool. “If you spend your money on fun, you will never have any money. An in-ground pool would probably cost as much as my whole herd of cattle. But it would never make a dime.”

He took a small piece of fence wire and put it against the two wire ends. “Now, we take a couple clips like this and slip them over the two pieces of wire.” He pulled another tool out of a pocket in his overalls. “And we use this crimper to crush the metal and hold it all together.” He groaned as he squeezed hard to crimp the wires together.

When he took the stretching tool off, the wire snapped against the fencepost.

“It almost looks as good as it did before,” Rusty said.

“Just got to put some more fence clips back on it,” Grandpa said, reaching into his pocket again. “Here.” He handed the fence clip to Rusty and showed him how to hook it on the wire, wrap it around the post, and bend it back over the wire.

“Look,” Rusty said, “another one is missing here.”

They fixed it, too, and went inside for dinner.

•       •       •

The family had plenty to talk about at the table that night as Rusty told about his close call with an angry bull. When supper was over, Misty wanted to go out and see the bull.

“Oh, I suppose we could call them in with some grain and you could see him from in the barn,” Grandpa said. “If I am there, he won’t be mean.”

Dad, Rusty, Grandpa, and Misty walked out into the evening air. Grandpa looked out toward the pasture and frowned. “Usually they are all close up here by now.”

“Maybe they found some sweet clover,” Dad said.

Grandpa called for them, but could not see them or hear them. “Maybe they are over that hill. I have never liked how that ground drops off the back of the property and I can’t see them. We may have to drive out there in the truck and bring them in with some cubes.”

Just then, an old blue pickup truck pulled into the yard and the driver called to Grandpa. “Are your cattle out?”

“I don’t think so,” Grandpa answered, “why?”

“There’re some cows out in the lane down there that look like yours. They aren’t in the main road yet, just wandering down that old gravel lane behind your property.”

Grandpa glanced at the field again, and then at Dad. “Hop in the truck guys. Let’s go see.” He turned to his neighbor and thanked him before jumping in and starting the diesel engine.

They hurried up the road and turned down the gravel lane. Sure enough, they saw several cows grazing outside the fence. “Those are mine, all right,” Grandpa said. “I wonder how they got out.”

Misty thought outloud, “Maybe the bull broke the fence in more than one place.”

“Hmm,” Grandpa said. Since the cows were not going anywhere too fast, he drove along and looked at the fence.

“Hey,” Dad said, “the fence is slack right there. See? In fact, it is cut open!”

“It sure is,” Grandpa said. He turned on his headlights and stopped the truck. They got out and looked at the fence. “Somebody did this on purpose,” he said.

Rusty pointed down at the ground, “Look, tire marks.”

Grandpa looked up and down the dirt road. His cows had followed him and were coming up to his truck to see if he had any feed. “Some of my cattle are missing!”

“Someone stole your cattle,” Dad said. “This is where they loaded them into their trailer.”

Grandpa looked over the rest of his herd. “They took my bull!” He pulled out his phone, saying, “I better call the sheriff.”

_______

Now discuss it!

What did Rusty learn about a bull, the hard way?

It could hurt him.

 

What did Rusty learn from Grandpa about money?

That if you spend it on fun you won’t have any.

 

Is it wrong for Christians to have money?

 

In I Timothy 6:10, what is the root of all kinds of evil? What happens to people who covet it?

 

Why do you think someone stole Grandpa’s cattle?

 

How does God want us to handle money?

 

What is the difference between saving money and being greedy?

 

What is the difference between loving money and taking care of your family?

 

What does Proverbs 21:17 teach you about the desires of your heart regarding luxury and money?

 

What else can we learn from I Timothy 6:6-11?

_________

Read God’s Word together:

You Rich Fool!

A man in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide with me the property our father left us.”

Jesus answered him, “Friend, who gave me the right to judge or to divide the property between you two?”

And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “There was once a rich man who had land which bore good crops. He began to think to himself, ‘I don’t have a place to keep all my crops. What can I do? This is what I will do,’ he told himself; ‘I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I will store the grain and all my other goods. Then I will say to myself, Lucky man! You have all the good things you need for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself !’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself ? ‘ ”

And Jesus concluded, “This is how it is with those who pile up riches for themselves but are not rich in God’s sight.”

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “And so I tell you not to worry about the food you need to stay alive or about the clothes you need for your body. Life is much more important than food, and the body much more important than clothes.

Look at the crows: they don’t plant seeds or gather a harvest; they don’t have storage rooms or barns; God feeds them! You are worth so much more than birds! Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it? If you can’t manage even such a small thing, why worry about the other things?

Look how the wild flowers grow: they don’t work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers. It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won’t he be all the more sure to clothe you? What little faith you have!

“So don’t be all upset, always concerned about what you will eat and drink. (For the pagans of this world are always concerned about all these things.) Your Father knows that you need these things. Instead, be concerned with his Kingdom, and he will provide you with these things.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom. Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourselves purses that don’t wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them. For your heart will always be where your riches are.”

(Luke 12:13-34, GNB)

_________

Let’s talk about it!

What was wrong with the man having a barn? Grandpa had a barn. Was it wrong for him to store his harvest or was God upset about his attitude?

 

What was the man’s attitude?

 

When the man died, what would he have to show for his life and all his hard work?

 

Does Jesus tell us to worry about money and live our lives to get more?

 

What does He use to illustrate how God takes care of us?

Birds, grass.

 

If God will take care of us, does that mean we should not work for a living?

 

Role play: Someone offers to sell you a lottery ticket so you can win millions of dollars. What do you say? Why?

 

Your friend sees that you have $50. He asks if he can borrow it and promises he will pay it back as soon as he can. Is it mean to say no? Is it wise to say yes?

_________

Memorize this scripture to help teach kids about money!

Proverbs 21:17

He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man:

he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

 

_________

1 comment to Farm (1 of 3)

  • Money Lesson: Tips for Teaching Kids About Money | STAY AT HOME MOMS CONNECT

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