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Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. 1 TIMOTHY 6:18
If you could leave each of your children one million dollars as an inheritance, would you?
I imagine that for most of us, our first response to this question would be favorable. After all, the Bible says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). But there’s more to blessing our kids than leaving behind large quantities of money for them. In fact, far too many adults who receive an inheritance windfall act like lottery winners, unable to handle the pressure and temptation of having too much all at once.
So perhaps this would be a good time to ensure that the financial priorities and perspectives you’re handing down to your children are anchored in a biblical foundation. Teach them:
1. God owns it all. Some in the Christian community have taught their children that the tithe (10 percent) is the Lord’s, but the other 90 percent is theirs to spend as they please. Our children need to learn that money is the EKG of our hearts—a track record of what we value.
2. Giving is the privilege and the responsibility for every follower of Christ. There’s more than one way to instruct your children to give. My dad used to sit down at our dinner table and make out his check for the church every Sunday. He never said a word to me about giving, but he modeled how to give. Our children need to see us setting aside portions of our income to help Kingdom causes and needy people. Allowing them to participate in these decisions offers them hands-on, generational training in how good it feels to give.
Leaving your children an inheritance is more than just giving them money.
Give and train them with the ultimate inheritance: God’s perspective on money.
How does your checkbook reflect your true values that you will pass on to your children? Talk about how well you are doing in passing on God’s perspective on money, giving and wealth.
Pray that you will never feel ownership, only stewardship, of the money that God entrusts to you.