Proverbs 27:7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
There are many that come to church today and are no longer hungry. They have been filled with the ways of the world and have no room left for the Lord.
This is why it is so easy to be distracted.
What is causing people to come to Church without a desire to be fed spiritually?
They are filling their soul with the ways of the world
Luke 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Proverbs 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
What you are eating does not satisfy
Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
We need to be filled with the bread of life
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
We need to be filled with the Word of God
Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Proverbs 4:1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
On Father’s Day we look at the path of a young man and to recognize that at times the greatest wisdom comes from the unlikeliest places.
My dad volunteered for wartime service before he graduated high school. Yet without a diploma he proved he know how to learn. Within a short time he worked himself to the level of crew chief flying all over the world, responsible for million dollar aircraft. He was recruited into the CIA because he looked, average; but there was little average about him. A combat vet, special operations commando, specialist in gorilla warfare, flight mechanic, engineer, (blackhawk) CIA and Secret Service, spoke 5 languages… but of all these thing I mostly knew him as dad.
During his 40 year military career he had taken courses to finish his high school, got a degree in engineering from the Air Force Community College, took over 600 additional training courses; spent his vacations outside of Army training centers so he could take continuing courses while allowing his family to have some time away. He literally challenged himself to be the best he could be all the days of his life. Even while he was consulting for the CIA he worked in the automotive industry as a consultant, earning Mercedes and Volkswagen‘s highest honors.
He would continually say things like:
Judge not a man by his actions, but by his reactions.
Why is it there never seems to be enough time to do a job right, but there always seems to be time to do it over.
A job is not complete until it has been done completely.
Henry Ford: If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right
You should rather be an hour early than a minute late
Excellence is a habit, not an act. Practice perfection.
The greatest teacher, is failure.
Perform forensics on failure so you can be found guilty of greatness
Good enough isn’t good enough if it can be better, and better isn’t good enough if it can be best.
When you hit rock bottom, you will find the solid foundation in which to build.
The only day I will ever be disappointed in you is the day you stop trying.
On the day you succeed me will be my greatest day. I will not have a thought of jealousy but rather victory, because in that day my trials will have become trails; having created a path my children can follow.
The Flag and the knife
A nice young man came walkin’ by
He asked, “Why do you fly that flag so high?
Those stars and stripes are tattered and worn
and a new flag would be better adorned…”
I answered back with a smile in place
gleaming through the scars deep on my face.
Why that flag was Grandpa’s, I begun,
He raised and lowered it with the daily sun.
Till he got the call to go to war,
to serve his country on a foreign shore.
You see Grandma refused to let it down
waiting for the day he was safe and sound.
So through the sun, rain and wind it blew,
She said cause that’s what Pappy’s going through.
No one was taking him in each night
as he braved the elements in his long fight.
Till on a sunny day the corner he round,
Grandpa was home safe and sound.
The next day the flag in the sky did soar
then he brought it in at night as he did once before.
For just a few years the flag waved proud
as Grandpa told his stories to the stirring crowd.
No one was more proud than Grandma, no not one
Till the next foreign war called their son.
You see now why this flag is tattered and worn
Grand Fathers, Fathers and Sons now have born,
the responsibility of keeping you free
which is why you see these scars on me.
It didn’t matter what type of harshness it was;
a beach, a jungle, a desert because
this flag has flown while we were gone
and our wives this tradition have carried on.
For three generations this flag has flown
through the rain and snow, wind and sun
Across the world for this country we roamed
This flag meant welcome home son, welcome home.
Proverbs 22:28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
Psalms 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true,
3 John 1:12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.
whatsoever things are honest,
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
whatsoever things are just,
Proverbs 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
whatsoever things are pure,
Psalms 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
whatsoever things are lovely,
Song of Solomon 5:16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
whatsoever things are of good report;
3 John 1:12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
As homes and apartments continue to be built for our ever-growing population, the challenge of space management seems to take center stage. These homes and apartments get smaller and smaller leaving people with the question “Where do I put all my stuff?”
You might ask even, “Why is these tips on a biblical training site?” … Simply testimony. As a Pastor and Chaplain my family was/is constantly pulled in 20 different directions, making it a challenge to keep a clean home. Nothing is more embarrassing than to have a drop-in visitor to find my home to be a mess, it makes for a poor testimony.
So in this article I will look at additional tips and tricks to help keep your busy home a good testimony for the Lord (and help keep your sanity).
Replace and Remove
If you’re like so many of us, we hate to throw things away. I mean, surely we’ll have a use for that one day; right? And so, begins the clutter. A good rule of thumb to help keep your home clutter free is to have the mindset of “replace and remove”. This practice simply helps you make a habit to replace those things that you are upgrading, such as a small appliance; then remove the old one. You might even consider having a yard sale or donating those old items to help keep the clutter down.
A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place
We’ve all heard this adage, but now it’s time to put it in the practice. By only keeping and utilizing those things that you need, it helps to cut down on clutter, simple; right? Often this is easier said than done. Especially when moving from a larger home to a smaller home or apartment, you’ve accumulated stuff that simply doesn’t have a place in your new home. To help overcome this challenge it will be noteworthy to categorize the different rooms within your home and what you actually need on a day-to-day basis. Then looking for appropriate storage for those things that you don’t use on a day-to-day basis.
The Three-month Rule
Part of having a place for everything and everything in its place is to have, as previously mentioned, appropriate storage for things that you don’t use on a day-to-day basis. Once you put something into storage (closet or cabinet) comes in the three-month rule. If you don’t need it or use it over a three-month period of time, you might not need it at all!
Clean As You Go
One of the things that we teach our kids when talk about home organization, cleaning or clutter removal is to adopt the mindset of “clean as you go”. This practice goes a long way to help keep your home clean and clutter free. If you clean up when you get done… You don’t to clean it up later. Which brings us to the next point:
Store your items where you use them
With our busy lives here it’s easy to identify a task and simply say “I’ll do it later”. If your storage is in a different room or on the other side of the apartment, it’s easy to just leave it for later; only later comes later everyday. Before you know it, you’re dealing with a cluttered mess that you will need more time to clean and organize than if you would have planned to keep the storage and the location closer together.
By organizing your home to store your items in the same room or area that you are using them: such as office supplies stored in the desk or CDs and DVDs in the entertainment center; it’ll help you be able to quickly put away those cluttered items before it becomes a bigger problem.
Take Time to Plan
When setting up a new house or apartment you should take time to think carefully about what’s going where and how it’s going to be used. In doing so you can set up or purchase additional storage, for those little things that can cause clutter, so you can keep and maintain a well organized room.
The Skeleton in the Closet
Have a place where all of that extra little clutter can go, call it a junk drawer or a box that is in the bottom of the closet. Wherever you can put those things that don’t have a place to go, but you can’t really get rid of them. Hopefully, over a period of time you can decrease that box of clutter using the three-month rule. But until then at least it won’t be causing clutter on your counters and tables.
The more I visit homes to work with parents and children; the more I realize that the art of cleaning seems to have skipped a generation (or 2). I speak to many well intentioned people that never really learned how to clean or organize their home. Regardless of the reasons, I know there are a number of things that can get in the way of keeping your home in showroom fashion. However, the largest one, is often the easiest one; time.
In this article we are going to point out a few time savers that can help keep your home clean on a daily basis.
Clean As You Go
Procrastination is such an easy thing to do; but it also has the largest ramifications. Often times putting off until tomorrow becomes the next day and the next day. By taking a few quick moments to clean as you go, you frankly; won’t need to “clean house” as often. Momma always said: “You make the mess, you clean it up”. Well, momma has the right idea. If you clean something in each room as you use it; it makes “house work” a simpler chore.
Use Cleaning Wipes
Convenience is something that can be worth the price. Cleaning wipes are a convenient and easy way to clean your home as you go; without the extra prep time. By having cleaning wipes, for example the Clorox brand wipes; in each room you can quickly wipe the counters, toilet, mirrors, table and sinks. This saves the time of finding a sponge, getting the water and detergent, wiping and drying and putting it all way. A cleaning wipe allows you to wipe and walk and get back to the things you want to do.
The No Shoe Rule
As with most homes, keeping the floors clean is a daily chore. Dirt, mud, snow and more gets tracked through the house making a big mess to deal with. Having a “no shoe rule” means having everyone to remove their footwear before entering the home. You can even get a shoe rack or box to place the shoes in outside the doors.
If there is something that can make a clean house look dirty; clutter is it. Mail, clothes, shoes, dishes, magazines, blankets and toys are all things that make a clean house look dirty. It’s amazing how any of these things left out can get the instant reaction and impression that the house is dirty. (although it might be). By just taking a few minutes to deal with the daily mail, put away the toys after you’re done, putting the shoes away, straightening up the magazines; you get the picture, it can really make a big difference on how clean a house really feels.
Nothing like finishing up a hard days’ work to come home to the kids rooms all a mess. However, with every situation is a teaching opportunity. It’s amazing how many thinks that just because they are the “Pastor’s Kids” that they are going to keep their room better than any other child. In this article we will look at some useful tips to help keep your kids room organized and clean. (or at least try)
Is the problem too many toys?
As a parent I have to say that when my kids were young, I bought them toys all the time. Happy meal toys, dollar toys, birthday toys, Christmas… really, I spoiled them; I admit it. What that led to though, is a room with more stuff than storage; and more items than interest.
In making the mindset of organization and cleaning I really needed to ask myself: “Is the problem that they have too much?” If I was going to set them up with a good pattern to follow, I needed to condense the conundrum and get rid of the toys they didn’t play with anymore.
Everything has a Place and Everything in its Place
After you have gone through the chore of condensing, there is a time of training that needs to take place. The younger you start the better; but training is part of getting the child to understand the need of keeping the room clean. Naturally setting the ensample is important, showing them how and making it a consistent chore will lead to good habits. Reinforce that with keeping your stuff clean and organized as well.
Storage, Storage, Storage
Its hard to put everything in its place if there is no place to put it. Evaluating the storage needs and equipping the room with appropriate storage; will help keep everything looking tidy and proper.
Labeling will help school age children keep things organized and teach a proper path to putting things where they belong; rather than just throwing things in cubbies just to “make it look clean”. Parental guidance will be needed to consistently check to make sure the kids are putting things where they properly go.
Clean As You Go
If you read many of my articles you will know that I advocate the “clean as you go” mindset. This mindset will help the child understand that if they clean as they finish, there is nothing left to clean later. This mindset, coupled with storage and training, can go a long way to helping the child keep their room clean.
The Building Blocks of Success
If we look at each task or chore we have our children do as a building blocks to a responsible work ethic; it takes some of the aggravation of constantly repeating ourselves out. Each opportunity teaches the child to have responsibility, exercise self-control, organizational skills, time management; are all things that can be learned from consistent training and chores.
Naturally you can make cleaning fun for the younger children by making it a game; however, school aged children should learn that responsibilities are as much a part of life and the rewards they bring.
It’s no secret in this day and time that young people today lack many of the “work hard” traits that we reflect on as a core principle. Finding a young person that exhibits a work ethic is literally a diamond in the rough. As a business owner and parent; I would like to take this article to reflect on some core values and more specifically: the importance of chores.
Setting the Ensample
Do as I say, not as I do. For years I have heard this expression and disliked it. It might sound good when you’re talking to a six-year-old child; but, in reality it avoids our personal responsibility to teach our children based upon our words AND our actions. Often times a young person’s solid work ethic comes from watching the work ethic of their parents. By showing them what hard work looks like our children will see hard work as “normal” rather than the exception.
The biblical term that best describes this is called the ensample. The difference between an example and ensample is this:
An example is telling them how to do something
An ensample is showing them how to do something
By setting the ensample for our children we can help produce in them a strong work ethic that will lay the foundation of success for many years to come.
Everybody Hates Chores (but everybody need chores)
Household chores are simply a way to help children become acclimated with work. However, if used properly; chores can also teach children responsibility and accountability. Simply doing chores to get them done, without accountability, is just a way to get free labor; we should rather use chores as a teaching tool. Just as an employer would challenge their employees to complete the task as stated, chores should be handled with the same responsibility and accountability.
As stated: Completing a task the way that you or told or shown how to do. Not how you think or perceive the task should be completed.
If the chore is to take out the trash, was it done exactly as stated? Was it taken out on time? Did the trashcan get cleaned? Did a new trash bag get placed in the trashcan? By following through and making sure that the chore was completed as stated you identified to the child your expectation. By holding the child accountable for the proper completion of the chore you help teach them the same accountability that they should have when working for an employer or later on… for their customer!
Holding the child accountable for the completion of the task to be done exactly as statedrequires as much work for the parent as it does for the child. The child should know that our most important goal is that they learn how to complete a task as stated. (Not how they think it should be done). If we, as parents, do not check that the task was completed as stated (to our complete satisfaction) we show them that they can get away with slacking on the task; thus identifying our work ethic towards their learning. Remember we should never consider chores as free labor, it should always be utilized as an opportunity to teach a solid work ethic.
A Real World Example
A few years ago, I listened to the frustration of one of my customers who owned a Sonic drive-thru. He expressed his frustration that it seems like, to him; that he had to teach young people how to work as much as he had to teach the responsibilities of the job. He had to teach young people that had graduated high school how to properly wash their hands, how to count back change, how to speak to others with respect and how to properly perform a task, completely, as stated. Basically, he was frustrated because he had to become their parent rather than their employer. Those young people that were taught a solid work ethic generally found themselves in a management position inside of three months.
A Final Thought
This article was not meant to point out the problems with anyone’s parenting abilities. Nor was it meant to identify that somehow my capabilities to parent were better than anyone else’s. However, I think we all can agree that there has been a decline of a strong work ethic in our young people. As a business owner and as a parent, I am always evaluating my role and willingness to share the lessons that I have learned. If there’s ever room to improve, I want my children to seek those improvements; to go further, be better and achieve higher levels of success. I also know that in order for them to go beyond my means they will need a foundation that is as strong as that will to achieve.
When it comes to chores, I think that no chore is more despised by kids than that of washing dishes. I know even myself growing up there was always that sigh after dinner; to know that while everyone else was doing the things that they wanted to do, I was going to get the pleasure of washing the dishes.
This was made more real to me as I have raised 3 kids to adulthood (and one still to get there) seeing their frustration, whining, complaining and in some cases; outright disobedience over washing the dishes.
However, of all the chores that a child might do, perhaps washing dishes is the one that teaches us to most about life, goals and accomplishment.
My father was a stickler for the details. Maybe it was the military, but in everything there just needed a touch of perfection to be approved. You haven’t lived until you have been thoroughly chewed out in proper military fashion for spots on dishes. But the thing that this revealed to me is the need to be detail oriented in all the things we do. We see this mindset from God in the very example of the Tabernacle. Every detail from the size, the curtains, the materials used, yes even down to the dishes used; we note how He is a God of details when it comes to the way that He wanted things to be.
Clean Inside and Out
I recall one time I observed my brother washing dishes. He was in a hurry and was only washing the outside of the glasses. Sure the soapy water was at least going into the glasses, but that wasn’t “washing them”. It didn’t take very long before the error of his ways to be revealed. It just took a coffee cup that just rinsing wasn’t going to get clean to get the flag raised on what was done. However, this time it wasn’t my father… it was Mom.
Can I get an AMEN from those who would say angering your father was bad, but getting Mom upset; was like the end of the world kinda bad?
Mom told us (Yes, I got the lecture too) that if the cup wasn’t clean inside and out, it’s not clean! Taking a shower doesn’t clean what is inside, she said. To be truly clean you need to clean the inside and out.
Jesus said something like this when He was making an example of the Pharisees:
Matthew 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
It’s Not Done Until It’s Done Right
My parents had more sayings than a politician has excuses. Maybe it was a Kentucky thing because Grandma Adler had quite a few too. The one my father liked the most I think was: “How come there is never enough time to do it right, but there always seems to be enough time to do it over?”
While he said it a lot to our shame, the saying was sound. Whether doing dishes, taking out the trash, school work or, well, whatever we do; we should take the time to do it right.
This mindset lead to my life verse:
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Maybe my family’s sayings we’re just out of the Bible… the Brewer Family Version.
Not My will, but thine
Another important lesson learned from washing dishes is that the standard I needed to achieve was not my own. Meaning simply I didn’t decide when the job was done, or done right; but rather the one I was performing the task for. Naturally this life lesson leads to the attitude for employer/ employee relations, parenthood and even ministry. We see this reflected here:
Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
The Parable of the Dirty Dishes
Perhaps the moment that sticks out most in my mind is when I was washing the dishes as a youth. As I was standing there at the sink alone with only the light above the sink on; I was having a little pity party. Slamming the plates, clanging the pots; I just didn’t feel it was fair that I always had to do the dishes.
My Mom came in and listened for a moment and then ask: “What is on that plate you are washing?” Dirt Mom, I rasped back. “More specific?” She ask in a soft tone that only a Mother knows how to give. “Dinner?” I queried. “Yes, dinner. Many tonight didn’t have dinner, didn’t have a home to have dinner in or a family to have dinner with. The fact that you get to wash dishes tonight means that you had dinner, in a home with parents; that worked very hard to provide for you and your brother.”
I have never washed a dish in the last 40+ years without remembering that soft tone, the care in her voice; or the parable of the dirty dishes.
The year was 1979, Christmas morning, surely a time of peace and happiness. When the time came in the Brewer tradition to open the presents I got the hottest toy of the season… TinkerToys. With a smile on my face I began to assemble windmills, cars and skyscrapers until I ran into some tinker toy trouble; one of the wooden connectors was not drilled well and the cheap wooden sticks simply broke when I tried to push it in. Knowing that MY dad could “fix anything” I brought the tinker toy trouble to see if he could mend them for me… that is where tinker toy trouble created tinker toy terror.
Money was Tight
Money was tight growing up, my parents sacrificed quite a lot to make sure we always had what we needed.. but Christmas for us was not about what we needed, it was about getting what you wanted. (at least to us) Dad always said you get what you need 363 days a year.. but twice a year you should try and get what you want. My parents worked hard to never let on that money was tight; this year especially was difficult for one reason or another. So when the request from their youngest son came to get the hottest, and expensive, toy of the season… they spent their last few dollars to make my Christmas special.
When I presented the broken parts to my dad he was very angry… like Christmas is over kinda angry. I, in no shortage of words, learned how much Christmas costs and the sacrifices that are made to make it happen. To “break” my toys was disrespecting what has been provided. While I didn’t break the tinker toys intentionally… the lesson was learned. The cost for my lesson was noteworthy because my other present was to go and see Star Trek the Motion Picture in the theaters later that day.. Didn’t get to see the movie until many years later when I bought a VCR in the 90’s (a bitter sweet viewing to say the least).
This attitude of respect, these many years later, is an integral part of my Christmas and my every day; as I try and teach my children the same. Taking care of the things that were given to us is a sign of respect and appreciation which… makes Christmas gift giving a very special gift… to the giver.
Should parents give kids an allowance? This indeed is a great question and with any great question there are differing points of view. There is certainly a need of stewardship and teaching children how to use money wisely… but is the giving of allowance the way to do that? In this post I will identify the biblical position and equip the reader with what is needed to make an informed decision for their children.
A pattern to follow
This, as any biblical lesson, must be premised off the fact that the parents have accepted Christ as their saviour. To try to teach Godly principles yet not be Godly is an exercise in futility that will create unnecessary grief. For many years, biblical concepts were used as a guide to raise children; even being used “without God” and were called morals. This technique of forcing Godly obedience without a Godly example has often created resentment for the word of God because it was administered without the power of God.
I encourage parent that if you are reading this looking for a better way to raise your kids and you are not saved; to stop reading and click here to learn of God’s simple salvation. Start with a firm foundation in which to build from.
I must also emphasize that that there is a difference between being a “saved” and being a “Christian”. There are many today that: 2 Timothy 3:5a Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: … In short, not practicing what they preach. As Christians we must have the Bible as our final authority in all matters of faith and practice, which is our guide and pattern to follow. To mingle the world’s philosophies with Bible doctrine is the recipe to create a disobedient, confused child who will not know as to which premise a parent might approach from. God’s word has everything we need to have a fruitful Christian life. If Gods command for a parent is to raise their children in the nurture in the admonition of the Lord then He has in His word what is needed to be able to accomplish it.
The Root of the problem
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
We are going to reflect this article with the understanding first that allowance money is given for compensation for chores (which is most common) we will deal with allowance as a metered gift later in this article. 1 Timothy 6:10 identifies why money, in principle and by definition, is the root of the problem. As parents we are to raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; stewardship is very much a part of that charter.
Traditional forms of giving an allowance or wage for chores can easily teach children more about money than the sacrifice and service. This knowledge can create a need and craving that ignites a flame that burns slowly at first, but quickly grows as they begin to compare themselves to the world and find themselves wanting. I have seen so many instances while out shopping where a parent says no to a child that wants something, only to hear them exclaim they will simply buy it themselves in direct defiance. So the love of money and the evil intentions it can create in a spiritually immature child must be considered when making a responsible choice about giving an allowance.
What’s my motivation?
Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Obedience and servitude comes down to a condition of the heart. We teach children to obey when they are young with a reward/ punishment system as a way to motivate them; with hopes that as they mature, their motives will be that they choose to obey. Much of the child’s life will be spent balancing this effort, weighing punishment with the action. Biblically this principle is consistent; when we are in obedience with God He blesses us spiritually and sometimes physically/ materially… yet in disobedience He withholds His blessing.
As we examine, as parents, whether or not the giving of allowance is something we should participate in we should consider the motivation and the end results as well. Do you want to give your children a love of money? or a love for serving? What becomes their motivation? The Lord desires His children to obey; but more, obey with gladness. As parent we should desire the same. Our desire is to instill in our children that Godly principle of servitude and gladness. When we substitute the gladness with a monetary reward… then money becomes their motivation.
1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Attitude (condition of the heart)
Having and teaching obedience and submission is more about attitude than the act of obeying. Take a look at these verses:
Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Deuteronomy 26:16 This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
Psalms 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
Matthew 21:28-31 speaks of good intentions between sons and how they obeyed… It comes down to attitude and compliance. As we teach our children to obey we must be very perceptive about the attitude in which they obey. Keep in mind our children look to us to set an example… so our attitude when serving God must be right as well.
Workplace thinking (reverse analysis)
We work as adults to get a paycheck. I know of very few people who love work so much that they would just do so without compensation. The money IS our motivation, and we weigh what we do based on such. One may say $8 an hour is good for working fast food, but is inadequate for being an SEO of a large company. We weigh what we are willing to do based on the compensation. Now we may enjoy what we do as a profession but let’s be reasonable, if the employer said on Monday that you were not going to get paid for working; you wouldn’t be there on Tuesday.
Let’s now apply this concept to children getting an allowance as a wage for chores. If we are teaching them the value of money, that it holds a just compensation for workmanship, then the things that kids do around the home should be weighed accordingly. The child should then get to choose whether they want to obey based on the compensation. Their motivation to “obey your parents in the Lord” becomes “obey your parents to get paid.” Their motivation is moved from the spiritual blessings to the physical/ monetary gain.
The tragedy of this is where fathers are directed not to provoke a child to wrath, yet many times parents will withhold allowance from the child or even take monies earned away as punishment while forcing them to obey. This hypocrisy will provoke a child to wrath quite quickly, not to mention create resentment toward the system and never truly be able to trust the circumstances.
For the most part stewardship in the Bible deals with what we do with what God has GIVEN us, not what we have earned.
1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
While there is a place for parent to teach stewardship in the area of money, it should not be attached to labor. Children should be taught that obedience is pleasing to the Lord, wanting to do so because they love their parents. This motivation, rather than money, will help them understand why, as adults, we choose to obey God. We do not obey God (or shouldn’t) for a paycheck… but rather because of our Love for God.
How to teach children stewardship of money in the real world.
Trying to teach a six year old to be a good steward of money is a task that will frustrate any parent. Not only will you not be able to show them a good example of why, they simply don’t understand things like rent, electric, groceries, ect. I recall when My oldest daughter was six years old I told her we were out of money… she said “let’s just go get more from the magic box on the wall!” Meaning of course the ATM machine. Using the pattern of the scriptures we know that people… grow; this is why we have different grades in school, 1st graders simply can not understand the things taught in the 12 grade. Understanding this we must use caution exposing children to something so powerful as money before they are ready to handle it.
As an example, I sit down with my children, now that they are teenagers, and teach them the things of being an adult (14 and up) and show them the bills of the home. To show them why dad always tells them to “turn off the lights!” They are mature enough to understand where the money comes from, how it’s spent and how to be a good steward of it. They learn spending habits from their parents setting the example, rather that giving them the burden of having to spend the money they have received in a way that would be pleasing to the parent.
Over a time the children will begin to understand that a Father with a generous heart (in the example of our heavenly Father) will give unto his children some of the increase of where they were helpful in saving money for the home. This family spending understanding, rather than individual increase, will help bring a unity in the home in the area of monetary stewardship.
Stewardship (a better understanding)
It is important to also acknowledge that everything is God’s and we are simply stewards of it. (Psalm 24:1, Haggai 2:8, Exodus 19:5) Whether it be money, property or time God expects and teaches us through His word how to be good stewards, then to pass that down to our children by example.
There are many passages that deal with the area of stewardship or “what to do with others money or property”. The principle of stewardship is rooted on responsibility and faithfulness… not directly on money. In the bible we see that monetary stewardship is not how we spend our “own” money but rather how we handle the masters money or property.
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
In the story that Jesus gave in Matthew 25: 14-30 deals with a master giving money unto his servants.
Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Continue reading…click here
In this account the Master does not appear to be paying them a wage but rather giving them money for them to invest based on their ability. This is seen later in the passage where he punishes the third for not investing and growing his money. If it was a wage then there should have no punishment for not investing. This passage teaches us about the stewardship of the MASTERS money… and not that of the servant.
Note also the scriptures speaking about stewardship of time:
Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
How we spend the time that God gives us is as much about Godly stewardship as money. Many times in the scriptures God teach us what to do with the TIME He has given us rather than the MONEY…. why? Because money is the root of all evil. Money should not be the motivator for our stewardship but rather more what we do with our time. How we teach our children should be after that same pattern.
God provides us with the ability to earn money. We use that same concept to teach our children our ways and skills to do the same. A carpenter’s son will usually become a carpenter himself. Again a pattern to follow of setting the example for your children.
Deuteronomy 8:17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. 18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
So the question comes, how do I implement this concept? First parents must understand that there are several levels to this; for example, are the children currently getting an allowance or not? Allow me to explain in the following:
If your children are not currently getting an allowance then ask yourself if you are teaching them the concepts of obedience and the spiritual rewards. Focusing them on the motivation for obedience as outlined earlier in this article. Then framing the discussion and setting the example of good monetary stewardship as the child gets older.
As a correction
If, however, children are currently getting an allowance then steps must be made to determine the results of stopping that system. It is a natural fact that if you take away something worldly from the child it must be replaced with something spiritual; otherwise satan will fill that void with resentment, anger and disobedience. So if the children are 10 and up, it may be very difficult to reverse that course if the signs of that root of evil are present; but it can be done. Children are wiser, at times, more than parents give them credit for. If parents want to truly try and reverse the course that money has in corrupting children through allowance then the parent must first sit down with the child (children) and explain the concerns. Give children Bible verses and reinforce the parents role to raise the children after the Lord.
Then the parent will need to replace the monetary with the spiritual giving them positive encouragement and love every step of the way. The parents here will need to work 3 times harder than the child to make sure they are being the proper example for their children. This fact must be clearly understood; children will take the queue from the parents. If you believe that that teaching your children this path of obedience is good, then you must provide them a Godly example to follow. In this course, you can see victory.
Grounds for allowance
Earlier in this article I mentioned that the giving of allowance should not be given in the condition of a wage for chores within the home. So where can this be implemented and not be contrary to the word of God? First the statement of “within the home”; there are many ways for a child to make some money to lay up in store, one would be outside the home. Giving children an external avenue to practice the work ethic that has been instilled is a good thing. Allowing a child to work at a neighbor or elderly person’s home and rake leaves, babysit or clean-up. Monetary gifts are also a way that a child could have money to spend; from a parent or grand-parent with no strings attached. Note: The spending should not necessarily be force directed. Use the example you set in responsible spending to help guide the child into good spending habits. If the child is following your example then there will be no issue with the child tithing, giving an offering to God and toward the home. I have oft been blessed at the fruit of my children when they desire to spend their earnings from babysitting and mowing for things within the home.
An Example to follow
Parenting is, for all practical definitions, setting an example to follow. It is foolish to think a child will turn out mild tempered if the parent is not; it is foolish to expect a child to turn out Godly if the parent is not. Rather than trying to correct our faults in our children, perhaps we should look to God to correct the faults in ourselves.
2 Corinthians 13:5a Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…
We, as good parents, desire to keep our children away from evil things… but so many parents want to give children that, which is by definition, is the root of all evil to a child that is not spiritually prepared to handle it. We surely would not take that same thinking when it comes to other evils such as sex, drugs, alchohol and violence would we? Of course not. So we must teach proper spending habits by example just as we would teach them any other trait… by giving them the proper example to follow.