There is one thing that seems to be on our minds – all the time: money.
It is everywhere: work, play, home, and – yes – even church.
We cannot get away from talk about money. Seriously, we always need money for something, we are trying to figure out where that bill’s payment will come from, or we are getting money in the mail because it is our birthday.
I wish my birthday was once a month!
Earlier this week, I was testing kiddos up in Thief River Falls, MN, but was also scheduled to attend a webinar hosted by Search Institute and ParentFurther about parenting and money. The title alone drew me in: “Share Save Spend – Your Money Traits and They Impact Your Children.” I missed the webinar due to work related items and need for self-care (I have pneumonia!), but the peeps at these organizations have shared a link with a condensed version of the webinar along with helpful notes and hints. You can click here to access this information, and I highly recommend it.
A slight tangent (and another slight tangent off of this one – I want to spell tangent with an “a” between e and n [tangeant], but that is not right. Anyone else have that problem?).
Ok – back to the tangent: I LOVE webinars! They are seriously the best way for busy people to attend great seminars and workshops. ParentFurther hosts a webinar series typically on the third Wednesday of each month. In March, their topic was the war against girls and women concerning the way we view our bodies and how that infiltrates how we view ourselves. Ah-mazing! You can catch that one (I think it might be the full length version) by clicking here. Who should watch this? Seriously – just about everyone. Not kidding. Especially dads. There – soap box over.
Back to money…
This weekend, the huz (a pastor man – an awesome one, by the way) was on a rocking retreat (complete with four-wheelers and trapshooting) with a leadership group that he facilitates, so we had a guest pastor. Ron Norman is the president of the North American Baptist Foundation, a ministry that helps Christians with financial and estate planning. With that being said, it should not surprise anyone that his sermon was about money. I am not 100% sure, but his sermon might be up on the church sermon website.
The boy – a 15 year old – assists in our church services by doing the multimedia (SongShow and PowerPoint stuff mostly), and he and the girl also pay pretty close attention in sermons. Because the huz asks us all for feedback on his sermons most Sunday afternoons, we have become accustomed to being able to give the highs and lows of other sermons as well. The boy is also in a class at school called “Personal Finance.” His comment after church today was pretty awesome.
It is interesting that most of what I am being taught in my personal finance class was in the sermon today.
Well, go figure – the Bible makes sense!
Below is a Cliff Notes version of the sermon from today:
- Keep Good Records: know what you owe, know what earn, know what you own, and know where it goes (dining out, entertainment, etc.)
- Plan Spending: set goals for what you want to do with your money, freedom is based on how we spend, and learn how to live on less so that what is left can be shared (tithe, etc.) or saved.
- Save for the Future
- Return First Portion to God
- Enjoy What You Have: don’t let your yearnings outpace your earnings
This afternoon after completing a writing project (which still has me thinking and is interrupting sleep – therefore, I am up writing a blog post!), I took some time to listen to the ParentFurther webinar. I was not shocked – but sort of was! – that many of the principles from today’s sermon mirrored the webinar’s concepts. The webinar did take it a step further by encouraging parents to be in discussion with their children about spending habits and how to create financial stability. And the webinar had some astounding statistics about child and teen spending as well as information about advertisers targeting children and teens specifically as consumers in order to draw them in at younger and younger ages to spend what they have today without planning or budgeting for tomorrow.
We have not always been the best at this, but many times these principals come back into our lives. Last August while our kids were away working at Village Creek Bible Camp in Iowa, the huz and I spent many hours in the evening in what can only be called “budget talks.” I blogged about these instances a bit on August 12.
Throughout the talks were on the same side – Team Bender, but we had competing values that we brought to the table from our personal “money stories” that we had learned from our parents. When those values could not be settled in our earthly ways, we often had to ask ourselves just whose money is this? When we remembered that the money came from God and ultimately belonged to God – entrusted to us to do great things for His kingdom – it was a bit easier to settle our differences because it brought our wants versus our needs into light. And the concept reminded us that our number one purpose was to use these resources wisely.
These are the concepts about money and spending that we need to pass on to our children. The sermon today, the webinar, and the personal finance class teach us the how in terms of financial stability, but God wants us to remember at all times the why of financial stability. When we remember the why – even in times when unexpected expenses come our way or in times when we have made poor choices – we can start again today to see the way we manage our finances as a way to worship and glorify God.
Maybe that thought will make paying the bills and balancing the checkbook just a tad easier next time?
These are concepts that we need to teach to our children from the time that they are old enough to sit in the cart at the grocery store and beg us for that special treat that, honestly, is unhealthy and just is not in the budget.