Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Teaching Kids About Money

Awhile ago I went to a MOPS meeting and the speaker spoke on teaching your kids about money. Her method was this: if your child gets $10, $1 goes to giving, $3 goes to long-term savings, $3 goes to short-term savings (saving for a large item like a bike), and $3 goes to spend (like on candy in the grocery store). I think she also said allowance is given in proportion to year of age.

I don't know about you but I disagree with this method. First of all, I think the proportions are all wrong. I would rather put $3 to giving, $3 to long term saving, $3 to spend on small or big ticket items, and $1 would be up to the child to put in whichever pile. I never got allowance so I'm not an allowance person. Some people ask well what about for chores. I say chores are part of living in this family. Some people ask well what about extra chores like washing the car. I say extra chores are part of giving and serving sacrificially within the family. If the kids want to make money, they need to be creative with their friends or neighbors (like walk the dog, do yard work, babysit for friends and neighbors). But even within that, I would designate that once in awhile, they would have to do a freebie so they could be servants.

Ultimately, what do we want to teach our kids about money. I want to teach them that we need to be wise with money in saving and investing, that we need to give more than expected (more than a 'tithe'), that money isn't everything, and that service and creativity are also a huge part of success in this world. Once you understand your values and philosophy about money as taken from Scripture, you will have a better benchmark of how you want to train them about money. The methods will differ from parent to parent, but hopefully we'll see that what's written in Scripture remains the same. Thus, the principles should be similar. If your method of teaching your kids about money falls in line with Scripture, continue what you're doing. If it doesn't, reevaluate and find what's missing. That will be a challenge to you to see how you're doing with your own money management and stewardship.

As I write this, I am convicted and reminded of how I spend my money as well and need to stop blogging so I can go learn from Scripture some more about what I should or should not be doing. Adios

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Top 5 Marriage Tips

This is not the end-all be-all list of marriage tips but these are my favorite.

5 - Always be teachable.

Marriage like any growing entity needs nourishment and cultivation. Try to be in a constant state of learning and growing. Listen and learn from all the books, speakers, pastors, friends, family, blogs that you can. There will never be a point where you have nothing left to learn.

4 - Understand that you are in control of you.

In Boundaries In Marriage by Townsend and Cloud, they go deeper on this topic. Essentially, you are in control of your emotions, thoughts and actions. No one can make you feel angry or cause you to pursue the silent treatment or be impatient or yell. You can choose how you act and react. By realizing that you are in control of you and only you, you can take ownership of yourself and bring peace to a stressful situation.

3 - Always assume the best of your spouse.

If you are in a normal marriage where you both essentially love each other but sometimes don't always act that way, it's good to always give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. If he says something in the wrong way or does something you don't like, don't first assume that he did it to spite you or to get you angry. Think the best. Then communicate and show him why his way or method may come off wrong to you.
2 - Communicate clearly and specifically.

Men and women think differently. Sometimes we as women want our spouse to know what we're thinking and that's not always possible. It's okay and even good to clearly spell out expectations or hopes or desires. Just because he can't read our minds doesn't make him insensitive or unloving. He simply just can't read our minds. Communicate matter of factly without intense emotion and be specific as possible. Our men want to know what we're thinking.

1 - Love like Christ.

Above all else, love sacrificially. We are to submit to one another and husbands are to love their wives like Christ loves the church. Wives need to submit to and respect their husbands. Ephesians 5:21-33 explains it further. Ultimately, we are to love and give and submit to our spouse. One will care for the other's needs and vice versa and thus both needs are met.

Marriage is hard work. But the harder we work at it, the better it will be.