Managing family finances can feel complicated, but the good news is that God speaks to you with wisdom and encouragement about how to deal with money. So how can we manage our family finances in light of Christian values?
1. Dig into Scripture to learn what God says about money. Yes, there are tons of resources about family finances, but nothing beats the Bible! This online article, Bible Verses About Money: What Does the Bible Have to Say About our Financial Lives?, shares 120 verses related to the Bible and money, and even allows you to search by topic.
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2. Facilitate honest discussion with your spouse. Talk openly about your past experiences with money. Humbly uncover how your beliefs and background impact your family finances. Support and love each other in this. God can help you change those patterns.
3. Discuss the financial legacy you want to create and get pumped about it. The idea of a financial legacy might seem irrelevant at this stage of life when diapers or student loans suck up most of your money. However, envisioning your financial legacy helps you look beyond yourself and get motivated. The sooner you’re thriving financially, the sooner your family finances could be used to create an incredible eternal impact.
4. View yourself as a manager with an exciting opportunity to steward your God-given resources well. In Deuteronomy 16:17, God instructs his people, “Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.” God’s people understood that their blessings were not their own; they were ultimately God’s. The Parable of the Bags of Gold in Matthew 25:14-30 is another great example. As Americans in today’s world, we are managers of more riches than we realize! Research what the Bible says about contentment and try out brightpeak’s Simple Living Challenge to foster a spirit of simplicity and contentment in your heart so you can manage your resources well.
5. Teach your kids about money and generosity. You as a parent have the blessing of being able to shape how your children view money now and into the future. Instruct them about money based on biblical truths, explain to them why you give, and get them excited about generosity.
6. Be aware of debt. While debt is acceptable in today’s culture, the Bible doesn’t have anything good to say about it. An oft-quoted verse warns, “The borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). If we want to manage our family finances with our Christian values in mind, it makes sense to consider what God says about debt. Why? So we can make him happy by begrudgingly following his rules? No, so we can glorify God and also experience the incredible financial freedom that comes from having minimal debt.
7. Plan for generosity. Plan in advance how much you’ll give and give to the Lord upfront instead of giving from the leftovers. This is a biblical concept that makes common sense — putting our priorities first. Don’t worry that you’ll miss the money. “The generous will themselves be blessed,” says Proverbs 22:9, and science supports this. Giving isn’t just good for others; it’s good for you, too. Above all, remember that giving comes from a cheerful and willing heart (2 Corinthians 9:7).
8. Thank God for his goodness. Our God is so faithful. He doesn’t promise that his children will all have mansions and SUVs, but he does promise to provide, and he always does according to his perfect plan. Praise him for this! Cultivate a spirit of gratitude for all that God has given you as you manage your family finances and teach your children about money.
Test out these strategies for managing family finances. They will bless you in one way or another! The amazing truth is that listening to God’s ideas about our finances doesn’t just bring him glory — his ideas actually work.