Standing Firm and Saying, “No!”
“I want that!” “All of my friends have one!” “Everyone else already has it!”
Sound familiar? Whether it is a two year old watching a television commercial, a ten year old wanting a cell phone, or a seventeen year old wanting a car, parents have to deal with their kids wanting more. Do we say no because we don’t have the money? If we had all the money in the world, would we let our children have anything they wanted?
The Bible tells us to raise our children in Godly ways. What would God want us to do? Yes, God wants us to provide for our children, but that doesn’t mean giving into every begging want. When discussing wants and needs with your children, here are some tips.
Why Do You Want It?
Romans 12:2 tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” God doesn’t want us to buy thing just to fit into the world. If the only reason a child has for wanting something is to fit in, perhaps the issue is much deeper. Look into your child’s friendships and question their self-esteem.
Do We Talk About Money?
The Bible gives very specific guidelines on what to do with our money. First of all, we must remember that it belongs to God. Even very young children can understand that God blesses us with jobs and gifts. Teaching a child that our money is a gift from God makes it easier to understand tithing. Explain that God doesn’t ask for all of the money back, just a percentage of it.
School age children are old enough to understand how to divide money into separate accounts. Teach them the importance of saving, spending, and tithing. They also can understand simple budgets. They need to see that money is used to buy groceries, electricity, travel expenses, and clothing.
It is extremely important during these conversations to discuss worrying over money. We do not want our children to stress over how much or how little money our family has. Adult concerns should not be placed on children, but explain that budgeting can prevent money worries.
As the parent, only you can assess the situation and decide if the child’s want is important enough to buy. Use these situations as teachable moments to reinforce God’s will for our lives. Remember, God only asks you to provide a moral upbringing, not a life of luxury for your children.
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