Hang around church circles long enough and you’re bound to hear about stewardship. Maybe your church is launching a stewardship campaign. Or it might have a stewardship ministry. But what does stewardship even mean?
Unfortunately, some people think of it as an outdated term. Or they misinterpret it to mean giving and only giving. Others think of it as a heavy burden. They envision God looking over their shoulder, closely watching how they use money, saying, “Be careful. Don’t mess up!”
Fortunately, none of that is correct. Biblical stewardship is about managing all that God has entrusted to our care according to His principles and for His purposes. As you strive to raise your children in the ways of the Lord, helping them to understand stewardship and their roles as stewards is critical. Here’s why:
1. It’s fundamental to who we are and how we’re called to live. The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) provides one of the clearest depictions of how God intends for us to relate to Him and to money and material things. The wealthy landowner represents God, the servants, Everything in our possession has been temporarily entrusted to us by God.
Just as a trustee has a responsibility to administer a person’s estate according to that person’s instructions, we have a responsibility to manage God’s resources according to His instructions.
“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2, ESV).
However, this isn’t a heavy burden, it’s an incredible opportunity. Of the three servants who had been entrusted with their master’s possessions to manage in his absence, two multiplied what had been entrusted to them. Upon his return, he strongly affirmed them, and then he entrusted them with more.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
When your children understand that everything in their possession is temporarily entrusted to them by God, it can empower them to live and lead in a culture that unfortunately encourages and celebrates materialism and individualism.
2. It infuses our lives with great meaning and joy. The Bible teaches us to live others-centered lives—to love God (Matthew 22:36-38), love people (Matthew 22:39), and use our God-given gifts and talents to make a difference in this world (Ephesians 2:10). That very naturally leads to a life of generosity, about which Jesus famously said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Countless secular studies have backed that up, finding that the happiest, most fulfilled people are those who live generously.
At Christian Community Credit Union, we have proudly given over $6 million to various Christian charities, going as far as offering a credit card that automatically gives to these charities with each use. As a result, we have seen and experienced returns that far exceed any stock market, because it is impacting lives in a positive way for eternity. Nothing could match the joy that truth brings.
When you instill these scriptures and the value of generosity into your child’s life, they will be provided with a lasting foundation.
3. It’s good for our relationship with God. The Bible says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). When we invest in God’s purposes in the world, our hearts are directed toward God. Financially supporting God’s work in the world is one of the most effective ways to draw closer to God.
Perhaps consider identifying something your child can donate or contribute to that advances God’s purposes in the world. Instilling this value in them early will lead to a lifetime of generosity and investing into God’s work.
4. It’s good for the next generation. Money management may be the most important life skill typically not taught in school. That’s why it’s so important for us to teach our children about money and help them cultivate biblically-informed financial perspectives and practices.
As we grow in our understanding and practice of biblical money management, we proactively teach our kids the same. As we role-model the life of a steward, it will benefit our kids in countless ways. It will not only benefit their future, it will deepen their relationship with Christ, and empower them to make the difference they were designed to make.
Instill this statement into your children; to live as a steward is to live as we were intended to live. Doing so will serve as an important key to taking hold of “the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19).
Want to Dive Deeper into Raising Your Kids with a Biblical Stewardship Mindset?
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