What about leaving an inheritance? How can we keep from setting our children back, and instead give them an extra foot as they enter their prime and we our secondary? We live in a day where people are without any discretion or wisdom in the money God has entrusted them with. As of December 2014, the average household credit card debt is $15,000. We do not think long term. We need money and we need it now.
Our marching orders are to disciple and baptize the nations. This comes as the Gospel is proclaimed, hearts are changed, and people live according to the word of God. Since all authority in heaven and on earth is Christ’s, all aspects of life should be brought into submission by the Christian. This includes self-discipline, our families, our churches, communities, businesses, etc., with God’s blessing towards this obedience.
However, Christians join the world in poor money management. We have the same debt and the same struggles. Plus, our children begin in the negative through college loans, car loans, business loans, etc. We are broke and our children inherit nothing. Often they end up paying for our funerals and inherit the rest of our debts. My purpose in writing this article is to humbly ask that we to change our ways. The parents (of young children) of this age need to look to God’s Word and work to make this change for our children. You may have began your adulthood in the negative and are currently struggling, but let this shift begin with you and your posterity. We need a biblical view of inheritances.
Here is what I propose:
1. Initiation: Evaluate your situation
First, take some time to evaluate your present financial/vocational situation. If you are living check to check, are in debt, or working a job you despise, evaluate your options and make a change. Get out of debt and manage your money. Set goals. Get a new job. Start a business, a website, etc. I have given some practical steps in a previous post. Most important, get on the positive end of things where your input exceeds your output.
2. Long Life: Teach our children to honor their parents
The fifth commandment is the first commandment with a promise.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land” (Ephesians 6:1-3 (Exodus 20:12)).
This is a collective promise, not a dogmatic guarantee for each and every person. It is a majority promise up against a group who does not honor their parents.
“What God does promise is that a society in which the majority of men do honor their parents will be marked by the long life expectancy of its members” (North, 75).
Children will not rebel and go astray. Parents mean well for their children and children will benefit from honoring them. The learn from them, learn from their mistakes, make wise decisions, and collectively live long lives. The vocations our children choose, whether Christian business, government offices, entrepeneurs, etc., they will endure for many years. So first, and foremost, in advancing the Kingdom of God, we must teach our children to honor their parents with the promise of long life in return.
3. Security: Caring for you in old age
Since this society of Christians will have relatively long lives, they will be able to take care of their parents in their old age. Parents take care of their children while they are young, and children are to take care of their parents when they are old.
Deuteronomy 21:15-17 tells us that God’s principle is that the firstborn son is to inherit a double portion. This is still practiced in other countries, but we would call it old fashioned here in America. The probable reason for this double portion is that it is the primary duty of the oldest son to care for his parents. As he gives his resources and time in taking care of the parents in their elderly ages, he then receives back a double portion while the rest of the children get their expected single. Make this concept clear to your children as you raise them.
“Economic obligations should flow in both directions: toward the children in the early years, toward the parents in the later years, and back toward the children at the death of the parents, when the family’s capital is inherited by the survivors. In short, children inherit, but parents must first be provided for” (North, 78).
4. Continuity: They inherit, multiply, and continue Kingdom advancement
“Fathers have economic incentives to expand the family’s capital base, and they also have an incentive to train up children who will not dissipate the family’s capital. The continuity of capital, under God’s law, is promoted by the laws of inheritance-honor. This preservation of capital is crucial for long term economic development. In order to preserve family capital over time, godly parents must train their children to follow the ethical standards of the Bible. The Biblical basis for ling-term expansion of family capital is ethical: character and competence.”
Children need to be taught how to manage money Biblically when they are young so that they will not dissipate their inheritance. They also should increase the inheritance throughout their lifetime by “covenantal faithfulness, hard work, and thrift.” Did you see that?……Thrift! This is not a means to get rich, but a tool of dominion. It spreads of Kingdom of God. It is a means of discipling the nations.
“A man whose vision is geared to dominion, in time and on earth, has to look to the years beyond his lifetime.”
Evaluate your situation and get on a positive footing. Prepare your children. Secure help in your old age. Leave an inheritance. Think multi-generational….
1. North, Gary. Liberating Planet Earth. Tyler: Dominion Press, 1991.