Teach Simple Habits in Daily Life. --Parents are to bring up and educate and
train their children in habits of self-control and self-denial. They are ever to
keep before them their obligation to obey the word of God and to live for the
purpose of serving Jesus. They are to educate their children that there is need
of living in accordance with simple habits in their daily life, and to avoid
expensive dress, expensive diet, expensive houses, and expensive furniture.
When very young, children should be educated to read, to write, to understand
figures, to keep their own accounts. They may go forward, advancing step by step
in this knowledge. But before everything else, they should be taught that the
fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Youth to Be Considerate of Family Finance. -- Through erroneous ideas
regarding the use of money the youth are exposed to many dangers. They are not
to be carried along and supplied with money as if there were an inexhaustible
supply from which they could draw to gratify every supposed need. Money is to be
regarded as a gift entrusted to us of God to do His work, to build up His
kingdom, and the youth should learn to restrict their desires.
Do not make your wants many, especially if the income for home expenses is
limited. Bring your wants within your parents' means. The Lord will recognise
and commend your unselfish efforts. . . . Be faithful in that which is least. You
will then be in no danger of neglecting greater responsibilities. God's word
declares, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in
Give Lessons in Money Values. --Money which comes to the young with but
little effort on their part will not be valued. Some have to obtain money by
hard work and privation, but how much safer are those youth who know just where
their spending money comes from, who know what their clothing and food costs,
and what it takes to purchase a home!
There are many ways in which children can earn money themselves and can act
their part in bringing thank offerings to Jesus, who gave His own life for them.
. . . They should be taught that the money which they earn is not theirs to
spend as their inexperienced minds may choose, but to use judiciously and to
give to missionary purposes. They should not be satisfied to take money from
their father or mother and put it into the treasury as an offering, when it is
not theirs. They should say to themselves, "Shall I give of that which
costs me nothing?"
There is such a thing as giving unwise help to our children. Those who work
their way through college appreciate their advantages more than those who are
provided with them at someone else's expense, for they know their cost. We must
not carry our children until they become helpless burdens.
Parents mistake their duty when they freely hand out money to any youth who
has physical strength to enter on a course of study to become a minister or a
physician before he has had an experience in useful, taxing labour.
Encourage Children to Earn Their Own Money. -- Many a child who lives out of
the city can have a little plot of land where he can learn to garden. He can be
taught to make this a means of securing money to give to the cause of God. Both
boys and girls can engage in this work; and it will, if they are rightly
instructed, teach them the value of money and how to economize. It is possible
for the children, besides raising money for missionary purposes, to be able to
help in buying their own clothes, and they should be encouraged to do this.
Discourage the Reckless Use of Money. --Oh, how much money we waste on
useless articles in the house, on ruffles and fancy dress, and on candies and
other articles we do not need! Parents, teach your children that it is wrong to
use God's money in self-gratification. . . . Encourage them to save their
pennies wherever possible, to be used in missionary work. They will gain rich
experiences through the practice of self-denial, and such lessons will often
keep them from acquiring habits of intemperance.
The children may learn to show their love for Christ by denying themselves
needless trifles, for the purchase of which much money slips through their
fingers. In every family this work should be done. It requires tact and method,
but it will be the best education the children can receive. And if all the
little children would present their offerings to the Lord, their gifts would be
as little rivulets which, when united and set flowing, would swell into a river.
Keep a little money box on the mantel or in some safe place where it can be
seen, in which the children can place their offerings for the Lord. . . . Thus
they may be trained for God.
Teach Children to Pay Tithe and Offerings. --Not only does the Lord claim the
tithe as His own, but He tells us how it should be reserved for Him. He says,
"Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine
increase." This does not teach that we are to spend our means on ourselves
and bring to the Lord the remnant, even though it should be otherwise an honest
tithe. Let God's portion be first set apart. The directions given by the Holy
Spirit through the Apostle Paul in regard to gifts present a principle that
applies also to tithing. "Upon the first day of the week let every one of
you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him." Parents and children
are here included.
A Mistake Sometimes Made by Wealthy Fathers. -- The circumstances in which a
child is placed will often have a more effective influence on him than even the
example of parents. There are wealthy men who expect their children to be what
they were in their youth, and blame the depravity of the age if they are not.
But they have no right to expect this of their children unless they place them
in circumstances similar to those in which they themselves have lived. The
circumstances of the father's life have made him what he is. In his youth he was
pressed with poverty and had to work with diligence and perseverance. His
character was moulded in the stern school of poverty. He was forced to be modest
in his wants, active in his work, simple in his tastes. He had to put his
faculties to work in order to obtain food and clothing. He had to practice
Fathers labour to place their children in a position of wealth, rather than
where they themselves began. This is a common mistake. Had children today to
learn in the same school in which their fathers learned, they would become as useful as they. The fathers have altered the circumstances of their
children. Poverty was the father's master; abundance of means surrounds the son.
All his wants are supplied. His father's character was moulded under the severe
discipline of frugality; every trifling good was appreciated. His son's habits
and character will be formed, not by the circumstances which once existed, but
by the present situation--ease and indulgence. . . . When luxury abounds on
every side, how can it be denied him?
Parents' Best Legacy to Children. --The very best legacy which parents can
leave their children is a knowledge of useful labour and the example of a life
characterized by disinterested benevolence. By such a life they show the true
value of money, that it is only to be appreciated for the good that it will
accomplish in relieving their own wants and the necessities of others, and in
advancing the cause of God.