Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: discipleship

what does discipleship in homeschool look like

creation today genesis

In a culture that has become increasingly antagonistic toward biblical principles, Christian families need to be firmly grounded in the Truth. That’s why Teach Them Diligently is excited to announce our partnership with Creation Apologist Eric Hovind, whose passion for the Gospel has taken him to speak in all 50 states and 8 foreign countries. Recently his ministry, Creation Today, released “Genesis: Paradise Lost,” a revolutionary 3D feature film released on over 1,200 screens nationwide. Through it’s message, cultural norms are being challenged to go back to the beginning in the quest for Truth.

genesis dvd creation today

 

Using cutting-edge cinematography and stunning visual effects, Genesis: Paradise Lost takes the viewer on a journey to investigate our origins and explore the creation story. While the booming voice of Dr. Voddie Baucham provides riveting narration, the film is interspersed with interviews from scientists, apologists, and evangelists like Dr. Charles Jackson, Ken Ham, and Ray Comfort. Genesis: Paradise Lost profoundly sheds light on secular worldviews which choose the chaos of moral relativity over the sure foundation of Scripture.

 

creation today

Whether dialoguing with atheists, encouraging believers, or instructing families, Eric Hovind inspires confidence in the God of the Bible. During his 20 years of full-time ministry, he has produced 136 episodes of The Creation Today Show, launched the Creation Network, and translated apologetic materials into over 40 languages. His dynamic presentations captivate audiences of all ages and are frequently accompanied by fun demonstrations of how Science and Scripture merge together perfectly. While outreach opportunities have changed over the decades, the mission of Creation Today remains the same: to impact the world to KNOW and DEFEND their Creator—God.

 

As homeschool families who desire to diligently teach our children, it is imperative that we lay a foundation for truth which begins with the very first chapter of Genesis. From Creation to the Cross; from the grave to the skies, we glimpse the redemptive work of God and discover truth, value, and a respect for life that can only come from a knowledge of the Creator. Truly, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7

 

Since 2011, Teach Them Diligently has been committed to helping you raise children who will stand boldly on the Word of God in the face of a godless culture. That is why we are delighted to name “Genesis: Paradise Lost” as our Movie of the Year. Reserve your copy today when you register to attend a Teach Them Diligently convention at the location of your choice. Then make plans to join Eric Hovind’s unforgettable breakout sessions at one of the following locations:

 

  • March 21-23 – Rogers, AR
  • March 28-30 – Nashville, TN
  • April 11-13 – Waco, TX
  • April 25-27 – Atlanta, GA
  • May 9-11 – Mobile, AL

 

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense

to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15

 

 

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I am so excited to tell you about a movie we are thrilled to be partnering with this season, for we believe strongly that understanding our beginnings is a critical foundation for our faith. You see, if we don’t believe that ALL of God’s Word is true and inspired by God  (as noted in 2 Timothy 3:16-17,) on what merit do we determine which parts are and aren’t, and how can we be expected to pass on our faith to our children in a way that will equip and inspire them to make it their own?

GENESIS: Paradise Lost gives us parents a GREAT tool to do just that! Not only will you find this to be a great teaching tool for you children, but with new studies being published recently about all humans coming from just one couple, science is once again lining up with scripture, leaving the skeptics with much to think about and opening doors for us to share the truths of scripture with our family and friends who may not believe. (Check out this article in the New York Post if you don’t believe me. )

GENESIS: Paradise Lost

Using cutting-edge cinematography and stunning visual effects, GENESIS: Paradise Lost takes the viewer “back to the beginning” to investigate our origins and explore the creation story. While the booming voice of Dr. Voddie Baucham provides riveting narration, the film is interspersed with interviews from scientists, apologists, and evangelists like Dr. Charles Jackson, Ken Ham, and Ray Comfort. (Ken Ham, Ray Comfort, and Voddie Baucham are all speaking at Teach Them Diligently events this season.)

Profoundly, GENESIS: Paradise Lost sheds light on secular worldviews which choose the chaos of moral relativity over the sure foundation of Scripture.

Dove Approved for ALL AGES, we believe GENESIS: Paradise Lost would be a fantastic resource to share with your children, family, and friends. You can order a copy at a discounted rate as you register for Teach Them Diligently 2019, or you can pick up a copy today by clicking here.. No matter how you choose to order, I encourage you to do so. This is a GREAT discipleship tool, and I am thrilled to be able to share it with you as we all endeavor together to strengthen our families through Biblical homeschooling.

Joining You In This Journey!
Leslie

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When we were younger Leslie and I helped out in a youth group at our church. Honestly, there was no better training for being a parent than working within this youth group.

The youth group consisted of roughly 60 young people from middle school to high school. As young parents who had babies at this time, we were able to see this varied collection of teens from different homes influenced by different cultures, parenting styles and education choices.

The one consistency in this group, just as can be found in any group, was imperfection. Dealing with people is often messy!

Once I was sitting in the back of the sanctuary with a young man from the youth group when his father walked up to him and started yelling. His father was upset because his son had worn athletic shoes with his nice slacks to church. Apparently, before they left home his dad had already told him to wear something nicer, and the young man had defied his dad. Whether you think this is a crazy request from the father or not, is not the point. This young man was in the open and apparently there was more going on between them than just a disagreement over shoes. This young man already had a problem with bitterness toward his father, and his father was just exasperating the bitterness through his reaction to his son’s defiance.

We’ll get to that most important word shortly, but first…

Provoking our Children to Wrath

InEphesians 5, scripture makes a big deal about provoking your children to anger or wrath. Think about this…of all the things Paul could have referenced under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he points to provoking your children to wrath.  I think that tells us a lot about not only the potential power anger has over our children, but also the tendencies of fathers and their children.

Paul knew that anger in the home has the potential to allow bitterness to enter the hearts of mothers, fathers, and children. There is nothing more powerful in ripping a family apart or even separating a person from God the Father than anger and bitterness. The Holy Spirit directed Paul to write this verse in Ephesians because He understood the tendency in our sin to sway into anger.

And, I am not talking about short-term anger like being upset when children spill drinks on nice furniture, or even when they miss a curfew or fail a test.

I am talking about the kind of anger that develops into rage or violence or grudges or bitterness.

This is the kind of anger that people hold onto. 

Quick story, Once my oldest was arguing a little with his mother over something he had done. When I heard him argue I became very upset. I don’t even remember what I said or he said; but I remember he was defending himself, and I perceived it as being disrespectful to his mother.

I walked into the room and told him what I thought of what he had done to draw the scolding from his mother, and I also told him to stop defending himself.  I did this with a raised voice.  At that point, he stopped talking, stuck his jaw out, dropped his head, and sat on his bed.  Then, as he was looking down, I told him how I felt about his attitude and how he should never do it again. The next thing I know tears started to show.

After I saw the tears, I backed off and walked out of the room.

I left him in his room for a little while so we both could cool down. Shortly thereafter, I came back into his room and apologized. I didn’t justify it or tell him what he did wrong at this point at all.  I just fell on the sword. I told him that I was very sorry for raising my voice in a way that tore him down.  I made sure to ask him to forgive me, which is very important.

The reason I did this was because I knew that it was the way forward. God talks about forgiveness not just because it releases the wrong-doer but also because it releases the one that is wronged. Sometimes saying sorry is the best way forward.

In parenting you are going to mess up. You are not going to handle every punishment and circumstances with perfect consistency, justice, the right measure of grace, and wisdom. But, to allow any level of anger or bitterness to rise up and develop into a breach in the relationship with your children will make it impossible to reach them…to disciple…to mentor…and to direct them. If your children are holding onto anger or bitterness, it does not matter if you feel like you are right, you need to resolve that. Sometimes the only way forward is to humble yourself and say sorry for your reactions.

That is why SORRY is one of the most important words in discipling your children. You will make mistakes, guaranteed! Don’t think it undermines any level of your authority by saying sorry.

Let me help you a little more on this! What I apologized for with my son was losing my temper and yelling in anger at him in such a way that it diminished him. What the father in the case with his son’s shoes could have done is say sorry to his son for yelling at him in front of everyone and embarrassing him.

Think about Ephesians 5 again…what is going to provoke your children to wrath? Make a list…what is it that could be a source of anger for your son or daughter?

  • injustice or unjustified response
  • inconsistency in applying rules
  • choosing something over them
  • embarrassing them and diminishing them
  • withholding love from them
  • misdirected anger landing on them

Keep going! Think about the root causes of any anger that might be in your children. Dig deep!!

These are the kinds of things you should apologize for.

Okay! Now replace the phrase in Ephesian 5 with one of the phrases above.

Fathers…do not withhold love from your children
Fathers…do not embarrass your children or diminish them
Fathers…do not allow the stresses of life to be misdirected into anger on your children

Do those things make sense? I think that is a good test of something you may want to apologize and clear up with your children.

Now, try that experiment on these statements…

Fathers…do not defend your wife when she is being disrespected by your children
Fathers…do not withhold the car when your child failed a test
Fathers…allow your sons to have girls over to the house without adult supervision

Those don’t make sense do they in the context of Ephesians 5?…Therefore, don’t apologize for those things.

For being focused on a single word, this is a long article. Therefore, I think it is time to move on.

We at Teach Them Diligently see our mission as encouraging you to seize the role God has for you and help you precede with greater confidence as a servant of Christ. We truly do believe that homeschooling when done Biblically will strengthen your family in Christ. Through our media and our events, we endeavor to give you resources to encourage and help you on your way. One such resource I would highly recommend is Leslie’s book on discipleship parenting: Teach Them Diligently, Raising Children of Promise. In it, she walks through what the Bible says about parenting… and there’s a LOT of instruction and insight straight from God’s Word in there. Won’t you pick up a copy today? I truly believe it will be a great help to you and your family.

I also sincerely encourage you to join us next Spring for one of our events. You will not find another conference that focuses so intently on helping you strengthen your relationship with your children and with your God through Biblical homeschooling. You really do need this!

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Sincerely,

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P.S. If you are reading this and have already registered, invite a friend or family member.  The truth is that if they are not homeschoolers or even considering homeschooling, they could still benefit largely from the vision of these events. Need more info about the referral program. Click Here

P.P.S: There is a whole series of posts specific to homeschool dads. I would encourage you to check them out. Click here.

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During the 2018 Teach Them Diligently conventions across the southeast, I was given the privilege to speak to men about homeschooling. Yet during this time, I was curious about what other dads were thinking and struggling within the homeschool life. Well, they wrote down some questions and I told them I would answer them. They cover all kinds of subjects and areas, so get ready for “Answers from the Husband of a Homeschooling Mom”

Today the question comes from Chad!

Any advice on how to restore a broken relationship with a teenage son who you have verbally abused/ignored for 10 years of their life?

Chad I am going to be blunt and honest with you here, so just hang on. In 1989, Cher came out with a song called “If I could turn back time“. The truth is, we can not. Time is not meant to be rewound to a previous part so we can do it again. The progress of time is what keeps up going, striving to be better, and even producing wisdom along the way. One of my favorite quotes from any poem is this :

“Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.” – Calmly We Walk Through This April Day ~ BY DELMORE SCHWARTZ

However, there is something that can be done.

First:

For a dad, it can be hard to do what I am telling you to do. We do not like to admit our failures, shortcomings, or our wrongs. But Chad, that is exactly what you need to do. You need to do that with God first. Let me ask you a question or two.
1. Where are you in your spiritual walk with God?
2. Where do you see yourself in your relationship with God?
3. Where do you see yourself as the spiritual/emotional leader of your family?
4. Seek forgiveness from God for your actions.

Yeah, not easy questions to answer. Those questions are not easy to answer if you are doing everything the best that you can with your family. However, those are questions that we all need to ask ourself and maybe even our spouse on how they see us.

Second:

Sit down with your son and ask for his forgiveness. This is one of the hard parts. We can ask for the forgiveness, but it is up to him on whether he will extend it to you. Here is where you may want to talk to him about the questions above and let him answer them in reference to you. The answers may hurt, they may sting, and they may make you feel like trash. Once he sees that you are admitting that you have done these things and are willing and trying to make restitution for the past years, things can start to change. This is the beginning of restoration Chad.

There is no quick and easy reverse to the decisions that we make in life. If there were, I most likely would not be the age that I am now because I would be going back and trying to make everything perfect. Instead, I put my trust and faith in Jesus, read and meditate on His words, attempt to think before speaking and do the best that I can. I am not perfect and neither are you. We will make mistakes, the key is to ask for forgiveness as we go along and not let it build up over the years.

I’ll be praying for you Chad and I hope that many other men reading this will also.

Till next time….
I’m just a Husband of a Homeschooling Mom,

Steve Blackston

Be sure to check out the other articles in this series for homeschool dads (as well as others specifically written for homeschool dads in days gone by)  by clicking here.

Now is a great time to go ahead and register your family for TTD2019! Click here to take advantage of discount code NOSHAVE10 before the end of November. 

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teenage daughter on tablet with dog

World Wide Web

The internet is frightening to me as a mom. Quite frankly, if I could pick one thing that I wish I didn’t have to parent through, it would be internet usage. I regularly have to cast my fear on God, though, for I know what is out there waiting to prey on my children but I also know who holds them in the palm of His hand. I see the benefit of the resources contained on the world wide web, but I have also seen the devastating effects that the evil it contains can wreak on individuals and families. Our family strives to incorporate a balanced, and well conceived internet plan.

Helpful Tips

This is not to be an article on the dangers of the internet. I hope you know those. If you have not researched this topic, please do. Covenant Eyes has some ebooks that are very informative and helpful to families trying to protect their children from being exposed to information and images that they should not be exposed to. Unfiltered is a good one to start with, for it introduces the dangers that are out there and how you can combat those.

Instead of writing about the dangers of the internet, I wanted to share how our family handles internet usage and activity. This approach has worked for us, and I hope it will at least spark discussions of ways that your family can start putting more safeguards in place as well.

Internet Browsers and Time Online

The internet is a fabulous source of information.  I firmly believe that every student needs to have solid knowledge of how to navigate and extract the information they need. Since so much of the world’s commerce and information is shared on the internet in today’s economy, we are not doing our children any favors by keeping them completely offline.

Although we want our children to know how to handle the internet, we do not want to set them up for failure or for exposure to unwanted material. With that in mind, we use a couple of tools that allow us to control the time they spend on the internet.

 

Router

Our router allows us to give or take away access to the internet directly from the source. There are no computers or tablets in our house that have internet access overnight. This has given us incredible peace of mind, and has allowed my boys to listen to audible books, etc. on their tablets while they are trying to go to sleep.

Covenant Eyes

Every device in our home is equipped with Covenant Eyes. For my older children, the settings are for accountability. We know that if they do not learn to regulate their internet usage on their own while they are at home, we cannot expect them to do it when they find themselves in a less protective environment. The younger ones still have a filter on their computers. For our older children, we get reports daily from Covenant Eyes informing us if their report looks good or if they need some attention. With that level of accountability, we are able to jump on any problems that may be building as soon as they are forming. If you use discount code TTD, you can get a free month to try out Covenant Eyes. I truly believe you will love it and want to stick with it indefinitely!

Time Limits, Usage, and Boundaries

Computers are a fabulous help, but I have found that my children are not writing well, because almost everything they do is on the computer. For that reason, we took one school year and made it “going old school”, and kept lots of notebooks… with actual notebook paper and pens! This helped us manage our time online and on the computer quite a bit. Still, though, there are many things they need to do on their computer, both for their classes at home and at co-op.

Social Media

“People Matter” is a mantra around our house. I have found that the more time we spend on social media, the less “real” people (as in the ones that are right here, able to be actually touched by our lives and share experiences) get our attention. We have also found that unlimited access to social media at a young age sets our children up for making mistakes and mis-managing their time.

For that reason, we don’t allow social media of any kind until our children display the maturity to handle it. When they are allowed access, it is with the understanding that I always have their password and am their “friend” on that platform. There have been a few times that I have sensed a heart change and have been able to find explanation or confirmation of it on their social media. Being tuned in has allowed us to approach the child about the issue quickly and thankfully each time disciple them through the issue.

The upside of social media is that it makes the world a lot smaller. Our oldest is able to build on friendships that were started at camps or at Teach Them Diligently. This is a great benefit of social media usage, and one that I am thankful my children can enjoy. Currently, the only platform any of our children are allowed to be on is Instagram, since that is the platform that most of their friends are on. On that platform, they are required to have private profiles and only approve followers they know. David and I can easily see who they follow and who follows them.

Accountability

This level of accountability is important. It was not born in a vacuum, though. Rather, we have been building a strong relationship with our children since they were young. They know the reasons for the accountability, and we know and respect their need for privacy. For the most part, there has been no need for me to go into direct messages, email, etc., and honestly they show me their feed most of the time voluntarily. There are some funny things on Instagram that need to be shared with Mama, you know.

If you have not built a strong relationship with your children, this may be perceived as threatening and intrusive. I urge you to work on strengthening that relationship. Become closer as a family by spending time together, talking together, playing games together, worshiping together and more. There is no greater privilege you will ever have than building strong relationships and discipling your children.

Our children understand that practically speaking, anything they put on the internet is public record and can be uncovered if someone goes looking for it hard enough. We have spent time talking to them and training them about giving the right opinion of The Lord and of themselves in everything they do and say, even on the world wide web.

A Plea

If you have children or teens that are using the internet in any capacity, please take the time to talk to them about the pitfalls and dangers as well as the opportunities and resources available there. This presents a great opportunity for discipleship in so many ways, and we have found that sins committed on the internet just like sins committed elsewhere will generally be found out, and generally pretty quickly. That is truly a mercy from The Lord who loves them so much that He will not allow them to continue indefinitely in sin.

 

 

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Internet Safety

Watch the Free Video, “Internet Safety”

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In this fallen world we live in, the internet can naturally be a scary place. However, that doesn’t give us reason to fear! I’ll share with you what precautions my family has taken in regards to internet safety, and I hope this will give you some ideas for how to best protect yourself and those you love from the dangers of the internet.

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burning candles in church and people praying

What’s important?

Hey dads! This year is starting to come to a close real soon. We are in the last three months of the year. The weather is cooling off, leaves are starting to fall, footballs are flying around and baseball season is about over. Many guys are getting their hunting spots ready. They are taking time off of work, if possible, and making their way out into the woods to scope out the possibility of getting the big dear of local legend. Or maybe your one of the men who slips off to the lake as the cooler nights start to move the fish a bit more. Or could you be one of the true football fans and you sneak off to get that perfect tailgate spot prior to the game. But guys, are you taking time for what is important?

Family

When I ask are you taking time for what is important, I am referring to family. I understand that many guys are the bread winners for the family. I understand the part where they say, “I need some time away from everything and everyone.” I understand there are times when the stress can build to a point that you need to be alone. I don’t want you blowing up on me or the family! But are you taking time to be with the ones who need you? Are you taking time to talk to the ones who need you? Are you taking time for what is important?

God

When I ask if you are taking time for what is important, I am also referring to God. You know, if you want to get funny with it, you “owe” God 10% of your money, time and talent. If you put that 10% into time you will get 2.4 hours. That is 2 hours 24 minutes or 144 minutes. Now, how many of us give that amount of time to prayer, praise, worship, Bible study or anything with God? Hmmmm… it gets quiet when we start thinking in those terms doesn’t it?

Take some time this day dad and give thanks to God for your life, your family and your job that all bring your stress. Take time to be with your family, love on them, and appreciate the problems that come with being a dad.

Till next time…

Just a Husband of a Homeschooling Mom,
Steve Blackston

 

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

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Discipline & Prayer

I love running but for some reason I often find about a million reasons NOT to run.  It’s too cold… it’s too hot… my leg hurts… I don’t have time. Why is it that I KNOW running is good for me, and I LOVE to do it, yet I don’t so many days?  Well, it is a discipline. I have to purpose in my heart that it is a priority and that I will set aside time for it no matter what.

The same is true of our devotional and prayer lives. Do you start each morning by turning your face toward God and seeking His perfect will for your day? Do you seek Him before you even wake everyone up and get your homeschool day in full motion?

Prayer Heals

Prayer is a dialogue  where we can communicate with the Creator of the Universe. Prayer is healing as our great Father “heals the broken-hearted and binds up [our] wounds.” (Psalm 147:3) Prayer is aligning as God aligns our hearts to His, and prayer is so much more. Yet, how many days do we resist that still small voice urging us to fall before the throne of grace? How many ways do we come up with to put Jesus’ precious invitation to “come unto me all ye who labor” on our “to-do later” list?

Oh, dear sisters, may we elevate the discipline of prayer to it’s proper place in our lives. May we follow God’s directive to “pray without ceasing,” (I Thes. 5:17) for that is God’s will for us. He wants to meet us as we pray. He wants to teach us, direct us, comfort us, heal us, and so much more as we humbly kneel in prayer.

Even for Jesus, God in the flesh, we see prayer as a discipline. We are told in Luke that “he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” (5:16) Perhaps that was because Jesus knew what the Psalter said was true. Even he needed to “be still and know,” but he had to find a special place to hear his Father most clearly. He had to leave other people and obligations behind for the sake of communing with God the Father. He had to exercise that discipline.

If you took a few minutes to read this article, I imagine  you feel that tug on your heart to pray. You know that God wants to meet you on your knees. So, what’s holding you back? Which of the million excuses you can come up with to keep you from praying are you willing to give up to exercise that blessed discipline of praying?

Our Prayer

Dear Jesus, you set the example for me when you walked this earth as a man. I can see you laying aside everything that stood in the way of spending time in prayer. Thank you for that. Help me to do the same. May nothing in my life be more important to me than kneeling before your throne and listening for your still small voice. Amen.

Additional resources for Women Praying.

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How Praying for Your Children Will Affect How You Parent

Watch the Video, “How Praying for Your Children Will Affect How You Parent”

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Another element of living boldly, praying boldly. The video talks about how the strategies we can take truly affect how we parent our children. Check out the video for more information.

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man holding money

A lot of people are surprised to learn that Jesus devoted 15 percent of his recorded words to the subject of money, and that the Bible has more than 2,300 verses addressing it.

Money is of great importance because it fuels nearly all of our activities in some way and can be used for good or ill.   It is utterly necessary just for daily living, and its handling is a mark of character, again, for good or ill.

A common misnomer is that the Bible – and therefore God – regards money as evil.  But this is a misreading of 1 Timothy 6:10, in which the Apostle Paul warns: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Some Money Facts

In the United States, which is arguably the richest country in the world, the Treasury Department continually provides new bills and coins at a staggering rate.

The first coins minted in America were pennies created in 1792.  “Paper” money debuted in 1862 during the Civil War, when precious metals became scarce.  Then, as now, the bills were mostly made of cotton and linen, not paper, which is sturdier.

Today, the U.S. Department of Engraving and Printing, which has plants in Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas, uses between 10 and 18 tons of ink per day to print nearly 25 million notes worth $560 million, according to the Treasury website.  Some 95 percent of these merely replace old bills taken out of circulation – much of it overseas, where the American dollar is a widely used currency.

In the 1860s, “In God We Trust” was added for the first time to coinage, debuting on a two-cent piece.  Later, it was added to currency, such as $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and $100 bills.

Starting Good Habits Young

For Christians, money presents an opportunity to put our faith into action.  That begins with the radical notion that all of our money, not just 10 percent (a tithe) or whatever we are donating to the church, belongs to God.   This is the principle of stewardship.

When teaching children about money, it’s very important to begin with the foundational truth that it all belongs to God, and that while God is magnanimous toward us in inestimable ways, we have to operate as stewards of His riches.   Only when we do that can we properly handle money, please God and bless our families and others.

While many people in our culture of rugged individuality think of themselves as being in charge, the stewardship model begins in the Book of Genesis, when God assigned Adam and Eve the job of naming the animals and caring for the paradise around them.  They lived up to the task of stewardship until falling for the temptation to go beyond their God-given roles into a realm of power reserved only for God. We’ve all been working “by the sweat of our brow” ever since.

Throughout the Bible, we are advised to be good stewards of our Creator’s wealth, which includes our own lives and how we touch the lives of others.

“When it comes to a man’s (or woman’s) real nature, money is of first importance,” said former U.S. Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson.  “Money is an exact index to a man’s true character.  All through Scripture there is an intimate correlation between the development of a man’s character and how he handles his money.”

Whose Money?

If we view all money we acquire only as our own, we are tempted to believe that we don’t need God or Biblical guidance.  It’s the ultimate power trip – we call the shots, no one else.  But if we view ourselves as stewards of God’s provision for us, we learn the beauty and joy of giving back and can develop a healthy view of our finances.  Concentrating on acquiring money for its own sake can lead to soul-destroying greed and contempt for those less well off than ourselves.

As Jesus Himself warned, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

In our free-market-based economy, we have many blessings unavailable to people who live under oppressive regimes that punish individual initiative.  But materialism, or the love of money, is a constant temptation in our culture, especially since we are pelted daily with advertising designed to make us discontented with what we have and aching to buy whatever they are selling so we can feel better.

Wealth can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how we view it and handle it.  For one thing, materialism can dull our appreciation for many of the best things in life that are free – including the gift of salvation.  As the Roman, North Africa-based Christian author Tertullian put it in 200 A.D., “Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”

Love of money can lead to crime, as evidenced by the fact that motives linked to money or sex account for 80 percent of crimes in the United States, but money accounts for a ratio of 80 to 1 crimes over those incited by sex.   No wonder Jesus issued so many warnings about the power of money.

Employee theft is estimated to be $50 billion annually, which forces everybody to pay higher prices. (“Personal Property Crimes,” U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006) Insurance fraud is similarly in the billions, which costs everybody because of higher rates.  Materialism is such a powerful motivator that few can resist it without God’s help.

The good news is that we don’t have to go it alone and that there are resources available to guide us.

God has much to say about money if we take the time to listen.

Written By Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author and Communications Advisor for Timothy Partners.  Some of this material was drawn from a curriculum from the Timothy Plan for family economics called “Stewardship:  God’s Plan for Financial Success.”

Written by Timothy Plan founder Art Ally, the 112-page workbook, which, along with brief video segments of a couple discussing their income and giving, offers a Gods-eye view of money, investing, giving and cultural impact.  Learn more at timothyplan.com.

Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common in the Teach Them Diligently Blog.

 

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