Children, They Catch What We Teach By: Danielle Murphy August 21, 2021
It is true that more often than not, we as parents are careful to instruct our children on how to drive a vehicle properly while neglecting to show as much importance in teaching them in regards to marriage or finances. Let us not neglect to do the latter! How important it is that our children receive instruction from us in these matters!
My daughters love to dress up and pretend to get married. They enjoy taking turns being the most beautiful bride. Are they taught, however, that many days of marriage are not so glamorous? Are they made aware of the sobriety and sacrifice of that commitment they seem to take so lightly? Do we take the time to teach them the realities of life so that they may not be deceived later on?
Romance novels are very popular, taking full advantage of people who are not aware of the realities that real love requires. It is my goal to teach my daughters to desire to be as beautiful a bride on the inside as they desire to be on the outside. Our sons also must be taught and shown how to lead in a marriage. Are we leading our children by the example in our own lives? It is a sober thing to realize that our children are watching us, and that regardless of what we teach them, if we do not live it, they are bound to forsake our advice.
The day we hold our newborn babies in our arms is one of the most amazing moments of our lives. It is inevitable however, that there will be countless sacrifices made in the years ahead—ones much less glamorous than that first day. Does it make it any less worth it? Not at all! Oh the depths of love, patience, and joy we experience being mothers and wives! What a precious sight it is to look upon an old married couple who have weathered the years gracefully! I believe it is important to teach our children on a regular basis of the hard work and dedication it takes to endeavor to do anything of any real value on this earth. An established business owner, a missionary or ministry, a good marriage, a solid family life—all take great commitment as well as sacrifice. Just because it may get difficult, does not mean it is not worth pursuing.
Another truth I try to convey to my children is the likelihood that they may never marry. I want them to learn to be content with that. So many people seem to be uncomfortable being single. What a shame it is when we are taught in the Scriptures to embrace that life, for in it we are able to give ourselves wholeheartedly to God (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)!
What about teaching our children in regards to money? Do we take the time to teach them about the diligence and wisdom involved in hard work or the losses of a slothful person? What about saving, giving and tithing? Where else can we expect our children to learn these things if not from us? We have chosen to begin teaching our children about money at the tender age of six. It is then that they are given four quarters each week. They have three jars and are required to place one quarter in the savings, one in the tithe and two in their spend jar. We have really enjoyed watching their generosity towards others grow as well as their respect for how much things cost and the value of saving for larger items. I have even read of the idea of giving over the families expenses the year a child turns seventeen to help them get a handle on things themselves. This would obviously come after having years of experience with money, but what a fabulous idea!
These are just a few examples of some deep issues I feel we need to be sure to address with our children. I implore you not to take for granted this short time you have with them to impart such valuable truths! Click here to return to the Parenting Column