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01/01/2015

Helping Adult Children Honor God with Money

God calls parents to teach, encourage, and faithfully guide their children. They have been given a special trust to serve as stewards or managers of their children. Yet even with the biblical challenge of teaching and training children, parents are not responsible for the decisions their adult children make – each person is held accountable individually. Parents are accountable, however, for the guidance they provide to their children. Here are some basic principles to help you in this special calling:

1. Help adult children understand God’s principles. God can be trusted to take care of your child’s needs after they leave your home – that includes providing for them financially and showing them how to follow Him as they learn to handle money His way. “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18).

2. Continue to offer appropriate guidance to adult children. Although adult children are responsible to make their own decisions, offering wise counsel along the way is an important way to show love to your children as they navigate the joys and challenges of life. “For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 16:26).

3. Allow adult children to fail. Some of life’s most valuable lessons are learned because of trying and failing. Although it is difficult to watch children struggle, parents must sometimes love their children enough to allow them to fail so that they can learn from the failure. Many parents attempt to buffer their children financially, which often makes the problem worse.

4. Encourage dependence on God. More money won’t help adult children change their spending habits. Parents may have sincere motives for helping their children, but sometimes they encourage dependence on parents rather than God. If God is trying to teach the children discipline and parents step in, the children may have to go through the challenge all over again. Parents sometimes have do what God often does with His own people: allow problems to come into their lives and withhold finances to increase their dependence on Him.

5. Provide assistance with caution. There is nothing wrong with helping adult children if they are truly in need. If their income is adequate and it is being mismanaged, parents need to let their children know that although they love them, any financial help must be contingent on the children establishing a workable budget and getting good counsel to help implement it. Parents need to be cautious, however, and allow God to lead them in a manner that will not thwart His purposes in their children’s lives.

Selected concepts of the above content generated by Crown Financial Ministries. This information is broadly educational in nature. Please consult your own advisors.

For a FREE copy of “Questions and Answers about Giving to Children” simply check the box on the enclosed reply card or contact Steve Hilbrands from Grace Bible College at 616-538-2330 or  Steve Hilbrands

This is general information and is not intended to be tax or legal advice. Please consult your own advisors.