Sometimes it feels as if there’s a cavernous divide between being financially savvy and being kingdom minded. Day after day, adults and kids alike are essentially told that they will not be liked or happy unless they buy the new iPhone, order that extra cheesy pizza, or drive the latest luxury car.

Meanwhile, there’s a tiny voice trying to be heard above the din, encouraging us to trust God for our needs and store our treasures in heaven. A lot of living—and spending—happens between these two divergent messages.

Clearly, far too many of us fall for advertisers’ claims. The average American household owes approximately $7,000 in credit card debt, and the average college student graduates with $35,000 in debt. In this cultural context, how can biblical concepts both shape our own financial choices and help our children make wise choices?

The Basics

Despite the growing movement spearheaded by financial consultant Dave Ramsey to help adults get their financial houses in order and pay down debt, financial literacy is not a popular topic for youth groups or Sunday sermons. And given that only 17 states require high school students to take a class on personal finance, the only way our kids will become financially literate is if we teach them.

For many of us, the obvious challenge is that nobody ever taught us! Though my husband and I have avoided major financial faux pas, we have often felt as if we were finding our way in the dark. In an effort to give our kids a different experience, we’ve tried to be intentional about teaching our sons these financial principles:

1. Be aware of the pervasive messaging that manipulates you to spend money.2. Learn to distinguish between wants and needs.3. Gain impulse ...
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