March 27, 2017

Parents, Their Adult Child and the Idol of Money

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 27, 2017

When he [Micah] returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the Lord for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.” So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house. Judges 17:3-4

What is an idol? Anything or anyone that competes for our attention, affections, and worship of Almighty God. A life loyal to the Lord has no threatening rivals to Jesus, but a life attracted to shiny idols is easily distracted—and eventually led astray. Parents harbor idols in their home when they give a child all they want—instead of all they need. For physical safety, a loaded gun would never be entrusted to a child, yet a parent erodes their adult child’s character by giving prematurely the gifts of luxury cars, big houses, and an excessive inheritance. Cash replaces Christ.

Micah (not the famous prophet) loved money more than he loved his mama or the Lord. Perhaps he feared being unable to take care of his family, so he took from his mother—probably the inheritance she would eventually give to him—impatiently he stole her security. Upon returning his mother’s money, she commissioned some of the silver to become a graven image. Mom only paid lip service to dedicating her dollars to God, when in reality she worshiped an idol she thought she could control. She invested her love of money into her son’s heart.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Money need not become an idol in your family, rather make it an agent for good in God’s hands. Let your family know all you have is from the Lord and dedicated to the Lord—your possessions are His possessions. Practice generosity. A family who gives together will grow joyful together. Nothing keeps the idols of greed more unwelcome and uncomfortable in your home than generous giving. Perhaps at the right time, you set up for each young adult child a giving fund with NCF and coach them in how to give away money. Also, check out this free Legacy Planning resource. An adult child who can manage money well has a much better chance in managing life well.

Parents who model a healthy view of money are able to best influence their child about money. Indulgence only masks issues, but wise expenditures become teachable moments. For example, help your child learn the discipline of delayed gratification by saving for a house or an automobile—perhaps you can match their earnings, so they feel supported by your interest. The idol of money needs an intentional plan to keep your family from being seduced by its allure. Look for mentors who are a few years ahead of you and learn from them. Most of all, keep Jesus Christ the head of your home and seek to follow Him in how to patiently love your child well.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, all I have is Yours, multiply my assets for Your purposes in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Application

What does my adult child need to trust the Lord to provide and how can I empower, them but not enable them, throughout the process?

Related Reading

Proverbs 11:21, 13:22; Ephesians 5:5, 6:2; Hebrews 12:11; 1 John 3:17

Post/Tweet today

An adult child who can manage money well has a much better chance in managing life well. #idolofmoney  #WisdomHunters

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