April 11, 2022

What Do I Give My Child?

Written by Boyd Bailey

The best gift you give to your child is a spiritual inheritance: love Jesus, and wisely store up treasure in heaven.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 11, 2022

 Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. Luke 15:11-12, NLT

I know a wealthy father who has two sons, one more prodigal and one who is faithful to the Lord and toward his dad. Yet, this earthy father—who is seeking to love well, is gradually giving his sons their inheritance now. I don’t know all the reasons why, but since getting to know the family over the past three years, I suspect one reason for the dad’s giving now is to gently influence. He knows his wealth can be a burden or a blessing, so he is allowing his boys to learn how to manage resources while dad is around. Mistakes will be made. A wise dad understands he has more influence on this side of the grave. Giving to children is God’s will, but what is His will?

Jesus’ story of the generous father is unconventional (which is how Jesus rolls!). The loving father agrees to his son’s request for his inheritance. Did the son feel entitled? Perhaps, but the dad wasn’t fazed, he sensed a larger life lesson looming, so he wisely includes the other son in his pre-death disbursements. His estate attorney had to be worked up. Wait! Wait! Remember what we talked about—after your death set up trusts for each son to have access to their inheritance over incremental age targets. Vetoing precedent, the wise dad knew the boys needed to learn humility—and failure could facilitate healthy conversations. Humility flushes out greed and jealousy and replaces it with generosity and security. Humility sets children up for success!

“Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children” (Proverbs 14:26)

What essential gifts does your child need from you? The gift of your presence. The gift of your wisdom. The gift of your presence means you create a safe space for your child to be known and to know you. You are vulnerable about your fears and failures. You are fast to forgive and fun to be with. The gift of your wisdom means you model the financial best practices of save, share and spend. You discuss the Lord’s view on money: He owns everything, we are His managers. The best remedy for greed is giving. Invest in environments like family excursions to grow relational equity. And most importantly, money is meant to build God’s Kingdom by locally and globally spreading the gospel and by compassionately meeting human needs. The best gift you give to your child is a spiritual inheritance: to love Jesus, and to wisely store up treasure in heaven.

What about an earthly inheritance? Yes, parents are responsible to save for their children. In addition, the Bible precisely instructs on the wisdom of appointing time frames and guardians to help guide a child. Wise parents plan for an inheritance to enhance their child’s love for the Lord with a life that honors Him. Discerning parents pray, plan and learn from others who experienced the process of helping facilitate a godly legacy that bears fruit in the lives of their children and grandchildren beyond the parent’s lifetime. What do you give your child? God’s very best. 

“Children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children” (2 Corinthians 12:14). “The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father” (Galatians 4:2).


Heavenly Father, show us your very best for our children and equip us to facilitate a process for them to discover Your heart, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.


Consider a giving strategy, a legacy planning process offered by the National Christian Foundation.

Related Reading

Exodus 15:17; Proverbs 13:22; Luke 12:13-21

Worship Resource

Tasha Layton: Look What You’ve Done


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