Where Teaching the Basics Begins
can easily subtract 10 percent. Teach them that 90 percent goes far- ther when they have God’s blessing than does 100 percent without it—and that they literally cannot afford not to tithe. While God’s “math” makes no sense to the carnal mind, tithing brings extraordi- nary blessings to those who faithfully practice it. Though it takes faith, it always pays in the end. (To learn more about tithing and the blessings that following this command brings, encourage your chil- dren to read my booklet End All Your Financial Worries. Then they should also consider reading Taking Charge of Your Finances.)
Teach your children the far-reaching importance of money— that it can only be spent once, that it should always be spent wisely, that credit cards can be a wonderful blessing or a curse of cata- strophic proportions carrying the potential to cripple an entire fu- ture, that God’s tithes come first and that saving is important, among numerous other principles.
Have your children occasionally report to you what they did with their money. This will teach them to carefully account for it. It will also help them avoid being enslaved to a lifetime of stress, constantly overwhelmed by debt.
Teach your children that they have no hope of success in life without learning to properly handle money!
Guide Your Children to Be Selective in Choosing Entertainment
We saw that the average American child (all ages included) watches an astonishing 6.5 hours of television each day. A typical teenager is exposed to nearly 15,000 sexual references, innuendos and jokes each year, among many other wrong acts of violence and disrespect for authority. This has a very real—and sometimes permanent—ef- fect on the development of a child’s mind.
In I Corinthians 15, Paul wrote, “evil communications [Greek: companions] corrupt good manners [character]” (vs. 33). Diligently train your children, with the explicit instruction to guard their minds against this world’s mindless entertainment. If you allow them to waste hour upon hour associating with coarse humor, graphically violent video games, and sexually-explicit song lyrics, do not be surprised when they take on the values they are seeing and hear- ing.
Teach your children what it means to select the right kinds of entertainment. Instruct them that all forms of entertainment should