The love of pocket money is the root of all evil?

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Von, Jun 18, 2017.

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  1. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    We are considering the whole pocket money issue. I know there will obviously be differences in opinion with regards to the amount and the age to start at, etc. I'm more concerned with the following:
    1) Do you think it is a good/biblical idea? (please give a reason)
    2) If so, then how do you prevent your child from serving the currency instead of the Lord (ie - doing chores because he wants money)
  2. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Sorry fo writing so much, but I have thought a lot about money over the years. Hope something I wrote will be helpful.

    Thesis: Believers are often dumber than unbelievers in the use of worldly wealth.
    Luke 16:8
    And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

    Money should normally be earned. Even lots of it is fine when handled responsibly.

    Deuteronomy 8:18 (ESV)
    You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

    Ecclesiastes 5:19 (ESV)
    Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.

    But money not earned can be a problem.

    Proverbs 20:21 (ESV)
    An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end. Consider the story of the prodigal son. (Luke 15:11-32)

    Of course, an inheritance can and should be given by parents to their children, (Pro. 13:22) but there should be wise conditions.

    Here’s an apparent paradox that I think a lot about:
    God “gave” the promised land to the Israelites, (Lev. 23:10; 25:2; Deut. 1:8) but they had to work hard, fight, and many died, to take possession of the land. Their early failure to “believe” God AND “fight” for the “gift” caused 40 years of delay. Was it a gift? Or did they have to earn it? Both things were true.

    GIFT: Exodus 6:8 (ESV)
    I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.

    WORK: Numbers 33:51-53
    51 "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
    52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you and destroy all their figured stones and destroy all their metal images and demolish all their high places.
    53 And you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it.

    Even though some think “money answers everything” (Ecc. 10:19), it does not provide real security.

    Proverbs 23:5 (KJV)
    Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

    I think Jesus considers everything in this life “unrighteous mammon” compared to the "true riches," and “eternal dwellings,” He told this (often misunderstood) story in Luke 16:1-13

    Luke 16:9, 11 (ESV)
    9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
    11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?

    Last thought: You should teach your children is that the Bible does give us a way to get the worldly things we need and even desire.

    Matthew 6:19-34; particularly verse 33
    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    So, yes to your first question.
    Hope I helped a little with your second question.
  3. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    It teaches them that there is (or should be) a link between work and earnings. Speaking from personal experience as a child, it taught me how to manage money and live within my means.
  4. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    You are going to need to explain to me why instilling a work ethic in a child is a bad thing. The paycheck is a big motivation in my current job.
  5. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    Simple. Give them a job and pray and that the Lord is first in their lives.
  6. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    Maybe this is just a misguided piety on my side, but
    1. In discipline the heart is the issue - we should address the heart in all our dealings. Now with pocket money, obviously there will be consequences if the job is not well done - will this not lead him to want to obey because of the cash instead of "because I said so"?
    2. Should we not do every job (even our own), for the glory of God and not for the glory of our pocket? I'm not saying that I always attain to this, but our aim at least should be there. Maybe this is where what Trent said comes in?
    I feel right there with Ed's post:
  7. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I don't like to tie spending money too closely to household chores. I think most household chores should be done simply because we're each part of the household, and everyone helps out. That too is a good lesson.

    We mostly have given a modest allowance for free (because families share with each other) and have required chores to be done without expectation of payment (because families pitch in together). For extra spending money that's earned through work, we have encouraged doing odd jobs for the neighbors. Of course, it helps that we happen to have great neighbors who have their own kids, with whom we reciprocate.
  8. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you, Jack - Those are good points that you make.
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