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CEE's Family Building Blocks
May/June 1998

"How to Make Your Child Truly Rich"

Turn on any television and flip through the channels and you are bound to find at least one "get rich quick" infomercial. They look convincing, don't they? If we're honest, we must admit that most of us have at least considered trying out the technique or product, if not actually purchased the package being offered! So if we, as adults, are tempted, how much more alluring are these "get rich quick" schemes to our children? And how can we give them a righteous view of money?

Paul warned Timothy of such a temptation, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Tim. 6:9-10). Doesn't sound like anything we'd want for our children, does it?

Instead of falling into the trap of pursuing worldly riches, Paul instructs Timothy, "But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called . . ." (1 Tim. 6:11-12).

We can use Paul's relationship with Timothy as an example to follow in teaching our own children. First of all, he warned Timothy of the dangers of worldly riches, greed, and a love of money. We can teach our children these verses, and give them examples of lottery winners who were changed by their wealth into wasteful, sinful people. Or explain how the television millionaire" is really making his money--by selling get-rich-quick kits. Use real-life illustrations you know of personal friends who were changed by riches or went wrong in their pursuit of money.

Then, like Paul, point your child in the right direction--pursuing holiness, keeping an eternal perspective. Worldly riches burn--they can't be taken with you. Instead, encourage your child to lay up treasures in heaven, and give them examples of what those treasures are (i.e. witnessing to lost souls, teaching Sunday School, godly parenting that trains children in the ways of the Lord, helping and serving the poor and needy, encouraging and building up one another, good stewardship and tithing, etc.). Help your child to understand that this time on earth is but a speck of sand on the beach of eternity, and possessions can never satisfy. Read 1 Tim. 6:17-19.

Finally, Paul taught Timothy, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. . . . But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that" (1 Tim. 6:6,8). To be truly rich, we must be godly --recognizing God's sovereignty and desiring only to do His will and live for Christ--and that godliness, with contentment, is great gain. It's better than riches. When we recognize that all we have comes from God, and only what we do in Christ matters from an eternal perspective, then we can truly be content and have that "peace that passes understanding" in all circumstances. And that is true wealth!

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