As parents, we always want to give our kids everything.
There have been many times that I’ve struggled with the fact that the majority of my kids clothes come from thrift stores, that they have had to had me drop them off in a car that sounds like an airplane has just landed, and going out to eat for them is a major treat.
I have felt guilty that I wasn’t able to get them the most expensive gifts at Christmas and that their birthday parties were not as extravagant as many of their friends.
But as I started thinking back to my own childhod, I realized the incredible benefits of growing up without wealth.
I grew up with 2 sisters and a brother in a small, 3 bedroom trailer.
My dad was a pastor (still is) and he also took several side jobs to make sure he could pay the bills and send all of us to a Christian high school.
My mom was an amazing example of what a pastor’s wife should be (still is) and stayed home with us kids.
We did not have a lot of money. But my parents never complained, never looked for hand outs and just kept raising their family the way God wanted.
I benefited greatly because of my parent’s faith, and it has helped me so much as I raise my own children…without wealth.
So this blog post is to all of those momma’s out there who are struggling with feeling badly about yourself and badly for your children because you don’t have a lot of money.
Here are the benefits of raising your kids without a lot of money.
1. You teach your kids to work hard. (regardless of the monetary reward)
You can never tell a person’s work rate based on their income. Some people work really hard and have very little, some people work really hard and have a lot. When you don’t have a lot of money, but keep working hard, it shows your children the importance of hard work simply because God tells us that whatever we do, we need to work at it with all our hearts, because we are serving Him!
It’s not about what the paycheck is at the end of the week. Whether it’s a lot, or if it’s a little.
What we are teaching our children is that God requires us to work hard at whatever it is we are doing. We leave the outcome to him.
2. You teach your kids what it means to be content.
Being content is not something that is a common character trait these days.
For many people, it is not a matter of if they are going to buy the next fill-in-the-blank (…outfit, shoes, car, electronic, house..) it is just a matter of when they are going to buy it.
This is not teaching your child to be content. We don’t teach them to be content and wait for a while before they get whatever they want! We need to teach them to be content if they never get what they want at all!
3. You teach your kids how to give.
This one can be a very confusing discipline to teach our kids. A typical response when someone has a lot of money and they see someone in need, is to throw money at it to fix it.
They will buy something to help, pay someone’s bill or provide in a financial way.
When you don’t have that as an option, it pushes you to look beyond the financial struggle and look at the emotional needs of the person in need.
Sometimes, money can’t fix things.
Growing up, I watched my parents provide for countless people in ways that had nothing to do with money or physical needs. They loved, prayed, hugged, comforted, counseled and provided something much more powerful than money.
Teaching your kids to do this is invaluable.
4. You teach your kids how to prioritize.
In some instances, people are born into wealth, or marry into it.
But for the most part, people have to work hard to get to the financial level they want to.
When you are a hard worker, but still do not have a lot of money, you have to teach your kids how to prioritize and manage their time and their money.
You teach them the importance of tithing, even when it doesn’t make sense.
You teach them what is a necessity and what is a want.
It will help them as they grow older and have to start making hard decisions on their own!
5. You teach your kids that all money belongs to God.
The bottom line is this: The Lord God is the one who gives the ability to produce wealth.
It’s not about me, my work, my education, my brains, my skill. It’s always all about God.
Teaching your kids this fact removes all temptation to become prideful!
It teaches your kids where everything needs to start.
So my encouragement to you tonight if you are in a situation where you just don’t have the money you wish you did.
You just don’t have the money to buy all the extras.
You are barely scraping by and you are starting to feel guilty.
To feel bad for your kids.
To feel like less of a person because you don’t have more of a paycheck.
IF this is you.
You are raising your kids in a way that is going to majorly benefit them as they get older!
You are raising your kids in a way that gives them a much better outlook on life than many of the people they are friends with.
You are raising your kids to understand that money can not fix everything.
Money does not last.
And money doesn’t satisfy.
And if you have been blessed with wealth?
Thank God for that!
Don’t forget to teach your kids the importance of hard work.
Of how to be content.
Tell them how little money means when someone is struggling.
Remind them that they need to be givers, they need to prioritize and that all wealth comes from God!
There is no respecter of persons with God. He does not see us based on our paychecks. He sees us based on our relationship with Him.
Regardless of our bank accounts, let’s raise our kids to be world-changers.