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September 21, 2013 / BTM

Managing Finances God’s Way, Part 2

I previously mentioned that we really enjoyed using the Heritage Builder’s Money Matters book to teach our then 5- and 7- year olds about managing money God’s way.  I also mentioned that I am a big believer in tailoring activities when needed to suit our specific family.  In this post, I’ll outline some examples of how I altered some of the activities in the book to better suit our family.  This blog post will seem long, but that is only because I’ve got four activities outlined in it.

Teaching about Tithing

Rather than following the book’s activity for teaching about tithing, I replicated an object lesson that had been used on me when I first learned about tithing as a late teen.

I offered our children a snack (I believe it was chocolate –a real treat) that was broken into ten pieces.  Some of the pieces were large, some were small, some were miniscule.

I then asked them: “Who gave you this snack?” (Answer: mom)

Then I said: “I’ve given you ten pieces to eat, could I have one of them?”  This was to illustrate giving one tenth, or a tithe.  (Answer: of course!)

I let them pick out which piece to give to me and to my surprise they both gave me the biggest piece from their plates.  I then congratulated them on not only giving back to the person who first gave the snack to them, but also on giving the best of what they had been given.  It was like two lessons in one: learning the tithe and learning to give our best to God.

I then used the Biblical connection and questions outlined in the Money Matters book to make the connection to tithing (they based it on Genesis 28:10-22, but you could use other passages as well such as: Lev 27:30; 2Chron 31:5; Mal 3:6-12; etc.)

Honesty in Finances

In teaching about honestly tithing and being honest about how much we tithe, instead of the book’s activity, I called the boys to the kitchen with the promise that I’d give each of them a giant piece of chocolate cake to eat.  Not surprisingly, they both raced downstairs.  At their spot at the table were a few crackers.  When they saw the crackers instead of the promised cake, they weren’t impressed.

They asked about the cake, and I shrugged and said in a very unconcerned voice: “Oh, I lied.”

They were even more unimpressed and told me that lying was bad.

Perfect set up for the lesson.  We discussed the questions in the book like: “How did it feel when I lied about the snack?”; “How about God, how do you think He would feel?”; “What were the consequences of my lie?” and discussed Acts 5:1-11 and Mal 3:6-12.  The point is that lies have consequences with others, God and ourselves.  As Christians, we’re not to lie in any area of our life, including how much money we give (showing off) or how much money we earned and should give to God (cheating).

Working Hard as a Biblical Concept

The Money Matters book teaches many attitudes about money, and one is diligence, or the concept of working hard.  I modified the activity in this lesson, which has you build as tall a tower as you can out of blocks or dominoes.  In my version, the boys had to pick a slip of paper before building their tower.  It instructed them to build their tower within 5 seconds; within 30 seconds; within 1 minute; on top of a difficult surface (like a pillow); blindfolded; etc.

The point of the exercise is that we are to do our best no matter what, doing our work for God (Col 3:23-24).  I then continued with the discussion in the book about doing all our chores and activities as if we were doing it for God and asking how that would affect how they did different tasks (unloading the dishwasher, cleaning up their rooms, helping with odd jobs, etc.) in their lives.


Money Mattes has a great time travellers activity to illustrate how money earns interest over time.  I adapted this activity to illustrate the difference in choices of how we invested our money, rather than only illustrate how money grows through investment.

I had the kids put the same amount of Monopoly money into three different piles: one represented putting the money in a piggy bank, one represented putting the money in the bank, and one represented spending the money on a toy (illustrated by a Lego car).

Then the boys went into the storage closet (aka the “time machine”) while I counted down the “time travel” (I counted to ten, symbolizing ten years).  While they were in the closet, I tripled the money in the bank pile, left the piggy bank pile unchanged, and took apart some of the pieces of the Lego car to show that it had broken over time.  The money used to “pay” for the toy was taken away as well.

When the boys came out of the time machine, I asked them to look at the three piles and tell me what had happened.  Then we discussed the Money Matter’s recommended scriptures of Prov 21:20 and Matt 6:19-21.

Our kids left this lesson with a keen interest in banks!

One Comment

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  1. Carrie / May 16 2014 8:15 am

    Really liked reading this and its related posts… 🙂

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