Over the past fifty years Americans have been conditioned to believe they can have what they want when they want it. Through liberalized credit, we have become an “I want it now” people, mortgaging ourselves to the brink of financial meltdown with big homes, new cars and all sorts of luxuries.
This mindset is highly active in young people who do not yet understand consequences. They see something and they want it—and often think they have a “right” to it. When parents fail to realize the dangerous beliefs we reinforce when we give our children anything they want, we raise them believing they have a right to any desire of their heart. This becomes a fiscal mindset of “buy now, pay later” that leads to financial slavery.
It is very difficult, but important, that we teach our children delayed gratification—that obtaining items we desire must be achieved through hard work and fiscal restraint.
“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24
This verse has been incorrectly interpreted to only “spanking” of a child. The word “rod” can also mean a walking stick or a correction method. It teaches us to not spoil our children—to not give them all the desires of their human hearts—for it will often lead to danger.
Saying “no” to our child’s desires—and teaching him that he must earn the things of this world he desires, will help to establish a strong work ethic and a respect for finances. He will learn that everything has a price—and the world is not at his beck and call to give him everything he desires. It establishes fiscal and spiritual discipline in a child.
Learning to know when to say “yes” or “no” to our children will assist them in their growth into adulthood. When you must say “no” never leave it simply at “because I said so”—use the opportunity to teach at all times, giving them life lessons that will be invaluable as they grow.
- Word on the Way
- Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
- — Psalm 143:10