Does your child know what a steward is? Does he know he is a steward? How do you go about teaching a child to be a good steward? The same way we teach them all the other important life lessons—little by little, day by day. Most teaching is done without words, but rather by our children observing how we parents act as stewards. Am I showing my children a good example of stewardship?
Stewardship is one of those areas not often considered in everyday life, at least not often enough in mine. Yet, it is a great honor and responsibility to which God has called us. We enjoy His blessings and partner with Him in blessing others with those blessings. He expects what He entrusts to us to be used in a God-honoring way. This is the heart of stewardship—glorifying Him by the way we handle the resources He grants us. So, I ask myself and you again, how are we doing as role models in this area of worship?
Children take many cues and lessons from the way we interact with the world around us. Do they see us taking care of our physical possessions? Do they know why we want to make wise decisions on how we handle our ﬁnances? Yes, it takes some conversation to explain the areas that aren’t as readily observed. Do they know we save money so that when income may be tight in the future, we have funds set aside to help us through? Or when an opportunity comes up to help someone else in need, we have money available to serve them? Being a good steward is not just about handling ﬁnancial resources wisely; it is also about handling our physical possessions and time wisely.
Here are some simple questions to help evaluate how well we are living out stewardship before the next generation:
- Do we use our time wisely? Do we take care of our responsibilities and chores before we take time to relax?
- Do we have a financial plan? Are we using a budget and planning for future needs or emergencies?
- Do we respect our possessions by taking care of them and not wasting them?
- Do we have a spirit of gratitude for how we’ve been blessed?
Living out wise stewardship and explaining my reasons for doing so provides the primary example my children will follow. They will model more what I do than what I say, so I must be intentional to align my words and actions. The last question gets to the heart of why a person wants to be a good steward. If we are thankful people, we will have a desire to steward our blessings as an act of worship.
The short poem “A Little Fellow Follows Me” by Claude Wisdom White, Sr. hangs above my desk at home. It reads:
I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whatever he sees me do, he tries.
Like me, he says, he’s going to be,
The little chap who follows me.
Do my children see in me a good example of a wise steward? My prayer for us all is that we live as wise stewards and, by doing so, honor our Lord and set a faithful example for those who follow us.
**Adapted from ONE Magazine