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How Important is Biblical Stewardship for Children?

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
It is essential to teach children, at a young age, the principle of biblical stewardship.

Family Counseling Ministries -

God entrusts every person with certain talents, skills and abilities. He also entrusts His children with varying amounts and types of material possessions. He gives us all the priceless gift of time. In the fourth segment of an eleven-part series on parenting, Dr. Dunlap encourages parents to teach their children at a very young age, the importance of using their abilities, possessions and time, to honor and glorify God.

Parents often come to my office asking for suggestions that will help them teach their children biblical principles for successful Christian living. I suggest that first they teach their children to honor and obey their parents. Second, I explain how to teach them sound doctrine. The third step in training their children should be to communicate to them godly standards and values. Then, I challenge parents to teach children how to make wise decisions.

I emphasize the supreme importance of the fifth step—teaching our children at a very young age the principle of biblical stewardship—of their talents, their money, and their time.


5. We must teach our children how to be good stewards.

a.      God entrusts every person with certain talents, skills and abilities. The writer of Romans 12:6-8 addresses the varying gifts that Christians possess:

And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly; if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Children should understand from a very early age that God bestows many different gifts and graces upon His children. We must encourage our children to embrace these differing abilities and perspectives, and to celebrate the diversity that exists among members of the Body of Christ. We ought to challenge children to exercise their abilities and talents as soon as they are able to do so.

b.      God entrusts every person with varying amounts and types of material possessions. We read in 1 Timothy 6:17,18

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.

We must teach our children to be faithful stewards of their money. Young children are capable of grasping the concept of tithing. They should begin to tithe a portion of their earnings or allowance as soon as they begin to receive money of their own. Jesus asks his listeners in Matthew 16:11,

If, therefore, you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon [money], who will entrust the true riches to you?

We ought to challenge our children with Jesus’ warning in Matthew 6:19 not to store up treasures on earth, but to lay up, for themselves, treasures in heaven.

Children should have a clear understanding of the fact that they do not own anything. God owns everything and He has entrusted them with the job of taking care of certain possessions. We need to quote Luke 16:10 to them often: “He who is faithful in small things will be entrusted with much.”

c.       God entrusts every person with the generous gift of time. We find this exhortation in Ephesians 5:16, “Make the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

God has not promised us any time except the present moment in which we are living. Children need to understand how to value every day that God allows them to live. We should teach them to view time as a precious commodity that must never be wasted. We ought to encourage them to strive to honor God every day of their lives.

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