I am not the best dad. I will openly admit that. There are times I do not follow Paul's advice where he says, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children." I know, Paul, but it's so fun. (and sometimes costly) However, there is one area that I have always worked hard to train my children in from the time they were young.
When my kids started school they got an allowance. It wasn't much, but it was there for them to learn to do three things: spend, save, and give wisely. So we split their money like this: 10% giving (God money), 20% saving, and the other 70% they could spend as they wanted (with guidance). As they got older we raised allowance, but these three percent areas stayed the same. And when they got jobs outside the home they knew their money was split the same way.
When Zachary was a sophomore he became such a prolific worker and saver that he began a retirement account and bought his first pickup with cash! (The dealer was impressed, but not proud like dad!) When Ezekiel started working as a janitor at the church at 13 he started his own retirement account. Our investment advisor to this day tells clients who haven't started their own retirement about her youngest customer.
Now Darby and Moira are to the point where they are making enough money (and steadily enough) that they are ready to invest in their own retirement. It's been a hard sell for my daughters to save like their brothers. They have through the years been far too busy to get full-time jobs, so to take what little they had and not having a steady source of income they haven't been able to start a retirement fund.
I think that's always been the issue with my kids and "selling" a retirement fund- "I'm giving this money away and not going to see it again for HOW LONG?!" They, like us, get caught up in the here and now. Zachary and Ezekiel now can see how that little amount has grown and can see the importance of starting when they did, but when you first start you wonder is this worth it?
The same is true in our Christian walk. You hear the pastor's charge to read your Bible daily. The Bible study tells you to spend time in prayer each day. Amy Duncan is challenging you to memorize, MEMORIZE, verses. In your mind you wonder if it's worth it. You wonder how much do I pray or read. You wonder what difference it will make.
Paul, in writing to Timothy, says, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ." (2 Timothy 3:14-15) Paul told Timothy before these verses that evil people would go from bad to worse, and that people would more and more follow their own desires. But this charge he gave to Timothy- to "continue in what you have learned". In other words all of the investments of studying the Scriptures and learning from those who knew it would give Timothy what he needed to stand firm when all around him fell to corruption and deceit.
Are you investing time in God's word? If not, start today, and start small. A few verses followed by a short prayer. As you continue, you may desire to spend more time as you see the "returns" on what you have invested. And just like my investment advisor tells me, "It's never too late to start."