Stewardship: A Christian approach to personal finance

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Handling money responsibly doesn't come naturally to most people, even as adults. If we had any doubts about that, spending a few minutes with just about any media source would set us straight. We are constantly hearing ways to escape from our debts, whether through "restructured debt settlements,"credit counseling, bankruptcy, voluntary home foreclosures, and so on. What happened to being responsible for paying back what you've promised, and not incurring more debt than you can handle? Or even more shockingly--what about saving up to buy something you want, rather than borrowing or using credit to have it right now? These messages have gone by the wayside in our instant-gratification culture.

It's even more difficult for teens in our society. They are surrounded by friends with the latest and greatest gadgets and fashion. They are bombarded on all fronts with the world's message that "you DESERVE this!" and are made to feel "uncool" if they have less than their peers. The time in their lives when they are most vulnerable to this external materialistic pressure often coincides with the first small steps toward financial freedom, in the form of a job and a source of income not dependent on Mom and Dad. The temptations can be great, especially for the unprepared teen.

As Christians, we want to teach our children to be above the influence of materialism. But realistically, money is important in our society. We can't function day-to-day without it. The key is teaching kids to handle money in ways that are appropriate, responsible, and in accordance with God's Word. Not only will the world not teach our kids the same message that God teaches, in fact it's usually diametrically opposed to Christian thinking. Yet if we don't act to teach our kids about handling money, they're only going to hear the world's wrong messages. While a blessed few may be financially informed enough to teach their kids from scratch, most of us could use a tool that is solid in both consumer math and God's teachings on financial responsibility.

Stewardship, by Math-U-See, is a biblically-based personal finance curriculum that is written specifically for teens--just when they are seriously considering their options in entering the workforce, whether on a small scale part-time job, or a full-time career after graduation. It provides sound instruction on topics ranging from budgeting, comparison shopping and the true cost of ownership, to interest, banking, taxes and credit cards. These are practical lessons that your teen can use today, while (more importantly) laying a foundation for financial responsibility and independence in adulthood.

But it's not just the practical number-crunching that is covered in this curriculum. God has a plan for everything in our lives, and that includes our finances. The lessons are built on the solid foundation of God's teachings about money, material goods, and character. The accompanying Devotions book emphasizes and focuses on the lessons He provides for us in His Word. While they go hand in hand with the math portion of the curriculum, they are also a stand-alone devotional that could be part of a teen's personal devotions or part of a youth group discussion with equal effectiveness.

God has given us a clear direction for financial responsibility, yet the world is constantly bombarding our teens with contradictory messages. Provide your kids with sound, godly instruction and help them to avoid common financial mistakes with a Biblical approach to personal finance and consumer math from the award-winning math curriculum provider Math-U-See. Stewardship is a practical consumer math curriculum with a focus on Biblical values and God's teaching on finances.

Visit the Math-U-See website to see a sample lesson and learn about Math-U-See's approach to personal finance.


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