Recently we were listening to a broadcast entitled “Honey, We’re Broke” by Trevor Hammack of News In Focus in which he discusses the financial state of America. This is based upon a Washington Post article commenting on President Obama’s budget blueprint that indicates 2011 is the year in which, for the first time in history, government debt will exceed the US economy. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s hard to watch our beloved country slip deeper and deeper into this ruin, knowing that we’re passing on such a horrible legacy to our children and grandchildren. The picture seems hopelessly bleak. Is there anything that we can actually do to reverse this situation? Certainly we can and should pray that God will intervene in the direction America is headed. But there is something else we can do to dig out of debt and it begins at home.
As Mr. Hammack points out, its very easy to point fingers and lay blame on one particular political party or another, on one particular company or another, but ultimately we have to look at ourselves. Too many of us are way over our head in debt. And collectively we are too often unwilling to make the budget cuts necessary on either a national or personal scale that will stop the bleeding before it’s too late. As is often the case, it goes back to a matter of the heart. The times in which we live offer instant gratification to satisfy all our wants. The typical American habit? We see something, we put it on credit cards. Now credit cards aren’t necessarily bad…if you’ve got the money to back it up. So this is the world our children step into and the mountain of debt they will inherit. They are learning by default how to use money. As I look out across the broader educational landscape, I don’t see sound financial literacy being diligently taught and embraced. You have some voices being raised here and there about the woeful inadequacies of economic teaching and understanding, but even these are still misguided (being built upon a wrong foundation and having a wrong goal in view). Instead, we see increasing reliance on government assistance to supply your every need being ingrained into students’ psyche. It’s high time to take a different course! Thankfully, homeschooling provides us the time, place, flexibility and opportunity to train up our children to know how to use and handle money wisely! Slowly, gradually, and with God’s blessing, we can see our family and national finances restored to balance if we’ll follow Biblical principles and apply wisdom in all money matters.
So how do we do this? Where do we begin? What tools are available to us as homeschooling parents? Thankfully, there are several general resources out there. We have gleaned much from Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace program of getting out of debt. He has developed
A multitude of books and curriculum are out there to help get you on the road to solid financial literacy. You already most likely possess one of them: the Bible. Do a thorough Bible study on what the Bible says about money. For instance, we read that “the borrower is servant to the lender.” (Prov. 22:7) Talk with your kids about what these things mean and discuss how to apply this in your family’s financial practices. We also recommend the helpful A Banker’s Confession by Gary Sanseri. A number of homeschool economic curriculum that have been developed specifically for you to use at home. Take these products for a test drive and see what will work best for your family.
At the end of the day, the important thing is for each one of us to change how we think about and use money, to start making adjustments to our lifestyle, to incorporate Biblical principles, and then to stick with it! The road to digging out of the financial mess we’ve gotten ourselves into may be long and hard, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run. If we’re going to ever see America get back in the black, it’s got to begin at home.