Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Week IV -- Day IV -- Finances and More

Happy Home Keeping Today!

Let's start by looking at a cornerstone of family finances:

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Proverbs 31:11 He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Luke 16:10

The key to being a good steward of family resources (which actually belong to the Lord) is to be trustworthy or faithful.

Dictionary.com defines being trustworthy as deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable. Notice the sentence Dictionary.com uses to describe this characteristic: "The treasurer was not entirely trustworthy. "

When put that way, we understand the importance of this characteristic, don't we? Suppose you have reason to believe that the people at your bank or at your church or who people who are handling an investment of yours are not "entirely trustworthy" with the money you put into their care? Would you be comfortable with even a small lack of trustworthiness on their part?

As J. J. Turner writes in a book about stewardship, "Trust is a very serious and important subject. It is essential in marriage and family relations and in world affairs and business. We hear about 'Trust Officers' in banks. In a Biblical sense, we are all 'trust' officers' (because we are stewards of the Lord's resources)."

The husband of the excellent wife put his full confidence in her. He trusted her to be faithful and conscientious with the resources that were in her care. He knew that she would not be lazy, neglectful, or deceitful. He knew that she would take what was given to her and produce an increase. He knew that she would not put her selfish interests above the interests of their marriage or their family. Thus, he could attend to his duties in the gates, as a leader of their city, without having to fret about what she might be doing in the home.

What a wonderful quality this is! We would do well to imitate the worthy wife's example in this.

How can we cultivate trustworthiness or faithfulness with regard to family finances in particular?

1) Study the Lord's faithfulness to us.
2) Exercise trust in the Lord by always giving first to him, off the top of our check, and not out of what is left over.
3) Keep track of our household inventory, know what we do and don't have on hand.
4) Keep track of our spending, know where our money goes
5) Practice good work habits in the home; repent of any laziness or procrastination in our lives
6) Beware of covetousness, greed, and selfishness.
7) If we don't know much about budgeting, finances, investments, thrift in the home economy, etc., learn!
8) Be grateful for what we have when we have it; practice contentment; accept unavoidable financial setbacks with trust and faith
10) Be in harmony with the Lord and our husband when it comes to financial goals; have clear financial goals in mind

Of course, we should NEVER allow ourselves to be in the slightest bit deceitful about how we spend money or manage material things. If we mess up in some way, it is best to be honest about it, rather than to hide it.

Though we are examining this from a financial standpoint, this quality of being faithful or trustworthy permeates every aspect of being a keeper at home -- indeed, it affects every aspect of our lives. Practicing it in the area of personal finance -- even if it's only to manage our grocery budget well -- will help us put this into practice in all things.

Because trustworthiness is so important to every endeavor and to every relationship in life, we need also to teach our children how to have this quality. Also, it's great for us to notice and compliment those who practice trustworthiness. We are quick to cry foul when someone breaks our trust, but do we remember to appreciate those who are faithful day in and day out, in big things and in little? Sometimes, people grow weary in the daily practice of trustworthiness. A word of encouragement may inspire someone to keep on being faithful in all things.

Assignment: Check out a book from your library regarding one of the following subjects --

Family finance,
Budgeting,
Thrift or economy in the home.

Read your book and jot down notes in your home keepers notebook.

Articles to read:

Children: Effects of consumerism and media on self-esteem.
Teaching children about money
Finding Financial Freedom
How to Prosper in a Declining Economy

Ideas for your book of days:

Today, I cooked ________.
The aroma was ________.
The colors of the food were _______.
The textures were _______. (soft, crunchy, etc.)
What I enjoyed best about cooking this was _________.

Today, I smiled because _________________.

Today, I listened to _________________. (Listen to a favorite song or type of music while working around the house).

Take a photo of something you did with your hands: Christmas decorating, a cooked meal, a completed craft project, a stack of holiday cards addressed, etc., and place it in your book of days.

Enjoy!
Elizabeth

2 comments:

Wenonah4th said...

I finished a pair of long bloomers for my dd to wear with a dress that was once mine (I'm not comfortable with her wearing with only tights the way I did) and got the Christmas cards done and ready for my Dh to get the Christmas letter written and printed. We were pretty productive!

Elizabeth said...

Sounds like you had a great home keeping day!