Hello Ladies! Let's pray......
Father, as we prepare to study Your word today, we ask that You will once again move us and change our hearts through the reading of Your word. For Your precepts are pure, right, and just. I pray for each woman here in this study. I pray her her marriage, her children, and her home. I pray and ask forgiveness of sins that we may hear from You today, Lord.
Mostly, I trust in You, Lord, and not in the ways of man or money. I pray that You will show us Your will for our lives this day.
In Christ's holy name, Amen.
Let's begin Lesson Four.......
Proverbs 31:11: "The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain."
Women and money. The two usually do not go together well. Most women find it hard to handle their money and end up in debt up to their eyeballs. How do I know? I recently read a very good book called Women and Money, by Susie Orman, where she outlines just how poorly women handle their money. She is a financial planner, so she knows. She is a feminist, so I do not recommend her book (I received it as a graduation gift...) but I will share some her advice on financial issues here later in the study since they are beneficial.
She writes about how so many women today have no clue what to do with money and end up in debt. I agree! I know because I was one of those women! Although I have no credit card debt now, I used to and it cost me dearly.
Matt. 25:14-30 "The Parable of Talents"
In this parable we find Jesus teaching about not hiding what the Lord has given, but instead investing it and watching it grow. This is pleasing to the Lord.
The main lesson here today is about remembering that money, any money, does not belong to us. It belongs to the Lord.
Haggai 1: 1-6
Here we see the Lord's people were spending what they had earned on themselves while His house lie in ruins. The people worried more about their material possessions than building the Lord's temple.
They suffered the consequences of their actions:
We find that God is the sovereign possessor of all that we have: our money, our children, our husband, our house.... Who are we to think we are to hide anything from the Lord?
Can our husbands trust us with money? Or do we hide a little bit away from them for ourselves, "just in case"? Just in case he leaves you? Just in case you leave him? Is that really trusting in the Lord? No. And I know about this because that is what I used to do.
We'll get into wise investing of the money God has given us later in the study, but today we'll focus on trust once again.
Remember in the last lesson we saw how Eve was deceived because she "saw with her eyes that the tree was good." We read in 1 John how easily we are deceived by our lusts. Our eyes will always lead us into temptation....just walk into a store and try not to buy anything! It can be done, but boy is it hard. Notice how when you walk into a grocery store the first thing you see are the sugary sweet treats like cakes, cupcakes, and cookies? Tempting to the eyes and poison to the body.
1 Cor 4:2
Are you a good steward of what the Lord has given you?
Are you teaching your children or grandchildren how to be good stewards of what has been given to them? As mothers, we are to "teach good things" to our children. We tend to think our kids are too young to understand and that we'll teach them when they get older.
In 1547, Edward King of England was 9 yrs. old when he ascended the throne. Although he was so young, he sought to be a wise ruler. He read books about how to rule wisely. He loved to journal so he wrote constantly. He loved books about geography, so he ordered that charts and maps of the world be made. Unfortunately, he died at age 15 from tuberculosis, but look at all he achieved in those 6 years.
Peter the Great was 9 yrs. old when he became ruler of Russia. His half-siblings were jealous of him, so they kicked him out of the empire so they could rule. He went to live with a friend's family where he read books. He taught himself to read Latin, Dutch, and German. At age 15 he taught himself, through books, to be a soldier. At age 17, he and his milita took back the empire. He is thought to have been one of the greatest monarchs that the world has known. During his rule, Russia became a powerful industrial nation.
George Washington....did you know he never attended school? He was home schooled. At age 12 he learned geometry and trigonometry. At age 15, he had his own successful surveying business. At age 21, he was Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia Militia.
Alexander Hamilton at age 12 ran a successful mercantile business with his mother in the Caribbean. He ran the business in 2 languages. The local townspeople were so impressed with him, that together they raised money to send him to college. He entered Columbia University at age 16.
John Quincy Adams was appointed by Congress as a diplomat to the court of Catherine the Great when he was 15 yrs. old.
John Hancock entered Harvard at age 13.
Jonathan Edwards entered Harvard at age 13 and graduated from Yale at age 18 with a Master of Arts degree.
And of course, our Savior Jesus....he was left behind in Jerusalem during the Passover feast when he was 12 yrs. old. It was thought that as many as one million people attended the week long feast in the small city of Jerusalem. Here was Jesus, 12, alone in the city for 5 days. That means he was responsible for obtaining food, water, and shelter all by himself for those days.
These are just some examples of how young people can achieve great things if they are taught great things. When did we stop expecting greatness from our youth?
We women have an awesome chance to teach our children or grandchildren how to be good stewards of their talents, time, and material things which the Lord has blessed them with. I know some of you reading this study are still deep into diapers and baby food, but you can still teach your little ones.
Scott is reading a wonderful book titled, Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single Income Family(2001), by Steve Maxwell. In this book he teaches fathers how to instruct their sons about finances, tithing, and honoring the Lord with earnings. For example:
"Training your son during these years of his life will have a major bearing on his desire to work during his teens. The potentially tumultuous stage is weatherd upon the foundation you build from ages seven through twelve. Lay the proper foundation, and you will have something to build upon with confidence. Neglect the foundation, and you will spend much time trying to stabilize a "leaning tower" (page 119).
He then includes Scripture to help fathers learn to prepare their sons.
1 Cor 10:23-24
One of the best things we can teach our children is that not all things are good for them. But we cannot teach what we do not know.....
If you do not know the difference between what is good for you and what is not, how can you teach your children? Knowing the difference is called "discernment" and that is found in Scripture.
Later we will delve deeper into money issues, but for now, remember that the Virtuous Wife's astuteness in household affairs allowed for her husband's heart to safely trust her so that he "will have no lack of gain."
How we run our household will determine whether our husbands are successful or not. Being astute with money can ensure our households are running smoothly.
But also, how and what we teach our children about money and material things will also allow our husband's hearts to safely trust us.
Until next time.....
2 Timothy 2:11-13
"For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He will also deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful.
He cannot deny Himself."