Isaac Carter sets out a biblical template on the approach men should have toward issues concerning money, financial responsibility and leaving a legacy for their children
The last 50 years have seen revolutionary changes in the gender roles. The emancipation of women throughout the world has indirectly called into question the role of men in the 21st century.
Traditionally the primary or sole breadwinner, men have, for many years, made the major financial decisions within the family unit; however, with the changing nature of the family and the increasing role of women in the workplace, the man is no longer unquestionably “the one who brings home the bacon”!
The role of the man, including his financial responsibility, is a subject on which the Bible speaks in great detail. Some of these Scriptures have, in the past, unfortunately been taken out of context to reinforce some chauvinistic practices within the Church; however, it is clear that God has placed particular emphasis on the man’s financial role, both inside and outside of a family context.
In 2 Corinthians 11:3, the Bible identifies the man as the spiritual head of the home. In this role, the man is given the role and responsibility of vision-scaping for the family, and this must include a financial vision. Whilst this does not exclude the female spouse or partner from financial responsibility, it is clear that the Bible which, at the time it was written, was primarily directed at men, sets out what God expects of men and their money.
1. “Provide for your family”
1 Timothy 5:8 states that failure of a man to provide for his household is a denial of his faith and makes him worse than an unbeliever! Men have a primary
responsibility to provide for their family financially. It is not biblical for a man to allow his family to struggle financially, while he spends his money on himself, things or generally wastes it!
2. Have a long term financial vision
Proverbs 13:22 states that a wise man leaves an inheritance for his children and his grandchildren. A man should have a long-term financial vision; he should be planning to leave a financial legacy that will live on after he has died.
Plan for the future: have a pension, life insurance, a will, money saved your future retirement.Remember, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
4. Don’t be lazy!
A man should not be lazy, and should always be willing to work, where possible, to meet his financial responsibilities. The current debate regarding welfare benefits versus work should not be used to obscure the fact that men have a responsibility to work for hire when they are able to. The Bible is unequivocal about this. “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
5 Avoid debt!
The Bible speaks about avoiding debt on numerous occasions, and this is particularly important for me for two reasons. Firstly, debt is often pursued against the family of the debtor, so getting into debt jeopardises not only your future but that of your family as well. The position is succinctly set out as follows in Proverbs 22:26–27: “Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge: one of those who is surety for debts; if you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?” Secondly, debt conflicts with the goals set out in points 1 and 2 above, and can damage your long-term future.
5. Single Men!
The Bible also speaks to single men, who have aspirations towards getting married and taking responsibility for a family one day, or maybe building a business, or carrying out some other major endeavour. In a word, you must plan! Luke 14:28–30:
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it – lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”
Financial planning is a must for all men! Your budget, your short-, mid- and long-term financial projections are a must, if you are planning for future success!
6. Be an example of stewardship
It is the responsibility of the man within a family household to be an example for his children in every area, including financial responsibility. You cannot expect children to have a responsible attitude towards dealing with money, if the man within the home is seen to be financially irresponsible.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
This also includes giving. Children will not grow up to give tithes and offerings to the House of God, if they do not see an example set at home from the head of the household.
In conclusion, whilst the traditional role of the man, in regards to finance, may have changed within wider society, the biblical role of the man – as being a financial steward, a provider, a financial visionary and the creator of a financial legacy – remains the same.
Isaac Carter is the author of ‘Go to the Ant’ – a simple, effective guide to money management. For more details go to www.gototheant.co.uk