Parents Can Model Godly Stewardship for Their 'Twenty-Somethings'

Nov 17, 2004 01:38 PM EST

The CEO and co-founder of the world's largest Christian financial ministry says parents have a tough job when talking about money with their twenty-something children. So has some practical suggestions.

Howard Dayton, co-founder of Crown Financial Ministries, notes that the majority of college students graduate with significant debt. "The average person graduates from college with $17,000 of school debt, $3,500 of credit card debt, plus whatever they owe on their car for transportation," Dayton explains. "Therefore, there's a huge need for young adults to learn how to handle money wisely."

So how do they learn that? The financial ministry spokesman says one thing parents can do is help those "twenty-somethings" who are still living with their parents design a budget and develop a savings plan. That, he says, will give numerous benefits when they move out on their own.

But Dayton says one of the best things parents can do is model good stewardship standards for their young adult children. He shares his and his wife's conscious decision to be what he calls "MVP parents."

"By that we meant we were going to Model the principles ourselves. We paid off our debt and never got into debt again," Dayton says. "Then we Verbally communicated with our children what we were doing and why we were doing it we told them the biblical basis for why we¡¯re doing it; and then we Provided them practical opportunities that were appropriate for their age."

But in a best-case scenario, says Dayton, parents should start teaching about godly stewardship when their children are very young because the habits will be easily established.