Getting on the Same Page“How can two walk together unless they agree?” Amos 3:3
Amos 3:3 echoes the importance of agreement aswe each grow and guide our own family. Paula and Terry Parker tell us what they have learned in finding harmony in giving and parenting.
1. Be in agreement: “Our worst decisions are those we didn’t discuss first.” If one feels a strong “no,” it’s good to have an agreement as to how you will address different viewpoints.
2. Talk with each other about giving: “We make time to discuss our giving each year. We agree on the amount we will give per year in advance. We use a donor-advised fund which gives us time to talk about where we want to give it.”
3. Talk with your children: “We have had one-to-one conversations with our children about our wealth and plans. They may not want to think about it; however, it’s something we need to know that they know.”
4. Know the full counsel of God: Honor God first with everything. Listen to counsel that speaks God’s truth to you. Ask God to help you understand your spouse’s point of view and to see each of your children as He sees them.
5. Inheritance: Spouses often have different ideas about inheritance. Raised in a frugal environment, Paula naturally leans toward giving just enough so that money is not wasted. Terry leans more toward giving enough so that their children can pay off all their debt with extra left over. “To come to an agreement, we went on a weeklong retreat to discuss our options and came to a meeting of the minds on when, how much, and how.”
6. When a child wanders: For most families, one child goes in a different direction than we plan. LOVE, no matter what. Keep an open line of communication. Don’t support a destructive lifestyle, but be ready to help in emergencies. Pray fervently, and visit often. When the child is ready to get back on the right track, remember the story of the Prodigal Son, and be ready to help with whatever it takes.
7. Little by little: “Little by little we are discerning our children’s preferences in giving. They have various ways they prefer to engage in giving and various interests. So we are on a journey with them to uncover the hidden treasure found in giving.”