"The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again" (Psalm 37:21a).

Playing shopkeeper was one of my children's favorite math games while homeschooling. Frequently, we would set aside our math workbooks and set up our little store to learn money values, counting, and subtraction principles. Using miniature replicas of food items, a toy shopping cart, and a cash register, my children played for hours and never realized they were learning in the process. Substituting real money for play money made this educational game even more exciting and lifelike. Playing frequently, my children progressed until they could easily add amounts mentally and count back change correctly. Due to their play, handling money became second nature. Plus, they also learned a lifelong principle — no money, no purchase.

Unfortunately, the correct handling of money in real life is not as easy for some Christian families today. Although the Bible sets forth principles of being good stewards of God's blessings, many believers fail because they make purchases based on fleshly desires with the convenience of credit. Forgetting that these charges require an actual payment of real money, many Christians sink themselves and their families into large debts with no ability to pay. Interest rates accrue, and soon the debt load becomes so great that there is no hope of ever getting out of bondage. Breaking under the financial stress, some Christians lose friendships, ruin marriages, and perform foolish acts. The Bible speaks to this problem when it says, "The borrower is servant to the lender," and "Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts" (Proverbs 22:7b, 26).

What about you? Are you being tempted to abuse credit as you face homeschooling on one income? Don't do it! Heed God's warnings in His Word and run to Him with your needs instead. If He has called you to homeschool your children, He will provide, but He also expects you to handle what He provides correctly.

Lord, forgive me for purchasing items I have no way of repaying. Help me to discipline my spending before I destroy the things in life I truly love. In Jesus' name, Amen.