Six Reasons Money Can Become a Curse
“Relationships are the greatest asset any family can possess. And yet, they cannot be purchased at any price. For many, the drive to gain success has ended with the loss of family. The ultimate gain in that equation is a profound sense of regret. At the end of the day, most people would trade anything for the treasure of experiencing authentic, loving exchanges with family members”.*
So what went wrong?
We believe we have bought into culture’s lie – money is the key to happiness. If you agree that loving relationships, not money, are our most valuable asset, then we need to change our matrix by which we measure success.
Significant financial wealth is not accumulated by accident, correspondingly, significant family relationships will not be attained by accident either. Both take attention to specific principles and discipline.
Is it not ironic that we start out with good intentions driving hard to accumulate financial wealth to improve life for our families and create strong relationships, yet all too often that process and the resulting assets can actually become a curse to our family relationships and harmony?
Six Reasons Money Can Become a Curse
1. Money is no inanimate hireling. It is like fire. In the right hands, it can be a wonderful tool to make life better, but in untrained or careless hands, it can burn us and even cause devastation. Money has a significant impact on our children’s future. If we have money, it brings opportunities, if we do not, the future can be much more limited. The presence of these two diverse paths creates tensions and heightened emotions in our children.
2. Hidden tensions can affect relationships. Especially when money is not discussed, children form subtle expectations about their future and the family wealth.
3. Money entices and calls the names of our children. The untapped potential of significant wealth makes it natural for children to make assumptions about the future and further feed their expectations.
4. Parents who do not realize how the transfer of wealth affects the next generation, are not versed in how to do this well and are reluctant to discuss their intentions.
5. It often feels easier to build wealth than to build relationships. The skillsets required to accumulate financial wealth are often different from the skillsets to accumulate relational wealth. In addition, it takes considerable time to accumulate and manage financial wealth which could leave little time or capacity for anything else.
6. Heirs are not properly trained. It is unfortunate that although it is not socially acceptable to provide a car for our children without first providing critical training, society is not overly concerned about putting significant wealth in untrained hands. This, despite firsthand knowledge of families who have made this mistake and paid the price – “somehow it will be different in our family”. Solomon, one of the wealthiest men to ever live, warns in his book of Proverbs, “An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.” Proverbs 21:21
*Wills, David, Parker, Terry & Sperry, Greg (2015) Family. Money. National Christian Foundation, page 17.
Covenant Family Wealth Advisors' certified financial advisors and business succession planning experts help guide families through the technical and emotional aspects of managing wealth, estate planning and business succession. Our experienced financial management team uses a Christian perspective that is rarely found in traditional financial planning, and we work closely with you to develop a personal Holistic Stewardship Plan that encompasses financial planning, estate planning, family business transition and philanthropy.