In Genesis 31:14-16, Jacob had been talking with his wives, Rachel and Leah, about his decision to stop working for their father, Laban. Although the working relationship had been strained for years, Jacob did wait until he felt God's call on him to move on. Rachel and Leah were supportive of their husband's decision.
The women's response to Jacob calls to mind two issues that we should all be careful to consider. Both issues are connected because they both pertain to how we handle our finances. One question to reflect on is, "Are we being careful with our own retirement assets?" Another question we should ask ourselves is, "Are we protecting our children's inheritance?"
Blowing through retirement monies
It seems that Laban had not been doing a good job with handling his money. His daughters were able to see that his wealth had been taken away, and that he had used up their dowries.
Given that his daughters are married and having children of their own, we can expect that Laban was more mature. We can probably assume that he was approaching his retirement years.
Retirement years are not a time to find ourselves short on resources. Laban did not have a Social Security system to fall back on, and we shouldn't count on ours either. While we are in our working years, we should be creating a plan that enables us to care for ourselves in retirement.
Blowing through our children's inheritance
Another question that the women raised suggested that Laban's daughters no longer had a share in their father's estate. Granted, in Biblical times, daughters were not in line to inherit anything from their father. Upon marriage, the women were to be taken care of by their husbands.
The fact that we are not living in Biblical times should not change our perspective about how we provide for our children. In fact, Paul gave us some guidance in 2 Corinthians 12:14. It reads, "…After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children." (NIV)
If we read Proverbs 13:22, we can see that we should take it a step further. "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children" (NIV)
We were not put here on earth to live in selfish isolation. God designed us to be in families, and to operate like a family. We are all interconnected.
We don't have to look back too far to see great examples of this concept in action. As Americans, our history, our country's foundation, was built upon the ability to worship freely. But, if we study further, we can see example upon example of revolutionary men and women who fought hard for change, to improve the lives of their children and future generations.
Do we share that same struggle? Are we still fighting to make things better for those who will come behind us? Or have we been given so much that we have become complacent and take everything for granted?
These questions extend beyond money. This pertains to every resource that we've been given - our knowledge, our time, our talent, the earth and everything in it. What will we leave behind?