Mum and Dad
If there is a condition regarding the eligibility of the Bank of Mum and Dad which stands out, it is normally that for those who are financially secure, it’s pretty much unconditional. Therefore regardless of most circumstances an approval for help is almost inevitable. It funds almost a quarter of all first home purchases, and acts as a guarantor for those who aren’t quite there yet. Whilst those involved are often encouraged to put everything in writing for security and evident purpose, the majority of the time there is little to no pressure from the Bank nor long winded jargon filled contracts. There is no surprise then, that Bank of Mum and Dad is proving to be a popular choice for those who are looking to get on the property ladder.
However complexities can arise within the BoMaD, including determining whether it is a gift or a loan (hence why it is highly suggested to put everything in writing!), or a gift becoming subject to inheritance tax if a death occurs within the seven years of it being issued. Despite all of this, The Bank of Mum and Dad has gone from strength to strength, becoming a top 10 mortgage provider, with 1 in 5 under 30’s expecting their parents to help them buy a house. God’s word is full of countless verses talking about his provision for his children and just as we as parents, provide for own children, at the end of the day, God is our ultimate source of provision. We know that He gives us the resources to provide for our family, but how does the Bible say we should go about doing this?
From a biblical perspective the Bank of Mum and Dad is actually encouraged. God makes it clear in 1 Timothy, saying “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. God cannot be clearer – in His eyes, it is a serious thing to purposefully not provide for your family, especially those living in your household. This pretty much confirms to us that one of our duties as parents is to be a source of provision for our household.
It is, however, worth noting what is actually meant by provision. Is it a new car as your child’s graduation gift? A pair of designer trainers as your son’s birthday present? I guess it can become difficult when the lines between our wants and needs become blurred. According to Philippians 4:19, God will supply our every need according to his riches in glory in Christ. We have to remind ourselves that our needs, are very much different to what we want. In my opinion, if you are providing the basic needs of your household which include water, food and shelter, plus making sure that everyone’s emotional and spiritual needs are met to the best of your ability, then you are doing just fine.
However, this is easier said than, in this case, felt. We are living in a society where we are constantly comparing our achievements to one another. As parents, it may be difficult to see other parents succeeding in financially aiding their children without feeling like you should be doing the same. The comparison doesn’t just stop at parents, it can fall onto the children too. The status of a young homeowner screams wealth. It screams security. Arguably it can be seen as an indicator that their life is on track. Sadly, their peers could see these things and begin to believe that their life is the complete opposite, if they are not in the same financial situation.
Are There Limits?
Whilst there are no limits in a legal sense, there kind of is in a biblical sense. It’s understandable that as a parent, there is always the dream to provide for your children’s every need, and when done, it is often accompanied by a sense of fulfillment. Majority of the time, there is a universal consensus among parents that they never want their children to lack, but they do want them to learn and not expect.
As God is just, and judges fairly, we should strive to do the same with our children. As much as God encourages us to provide for our family, we have to remember that God does not encourage laziness. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, He tells us that ‘the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’ Is it fair to continually provide for someone who refuses to earn a living working? Even if that person is your child? I guess it’s a bit of a tricky one. It can be hard as a parent, but continually providing for a lazy person could possibly result in more harm than good.
A line that comes to my mind is, ‘…those who seek the Lord, lack no good thing.’ I think there is a lot pressure on the Bank of Mum and Dad, probably more than we realise. It is only natural for us to be concerned about the financial welfare of our children but we have to remind ourselves that, ultimately we lean on a Provider who has assured us that He will meet all of our needs. He expresses this by saying:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
And in my opinion, there is no Bank in the world more secure than His.