Responding when Parents or Family Members Ask for Money

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One of the challenges a young professional face is the responsibility of taking care of his personal family and his parental family. There comes a point in time that parents grow old, get sick, need expenses and payment for bills.

There are also times that relatives come to you because they know you have a job and has no family yet. Here in the Philippines, we grew up with much clanish exposure, such as living with other relatives, bigger house or bigger family. How can we deal with it? What are the borderlines?

For those with a spouse and children, it’s a challenging issue to deal with especially when call for commitments take place.

With this in mind, I’ve here are following thoughts that I think can help deal with the situation. These are absolutely objective and couldn’t be further from the truth. In life we have to make decisions based on truth and not just feelings.

Feelings are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Following our emotions may have and could lead us to painful regrets. We need to deal with situations according to what is best for everyone in the situation.

Remember, many times, truth hurts the most. The best thing that could happen to us is to know the painful truth. Pain forces us to grow up, to take initiative and to solve problems.

Issues involving our family may predominantly consume our brain battery, especially when sickness or hospitalization comes. It may affect our well-being, our composure, our frame of mind. So it is easy to deal with this issue in life with the right way.

1. Consult the other person involved

There’s a tendency that a parent or relative comes without the other one knowing the situation. If you are  working and has the capacity to give, loved ones would come to you in secret or in private giving you reasons why they want to burrow or need your money.

But it’s never wrong to confirm the scenario. Go and talk to the immediate persons involved first. Your uncle may come to you, go and contact his wife or family members. Make the situation clear. Make people accountable. Establish the spirit of responsibility.

It would be easy to jump right away to the situation, but it is always wise to assess the big picture.

2. Honoring Parents vs. Over-dependence

Honoring someone does not mean you have to take care of all their needs and neglect yours. It also does not mean you have to totally forsake them.

Help yourself first to help others
Help yourself first to help others

Put on your oxygen mask in a plane trouble first- is a metaphor that teaches that taking care of oneself with the motive of extending help to others is not a sign of selfishness or self-centeredness, but a logical reality.

The Hebrew word for honor is kabbed. It means to be heavy, to be burdensome, weighty. It literally means to carry your parents. The picture here is when they have done all their part and used their energy to lift up their burden, but still they can’t help it.

You need wisdom most of all. Discernment how to deal with the situation, where to come in, how much resources to put allocate. Honor also means to make someone abound. It’s never wrong to come in and not just feed the honorable people in our life, but to gradually help them build a source of living or income where they can help support themselves as they grow older.

3. Balance

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24. You have to leave your parents so you will learn to walk on your feet. This also means that your parents learn to care for others outside you.

Your parents also need a stretching so they can develop their muscles of faith.

4. Ask help from other members

Don’t carry the burden alone. Go and talk to someone to relieve you with your burden. Make sure you’re not killing yourself. Call your brother or your cousins. Explain the situation. Don’t carry everything and die young.

5. Plan ahead

Before the storm comes, prepare your shelter. This calls a deliberate preparation on your part. Write down your steps, open an emergency savings account, ask the Lord for wisdom, talk to family members, get counsel, send them to a seminar for self-development and so on.

6. Considering giving instead of loaning.

There are times that you just have to deal with reality the painful way. A family member who may have lived a not-so-wise lifestyle may come to you and ask for help. You know they may forget it in the future or have no means to pay that big amount. Consider giving, but now in a smaller amount.

Dave Ramsey exhorts,

Never loan a relative money. If you’ve looked at the situation and you feel that offeringfinancial help is the right thing to do, then go ahead and give some money. Notice I said give it. Putting a loved one in your debt is the best way to ruin the relationship.”

How about you? What are the ways you deal with this situation? Do you give or loan? In what scenarios? Share in the comments below.

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