Almost everyone has wondered what it would be like to have their own business. And this is especially true in homeschool circles. Could my family benefit from starting a small business? How much time would it take and would it be worth it? Are there pitfalls to starting a family business that could cause more harm than good?

While I will be the first to recommend that every family at least consider a small business, I also recommend that they investigate the all of the pros and cons with their eyes wide open. Because, although there are unique blessings to starting a family business, each family should go before the Lord in prayer armed with enough knowledge to make a truly biblical decision.

Why Start a Family Business?
In this rough-and-tumble world of corporate layoffs and downsizing, a family business can provide a safety net if Dad has to find another job. Let's face it. The days of going to school, hiring on with a large company, and completing your 50 years with that same company (if they ever existed) are gone forever. Many companies are finding it economically expedient to let a man go just when he is entering his peak earning years. A couple of bounces like that and you can kiss your retirement goodbye!

Although many families have started a small family business to help weather economic downturns, others have moved in this direction for another reason. The modern work environment is hard on families! Companies realize that a man will work longer hours away from his family. What else is he going to do on a business trip except work long and hard so that he can get back to his family faster? And this fact is not lost on large corporations, who then send the man on even more out-of-town projects!

Other companies foster a climate of fear and competition. If you do not produce, and produce abundantly, you could be gone in the next downsizing. Clearly, this does not bode well for spending the time it takes to raise godly children and create a good marriage. A family business may not replace your day job overnight, but it will move you closer to financial independence.

Now, when I speak of financial independence, I am not talking about being free to live as you please. I am talking about freedom from undue influence of other men so that you can be free to please God. One of the curses of the modern work environment is that we look to a company for our health, education, and welfare. We rely too heavily on other people because we lack the confidence to provide for ourselves and our families. We willingly give others the power to dictate our schedules, how much we will earn, where we will live, and in some cases, who our friends will be!

It is time that families took back the responsibilities and freedom that God gave us in order to serve Him. Even though a family business may not replace your income overnight, do not despise the day of small beginnings. A family business can easily earn an extra $300-400 a month, and that would go a long way to paying down credit card debt and car loans. And after you pay down the high-interest credit card debt, your family business income can be used to make an extra payment once or twice a year on your mortgage.

Realize that an extra mortgage payment each year on the principle can reduce your overall loan substantially. This in turn can free up more money to invest in an IRA or perhaps become seed money for a future business. Debt is one of the reasons why Christians are not ruling and reigning in this world as God intended. How can you rule when you owe?

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7)

Once your debts are paid off, you can really make some headway! As long as you keep your standard of living relatively constant, all that money that was going toward interest payments can now go toward generating some passive income. Passive income is money you earn whether you work that day or not--it is the money that you earn while you are sleeping or, perhaps, skiing with your family. Examples of passive income include interest from mutual funds, royalties from e-books and products you have created, income from rental properties, and sales from an Internet site, just to name a few. When your passive income equals your monthly expenses, any amount beyond that is gravy!