Our daughter won’t listen to Dave Ramsey


We are Jewish. I’ve heard you endorse Dave Ramsey and vice versa. His methods have helped me greatly. However, my 34 year old daughter is at a financial crossroads and desperately needs help. When I suggested that she take a FPU course or at least listen to him or read his book, she says, “Oh, he’s that Christian guy. No, I’m not doing that.” How can I get her to open up to his message?

I listen and the Christian references don’t bother me. How can I get her to open up and help herself? She is a struggling actress in CA, in the middle of a divorce.

Thanks in advance for your answer.



Dear CKP,

Firstly, please accept our compliments and admiration for being open to Dave Ramsey’s tough but true teachings on finance.  He has helped thousands of people and we are glad you’re among them.  We are sorry about the pain you feel at your daughter’s self-destructive ways and your apparent inability to help her see the road map.  However, we do think we can help you. Without knowing your daughter, we can only make a few guesses as to what her problem with Dave Ramsey really is. Here are our top three choices:

  1. She is a bigot. Replace the word Christian with Jewish or Black and see how her argument plays. Our guess is that she really means, “He’s that religious, conservative guy.” Prejudices are hard to eradicate so we have no good advice how to help her overcome this one.
  2. She is an extremely cloistered and devout Jew who never reads anything other than traditional Jewish Biblical texts and cannot tolerate hearing any words that are not from or directly related to the Five books of Moses. Knowing that she is a struggling actor in Hollywood suggests that this is also not the correct explanation.
  3. Finally, the crowd with which she runs is probably a “live-for-today,” “spend-all-you-earn,” and “acquire-debt-on-those-credit-cards” type of crowd and for them, Dave’s message of discipline and building for the future is anathema.  In a word, she knows that she’d find Dave’s message anathema.

We did say that we think we might able to be of some small service to you.  At 34, she is an adult and needs to make her own mistakes and be in charge of her own life. We hope you are not supporting her or helping her financially so that she will learn life’s lesson as quickly as possible. If you are providing any support of a financial kind, whether gifts, loans, or guarantees, we can help you by urging you to immediately cease this entirely.  If you are giving her money, you are postponing her ability to repair her life.  We know how difficult it is to turn off the faucet of parental help. We really do—but it is the only way to be truly kind and compassionate.

We hope things improve soon,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

4 thoughts on “Our daughter won’t listen to Dave Ramsey”

  1. Katherine E Beisel

    Hi Rabbi Lapin,
    I do agree with Dave Ramseys advice, but as someone that grew up Christian and converted to Judaism I have struggled to fully take on his program. I have friends that think I’m going to hell since I am Jewish and grew up surrounded by very judgemental Christians. I have scars there that make me feel unwelcome when I hear him sign off like this is not the place for me.
    Thank you,

    1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      As you wish Katherine–
      I am sure your background and life-experiences introduce you to special challenges just as everyone’s background and life-experiences does the same. I hope that you will eventually reach a state of such security in who you are and what you are that the manifestations of Bible-based faith by another human being will please rather than disturb you even if the faith is not your own. Have a wonderful and successful 2021 that takes you further and higher in your spiritual odyssey.

  2. Thank you for your advice. It helped me too. I recently went through a divorce because of my ex husband’s multiple gay relationships, after having 2 daughters with me. He launder money on my Children to get them to his side. He won in that aspect.
    I led a quiet prayerful life for the past 2 years, when they lead a luxurious life. ( he is a surgeon) . Now they have accumulated loans on credit cards and literally are broke to the extent that I find them not even having money to buy food. I cook and send meal when ever my daughter comes home. But even now as soon as their dad receive his salary, it’s spent with out any proper planning. Should I stop even sending meal to them or is it okay to provide them meal.
    My older daughter is in another country. She has completed her masters in Nuero science research and refuse to work but want to do YWAM. I adviced her to work and safe money to do her course and decided not to finance her. Her dad agreed to. When I spoke to her before Christmas I realized that she did not have money with her. I send her a Money, but she had to use that for paying the penalty for not giving notice to the owner before moving her apartment . The more I try helping, the more I see them drowning in debts. It is painful but decided to hold on to Christ and pray for them but no financial help.
    Should I support her? She is 24.

    1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Dear Nisha-
      You are in a tough situation but I think you have decided wisely to follow Dave Ramsey’s advice for this kind of problem.

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