From the first quarter I received, my parents taught me to give 5¢ to the church. Using the Old Testament tithe as a guideline, my parents taught me to give the first 10% to God. Because of that early training, I never thought of spending “God’s” portion. I learned to base my candy and toy purchases on 90%.
Later, I learned about giving “offerings” above and beyond the 10% tithe. Still later I learned the New Testament guideline of giving generously. As an American in 2015—perhaps the most affluent country and time in the history of mankind—the commandment to give generously continues to be a challenge!
In my 20’s, I was challenged to recognize that God owns 100%, not just 10%. Every financial decision is a stewardship decision.
Giving is a learned discipline that leads to immeasurable blessing in the life of the giver! The joy of giving in my life began with the intentional teaching by my parents and was nurtured by other Christian financial advisors along the way.
Here are three methods for raising children who enjoy giving:
- Model Giving: Talk with your children about the who, what, where, when, why and how of your giving.
Activity idea: Take turns letting your children put the family’s gift into the offering plate at church.
- Teach Giving: For teens, make Crown Ministry or Financial Peace University training mandatory! If they have a job then they need to understand budgets, balance a checkbook, manage debt and use money to help others.
Activity idea: Teach children to give part of their allowance or money they earn to the church, missionary or other worthy ministry. Focus on the needs of the recipient, not on what the child is giving up.
- Experience Giving: Consider sending teens on a church mission trip. Personally deliver meals to friends who are sick, serve food at the homeless shelter or take toys to a residential treatment center for children.
Activity idea: Invite a missionary or someone who has been on a mission’s trip over to your home. Ask them to use pictures and videos to help your children visualize life and needs in other countries.
Why is it Important to Raise Givers?
Giving is important to Jesus. He calls us to be givers. The Bible includes 500 verses on prayer and 500 verses on faith but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.
When we teach our children to give, we bless them:
“Test me in (giving),” says the Lord Almighty,
“and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven
and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
Will we raise generous givers who impact the world for Christ?
By Kirk Weaver
Husband to Trudi
Dad to two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder and Executive Director of Family Time Training