Much like the kids in my day, children today will grow up with the belief that they are born to spend money. All of it. Cultural influences dictate that economic materialism is the benchmark, for a successful family. Advertising and industry bombards our children with how much of their money, and yours, they can spend on themselves. It’s up to us to teach our kids how to tithe.
With those beliefs written on their little hearts, combined with the natural, and inherited, self-centeredness of all human beings, the thought of giving money to God will never cross a child’s mind. It’s not natural for kids to give. It is even more complicated for them to understand giving – to an invisible God. It is an important part of their faith education, however, and a necessary life-skill. As a parent, it is your job to teach your children to tithe.
How do we teach them? When my son was only four, I began to teach him godly principles to handling his finances.
Five Helpful Suggestions
- Tithing is not optional, so begin with God said so! Get them to read, for themselves, scripture that speaks to the Biblical core values. I recommend Malachi, Chapter 3. In an age appropriate way, help them to understand that God warns them about the consequences, for disobedience. It’s for their protection.
- GOD needs money? Children are very sensitive. Especially when it comes to other children. The most severe drought in decades is threatening the lives of more than 10 million people — especially young children. Show your children, through different mediums, exactly how God intends to use their money. Take them shopping. Let them use their own money to buy gifts of food, for your local food bank. Then have them drop it off. Most importantly, affirm their partnership with God.
- The bible teaches you to give discreetly. When it comes to your children, however, they need to see you set the example. Show them when you give – the whole ten percent. They are very intuitive, if they feel there is a dichotomy between what you say and do, they won’t trust you, or God.
- Divide your child’s allowance into thirds. Have them put one-third directly into an envelope and, in their own handwriting, mark it: For God. The other two thirds are for saving and spending. When church time comes, have them put their envelope into the collection, themselves.
- Rich blessings, for obedience. Tithing should be born out of a heart of gratitude. In church, diversions, such as music, are often created to entertain us while the collection is taken. Giving should be an intimate and spirit-filled experience. Tune out the distractions and demonstrate your own gratitude. Later, engage your child in discussions that encourage an awareness of how God has blessed them.
Dark clouds loom over the global economy, right now. Personal bankruptcy is at an all time high. Haiti. Somolia. Need I say more? Poverty has not been eradicated. Never has there been a greater need for a Biblical perspective on money. It takes work, but teach your kids anyway.
If you don’t teach your children a Biblical perspective on finances, where will they end up?
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