Giving tithes and offerings is an honor and a reflection of our hearts as Christ-followers; so how do we instill this into our children’s hearts?
~We need to emulate cheerful giving in front of our children: They need to see our words put into action by giving graciously (whether it is to church, charity organization, someone in need, etc.).
~We need to study scripture with our children on tithing: For younger children, stories about the widow’s mite from Mark 12:41-44 would be good. For older children, I would suggest a more in depth study using the Sermon on the Mount from Matt. 6:19-21 as well as reading Exodus 36:3-7 to describe how the Israelites gave more than enough needed and the blessing in that.
~ We need to train their hearts to be givers: We should start by cautioning them against being like the Pharisees; who gave everything according to the law, but their hearts were not it in (Matt. 23:23). Then, we should impress upon them how we are to give; that Jesus says it was better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), and we also know from 2 Corinthians 9:5-15 that we are to give cheerfully. That cheerful giving not only supplies ministry needs & shows obedience, but the text tells us it brings about thanksgiving and glory to God.
If you have a child that is reluctant to give, pray with them that God will change their heart. Teach them that Jesus gave His life for them, and that everything we have is God’s in the first place; we are just entrusted with His gifts to be shown faithful stewards and advance the Kingdom. For older children, you may read them 1 John 3:17-18 and James 2:15-16 to further instill the purpose of giving.
This is how it looks in our home: we pay our children “contract labor” for optional duties above and beyond household chores. Erich will sit down with them on “paydays” to help them divvy up their allotted tithe portion, savings portion, and earnings portion. Any “gift money” that they receive falls under the same instruction. The children then get the privilege of giving God’s money back to Him by supporting the church, and they will personally put their tithe portion in the offering box on Sundays. We also encourage them to give when they feel led to other ministry needs to help instill that it’s not just about “Sunday”.
*Remember to pray with your children thanking God for entrusting us with money, giving us opportunities to advance His kingdom with our tithes and offerings, and asking Him to work in our hearts that we may be cheerful and gracious givers.
Be Blessed by your family's giving to God!