As a parent, one of the challenges with the pandemic over these last few months has been opportunities for kids to give to their church. This Sunday we'll have the giving box out if your kids (or anyone) wants to give cash.
Teaching your kids about giving is an important but challenging thing as a parent. I've found that giving is a great anecdote to the "deceitfulness of riches" (Mark 4:19) because it helps us to confront our selfishness. It is so easy to believe that money and stuff will bring happiness so we selfishly pursue it. But a heart of generosity combats that by seeing the needs of others over the needs of our own.
A couple of weeks ago one of my boys was working to find odd jobs to earn some money. He was saving up for a cheap R/C car. He was working on how much more he needed to earn. I asked him whether he was considering giving from what he earned. He hadn't thought about it because he was just focused on getting that toy! I can relate! I'm thankful I had that chance to help him think it through. He had to work a little harder and longer but he got the car!
Sadly because it was a cheap car it didn't last very long. One of the wheels broke off. But you know what? He didn't get upset. Even though he'd worked so hard and saved up he didn't get upset that it broke. And that was really unusual for him. I think that our conversation about giving and generosity caused him to put that toy in its proper place in his heart. It was a fun gift from God but it wasn't the ultimate thing for him.
Part of the challenge of teaching giving is we don't want our children to see giving like a tax or obligation. God wants us to be cheerful and generous in giving (2 Corinthians 9). It is a matter of the heart and not a percentage. A percentage can be a useful place to start for teaching, but ultimately an accountant can't measure generosity.
Christy and I have used some different resources over the years for teaching money management that we've found helpful. Let us know if you'd like some tips or help in teaching money management and giving to your kids!
But bottom line, if your kids have been holding some money to give to the church they'll have that opportunity this Sunday. The box will be in the back.