Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | March 10, 2009

Where will the money go?

From the time our first child started to earn allowance, we also began to teach him about the action of tithing. Tithing is our way of giving our “first fruits” back to the Lord, as a show of thankfulness for the many blessings He gives us. I typically take down the sheet where we keep track of their weekly chore contributions, and next to it I put the money that they have earned. Then we separate their earnings into three piles:

  1. Money to keep and use however they want
  2. 10% to go into their savings
  3. 10% to be their tithe

For the tithe they get to choose how they want to give the money for God’s use. Some options they have chosen are:

  • Sunday school
  • Church
  • Vacation bible school
  • Missions programs
  • Etc.

Sometimes setting a goal with your child can be a great lesson in giving as well. With my oldest we tried a large goal one time for his tithe, and it became a fun way to see his money go to something very concrete. He had heard about children at an orphanage in Haiti who did not have their own children’s bibles. He decided that he wanted to send one down with the next group of missionaries to go to that orphanage. I knew that this would take a really long time for him to meet the goal, so I told him that if he earned half of the cost of the bible, I would pay for the other half. We looked up the cost of the French version (the children at the orphanage speak Creole) of the children’s bible online so we could know his goal. Then I took a black piece of construction paper and drew a picture showing some increments that he could meet on the way to earning the bible. I put a picture of the bible on the top of the construction paper.

As he earned money for the bible over time, he used a white crayon to begin filling in the picture. When the picture was finished, he knew that he had met his goal. He was so excited when he had finally done it, because it had taken about 5 months! Then he wrote a note to the child who would receive the bible in Haiti and we gave it to the missionaries to deliver.

This experience taught our son several important things: the value of giving, determination to work on something for a long time, how to set and meet goals, using a visual tool to work toward goals, and in the process he often put more money into the bible than the original 10% we had discussed. “Every one must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

Teaching children from a young age about the value of tithing helps them to see its value from an open perspective. Giving ten cents away each week to give to God may not seem like much to you or me, but to a child ten cents is lot! By doing this from the time they are young, it will make it easier for them to continue to be comfortable and thankful to do the same when they are adults and can contribute larger sums of money to support God’s purposes.

Love of money is something that so many people struggle with as adults. “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10

By helping teach your child to use their money for Godly purposes from the time that they are young, it will help them to do the same as an adult. “I remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.” Acts 20:35b


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