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Monday, February 28, 2011

Teaching Your Kids to Tithe

“Mom, is there any way I can NOT pay this much taxes? It sure takes a big chunk out of my weekly earnings.” I found it humorous that my teenage son was beginning to feel his first pinch from taxes. My baby was definitely growing up.

A dear friend commented, “Wait till he realizes what tithing is.”

Actually, our son already knows.

We began teaching our children about tithing as soon as they began earning money. For our family, this usually begins around 5th or 6th grade, when babysitting jobs start rolling in. Tithing is now such common practice in our home that the kids come to their father to break a $20 quite often on Sunday mornings.

I need to brag here a bit - my kids attitudes are better about tithing than quite a few adults I know. Isn't it amazing how we will cringe when the offering plate makes its way around the church? I admit it, there have been times I have clenched my check with white knuckles.

Temporary amnesia sets in and I convenientely forget I would have nothing if it weren't for God. Every red cent is a gift from Him. I've been asked to be a steward of that money, and if I have trouble tithing unto the Lord, then my children will too.

Paul likes to tell our children, “If you aren’t able to tithe on $10.00 earned, how will you ever be able to tithe on $100,000.00?”

Out of our four children, three have been joyful givers. Why aren’t they upset about giving away some of their hard-earned dollars? I don’t know the scientific reasons, but I do believe the earlier you teach a child, the easier it will be.

Children are the most giving people on the planet. As soon as they begin earning an allowance, teach them how God loves a cheerful giver.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

Share with your older children God’s promises. Remind them of the ways He has provided for your family in abundance. It is the only portion of the Bible where God asks us to test Him.

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:8-10

And, of course, the best way for a child to get into the blessed habit of tithing is by watching his mom and dad. Leading by example is always the greatest and most lasting lesson of all.