What is The Giving Step?
Age 9 is a great time to teach your child to be a good steward of God’s blessings, which is why we’ve created the Giving step on the Faith Path. As the primary faith trainer of your child, it is both your privilege and responsibility to help them see the importance of gratitude and generosity and begin their own journey of giving to God out of the resources He’s provided.
In reality, teaching children about money through tithes and offerings is not just about giving to God. It reminds us that we trust in and are dependent upon the One who gives all good gifts and that we are mere stewards rather than owners. Giving reflects obedience, showing that we love a God who is worthy to be obeyed in all areas of life. It’s also an opportunity to participate in something bigger than ourselves with eternal value.
Lastly, giving helps our children understand generosity. In their resource Teaching Kids to Tithe: An Onramp to Teaching Youth Generosity, the Tithe.ly company explains why: “Your children will either grow up knowing how to be generous and put the Lord first financially, or they won’t. As weighty as this reality is, it is inescapable: Whether our children know how to be generous is often up to their parents. Teaching children to give to the church is the best first step in helping children to become primarily generous. But teaching children to tithe does more than rescue them from a life of selfishness – it actually gifts them with an abundance of positive experiences as well.”
Put It Into Practice
Walking out this step of Giving can include explaining some of the following truths to your child:
- Followers of Jesus are to give a portion of their income to meet the needs of God's work and other people as an act of obedience and worship.
- Genesis 14:20 records the first act of tithing from Abraham to Melchizedek. Later we see Jacob making a vow to the Lord, worshipping Him, and giving back ten percent (Genesis 28:10-22).
- We see God creating among His people a culture of gratitude by setting apart for the Lord every tithe of the land (seed or fruit), and of the animals (Leviticus 27:30-32), and a culture of generosity by giving to the poor from the heart (Deuteronomy 15:7-11).
- Jesus assumed we would give to the needy (Matthew 6:2-4), but that we shouldn’t just tithe while neglecting justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Matthew 23:23).
- Paul instructed the Corinthians to steward their financial gifts, reminding them to give cheerfully and generously for God’s glory (2 Corinthians 9).
Guiding your children to give cheerfully this year will involve two key elements:
- Personally Model It
- Put into practice the disciplines you want your child to learn. This may mean taking steps to become a better steward of your family’s finances. Invite them to see how your family decides to spend money (tithing, savings, bills, generosity, etc.). Let them see you tithing cheerfully.
- 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” Model a thankful heart. Express aloud your thankfulness for God's provision of your family's daily needs. When God provides for your family in unexpected ways in times of crisis, call attention to His faithfulness by having a special time of prayer and thanksgiving.
- Intentionally Teach It
- Explain what the Bible teaches about tithing – how it is an act of faith and obedience, and how we are the managers, not the owners, of all the resources God has placed in our care. If your child receives money from an allowance, jobs, or gifts, take the time to show them how to figure their own tithe and divide their money wisely. A good place to start is to set aside 10% for giving, 10% for savings, and 80% for spending on other activities and items. You could even have them make three boxes labeled “Give,” “Save,” and “Spend” to help them start the habit of good stewardship. Explain how money is used when it is given to the church. If you have older children and teens, discuss the church budget with them.
- Introduce your children to missionaries or the ministry personnel of your church and discuss how tithes help them do God's work. Participate in ministry and missions as a family so your children can see their own giving at work. (*Paraphrased from “Are You a Cheerful Giver?”)
- Your Kids Can Master Their Money by Ron Blue, Judy Blue, and Jeremy White
- 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference by Penny A. Zeller
- The Mission-Minded Family: Releasing Your Family to God's Destiny
- Becoming a Servant Bible Study by Not Consumed Ministries
©Inkling Innovations 2019, updated Watermark Community Church 2023.