To Save, To Give, To Spend, To Stir Up?

Do you ever wonder if you are teaching your kids all they need to know about money?  It’s a big job for us parents!  Especially when we are learning so much ourselves!  We try to talk openly about money and how to save, tithe, spend, etc.

Tithe, that 10% that comes right off the top of what they receive is a simple and great starting point. There’s even a math lesson for all of us every time we tithe or help our kids tithe…a simple formula anyone can follow.  Giving is different; it goes beyond the tithe and there is no formula.  Sacrificial giving is even something else….giving when it doesn’t really seem reasonable. King David said, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24).

Today I had to run some errands, you know, the dry cleaners, gas station, and car wash…fun stuff.  Mack asked if he could bring his money and spend it at The Dollar Store.  He had one item in particular on his mind.  I asked him to count his money first, and we would see if he had enough.  He had $6.87.  Not bad.  I told him he could just bring it all in case he found other things he wanted….I have done this shopping trip with him before and there’s always something he sees that “if I had brought all my money, I could have gotten this, too!!!” (picture a cute little pitiful, begging face).

Then, I had a light bulb moment and remembered what I read in Randy Alcorn’s book about giving and children, so I just mentioned, “Hey, you got more envelopes from church the other day.  You’ve already tithed on this money, but you can give an offering if you’d like.”

He started thinking about it and started putting some money aside.  “One dollar….two dollars….”

At this point I was tempted to say, “Yes.  Two dollars is plenty.  You can keep the rest,” but I stopped myself.

He asked me, “…Is three dollars good? That’s almost half.”

I gave the decision right back to him and God and told him he should pray about it, and I told him to remember that anything you give to God you will have forever, but anything you spend at The Dollar Store will be gone and is only temporary.

You may not think this is blog-worthy, but I have to say that there are many times I am more concerned about them learning how to save than I am with them learning how to give.  I remind them that there is this or that they have had their eyes on, and if they don’t have any money, then they can’t get it.  All of that is true, but it is also just as much true that anything they give to God and His Kingdom work they will have forever and ever and ever……

Philippians 4:17 “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”

Luke 6:38 “give and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

I also love this verse….

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.”  2 Corinthians 8:9

So, Mack is enjoying his Dollar Store Spy Kit and Super Hero pens for now.  But he also has stored up some treasure in heaven for eternity.

As parents and in regard to teaching our kids about money, let’s teach them how to save, to give, to spend, but even more importantly, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

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