Teaching Kids to Tithe
By Joanne Kraft
“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 financial pinch. My baby was definitely growing up.
A dear friend commented, “Wait till he realizes what tithing is.”
Actually, he already knows. We began teaching our children about tithing as soon as they began earning money. For us, this usually begins around 5th or 6th grade, when babysitting jobs start rolling in. It is now such common practice in our home that they come to their father to break a $20 quite often on Sunday mornings.
Paul has often said, “If you aren’t able to tithe on $10.00 earned, how will you ever e 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 promise to give back in abundance what we give Him in small ways. 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 habit of tithing is by watching his mom and dad. Leading by example is the best lesson of all.
Joanne Kraft is a mom of four and the author of Just Too Busy—Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. She and her husband, Paul, recently moved their family from California to Tennessee and happily traded soy milk and arugula for sweet tea and biscuits. Visit her at JoanneKraft.com.