Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The value of giving

On Sunday morning at church the offering bucket was passed to me. I turned to pass it down the row, only to realize that there were just three other people in my row and they were at the far end.

So I got up and walked the bucket down and proceeded to hand it to a young Hispanic boy. Next to him was his brother and then their father. I hadn't seen them at church before so I'm guessing this was their first time visiting. 

I saw each young boy put a dollar bill in the offering bucket before passing it to their father.

That simple act touched my heart deeply and spoke volumes to me.

It's made me think about teaching the act of giving to my children. I don't have any idea if this family was wealthy, poor or somewhere in the middle. But the dad clearly understood the importance of not only giving, but also of providing the opportunity for his children to give.

What a precious lesson it teaches a child to place a bill in their hand and encourage them to place it in the offering. Rather than trying to just talk with them about giving to the Lord, this was a beautiful picture of the 'hands on' experience.

Right then and there I decided that when Samuel and Lauren are old enough, we will be giving them bills to place in the offering bucket. In addition to teaching them a valuable lesson, I hope this will instill good habits as they learn about being wise stewards of their money.

I was reading last week about the widow's offering.
Mark 12:41-44 describes one of the sweetest examples of giving:

"Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

I don't want to teach my children to just give 10 percent. I want to teach them to give willingly, abundantly, and with hearts overflowing with gratitude toward God for His many blessings. I don't care if they give to the church, give to missionaries, or give to those in need. I just want to teach them the value of giving.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I think this is wonderful! Giving is one of the values I most want to teach my future children. One of the ways I have thought about doing this is to have them choose a toy to give away whenever a new toy comes in - one comes in, one goes out. I have always had this vision of finding ways to involving my children in serving others, especially those who are in need.