How to Establish a Culture of Giving in Your Family

christian family stewardship christian parenting family stewardship of family Jul 30, 2023
Establish a Culture of Giving in Your Family

“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

Proverbs 11:25


 

Introduction

The Christian worldview begins in Genesis, where God gave mankind dominion over the earth. From the very beginning, we have been commanded to be good stewards of all the gifts this world has to offer because it has been entrusted to us. We are called to be generous because we have been given great riches in Christ; giving freely of our time, talents, energy, and finances. In some cases, we may even be called to give up our future plans or reputation.

A spirit of giving is something that comes naturally to some people, but for many Christians it is a learned discipline that must be cultivated with purpose. It is also important to pass on these practices to our children, which can be challenging. However, one of the best ways to teach giving is to involve the entire family. For us personally, giving is a high priority, and we have found several ways to build a culture of this practice with our children.

 

Talk About It

Giving is a regular topic of conversation in our home. It is also something we often pray about. Specifically, we ask God to bring us opportunities that would allow us to be generous and that He would use our desire to give in a way that glorifies Him.

Being generous givers that share our gifts with others is one of our family values. We read these values together each morning and evening to help us remember what we want to define us. During our weekly family meeting, we talk about different ways we have been able to give, both as a unit and as individuals. We also brainstorm new ideas and plan future opportunities to bless others.

 

Write It Down

We have found that writing down a plan for giving helps clarify your vision and sharpen your focus: What are you giving? How much? To where? Is any kind of giving off the table in this instance? Are there extra fees for travel or demands of your time and talents that you need to consider?

All of these questions can be discussed and reviewed with your family on a regular basis to see if you need to make modifications or update your plans as they get closer to becoming reality.

 

Make It Happen

It is important for parents to take the lead and model for children how to give in a humble, joyful way. This requires that the kids are included in the process as much as possible. We like to explain to our children what we are giving, how much, to who, and the reasons behind our decision. We also like to give anonymously. Generosity capers that can be spontaneous, silly, calculated, expensive or cheap for a variety of reasons is another exciting way that we like to give.

 

Family Opportunities

We make an effort to find ways to be generous givers as a family. If we are giving of our time, church activities like volunteering at a soup kitchen or a food drive are great options. We get to experience the joy of giving as a family and as a church community, which supplies our children with a more comprehensive worldview and a deeper appreciation for what they personally have been given in life. We had a wonderful time volunteering at a Vacation Bible School (VBS) where Amy and the kids participated in a STEAM Bible Camp at Living Promise Lutheran Church in Eastern Tennessee. 

Children can often be involved in the planning and decision-making process as well. We know one family who started volunteering at an animal shelter after their kids expressed interest in caring for homeless pets. Family international volunteer trips are another excellent option, if you want to combine a family vacation with service, education, and travel.

 

Providing Opportunities for Children

When our kids receive money, they often put some of it into their “giving fund.” This is a special account that is earmarked for others. It has many purposes: It allows them to have something to contribute if an opportunity arises and they are inclined to donate. Their offering for church comes out of this fund as well, and they also use it for friends and family gifts.

Around Christmas, we provide each of our children with fifty dollars to give to a nonprofit of their choice. First, they research and decide where they’d like to donate their money, and then we have them mail or (if possible) hand-deliver their gift with a personal note. This process helps them take ownership of their giving because it is their own money. One of their favorite non-profits to bless this way is Kingdom Workers, which meets physical and spiritual needs of communities around the globe.

 

Conclusion

Giving is a journey that requires practice: Over time, you become better and more effective at it. The most important thing to do is to simply start doing it and adjust your plan as needed. We have grown as a family and as individuals in our giving habits as we have purposefully focused on it. Giving truly does bring joy: The more you give, the more joy is given to you. We encourage you to pray that God will bless your giving as you step out in faith and obedience.

 

Key Points

  • As Christians, giving is something we get to do rather than have to do.
  • God promises to bless those who give.
  • Your giving journey can be a joyful one. Pray for God’s guidance as you begin.
 

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