Thursday, April 25, 2013

Giving Money to God

My in-laws are very generous people. Each time we see them, they have little trinkets for the kids and pounds of food for us. My father-in-law has always saved his change in old Maxwell House coffee cans and he makes it a point to give his coin collection to my sons. My oldest carries around his coffee can with great effort and makes up all kinds of games with the change. Eventually, he starts planning all the ways to spend it.

"How was your trip to Grandma and Grandpa's?" my mom asked him over the phone on our way home.

"Really great, Granny. Grandpa gave me so much money to buy trains. There's so much I can't even barely lift it!" he said enthusiastically.

"That's wonderful! Now, you know you need to give some of it to God, right?" she asked him.

"Granny!" he said with a know-it-all voice, "I can't give money to God. He lives in the sky. That's so silly!"

She giggled then went on to explain all the ways he can give the money to God. He could buy trains for kids that can't afford them, drop some of his change in a donation plate at church, buy food for people who are hungry. He got very very quiet as she cited her examples. "What else?" he asked. "How else can I give money to God?"

That's when I knew he was listening. Really listening. He was trying to figure out how he could make that happen and do the right thing. It's a very tough thing to give money to God, especially when there are things that seem so much more pressing. But she planted a seed with my son. It's one that I hope will grow his generous spirit all throughout his life.

How do you teach your children to be generous and selfless with their money?

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