Teaching kids how to tithe is not something that was modeled well for me by my parents when I was growing up. My wife and I have discovered how to do it with our own kids through trial and error, and we’ve been extremely blessed by the results so far.
When I was a child back in the 70’s, my parents would give me a few coins to bring to church to put into the Sunday School offering.
I felt good about bringing money to put into that offering, but it wasn’t really my money I was giving – it was my mom’s and dad’s. I didn’t earn that money. I didn’t have any “skin in the game,” so to speak.
I don’t recall them ever talking to me, as a child or teen, about the spiritual significance of giving back to God a portion of what He has given to us. We mostly just “tipped” God with pocket change here and there.
My wife and I have five children ages 5 to 15. We decided that we were going to teach our kids to tithe as early as possible. We want them experience the grace of giving, and discover that when we give back to God, we are living beyond ourselves and investing in his kingdom.
Teaching Kids to Tithe
We began teaching our kids to tithe as soon as they started earning money for doing work around our house – somewhere around age three. When our kids start earning money, they get their own box of church tithing envelopes.
We pay our kids every two weeks for the work they do in our home. On their bi-weekly paydays, we pay each child one dollar per year of life. So our 15-year old gets $15, our 5-yr old gets $5, etc.
Each time they receive their pay, we ask our kids to make a conscious decision of how much they’re going to give away and how much they’ll keep for themselves. We have them divide their money several different ways:
- Give to Jesus (this is their tithe)
- Gifts (savings to buy gifts for Christmas, sibling birthdays, etc.)
We don’t specify any certain amount or percentage – we just ask them how much they want to put into each envelope or category.
Most of the kids have created additional envelopes for specific things they want to save up for – like the fair, a special toy they want, etc. One of our daughters, who is almost 10, even started her own adoption savings fund!
Once they’ve divided up their money, we have the kids put their “Give to Jesus” money in their tithing envelope for that week and designate where they want their tithe to go (how much for “general fund” how much for “missions,” etc.).
I love watching each of our children place their tithing envelope in the offering plate as my wife and I put ours in. And I thank God for how generous our kids are – they give way beyond 10%!
I can’t tell you much fun we’ve had teaching our kids how to tithe, and how blessed we are to see our kids develop a habit of giving regularly out of money they’ve earned. I pray they’ll continue to grow in the grace of giving throughout their entire lives.
Have you taught your kids how to tithe yet? How has it worked for you?
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