As Christians, we know that God calls us to give from a cheerful heart. Both faithfully tithing and giving regularly to the poor, as Jesus taught, are incredibly important patterns to demonstrate to your children.
Teaching these patterns of giving is one way to cultivate generosity – and there are others that don’t have anything to do with money.
Spending isn’t just related to money. Children become less self-centered and more grateful and generous when they observe their families being generous in other ways, too:
• Spending time on family prayer
• Spending attention truly listening to and comforting others
• Spending energy volunteering on a Saturday instead of pursuing a hobby
• Spending resources (yes, including money) in a way that demonstrates a sacrificial lifestyle
Children absorb many lessons from the example of parents and grandparents that can foster an attitude and patterns of generosity in their lives – if parents are intentional about cultivating generosity. In doing so, families find joy in giving from the blessings they have received. And seemingly insurmountable problems like generational poverty in cities like Milwaukee can be solved.
Let your children see the joy you have in being generous! You can use opportunities, both spontaneous and planned, to demonstrate to the next generation how to respond to a broken world with compassion and generosity. Learning to use the resources God has given you in strategic ways can help you do that.