Generosity is an amazing thing.
It can change people. It can change the world.
In fact, it already has… through God’s gift of His Son, Jesus.
As His followers, we want to be like Him… generous, giving, serving. And I for one, want my children to be like Him too.
Here are 5 ways I’ve found (among the many) to help teach and guide my children toward generosity.1 Highlight that it is in God’s nature to love. Your kids may have already memorized John 3:16. Use that verse for a couple of powerful things…
#1- Help them understand what it means that God loves the world.
#2 – Then help them to understand that they, as followers of God’s Son, are to be like Him.
And since God is a giver, that means much of what He wants to do through you and your children is to bless others through generosity. That could happen financially, through talents or gifts, or through time. But no matter how you look at it, learning to be generous toward others is learning to walk in God’s ways. Teach that to your children… help them truly get it, on a heart-level.4 Don’t allow the “it’s mine” mindset. So far, we’ve looked at the truths behind generosity. Here’s where we start to get really practical. I want to tell you a little story from my life…
When our kids were young, we ran into the typical issues surrounding sharing toys, treats, friends, and many other things. There is some reality to the argument that our kids need to learngood stewardship of personal possessions, but more important to us was that our kids didn’t get stuck in a “mine” mindset. So we didn’t allow the attitude to even be spoken. When a kid said, “but it’s my toy” in protest, we reminded them, “No, it actually belongs to Jesus, and He’s given it to you to use for His sake. What do you think He’d want you to do? Keep it all to yourself, or share it with your sister?”
The answer was simple, and as we remained consistent, it shaped the way our kids thought about things.
It’s vital that you consistently communicate that everything belongs to Jesus and that everything your child has (life, possessions, health, speech, attitudes, emotions, etc.) is for the purpose of doing His kind of good in the world. If you do this enough and with the right kind of enthusiasm (because it’s real in YOUR heart), your kids will become excited that THEY can have a part in God’s eternal plans through being generious.5 Champion servant-hood in your home.
Servanthood is the natural outgrowth of a generous spirit. It’s not something that comes naturally, but it can come. Here are some practical suggestions to foster it in your home:
- Talk about ways the family can serve each other practically (dishes, making beds, picking up toys, etc.)
- Discuss ways you can serve those outside the home (help moving, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, etc.)
- Celebrate when a child (or adult) serves someone else (throw a party!)
- As you do these and other things to celebrate servanthood, remind everyone that Jesus is doing it through you.