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At the Heart of the Matter

"Tell the Israelites to take for me an offering; from all whose hearts prompt them to give you shall receive the offering for me." (Exodus 25:2)

"For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has — not according to what one does not have." (2 Corinthians 8:12)

sharing an appleEncourage and foster a generous nature in your children. As toddlers, reward them when they share food or toys. Explain why we give gifts for birthdays and at Christmas and why we give to meet needs. As they grow, teach them to pray about giving and to listen to God's still, small voice inside them. Take advantage of any giving opportunity, especially those presented by your child. Remind them that the gift's size doesn't matter when given cheerfully and in obedience to God's guidance. Emphasize the blessing they can become to others. Establish giving as a priority in your family. If your church promotes a special funds campaign, pray as a family about your gift, and share the decision-making process with your children. Your generous, obedient nature will become their greatest teacher.

Questions for Discussion

  • What is the greatest gift you've ever received? Why was it so special?
  • Why does God love a cheerful giver? How can even small gifts help others?
  • Do we give to everyone or only to those people we know?

Linda Holland is from Helena, Alabama.

Originally posted in2003.

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