Children and Tithing
If you observe an early childhood group of two year olds in a church or preschool the most common word you will here is “_________”. That’s right, the word, “mine”. Sharing is hard and giving things away is even more difficult. Although this may be a developmental characteristic of preschoolers, it carries on throughout life, particularly in American society. By the time children are in school their self identity is found in material things and money is battling for their hearts. This is the issue that Jesus addresses in Matthew 6:19-24 and is summed up in his pithy statement “you cannot serve both God and money”. Jesus seems to indicate that money has the ability to bring children under its control. He also seems to make a stark contrast between serving God and serving money. You cannot do both.
In a relatively wealthy society, like the United States, there are children facing an imminent threat of serving money and not God. Therefore, it seems crucial for parents, children’s workers and all who love children to help them become a servant of God and not of money.
Let me suggest that giving/tithing is a great tried and true biblical solution (Leviticus 27:30-32, II Chronicles 31:5-6). A tithe is simply the word for one-tenth. Giving a tenth of what we have to the LORD as an offering is a means of declaring that our heart is for God and not for money. Most children receive some kind of money such as allowance, birthday money, the crisp ten dollar bill for Christmas or money for chores. Let me suggest that this is the opportunity to help them declare their loyalty to God by giving 10% of that money as an offering in their church.
As children grow from the preschool years “mine” can be replaced by “give” as their favored word. Tithing can be a child’s heart declaration of commitment to God.
For an example go to EGM's Home page http://www.egmworld.org/