Not far behind a child’s first words is the word “mine”. And if you have multiple children, you may be familiar with the sound of siblings sparring over a toy or the front seat. To be generous means to be “liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish”. The best way to teach children to be generous is by modeling it for them. Here are some ways you can model generosity for your family.
Talk about God’s generosity toward you.
1 John 3:1 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” God doesn’t withhold His love from us. In fact, the Bible teaches us that God gives good gifts and will provide for the things we need (Luke 11:11-13). Discuss this with your kids and share examples with them of how the Lord has been generous toward you, especially when you didn’t deserve it. When we realize that everything we have is a gift from God, it helps us live with gratitude and give to others more freely.
Involve the whole family.
Have you been setting aside some money to donate? Let your children pick the cause! If they’re too young to choose a charity on their own, give them a list of options and explain to them how your donation will make a difference.
Give your time.
Instead of giving money, schedule a day for the family to give their time and energy to people in need. Maybe you and your children offer to walk the elderly next-door neighbor's dog, or you work together to clean up the park. By doing a service for people in your community, you will be practicing generosity with your family and sharing the love of Jesus!
Learn to let go.
Find a new home for gently-used items you have in your closet and invite your children into the process! Share with them the importance of being willing to let go of material things and encourage them to pick out a toy or two to give away.
Random acts of kindness.
The next time you and your teenager are getting coffee, offer to pay for the customer in front of you–just because! You never know how the Holy Spirit will use your kindness to change someone’s life. Modeling that to your children could change the world.
There are plenty of ways to model generosity for your children! Share a story below about how you encourage your family to exercise generosity.