Teaching children to tithe is not as easy as giving money to them as they walk into church. Teaching children to give is “so” important and it can be learned at an early age. Giving children money as they walk into church doesn’t really teach anything because the money they put in the offering plate wasn’t really theirs. It isn’t something they are giving up. It doesn’t teach them how they are to give part of what they have back to God.
Our adult understanding about tithing in many cases is non-existent. Many have no idea what a “tithe” is and several adults have never been trained as to what is expected of us. Many of us have never really understood that everything we have is a “gift” from God. Even if we were trained to “tithe,” simply telling your children to give 10% of what they have means nothing to them.
Dan Pezel is a United Methodist pastor in the Alabama-West Florida Conference and he tells how he started teaching his son when he was five years old. They had “money jars.” One jar was labeled “Money for God,” another jar “Money to save,” and a third jar “Money to spend.” His son gets $2 a week as an allowance. They give him a dollar bill and four quarters. One quarter goes in God’s jar, one in the Savings jar and the rest goes in his spending jar. Dan says his son proudly takes his quarter out of God’s jar every week and puts it in the collection plate.
I like Dan’s way of teaching so much, I decided to share it with you. When Dan’s son gets a little older, he can be taught how to give proportionately, but until then, his son knows that part of each week’s allowance goes to God.
We need to teach our children that everything comes from God and everything is God’s. We need to teach our children to think about God first. We need to share with our children that we give to God because we love God and God loves us.