photo by kevincollins
It’s the very rare child who is born with a generous streak in his personality. A friend recently described her three year old’s definition of sharing: everyone is supposed to share with him. Reciprocating, however, is an abstraction not very well understood.
Like everything else about raising godly children, instilling in them a charitable heart toward others requires a dedicated effort on our part to make it happen. Assuming that our children will just naturally pick up on generosity by watching us or simply telling them to isn’t enough to make it happen. We have to come alongside and directly engage them in an activity repeatedly, and on various levels, to help them get to a place of wanting to be charitable themselves.
There are lots of ideas, but if you find yourself stymied by what to do I’m going to publish an idea a week for the next year to get you going in the right direction. Hence, fifty-two ways to teach your child to be a charitable person.
Whenever you apply these ideas in your home, be sure to frequently refer to Matthew 6:1-4. In fact, read it to your child so he sees that what you are doing has a direct biblical basis. Be enthusiastic and talk about what it is you are doing. Generosity is more than just giving money away to the needy. What you’ll be teaching your child is to think of others in a loving, compassionate way and to place himself in a servant’s role.
Here’s the first idea:
The experts say our furniture should be vacuumed weekly (as in once a week? Wow!) to help extend the life of the pieces and keep out dust mites and other things most of us would just rather not think about. Here’s another reason:
Coins collect there!
Have your child drag out the vacuum attachments and explain that any coins you find lying beneath the cushions or under the furniture are going to be donated to a worthy cause. Decide between the two of you who the recipient is going to be.
I know in our house we have a Magic Money Chair. My husband’s favorite seat in the house is the tan recliner sitting in our living room. Invariably coins fall out of his pocket, eventually making their way to the floor beneath (along with stray peanuts and popcorn, but that’s another story). We’ve collected anywhere from a couple of pennies to upwards of eighty cents from the Magic Money Chair at any given time.
Find a good home for the coins you collect. Perhaps they can be put into the benevolence fund at your church, a collection can for a local children’s hospital or for a local fundraising effort (oftentimes these are for a family who has lost their home to fire or an individual facing challenging medical costs).
At the very least, if you and your child don’t find any coins, you’ll know that you were both part of a generous effort that just didn’t pan out. But your furniture will be cleaner. And you may be amazed at what you find lurking under the cushions.
Instruction In Righteousness: Resource For Character Training
When Our Children Need A Push
Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?
Monday, December 28, 2009
photo by kevincollins