A couple weeks ago, I preached a sermon on giving. My children's message that day was about giving, too. I told the children a simplified version of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. Then I gave each child in the group a $1 bill, and challenged them to invest it in order to see how far that $1 bill could go for the Kingdom of God. I gave the kids a couple of ideas. They might use their dollar to buy supplies for a lemonade stand, for example. Or they might use it to help buy posters to advertise a yard sale. In other words, if the kids invested their $1 bill instead of spending it on something that perishes, they might be surprised to see how much money they could give to God.
A week went by. Then last Sunday, a parent sent me a letter in which he reported the results of my little experiment. His two children (ages 6 and 10) decided to put their dollar bills together. With their $2, they bought a book from Goodwill, which they sold on Amazon.com for $20. After Amazon's fees the total return on their investment of $2 was $15. They gave that $15 to our church!
How inspiring! And what an unforgettable lesson these two kids learned - that by investing a little, we can give a lot to the Kingdom.
Parents should model and teach principles of financial stewardship to their children as early in life as possible. Your kids are impressionable pieces of clay when they are young. It's harder to change financial habits later in life (as many of us adults can easily testify). But if you can help your children understand that everything we have is God's, and that God gives us money in order that we might share it with others, they can grow up to be givers instead of spenders.
As Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).