Kids and Generosity

Who wouldn't love swimming in a pool full of money?

One of my favorite shows as an elementary kid was Duck Tales. In the show, the main character Scrooge McDuck would frequently be attacked by the villain Magica De Spell and her goons, the Beagle Boys. Episode after episode, Scrooge was put in scenarios where he had to decide between the love of his money and the love of his nephews. Scrooge's love of money affected the decisions he made. 

Like Scrooge McDuck, money affects the way each of us lives. It is an important tool for living and navigating life.

Fortunately, the Bible has much to say about money including its ability to control our decisions and its use as an indication of where we are in our faith journey. Because of the importance the Bible places on money and our duty to motivate each other toward love and good works (Hebrews 10:24), we think it's necessary to help kids begin thinking about how they use money while they are young. 

At Northridge Kids, we think there are three ways kids can practice making wise decisions now, in order to help set them in the right direction for the future. 

1. SAVE

Saving is simply the practice of putting money aside for future goals, needs and wants. The Bible tells us when we save, even just a little bit at a time, it will eventually turn into much for a time of want or need at a later day (Proverbs 13:11).

We encourage kids to find or, yes, buy a piggy bank (isn't funny you sometimes have to spend money to save money) in order to create a rhythm of putting the money they receive aside for another day. As a parent, helping your kids set goals for what their money should go toward is one way you can help encourage this skill in their life.      

2. SHARE  

We don't think that you should give ALL of your money away, but that by giving some of it away you're demonstrating your trust in God. Sharing allows us to be a part of what God is doing our church and show his love to others by meeting needs. 

Money is more than giving, it’s a tool for loving.

At Northridge Kids, we encourage kids to share regularly as a recognition of our thankfulness to God for his provision. However, we also encourage kids to share through our giving projects that take place throughout the year. Our goal is to show God's love by meeting needs to other kids in our church, community and even around the world. For example, our current project is called A Ton of Love and our goal is to collect one ton (2000 pounds) of food in order to help fill the emergency food pantry of Cameron Community Ministries. Check out this video for more info and don't forget to bring in food before February 26! 

As a parent, you can teach your kids the value of sharing by helping them save with sharing in mind. You can also practice sharing by encouraging them to give away something that's theirs. That could include giving a portion of money they've earned or received, or donating something that's of value to them to someone in need.  

We don't expect kids to give everything, but we encourage them to give something. 

3. SPEND   

Money and our ability to enjoy it is a gift from God. That's exactly what the Bible calls it (Ecclesiastes 5:19). It's OK to spend the money we have to buy something that we want or need.

When we talk about spending in HighPoint, we... 

  • Warn them not to spend more than we have or we'll end up owing people that we can't pay back.
  • Talk about being careful that spending money doesn't become a way we try to make ourselves happy. We remind them that only God creates joy in our lives.
  • Encourage them to thank God for what they buy because it should remind them that God cares for them and provides for them. 

It's just a reality that kids pattern what they see in their parents. So as parents, one way to demonstrate wise spending is to take a moment and thank God for something your family purchases as a gift from God that helps us see he loves us and provides for us. 

While few of us will ever be able to swim in a bin full of money like Scrooge McDuck, each of us as leaders of our home can talk to our kids about how money affects their lives. By emphasizing these three actions: save, share and spend, we think that you'll provide a good framework for how your kids will relate to money and use it as a tool in their lives.