I was reading through the book of Exodus and came across a point where it mentioned bringing a piece of silver to the tabernacle. “All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this sacred offering to the Lord.” (30:14)
The question popped up in my mind – when is the best time for a Christian child to begin tithing? I don’t have an exact answer, nor is there necessarily one, but here are some questions and thoughts:
- Even with sporadic income, a child can learn to tithe to the church. Learning to give 10-percent is simple math and the younger a child begins, the better. Maybe when we give a child Christmas, birthday and lost tooth money, we should do it in $1 bills so it’s some easy tithing math.
- How do parents teach their children to tithe? Through example, and thoughtful conversations about it. In the days of electronic giving and with children often being in children’s worship services simultaneous to adult worship, kids don’t have the privilege of seeing parents giving physically in worship. It’s good to talk through it with a child.
- What about young adults? At what age should one take tithing seriously? College years are some of the most difficult. Young adults should consider that it’s not the amount of money you have, but the habit of giving a portion that really matters.
I remember hearing the story of a man who was making about $500,000 per year and went to talk to his pastor about his struggle in truly giving 10-percent to God’s work. “When I was making $50,000 it was so easy to give $5,000 as an offering. Now that I’m making $500,000, it’s tough to give up $50,000 as a tithe!” The pastor said, “Let me pray for you… Lord, I pray you reduce this man’s income to a level where he will feel comfortable tithing.”
The practice of giving a tithe to God is a heart issue, not a financial one.
And since God knows our hearts and understands us better than anyone, we need to seek to be in step with his timing! As soon as you can – faithfully and systematically give to the Lord. It will shape your life in ways you can’t comprehend or explain.
There are verses in scripture that teach us we are blessed when we give.
But even more than the blessing is the peace of knowing our trust is in God alone – not in our money or ability to get money, but in God alone.
invite your child (or young adult) to share in the Lord’s work through tithing. Celebrate when they do!
What are some options you can think of to help children experience the blessing of giving through the habit of a tithe?
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