Do you remember the viral craze a few years ago called the Cold Water Challenge, where people were nominated by someone on social media to give to a charity of their choice? Sounded altruistic, right?
Yet, the catch was if you decided to take a video of yourself jumping into cold water you only had to donate $10. If you chose not to jump into a body of cold water within 24 hours, record it on video, and post it on a social media site, you had to cough up the Benjamin (i.e. $100).
Though I appreciated the idea behind it, jumping in cold water to avoid giving money seemed quite backwards to me.
Using children’s devotional cards, our 4-year-old son has memorized Proverbs 6:6, “Go to the ant you sluggard, consider his ways and be wise.” We also read children’s books from Dave Ramsey that teach him that “the best place to go to get money, is to work.” I love that line!
He loves “working” now around the house to earn extra money for his bank. We’re using give, save, and spend jars to help instill in him the value of prioritizing money in this order:
- Give (tithe your earnings)
I love these jars because, more than an allowance, it teaches our kids the value of hard work. The give jar also teaches our kids the biblical value of giving their “first fruits.”
My friend, Travis Brawner, added a fourth jar for his kids called the generosity jar. The generosity jar represents offerings beyond their 10% tithe and is based on Acts 4:32-37, where the church shares mercifully the monies God provided with those in need.
If you’re ever again nominated to jump in cold water or do something embarrassing on social media to avoid giving an extra ninety bucks to a charity, warm up your heart, take out the Benjamin, and use it as an opportunity to teach your children the value of generosity.
Besides, it raises a more important question: Are our “jars” and how we handle money in order?
Here are 7 ways we can use our $100 to raise generous kids:
- Start using jars to teach your children the value of generosity.
- Don’t wait until the next viral craze to give money to charity. Find a nonprofit or ministry you can donate to with your children.
- Research the charity with your family. Who do they serve? What services to they provide? Where will your money be allocated?
- Use your own social media platform to promote the charity and give honor to those in need. Invite your kids to help you in how you share about it online.
- Have your children give some of their own money.
- If your kids don’t have money or won’t experience the sacrifice monetarily, have them donate a toy, or if they’re physically capable of missing a meal, fast together for those in need you’re donating to.
- Take a family visit to meet people in the charity and the people they serve.
Everything we earn comes from God. For that reason, let’s first give back to Him our best, not what’s left over—and model for our children that true joy comes not in spending on ourselves, but giving to those in need.