Teaching your child to be generous takes intentionality and time. Generosity is something that is best taught by example. It is “caught” rather than “taught.” But there is a place for direct conversations and family devotions about generosity. I wrote these seven lessons to inspire you and your family to be generous. They provide a complete lesson for you to teach your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and any children in your life.
Be creative! Expand on these as you go. Adapt them, depending on the ages of your children. They are a tool, a guideline. As you go through these, keep in mind that you are your child’s best teacher and they learn the most by watching you and how you interact with what God has given you to steward.
I will post one lesson a week for seven weeks on elizabethgriffin.com, so be sure to check back and not miss any.
Lesson 1: God created the world and He is a generous host!
God wants us to understand that everything belongs to Him. He is a GENEROUS HOST in our world, graciously giving us everything we need to live our lives, and to know Him. When we understand that everything belongs to God, and that He is immeasurably generous toward us, it makes us grateful and inspires us to be generous toward others.
Take a family walk around your yard (or a nearby park) and look for evidence of God’s blessings in creation. In pairs, make a list of these things in some way – on a cell phone voice memo, taking a photo, or by writing them down in a journal – and as you list each one say, “Thank You, LORD, for making … (fill in the blank).” Once back inside, have every pair share what they noticed with the rest of the group.
Main Lesson from Activity:
God made everything, and He has given it to us as a gift. We are supposed to take care of these gifts the way He would want. God wants us to understand that everything belongs to Him and that we are stewards, accountable to Him. He gives to us generously, and we need to “steward” His gifts wisely and be generous to others as He is with us.
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
1 Chronicles 29:10-14 (King) David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
Responding to God’s Word (Discovery Bible Study):
- Read the scripture passage for today out loud three or four times, with someone different reading it each time. Then ask these questions, allowing time for everyone to respond:
- What does this tell me about God?
- What does this tell me about myself (and people in general)?
- How does God want me to respond to this? Does He want me to change something, to repent of something, to take action (obey)? (Some ideas are: God wants me to notice when He is being generous and to thank Him for it. God wants me to give to someone like He gives to me.)
- What will I do to obey God this week?
Pray to end your Devotional time:
Use this time in prayer as another opportunity for your family to learn to communicate with each other and the Lord. Consider these formats for your prayer time:
- After listing prayer requests, ask one person to open and another to close, and tell everyone they are welcome to pray for one of the needs on the list in-between those prayers
- Divide up into pairs and have people pray for each other (pair older siblings or a parent with younger children)
- Use the acronym ACTS to pray—Adoration (praising God for who He is); Confession (admitting anything you’ve done wrong and asking forgiveness); Thanksgiving (thanking God for your life and God’s blessings); Supplication (praying for the needs of others).
Thanks to Riz Mooney on Unsplash for photo.