“God loves a cheerful giver.” Paul tells us this in 2 Corinthians 9:7. How do we raise cheerful givers? Because our children are still learning about how truly generous and selfless our God is, it can be challenging to help them take the focus off of themselves. It’s even tough for us adults to set aside our own self-interest so we can center our attention on the needs of others.
I do believe we are our children’s best example. When we have the opportunity to give or when we serve somewhere, I think it’s important to include our children whenever possible. It’s helpful to explain to our children that we help others not because we want something in return, but because it fills their heart with the love of Jesus, and ours as well. Pointing out the smile a gift brings to a needy child, or the happy tears a visit brings to a lonely neighbor shows our children that when we give our time, talent and treasures to others we are bringing the love of Jesus into their lives.
As we enter this season its especially important to help our children understand the true meaning of Christmas. The commercialization of Christmas makes it challenging for both adults and children to remember the needs of others. As a family, sit down and talk about what you can do to put a smile on someone’s face or bring a little extra joy into someone’s home this Christmas season. Including your children in deciding what to do will make it more fun for them. There are so many things families can do together. A few ideas for you at FAITH…bring a friend to our Thanksgiving Eve dinner and worship service, grab a gift tag or two off of our Giving Tree, go Christmas caroling and bring Christmas joy to those in nursing homes, ring the Salvation Army bell at King Soopers to raise money for needy families in Golden.
Whatever your family decides to do, take the time to talk about it afterward with your children. Ask them what they enjoyed most about the experience. Ask them how it felt to be the love of Jesus in someone’s life. Merry Christmas! – Dee Ann Lord, Family & Children’s Ministry Coach