As believers, we have faith to serve God with our deeds and make disciples of men till Jesus Christ returns.
But we have been mandated to train our children in the same faith. That was an express divine instruction.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he grows, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
One of our duties as parents is to train our children on the path of faith right from a young age. Yes, a young age because that’s the most impressionable period of their lives; it is the time habits, characters, and philosophies form. Whatever we learn during our childhood tends to stick with us till adulthood.
From an early age, a child ought to be introduced to Christian living so they can start living their lives in a Godly manner. If anyone will be a General in the body of Christ, it’s only fair that they start training as a soldier from childhood.
One essential Christian practice a child ought to learn is Tithing. Yes, I said it because it is the truth. Children should also understand this kingdom principle.
What is Tithing?
Tithing is a divine Instruction from God stated in the Bible. In simple terms, Tithing means giving ten percent of one’s income to the Church. It is the money a believer offers to promote the work done by the Church for God’s Kingdom. Some people give twenty percent and more, depending on their faith and agreement (covenant) with God. Giving is the fundamental principle behind Tithing. If you are not a giver, Tithing would be very difficult for you to do.
As believers, it is vital to know that we tithe not because we want to help the Church to pay its bills but because it’s a decision borne out of love for God and his Word. We cannot claim to love God and not obey his word.
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In tithes and offerings.” Malachi 3:8 (NIV)
Tithing is one way we can show appreciation to God for his blessings in our lives. It is a way of honoring God and showing that he is first in our hearts. We all know that doing Kingdom’s work in our local churches requires financial resources. By Tithing, we are “bringing meat into God’s house” for Godly service.
Like every other kingdom principle, Tithing is not a parasitic affair. There are rewards attached to it. As tithers, we are confident that we would thrive even in an unfavorable economy because God has promised to “rebuke the devourer” for our sakes. We will also experience good health and flourish in the face of adversity. Tithing gives us greater confidence to make requests from God. That is why teaching our children Tithing from a young age is vital. If we want them to soar in their Christian journey, they should start forming this habit early.
Nevertheless, it’s more important that they learn Godly Tithing rather than Tithing. These two are different. While the former is out of love, the latter is more like a ritual, an action we perform only because of obligation.
To better explain the difference between these two. Let’s consider the Cain and Abel story. We all know how Cain killed his brother out of jealousy. Cain believed that God favored his brother more, but that was not true. God didn’t have a favorite between the two brothers. Instead, he chose Abel’s offering because it was Godly.
Let’s put ourselves in God’s shoes for a second. God had two options, and we expect He would pick the unfavorable one. If you were God, would you?
While the Bible records the gifts as offerings, they can be called Tithes. The purpose of the offering was to appreciate and honor God, which is the same thing as Tithing. Even though there was no priest or higher authority to present the offering, it is evident that the brothers were paying Tithes to God directly.
And guess what? The idea didn’t come to them out of the blues. They most likely would have learned it from their parents- even though the Bible doesn’t mention this. That reaffirms the importance of teaching our children about Tithing.
The difference between Abel (a man who gave a Godly tithe offering)and Cain (a man who just presented a tithe offering) is in two features.
Features of Godly Tithing
– Godly Tithing must come from the heart. If we want our tithes to be accepted, we should give them willingly. God loves a cheerful giver. God never forced Cain and Abel to bring offerings to him. They did it out of their own volition. He would never force us to give.
Giving to God must be borne out of Love for God and a desire to obey his word. If this love is missing, then we are not offering Godly tithes. Remember that God is omniscient and sees through the intentions of our hearts. Best believe that God saw through the hearts of both brothers and knew the one who brought the offering willingly and the one who didn’t.
A gift is good, but a good gift is better. The same applies to giving in God’s Kingdom.
Abel not only gave God fat portions of his flock as an offering; it came from the firstborn of his animals. That shows that he values God a lot. And God would never overlook it when you honor him. The essence of Tithing is to give God “the first” of our work/income. It is a sign that he holds first place in our lives. There’s nothing more pleasing to God than knowing that he is atop the hierarchy of things. He ultimately rewards quality giving.
Cain failed in this regard. The quality of fruits he gave as an offering didn’t show that God was the first place in his life.
We would be no different from Cain if we fail to learn from our mistakes and start giving Godly tithes – it should be done willingly and be of good quality. And more importantly, we should teach our children the same thing. At the center of it all, the purpose of Tithing should be clear – honoring God with our gift offerings. That is vital.
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