Pennies, Piggies, and Passing It On
Our little girl, Elizabeth, age 2.5yrs, could count, but not very well. But we started teaching her the rudimentary principles of stewardship. She has three piggy banks -- a little purpule one for God, a larger ceramic one that looked like a princess for savings, and a really big pink one for personal money.
Every day we count out for her ten pennies. Then we ask, "Where does your first penny go?" She knows, but she always likes to be asked. She'll usually test us by acting like she's going to put it in her savings, or in her personal bank, and we'll make a big deal about it, saying, "No, that's not where it goes." But she knows her first penny goes in God's bank, her second in her savings, and the rest can go in whatever bank she wants. Then on Sunday we empty out her God bank, put the pennies in a little sandwich bag, and let her put them in the offering plate as it is passed.
When we say that her first penny goes in God's bank, she often asks "Why?" My repsonse is "Because we always give our first and our best to God." The first time or two I thought I was actually explaining it so that a toddler could understand. But now I've realized that I'm explaining it so that it sticks in her head and in her habits; the understanding will come later. When it finally clicks conceptually, she will be able to look back on her life and not remember a time when this was not practiced in our home and in her life.
The tangible practices, habits, and traditions in our lives are opportunities to explain to our children (and remind ourselves) of the truths and principles behind them. Our young ones do not need to understand them at first, only go along with the tradition.
Explanation wo tradition is vague. Tradition wo explanation is legalism. Couple them together and there is power to teach God's truth.
Source: Adam Carrigan - Personal story, May 7, 2009