Emma got some money for her birthday. $4.00, one for every year old she is. She hasn't really had money before, except for small amounts. Anyway, I told her that I was going to put her dollars away, to keep them safe, and that we could talk later about how we use our money. She had a lot of questions about this statement, so I explained (thinking that it would be quick, and we would revisit it later) that the first thing we do when we get money is give some of it back to God. This peaked the kids' interest. (The kids' answers are in quotes)
"Where is God?"
Well, he is in Heaven.
"Yeah, and Jesus is in heaven, because Jesus is alive."
Yes, you are right!
"Well, if God is in heaven, then how can we give him money?"
Oh my...well, there are different ways that we can give money to God. One way is to give money to the church, and then they use it to help send people to places where no one has heard about Jesus yet, or they use it to pay for the people who work at the church and help people. Another way is to give the money to people who don't have any food to eat, or clothes to wear, and that way we can help them.
Then my precious daughter looks at her $4.00 and tells me,
"Mommy, I will give two of my dollars to God and to the people who need help. And then I will have two dollars to keep."
I told her that her heart is so very precious to God at that moment, and that He is so pleased. I also say that we can talk more about the money later, because she can choose to save it, or choose to spend it, etc.
"Oh mommy, I will spend it on a treat!"
Well, you can do that, because it's your money!
"Yes, and there will be one dollar for me and one for Caleb."
Oh honey, you can spend both dollars on you because it was your birthday money.
"Yeah, but I just want to spend some on Caleb."
The really sad thing to me, is that I had already calculated 10 percent, and was trying to figure out how to explain THAT. And in the process, I overlooked the most important things. My daughter's heart didn't need percentages or explanations of mathematical concepts...she just wanted to know what would make God happy.
"I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 18:3
"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." Matthew 19:14