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Generosity as a lifestyle

October 11, 2010
 |  by Krista

Generosity as a lifestyle

We’ve been working through some of the Hands-on options this week as we’ve cleaned out the kids’ closets in preparation for cooler weather. In accordance with “Caring for Others” and “What do we have extra?” their too-small clothes are going to others who need them. Our church has a new family from Nigeria who’s practically freezing in our less-than-tropical Canadian weather. What a blessing that they have a son who is a year younger than Ben. Perfect sizing! Jessica’s items will likely go to an inner-city street church which gladly re-directs such donations.

We expanded the content of “Sharing as a Habit” and encouraged our kids to share with each other, and us, on a regular basis. We figure the best and most consistent “classroom” is our home. Besides, the kids have admitted that it’s easier to be nice to people outside our family . . . which means we need more practice with each other!

A few days ago, Ben surprised us by sorting through the candy in his treat bag and giving about half of it to his sister. Jess is almost always the first one to offer a bite of her cookie or other delicacy to one of us. It has been delightful to see them actually enjoy giving, and we’ve been able to encourage the behaviour by speaking a blessing over them many times.

One of the best pieces of child-rearing advice I was ever given came years ago from my friend Carolyn. She was very purposeful about not letting her kids become “territorial.” Following her example, we never divide space (i.e. “This is your half of the back seat” or “You must each stay on your side of the room”). We also have toy shelves in both kids’ rooms but try to emphasize that most of the toys belong to both of them. Jess has all the puzzles; Ben has all the games; Jess has all the PlayMobil; Ben has all the wild animal figures. Of course, they have their individual favourites, but they seem to understand that sharing the bulk of their toys is non-negotiable. We’ve used the recommended Creative Discipline before and confiscated items that caused strife. It sure didn’t take long for them to realize it was better to give it up to their sibling for an hour than give it up to Mom or Dad for a week!

I’m embarrassed to admit that I only just prayed the Parents’ Prayer today. But, boy, did I discover a gem in it! 1 Timothy 6:18 says, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” Why are those awesome directions not in the memory verse section? I wish we had chosen that one . . . in fact, we might add it as a second memory verse because it’s so packed with great instruction.

And now for my confession of the week: I STILL haven’t picked up the jewel stickers for the Generosity treasure chest poster. Ack! Bad Mommy. Where are my priorities? Somebody hold me accountable, please!

Related Lesson: Generosity