Re-Thinking How We Teach Kids to Give

Rethinking How We Teach Kids to Give - Parenting Like Hannah

Plastic Donuts by Jeff Anderson

Did you grow up in Church hearing about tithes or that you needed to give 10% of your income? Have you heard about something called the “prosperity gospel”or been told to give a lot to Church so God will give you a lot of things? Do you struggle with how much to give or if you should give based on your net or gross income? If we are confused about how to give to God, how are we going to teach the concept to our children?

Jeff Anderson has written a little book called Plastic Donuts. In it, he re-examines Biblical giving and applies it to today. What he found was interesting. In spite of much Church talk of a tithe, about half of the offerings commanded in the Old Testament were actually freewill offerings. Of course the obvious question is, “How much is that?”

The book is small and easy to read. Basing his original idea on an incident with his daughter sharing her plastic donut with him, he studied the scriptures to find out what an acceptable gift to God really is.

His conclusions are not unheard of, but are becoming more unusual in this day of tithing and prosperity giving. Anderson comes to four basic conclusions about the gifts we are to give to God. He lays out the argument that the amount we give does matter, but is determined by us. He also explains how our abilities and our heart play into the equation.

If you read this book looking for a specific dollar amount or percentage, you will be disappointed. As Anderson points out, there are actually other things about Christianity (like prayer and fasting) that God refused to name a specific required number. The book may still leave you questions with which you must struggle, but I believe he does an excellent job of putting your thinking on the right road to make the best possible decision.

This book is easy enough for mature children and teens to understand and to begin thinking about the principles. The principles themselves are easy enough for you to communicate them to even the youngest of children. I enjoyed the process of re-examining my beliefs on giving and plan to share the book with my husband and daughter to get their thoughts. I would encourage you to read it and start sharing the principles with your own family.

This book was provided to me for free in return for my honest review. I am painfully honest and would tell you if I had any concerns about the book. I think this is a great little book to share with those who struggle with their giving and plan to keep it in my library.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)