Tuesday, June 14, 2011

teaching stewardhip to your children

So how do you teach your children how to be good stewards of themselves, their toys, clothes, their room, their relationships....etc?

Well, you start by being a good steward yourself.  WOW, right?!  Profound.  Not rocket science, right?  "You can't give away what you don't have"....If we aren't being a good steward of our body, our house, our relationship with our spouse or our friends and family, our finances....etc, how can we expect them to know how.  People, especially kids, learn by example. 

We have always taught our children to pick up their toys, take their dishes to the sink, pick up their mess when they make one, flush the toilet and put the lid down, wash hands, share, say please and thank you and excuse me...and use manners in general....etc.  And all of this has been learned through us doing it and working with them on it. 

Is our house in perfect condition 100% of the time?  nope.  Are our children perfect? nope.  Are we perfect parents?  far from it.

But being a good steward isn't about being perfect.  And it's not about chores.  And it's not even about a whole list of rules. 

It IS about honoring God.  Stewardship is a form of worship.  When we are good stewards of what we have, God blesses us. 

And we have to teach this to our children. 

Teaching to clean (stewardship of home and belongings)

To be quite honest, they ask to do more that what we have asked.  Lot's more.  They have been emptying the dishwasher out since they could walk, they will just go grab a wipe or towel and start wiping the windows or tables or toys down, feed the dog, try to fold laundry, set the table.  And non of those things are things that we have made them do as "chores".  It's just part of life in our house.  It's just what we do.  To learn more on how to have children who love to clean and take care of their home, check out this post I wrote a while back.  the pictures are no longer on it as I had to clean out my pics to upload more, but the story and tips are still there!
She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.- Proverbs 31:27

Teaching to give (stewardship of our heart)
  • When I am handing out snacks that they each want, i will give it to one child to give to another.
    • example:  I will give Trinity a cup of snacks to give to Asher, then I will give Gabriel a cup to give to Trinity.... 
In doing this it teaches them to give to others and I believe draws them away from selfishness.  Because it's hard to be selfish when we are constantly giving.  It also teaches that they too will be blessed when they share and give.  Simple, yet effective.  When you and your family are getting ready to eat at the table, if you don't already, make your spouses plate first and serve him.  Then your children, then yourself.  In that order.  It's amazing what they will learn just from you showing selflessness in small acts. 

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. - Proverbs 11:25
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. - 2 Corinthians 9:6

Teaching to be thankful (stewardship of our relationships, finances, and stuff)

Be thankful.  Get excited about the "little things"!  Use what you have wisely.  Treat people with respect and love.  Don't talk bad about people.  Kids learn to show love, respect, generosity from YOU.  So if you are negative and talk trash, disrespect your friends and you home and your things....your children will too.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Romans 12:10
Exploit or abuse your family, and end up with a fistful of air; common sense tells you it's a stupid way to live. - Proverbs 11:29
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. - Ephesians 4:32
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.  - Ephesians 4:29 

Being a good steward of your children.
Just like the tittle of that book says "Your kids are your own fault".

Are we going to put blame on our children?  .....OR we as parents just need to step up and take responsibility of our children.  They have only been on this earth for a couple years...if that.  We've been on this earth close to 30....give or take a few years for you....and we still don't have it all figured out.  We can't go day to day....hour to hour without our Heavenly Father's help, direction, correction, love, discipline, forgiveness, mercy....so how can our children go without ours. 

Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them. Proverbs 19:18
Do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.- Ephesians 6:4
Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.- Proverbs 29:17
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. - Proverbs 22:6
Do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged. - Colossians 3:21

So train them up by first being.  Teach them to be a good steward by being one yourself and by being one to them.  For some or most of us that means allowing the Holy Spirit to first teach us. Because like we mentioned above..."we cannot give what we do not have."

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.  - Ephesians 5:1

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