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Generous Parenting

2 min read
Apr 25, 2024 7:00:00 AM

How we view money is closely tied to our childhoods, so it makes sense that our generosity journeys also begin at an early age. If you’ve been around Generis for any amount of time, you probably have heard the saying, “Generous churches are led by generous leaders.” But how do those generous leaders emerge? Intentionality is required to grow any spiritual discipline, and generosity is not excluded. Generous leaders begin in our own homes because generous parents raise generous children.

As a child, my parents never specifically preached a sermon on tithing or the widow’s mite. Instead, they modeled a life of generosity that extended beyond taking 10 percent out of my weekly allowance to put in the offering plate each Sunday. Our spare rooms (and sometimes even our not-spare rooms) were always filled with houseguests, missionaries and friends who needed somewhere to stay. One of my favorite memories was hosting an annual Christmas Eve party for anyone not celebrating with family. We spent hours on the weekends fixing up the parsonage or setting up for church events. We sponsored a child, Amalia in Bolivia, for much of my childhood, and she literally was like a sister I never met, as she was constantly spoken about, prayed for and written to.


I don’t remember a single dollar my parents gave to any organization, but I will always remember how they stewarded their home, time and resources. 

Here’s the thing: if generosity is about what I’m NOT giving, not what I am already giving, then the rest of my life outside of Sunday morning becomes that much more significant. Put simply, how I steward my life has a direct impact on the future generations of the big “C” church. If we want to see the Church be known for generosity, like the Acts 2 church, then how we raise the little ones in our home matters.

I’m living with the next generation of Church leaders within my walls, eating with them at my table and sleeping under the same roof. They are seeing my stewardship, and I am teaching them how to live a generous (or not-so-generous) lifestyle. They watch my struggles with giving God full reign in all my resources.

In a me-first society, modeling generosity is countercultural and incredibly hard. We must see our neighbors, recognize their needs and then slow down enough to meet them. Before we spend a single dollar, we must be generous in our time, our relationships and our empathy! 

There is hope for the Church as long as generous parents continue raising generous children!

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