Recently, I was teaching my 1-3 grade class the 10 commandments, and thought it would be a good idea to teach them to Grace at home. She took to them fairly quickly, and could recite them pretty accurately (in four-year-old words, of course) when I called out the number. For example,
Me: "Number 1"
Grace: "Don't have other Gods."
Me: "Number 2"
Grace: "Don't make idols."
Me: "Number 3"
Grace: Listen Here
I burst out laughing when she said that because it was such a cute misspeak, and is the complete antithesis of our lives.
That made me laugh. This made me think:
Last week, I decided that we should start teaching Grace about giving financially to the Lord. Though it is a regular part of our life, it was something that was completely foreign to her.
I started out by explaining to her that when we love Jesus we give him a portion of our money. To some degree, she understands the concept of money. After all, she has a purse with an assortment of coins from here, there and yonder, which she is "saving for her trip to America." (I'm afraid she'll be disappointed in the small return those few coins will bring.) In an effort to encourage her to embrace the idea of giving to the Lord, we explained how the money from the offering box is used. Honestly, they were interesting details, but not critical for this four-year-old.
I tried to make the concept of giving reasonably understandable and doable by giving her two, one shekel coins. I explained that I was giving her two coins and that she might want to put some of that money in the offering box when we went to church later that evening. I even offered to show her where and how.
Clearly, by giving her two coins, I intended for her to give one and keep the other. Though I didn't say it specifically, I thought it would be a no-brainer. I even added, "Whatever you aren't going to give to the Lord, I want you to leave here so that you don't lose it." "Okay," she said, and quickly returned to doing whatever she was doing before I started this life lesson.
An hour or so later as we were gathering our things at the door, I noticed that she had both coins in her hand. Thinking that she had forgotten that detail of my instruction, I reminded her that she should only take what she's going to give to Jesus.
"I know Abba. I'm giving them both." Realizing that she must have misunderstood something in my lesson, I clarified: "Are you sure that's what you want to do? Whatever you aren't giving to the Lord, needs to stay here." "Yes, I love Jesus, so I'm giving them BOTH to Him."
Her simple answer caused me to think: Wow, she got the lesson better than I delivered it. Thank you, Lord! Wow, she got the lesson better than I sometimes get it. Help me, Lord!
My prayer: That the desire to honor, obey, and love Jesus will increase and permeate her life the rest of her life. That my desire to honor, obey and love Jesus will be as real as what my four-year-old modeled that day.