Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Out of our Abundance

I worry. I know, the Bible says not to worry. But in this case, I worry about my son.  You see, we are blessed.  My son doesn't have any idea what real hunger is.  He has no idea what it is to want for a meal or to be without clothes or toys.  He's never had to worry about having a roof over his head, and has been provided for well.

But there are kids in his own school who know all too well about those kinds of worries.  There are people all around us everywhere we go that struggle in some way or another.  I don't want my son to think that this is just how everyone has it.  I want him to understand that he needs to be grateful and realize that he's blessed.

So how do you teach a five year old that he'd better be thankful there's something to eat, a roof over his head and he doesn't have to worry about his needs?

One of the things we do to help our son realize this is at Christmas Time.  We intentionally set aside a certain amount of money based on what we feel we can sacrifice to go out and shop for presents for needy children.  We usually choose a child or two to sponsor from an angel tree or from a list of needy children somewhere.  We explain to Austin that these kids wouldn't have Christmas Presents if they weren't donated to them.  Austin is involved in the shopping, wrapping and delivery of the presents.

A second thing I do is donate out of my stockpile.  I could easily do this without Austin knowing.  But he watches me and I tell him that we are giving this to people in need.  We frequently remind him that not everyone has cabinets and shelves full of food like we do.

As my son gets older we will involve him more in helping others.  But it's so important to teach him that he needs to be thankful for all that we have been blessed with.  We may not have the fanciest house, or the nicest cars or go on lavish vacations, but we have a roof over our heads, a stockpile of groceries, he has more toys than I can physically count, he never misses a meal and he goes to the doctor when he needs to go.  God has been good to us and it is our goal to help our son realize and appreciate that goodness.

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