The Christmas Tradition of Generosity You Can Start in Your Home
December 12, 2022 • Chris Harper
As fathers and husbands, let's lead the way in demonstrating the heart of God. Let's show those closest to us how to give.
In the hustle of the holidays, it’s easy to miss what is central –God came to be with us. Matthew 1:23 reads, “‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” Jesus, the incarnate God, is what Christmas is all about. At the heart of the incarnation is one word: generosity.
No phrase captures the essence of the Gospel narrative better than this phrase: "For God so loved the world, that he GAVE ..." (John 3:16, emphasis added). God gave –it's who He is. Generosity finds its genesis in God; God is the ultimate giver.
Let me ask you … Are you generous? Does a generous spirit mark your life? Do those in your home know what it means to be generous? It’s easy to drown in the waters of consumption and consumerism that embody the holidays, but what if your home became a training ground for generosity this holiday season? What if your home served as a window into the generous heart of God?
As fathers and husbands, let's lead the way in demonstrating the heart of God. Let's show those closest to us how to give. Let's use this holiday season to model and teach our loved ones how to be generous and create a lasting family tradition of generosity.
Practical Ways to Start the Christmas Tradition of Generosity in Your Home:
The Bible teaches us that our time, talents, and treasures have a purpose; we are to use them for the glory of God and the good of others. Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:18, "They [us] are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share ...”Paul does not command those who are rich to become poor; instead, Paul encourages the rich to be generous.
Money is a recurring topic in the Bible –why? Money can have a poisonous effect on the heart, and the antidote is generous living. Our hearts are fond of riches, but better than being rich in money is being rich in "good deeds."
What’s the best gift you can give your kids this holiday season? Teach them that generous living happens when your heart loves good deeds more than money. Use these stories from the Bible to drive home the concept of generosity and teach your kids to be rich toward others and God:
The Widow's Offering: Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4
The Rich Fool: Luke 12:16-21
The Generous Man: Luke 10:25-37
Let those in your home see you being generous this holiday season, especially with your money. Teach your children to hold loosely to their possessions by letting them see you hold loosely to yours. The holidays are a great time to let your children see you bless others with what you’ve been blessed with. Some of my favorite ways to model this:
Take the family out to dinner for a holiday meal, and then leave a huge tip for the waitstaff. Ask your waiter or waitress, "How may I pray for you?"
My sons and I get "Christmas cutz," a day when we go see my guy, Zac, at the barbershop. After Zac does what only Zac can do, I give him a $100 tip and tell him, “Merry Christmas.”
I bring my kids along as we bless our neighbors. Whether it is delivering Christmas cookies to the widow next door or singing Christmas hymns door to door down the street, my kids come along, seeing their mother and me use our time, talents, and treasures to bless others.
Generosity caught is generosity taught. We learn best by doing. Give your kids the space and resources to BE generous. One of the ways we’ve done this in our home:
Each of my kids receives a card with two $100 bills. One bill is for them, the other, they have three days to give it away. Their move, their choice –this way, they experience the blessing of being a blessing.
What are some ways you can give your family the guidance to practice a spirit of generosity this holiday season?
God is a generous God. God gave; this message is even more impactful during the holidays. Created in God's image, you and I were created to give. When we are not giving, we are not being all God created us to be. To stifle a generous spirit is to deny the very essence of God. We are called to be abundantly generous with our time, money, and creativity, bringing practical help to those in need. After all, God gave us everything –He gave us Himself. And having been given so much, we should want to give; it should be who we are.
I encourage you to make it a holiday habit to teach, show, and practice generosity with your family.