>We have started giving the girls an allowance. It’s not so much that we feel that they are truly ready to handle money. In fact, they’re not actually getting real money. We have some play money that we use for school, and each Monday we pull out their allotted amount and give it to them to put in their little money jars. Of course, this practice raises the question…why bother?
Several months ago the topic of tithing began popping up around our home. One of our Bible readings in school led to the discussion of the importance of giving to God first. An overheard conversation, an observance of my bill-paying habits, a question here, a comment there – all seemed to include the concept of tithing. As Doug and I noticed the attention to tithe, we realized that the best way to teach our girls how to tithe for themselves was to find a way for them to have their own money. So, we began to pray for wisdom.
One thing to keep in mind is that we don’t keep cash. But as we prayed the concept of the play money came to our minds. We wouldn’t have to be concerned that they might misplace play money, and we wouldn’t have to make sure we had the full amount of cash on hand every week. All we needed to have on hand was a tenth of their allowance. Each Monday we hand them their allowance, have them place the amount they know must go to their tithe into a jar labeled “God’s money,” and then allow them to put the rest into their personal money jars. Each Sunday morning they bring us the tithe amount and we trade it out for real money for them to take to church with them. Meanwhile, they are saving a jar full of play money that will one day be trade in for real money for something special. (Olivia wants to save up for spending money for the trip to Jordan we hope to make at some point. Angela is just excited to have the money in her jar!)
Now, I didn’t share all of that just to tell you that we were giving the girls an allowance and teaching them how to tithe. A thought actually occurred to me this week as I was handing out their money. I looked around at all we have – our home, our furnishings, our miscellaneous other belongings, and I realized they are a lot like that play money. They are temporary. They are not really worth much in and of themselves, but they are things that God has given us now. He’s given them to us to teach us as we proceed along this life. Sometimes He teaches us to be good stewards of them. Sometimes He teaches us to hold them very loosely. Other times we learn how to share them, use them to bless others, or give them away. But, the reality is that they are not truly real. They are practically playthings.
One day, when the girls find something they would really like to have, we will take their play money and hand them real money to spend. We will let them go shopping and make their purchases. Their money will no longer be play money whose currency is only good in the Hibbard household. It will be useful to them beyond the walls of this house.
One day all of my earthly “treasures” will be laid at the feet of my Savior, and I will receive reality! Upon discovering life with my God, everything I ever had here on this earth will seem like a trinket, an insignificant plaything. I will discover what life was truly meant to be. I will see what I was truly meant to possess. I will be able to receive my heart’s desire.
When Jesus instructed us to store our treasures in heaven, He knew that we truly had no concept of what those treasures could possibly be. But, He called us to store them up anyway. My treasures don’t exist in this home. I am thankful for all I have, and I seek to learn and grow through them. But, I trust in the treasure to come – in the thing that is real, not the thing that is “play.” My treasure awaits me, and my savings toward it will one day pay off.