Proud mama keep on bragging

Whenever two or more parents of young adult children gather, there’s sure to be bragging in their midst. A great promotion, super cute baby, new house, latest degree. Almost anything can get a proud parent talking. Been there. Done that. I confess.

smart_stick_figure_with_custom_text_11504There’s a topic, however, that doesn’t get much brag-time. It’s the giving habits of the younger set. Boomer parents hope the generosity they’ve modeled has been noted by the Millennials in their lives. But moms and dads don’t ask and 20- and 30-something sons and daughters don’t tell – usually.

So when a parent mentions a Millennial giving generously, I want the details. And all the more so when his or her gift giving is motivated by faith. Here’s one such story, passed along by a rightfully proud mama.


A young couple sold their house, bought another, and after all was said and done, found themselves $4,000 to the better. Their first inclination was to hold on to the profit and understandably so. Theirs is an expensive zip code and the money – the entire four grand – would have made a tidy rainy day fund.

But instead of keeping it all for themselves, they decided to tithe on the windfall. They directed the 10 percent to friends serving as missionaries in Africa.

“Our son isn’t legalistic about tithing, but in telling us about the gift he said a tenth just seemed right,” the young man’s mother reported. “There was such joy in his voice as he talked about giving away some of what they never expected to have. His dad and I couldn’t have been prouder.”

When I suggested that her son’s generosity was a tribute to his parents’ modeling, she demurred (with a smile) giving credit instead to the church the couple attend. “The pastor talks about stewardship all the time. We laid the foundation, but it’s their church that’s encouraged them to grow as givers,” she said.

Parental modeling, reinforced by unapologetic stewardship preaching — now that’s a powerful combination.  All Millennials should be so fortunate.

For more on Millennials, faith, and money, see:

Debtors don’t donors make, unless . . .

Ten reasons why become become generous stewards

Reaching Millennials through stewardship evangelism




  1. Merideth says:

    I love that. Some friends and I were just discussing how this age of direct deposit/auto payments have sort of made the check in the offering plate dissapear. We realized our children don’t actually see us giving generously on a regular basis, we just hope somehow they know we do it. So, we’ve gone back to check writing and our kiddos have a “giving pig” (a silver piggy bank) upstairs in which they collect a minimum of 10% to give back to church and other great things God loves.

    • I struggle, too, with automatic transfer of funds as a convenient way to give (what Randy and I have chosen) versus the visible action of placing a check in the offering plate. We know however, that words speak louder than actions, so talking with our children — beginning as you are while they are young — is key. Your children won’t forget the lessons learned via the “giving pig.” Good for you.

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