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What Do Large Families Do About Tithing, Saving for College, and Saving for Retirement?

The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are discussing what large families do about tithing, saving for college, and saving for retirement on one income.

See what the other moms do about saving and giving:

First, I will address what many call tithing.

We see that in the Old Testament, God required the Israelites to tithe 10% of their possessions. This meant giving back to the Lord a portion of what he had given them.

In the New Testament, we are not told what amount should be given, but only that we are to do it cheerfully. 2 Corinthians 9:7 "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

We see that some Christians in the New Testament gave everything they had. Acts 4: 34-35 "For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need."

Some Christians pretended to give more than they really gave. Acts 5: 1-4 "Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

We are to give to the needy, but it should be done in secret. Matthew 6:2-4 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

For the above reasons, we do not require our children to give a certain amount, nor do we give them a dollar from our own earnings and tell them to put it in the collection plate when it passes by. They know that not only their parents, but God himself expects them to give cheerfully of "what you have decided in your heart to give." They see us putting our offering in the collection plate each Sunday and they do the same whenever they have the means.

For college savings, we have a small amount set aside in a 529 plan that has been funded by gifts given to our children.

Our children understand that we expect them to mostly pay for college themselves (as I did years ago) or to get scholarships. I graduated from college in 4 years, with grades high enough to make the Dean's List, while waiting tables each night. I was very proud to have accomplished this and because I was using my own hard earned money, I was sure to study diligently and attend each class regularly.

As for retirement savings, we contribute regularly to IRA's in each of our names. We max out the allowed contribution each year, hoping we won't be a burden to our children in our old age.

What do you do about saving and giving?

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  1. We do tithe 10% of our gross income….but we give beyond that too. We just see that as a starting point. :-)
    Jesus said in His Word that we should still be paying tithe…but he said it indirectly:
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” Matthew 23:23.
    It’s really just an issue of the heart, which you voiced perfectly.

    Great post!! :-) I love everything you put out there.

  2. When I saw the subject I came here to see what you would say. I agree with you, it really is all about what is in your heart. When I read the word Tithe I think of a mandatory number, not freely given, but expected. We don’t tithe or use the word tithe at church. Keeping in mind that giving is not just to your church. Giving to orphanages, and children’s homes both here and abroad, supporting widows, buying bibles for ministries here and abroad, supporting missionary work in a variety of ways all are giving to the Lords work. So is giving of time, and physical items not just money. We support the Lords work in many of these ways and encourage others to look outside the box(building) and remember to give of themselves where the Lord shows a need.


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