NEED your opinion, is it RIGHT OR WRONG?

Leann - posted on 02/02/2010 ( 46 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone, I appreciate you taking concern in my question....
In your opinion, and guided by what your knowledge of what the Word of God says,
do you think it is right or wrong for me to use my offering- money toward a faith- investment
in my 3 year old to go to Christian preschool?
It is SOO costly to send her to Christian school, but my husband & I - unshakingly believe in obeying Gods Word about giving Him the first fruits of our income (the first 10 percent of income, is mentioned in different places of scripture). But, we also believe that God commands that His people also give an offering into His storehouse, which of course would mean the Church.
Well, since this is an investment into the faith of my toddler, I was wondering your HONEST opinion, not sugar-coated, - if you think I should use what I have purposed in my heart to give as offering money, to go to tuition for my toddler to Christian preschool.
Please let me know exactly what God may be impressing on your heart.
Thank you for your time, Leann

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Liz - posted on 02/08/2010

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Ask God to supply your need and desire to send your little one to that school. I believe tithing is also part of your Faith in God to supply all your needs. I am no bible scholar but i know what it is like to tithe and not have. We gave one year more to God without my husband working than we did the last year he was. God Bless keep the Faith!

Paulette R - posted on 02/08/2010

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Good Morning

I BELIEVE THAT IF YOU ARE GIVING YOUR TITHES AS UNTO THE LORD ,YOU ARE OBEYING HIS WORD.

CHRIST HAS NOT SAID WHERE TO GIVE YOUR OFFERINGS .

YOUR OFFERING WOULD BE AN INVESTMENT TO THE KINGDON OF THE LORD FOR YOUR CHILD .

YOUR TRAINNING HER IN THE WAY OF THE LORD ,THAT IS GREAT .

I DO NOT ALWAYS GIVE MY OFFERING TO MY CHURCH ,AS LED I'LL INVEST IN HELPING OTHERS WHO HAVE A NEED .

Do for your child ,Jesus sees your heart ,be a blessing to your childs future .

Bless you

Paulette

Sara - posted on 02/06/2010

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My husband and I came to that same cross road 3 years ago and decided to enroll our son in christian private school. Honestly, it was the best decision we could have made.

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Victoria - posted on 02/10/2010

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Just some more food for thought, well for the spirit also.



We are told in scripture to bring in our whole tithes and offering. Bring in the tithes, NOT give a tithes. Tithes belong to God NOT us, bringing in the tithe is merely giving to God what belongs to God, just as paying taxes is "giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar".



When we give an offering (which we are also told comes into the storehouses of the LORD...The Church) that is the seed portion, the part that God will bless us in, the part that will produce a harvest into our lives 30, 60, 100 fold or any amount God chooses to pour into our lives. When there is NO seed there is NO harvest. Tithes is set out for us as tithes means 10%, to hold this back we rob God, we actually seal from God what belongs to him. When we hold back an offering, we we rob from ourselves, that which God would pour into our lives, if we would only plant the seed, give the offering. If we use our offing to benefit ourselves, our families well it really isn't an offering, it's just a payment to get whatever it is we wanted, but when we entrust our finances to God, He will bless us, He will provide for all our needs, not only that He also provides for our desires and wants too. The tithes belong to God, but God is WORTHY of the offering too. Some people think, that tithes was only a practice of the old testament, but that Jesus talks about it a lot in the new testament.



Lu 11:42 "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practised the latter without leaving the former undone.



It wasn't do one or the other,but do both.



Mk 12:41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."



She brought in her tithe & gave an offering.



2Co 8:19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honour the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help.



Tithes again is giving to God what belongs to God, Offerings is honouring the Lord.



Now I don't say all this to offend anyone, I trust I haven't, but I say this as I truly believe every word written in the bible from Genesis to Revelations to be the inspired word of God, and fully applicable for our lives to day. Gods says don't add to it and don't take away from it & Jesus said Himself, that He didn't come to abolish the law, but fulfill it. We don't live by the word to get saved, we live by the word because we are saved.



Be blessed this day in all you set your hands to do, and may God lead you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

[deleted account]

Is staying at home an option? God meant for the parents to be the sole educator of their children, in all things...including faith. Who cares the most for your little girl? Who knows all of her likes and dislikes? Who wants to see her suceed and ultimately come out from the world, and be a light for Christ? YOU!!! Just give it some thought...we are a low-income family as well, but we sacrifice other things so that I can stay home with our child, and eventually homeschool her. Hope this helped somewhat...:)

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I personally think:
1) keep tithing, an offering is above and beyond the 10%...
2) christian school for your children is best if you can afford it, but there's nothing wrong if your child can't/doesn't go...
3) if you strongly believe that you can keep tithing AND send your daughter to a christian school, I think you should! If that means you can't give extra in the offering plate or maybe not as often as you'd like or previous have. I have no doubt that our wonderful, gracious God would understand. You would be continuing to tithe and raising your child up right, teaching her in the ways of the Lord- in AND outside the home... And again the offering can become a little less or less often. I hope this helps! Good luck and may God bless you and your household!!!

Carolee - posted on 02/09/2010

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I think the better question is what is Wise instead of what is right or wrong.
God trusts YOU & wants you to make the decision that will bring your life great joy & a cheerful heart. He will rejoice in that! Be free in your giving & in your relationship with Him. We are NOT under the law! We have been offered a wonderful NEW covenant.
I love the freedom that we have. That is why when we give we can give cheerfully!
♥ Carolee @Shine Community

Beth - posted on 02/09/2010

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It is clear in scripture that your tithes are the first fruits, the 10% you mentioned, that goes to your LOCAL church that you attend. So, no, sending your three year old to preschool with that money would not be honoring God.

Geannie - posted on 02/09/2010

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There have been a LOT of good points made here. I've skimmed through them and it seems that, at least of the ones I read, most ppl are of a mind that the tithes & offerings should go to the church, after all, what IS the storehouse if not the church?!
I also realize how easy it is to rationalize these things. I have BTDT, so I am not making judgments here. I would caution you though, one of the posts I read (maybe there are others?) suggest that you should go ahead & use funds you've set aside as offering for the Christian schooling b/c perhaps God will use your child to reach others for Christ. I have to say, please don't use that as your rationale. First of all, when Jesus sent out the disciples to witness/preach, He #1-did not send children and #2-sent them, grown-men, out in pairs and NOT alone.
Keep this in mind. God never directs us to send our children out to, well, one could say to do OUR work. Children, while VERY able to understand enough about Jesus to accept Him themselves, are not in a position to be witnesses or to try "reaching the lost" as we think of doing this the way "adults" do.
Also, as at least one other person mentioned, please don't be fooled into thinking that sending your child to a Christian school equals a Christian upbringing (obviously, I'm not talking about church attendance, etc. as you've stated your involvement in church). What I'm trying to say, and from experience by the way, putting your kids in Christian school doesn't necessarily mean they will get a Christian education. After my eldest son's first year in public school kindergarten, then first grade in a Christian school, we decided to home school, just as a trial... and we never looked back. That son is now happily married to a wonderful Christian girl and working in church ministry. It's more important what YOU teach your child than what kind of classes you put them in. ;)
I hope God will give you a peace about this dilemma.

Tiffany - posted on 02/08/2010

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I think that God would want your daughter go to a good christian school and get to know God as you have been brought up in life. I don't think you are wrong for putting that money towards her schooling that is important and when she is done you will be able to start giving your 10% again.

Celicia - posted on 02/08/2010

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So, after reading your post about giving you 10% and being upset about not being able to help others, there is no greater way to help others than to support your church so that the Word of God taught. Don't fret about spending your money on extra things, it is actually not a wise idea to over use your money. You can't earn your way into heaven, and Jesus spoke about finances a lot in the Bible. He spoke a lot about tithing your first fruits then about taking care of your finances and keeping yourself out of debt. He doesn't want you to put yourself in debt. I always like to recommend books, and a wonderful one is "Your Money Map," by Howard Dayton. This book shows you the Biblical teachings and helps you learn how to apply them to daily life. It has been an amazing book for my husband and myself. After four years of scraping by all the time, we are finally reaching goals that this book sets. Once you can reach these goals, you will be able to give more freely and God will bless your income. Now, as for the school, if that is where God truly wants you to send your child, then He will provide the income. The government actually has a program that will give you money for you to put your child through private school. It will not cover the full tuition, but it does cover the cost that the state would pay for your child to go to public school, so it's a pretty big chunk of money. If you need more info on that, send me a message and I will get as many details about it as I can...Just, please, don't feel obligate to give money outside of your tithe. God wants it to be joyous, and tithing is the most important part. If you want to put money toward the homeless, just remember, your tithe already does that, along with many other ministries that you may neglect to think about. I really do challenge you to get that book and read what Howard has learned from the Lord. I truly believe it will set you financially free and that you will have more income then you thought possible.

Jessica - posted on 02/08/2010

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honestly the way i was always taught give what you have if its not much the Lord will take care of it. i was told my a sunday school teacher once she only had a dollar to her name and she put it in the offering plate. later on that day the Lord had blessed her with money for gas. honestly in my opinion if its meant for you toddler to go to a christian school there will be a way for her to go! if your really worried about it. Pray about it. hope it helps :)

Steffinie - posted on 02/08/2010

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I believe that if you give to the Lord he will give back to you. If you give your Tithes faithfully believe me the Lord will make a way for your child to go to Christian pre-school, just keep the faith.

[deleted account]

I honestly don't see anything wrong with using your offering to send your child to Christian preschool. I would definetly pray about it and ask God's direction in what He knows to be best for your child before you decide. For all we know God could be using him at regular preschool to spread His word. God will make a way, IF it's meant to be.

Sondr - posted on 02/08/2010

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Thanks for responding. All your giving time or money should be for the glory of God, and he will provide. However, everyone's answer won't be the same. Individuals need to be still and listen for God's response. God allows us to be in situations that help us grow, but he also allows us free will. We give because we love God. He ask that we give our time, our money and ourselves. If you are only giving your money, that's not what scripture teaches. Read the parable about the rich young ruler; in the end God wanted him to give of himself - willingly- to commit himself totally. No money in the world guarantees salvation.

Casi - posted on 02/08/2010

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I definitely understand how difficult it is to come by money but your tithe should be reserved for God and he will provide.

Sondr - posted on 02/08/2010

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What a great question! There is no right or wrong. However before we get to scripture, it is very honorable that you want to provide your child with the best possible education in a Christian environment.The first thing you need to consider( prayerfully) are your monthly needs being met, and are you giving as you prosper. I Corinthians 16:2 and 2 Corinthians 9:7, do not give any specific amount. Remember we now live according to the Christian Dispensation, not the Mosaic dispensation(which is what you are referring too! ) it is however a great way to have a standard by which to give. There are many ways to invest in your child's Christian education. You are their number one teacher, and cheerleader. You have to study to know how to lead them, irregardless if they attend a secular school or not.2 Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 6:4) If it is not feasible to send them to a Christian school, be sure you are involved as much as possible. Know the principal, know the teachers, know what's going on in your school community. My children never attended Christian school, and they received a great education, they are happy, healthy and all have committed themselves to the Lord!. My children also had great Bible teachers . I was involved totally; volunteered, served on the PTSA and supported their events. You should be involved @ whatever school your child attends. My youngest son now attends a Christian college in Arkansas. You give your "firstfruit" , your child by first following the scripture yourself, and being the best example. Remember, there are people that love God as much as you do, and cannot even consider sending their child to a private school, but they still have an obligation to raise them according to the will of God. There are no scriptures that mandate us to send our children to specific types of schools. You can always purchase Christian children's music, nursery books as alternative for @ home study materials & for fun and learning. May God continue to bless you in your journey to do his will. S Wilson

Stephanie - posted on 02/07/2010

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..hmm for one thing the bible does not say anyone Has to give an offering. it is the offering of the heart that God care about. but if it is put on Your heart to take You daughter to a difrent(more expencive) school then do so. God will aways care for us/You. the church in a whole is not going to weap for the lack of afew hundred dollors. God will bring threw brothers in Christ as you and your family are faithful.
..Do not feel bad becouse someone else says that You(Your family what ever way said) should give 10%.. sure its in the bible that they did, but Jesus does tell us about a widow(no income) gave everything to the temple. it is the giving of the heart that God care about. like in the story of Cain and Able. it wasn't the gift but the heart behind it that God cared about.
Give what You feel led to and let others old their tung about what is between you(Your family) and God.

Andrea - posted on 02/07/2010

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Another quick note , I would simply sugest that you may not want just people's "opinions" if that is all you are getting then you will never find the right answer.God's Word alone will give you the answer than is true. ( not man\woman's opinions.) I suspect you all ready know this though, so I thought I would just put it out there.

Andrea - posted on 02/07/2010

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I misunderstood this the first time I read it, and missed the offering part. I thought you meant the actual ten percent tithe that a Christian ought to give to God. I guess I am so used to referring to it as our tihes and offering together that they have almost beome synonimous to me, but I don't believe that the offering part of your giving would be wrong to use for your child's Christian education. The principal of tithing is a requirement by God. Offerings are an expression of our love to Godshowing our desire to go over and above what he reqires because we love him...(your Family is to be a first priority ( after God obviously) , so giving your Child a godly education is one of the greatest statements and gifts of love that you could give back to God. Also, tithing is not simply a monetary principle as most people focus on. It also includes the firstfruits of your all... your time, talents, etc. If you and tithing and also making the effort to give an offering, than obviously the Lord will bless your obedience to His Word, and provide the needed funds for you to tithe, teach(your child) and give more as an offering, just maybe not as much as previously.

Blessings for looking for the answer in the right palce(in the light of God's Word!) If any advice that you receive on here (including mine!:P) does not line up with what the Bible says, than throw it out of your mind, because people are all capable of error,God is not. If you follow what his word says, than you will not make a mistake. God bless.

Barbara - posted on 02/07/2010

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I was 35 years old when i became a Christian, divorced mother of one boy, living paycheck to paycheck. My son had been a latch key kid, I worked Downtown, took the bus, so was gone at least 10 hours per day, no Christian famiy. God put me in an awesome church of Godly people and i was encouraged to trust God and tithe. I obeyed, tithed and God blessed me and my son with everything we needed.....it seemed I ran into sales and God richly blessed us. We had everythingWE NEEDED. I felt the Lord ask me to put my son in a little Christian school and I trusted Him for the funds which he supplied over and above the need. As time went on I was able to also support missionaries and my son not only went through 5th-12th grade, but also Bible college and a Christian college and became a Biology high school teacher in the Christian school he went to. Trust God, obey Him and be faithful, and if He wants your children to go to Christian schoo,, He will provide. I have been a Christian for 28 years and I marvel as i look back over all the provisions and blessings He has supplied me. My son married a wonderfu Christian girl and they have chosen for her to stay home and raise the children. With God's help and direction, they paid off their bills and live within a budget and have more than enough. Our God is good and powerful....honor Him FIRST and He will bless you abundantly.

Stacey - posted on 02/06/2010

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I think God has already answered this for you in that you don't have a peace about doing it and are asking for opinions.

[deleted account]

I know it's difficult, but I think that you should try to give your first fruits to God, as you have been and pay for his tuition from the rest of your funds. God WILL be faithful in providing...

Karen - posted on 02/06/2010

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I misunderstood your question at first... I see what you mean now. You are still giving your tithes to the church. Whatever you give on top of that is at your discretion. I would just try to be sensitive to what God asks of you, but I don't think it would be wrong to use part of it for sending your daughter to a Christian school. It is still going to a church right?

The Bible says that tithes are to be used to support the pastor of the church. Offering is supposed to go toward the work of God for the church to use to help people in need. I disagree that you can take tithe money to help people in need. I believe offering money would be fine to use for helping others with a need. That is what God wants us to do. That is my opinion. I sure hope it helps! God bless!

Amy - posted on 02/06/2010

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The tithe in the only thing that God says to test him on. I guarantee that if you are faithful in giving your 10% back to Him and pray regarding your situation. If it is His will, believe me, He will make it happen for you.

Carol - posted on 02/06/2010

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Leann! What an incredible witness you were to me as I read your question and all the many Reponses! I admire your faith in God and your desire to find clarity in areas that one may have a tendency to tweak or fanangle around! I know you did not intend to do this, but you have been an inspiration to me! You have done exactly what God wants of us! Way to not succumbing to our own selfish desires and then not justifying it with an excuse tweaked by scripture! For that you should be very proud of! I am sure our Heavenly Father is! I, as the same as you and most others stand firm on first fruits and tithing.I am one of those fools who tried to adjust this to suit my greed and selfishness! All along knowing better! I believe you have your answer or very soon will! God will bless you in your faithfulness!
Carol

Marge - posted on 02/06/2010

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I believe you should tithe to God first. The offering that some churches require you to give for extra things is in the believers hands. I feel it if ok to use this offering for your childs christian preschool. As a grandma my desire is to give our grandchildren a Christian school education. God Bless You. Everything is in the believers hands that God gave you.

Danielle - posted on 02/06/2010

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Hi Leann! I see where you are coming from. Our son is in a private Christian school and it IS sooo expensive, but well worth it.



In honesty, continue to tithe to your church. If you trust in God, and opey His commandments, He will give you the desires of your heart.



If you sow your 10%, then He will bless your 90%. God WILL supply all your needs. If you put Him first, He will put you first!! :)



I hope this helps! God bless!

Danielle

Doris - posted on 02/05/2010

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Leann thank you for challenging us all! After reading the responses from your question, I was sure that you would take this one back to GOD in prayer. As a Christian under the Baptist Doctrine, God only require the 10%. Of this percent, it is then divided amongest the "three tables of the church" - The Pastor, The Poor, & The Church. What we give outside of the 10% is the offering. If I understood your question correctly, you were wondering if you took the OFFERING to put towards your child's tuition. You trust God in your decision and ask Him to search your heart in your giving. God already understand your situation and what He has designed for your child. As long as you are continuing with your Tithes, know that you are obedient to His commandment. Now in Malachi 3, it is your tithes that go into the "storehouse" and the "windows of heaven are open unto you" (the blessings from God).

There have been times that I have actually had to take tithes to buy food for my grandchildren (a whole story for another day), or buy shoes for one of them and went to church feeling bad until I talked to my Pastor who instructed me in this matter.

May I also add that because you are a low-income family, most states have grants and/or scholarships available to assist with tuition. My oldest daughter put two grandsons thru a Catholic school but applying for grants and scholarships and volunteering her time at the school. One is now married and on his own and the other is a freshman at Tennessee State and she continues to volunteer at the school. So know that I will pray for you, but I believe in my heart that you already have the answer.

Blessings on Your Day!

Suzanne - posted on 02/05/2010

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I BELIEVE YOU NEED TO BE TRUE TO WHAT THE WORD SAYS... TITHE 10 % OF YOUR INCOME THEN OFFERING... IF YOU FEEL "FUNNY" ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING THEN MAYBE YOU NEED TO ALLOW GOD TO "TALK TO YOU" AND GUIDE YOU TO WHAT IS OK.

April - posted on 02/05/2010

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I believe that your tithe should be given gladly, God wants our first fruits, not our leftovers after everything else. I also send my children to a school that is connected with our church, so the congregation supports the school with its tithe. God also tells us to "train a child in the way he should go", giving us as parents the primary responsibility. While sunday school, church, and faith based education are important and a wonderful tool, it is still up to us as parents. I guess what I'm getting at is I think you should give your first fruits to church, and pray on how to give your child the spiritual guidance that they need. God provides for our needs!

Leann - posted on 02/04/2010

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I know that this was a tricky question, I appreciate your thoughts. My grand mom said that it is really great that I fear God enough to consider these things so carefully, and that I am doing this with a sincere heart, and that God honors that.
She said that - raising our children in the Lord is a ministry. And, yes it does start at home, I agree with what the other ladies are saying too on that. But the question I have, to a lot of people is~ what is the difference in placing your offerings (besides the tithe) - into a youth ministry, say at church, and investing in to your own child/children's faith. Isn't it like the same thing? But, I did make me think about my inner motives, and I will definately be praying about that. Boy, this was a good discussion! I know that sometimes the Bible's answers are straight forward, and others are not specific, and we need to really dig and study what God really expects from us! Thank you for all your time and effort, ladies on this one! May God bless you!

[deleted account]

Leann,
I think it sounds great. If that is what God is leading you to do then go for it! It sounds like you have really thought this through, prayed sincerely and asked for counsel.

Just a warning: my nephew goes to a Christain school run through a church and my sister in law ends up paying above and beyond tuition for uniforms, fundraisers and other things. Privatly run schools are often low on funds and parents have to pick up the slack in other ways besides tuition. Not saying that should deter you. But make a little leway for that in your budget.

Maggie - posted on 02/04/2010

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perhaps you can work at the Christian school and that would lower the tuition for your children instead of receiving a salary (like an aide, secretary, etc.)

Ninfa - posted on 02/04/2010

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Hi Leann,

When God said give Him the 10% of your income( Malachi 3), it's not that He nor His church "actually" needs it because He is the creator and owner of the world and everything in it that He can support His church by His power. But He also added, "try me, if I will not fill your storehouse..." which means that God is actually checking your priority in life, is it Him or your family? He is also testing how much faith you have that He can provide for your needs if you obey Him and give Him what he rightfully owns. Remember, everything that we have comes from Him so if you surrender your life and everything that you have to Him, He will honor your faithfulness and submission and pour ot His blessings on you and your family, providing for what you need - " overflowing, pressed down and shaken together..." Keep up the faith!

Keisha - posted on 02/04/2010

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Leann, I believe wholeheartedly that you can send your child to Christian preschool. I am proud that you are a tithing family. Continue to do so, but no where in the bible does it say we have to give all of our tithes and offerings to our home church. God wants us to give back ten percent, yes, and the place that makes the most sense is our home church, because we as a body of this building need to help take care of it. However, we can tithe and provide offering anywhere. We are not to judge what people do with the money, God is the only judge. Our job is to provide a blessing into the lives of others. If you tithe at your church I don't see any problem with you using what you would have normally used as additional offering as an investment into your child's education. You can do both, tithe and use your offering elsewhere. I tithe everywhere, not just my home church. I tithe with my time, with my money, I give offering to charities, to those in need, to other churches. All of these things are considered tithes and offerings. Pray on it, listen and wait for God to speak before you move. Give Him the desires of your heart and He will most certainly make a way. I hope this helps.

Leann - posted on 02/04/2010

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Hi Sara,
Yeah, it's not to boast or any thing. I just was giving just my 10% at one time, and kind of being exact about it, and stingy. And, then I would whine and complain that I wasn't able to help any one. I believe that our Tithe should go directly into the Church - for the church utility bills, mortgage payment, ect., to keep the church running smoothly, and also to support the pastor and his family financially, esp. if he is a full-time pastor, and his family needs supported some way. And, then the offerings should go toward missionary support, youth programs, church project, but can also be given toward the poor, needy, widow/widowers, young mothers who need things for baby, ect., or to help someone in some way. But, then God started convicting my heart, that the Word of God says, to bring the tithe AND offering in to the Storehouse/His House. So, I committed a certain percent of my income to just offering on top of tithe- and I have been so much happier to be able to help someone in need spontaneously when it comes up!
But, I see the need for Hannah to have her faith developed, even more than at home alone. We do sing praises and worship songs at home, and talk about God, read Bible stories and pray, we do all that- but I would like her to go to preschool, and get a combination of learning colors, shapes, letters, numbers, with God incorporated into their day. And, this one I checked out, has God and Jesus as the Center of every thing, and it is directly affiliated with the Church - but it is also a school of Pre-K - Kindergarden- 8th grade. And they can have the influence of other kids that are being raised by Christian families as well, faith-based teachers, and also get to get out and have field trips together, as well as a full-gym and outside playground. All around, it seems right, and all in all, it is going back in to the Church. What do you think about that? I did talk to my grand mom about it last night, and she said that it is a really good church- she and her daughters went there yrs ago as their home church, and that this is offering money would be going toward a good cause- investing into a SOUL for Christ; it is HELPing someone in their faith - walk with God. I am pretty convinced that I would be doing the right thing, but let me know what you think- I do appreciate any opinions that come in. Thanks. :)

Rachel - posted on 02/03/2010

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Interesting question and not an easy one to answer!

It is always a good thing to invest in our children and their spiritual development. I always support a family looking at their schooling options, including private Christian schools and homeschooling.

That said, I also believe in giving of our first fruits, specifically income, to God (though my views on the tithe itself differs from mainstream churches, for various reasons, including study of God's word, that are not important to discuss here).

Now, some people will say that the tithe must go to one's church. However, others believe that the tithe belongs to God period and then pray for God's guidance for where to disburse those funds. I belong to the latter group, but also believe that all of our money belongs to God and that we should pray over all of it and spend it in ways that will honor him.

So, here's a question: Do you believe that God has told you to send your child to a Christian preschool? If so, do you believe God has instructed you to do this with the funds you set aside for Him? Or, is this something that is important to you (understandably so) and that you are trying to make happen by justifying spending your tithe on your child's spiritual development?

If it were me, and God had not told me to send my child to a Christian school, I would not do so for preschool. I feel the cost benefit compared to what I can provide at home is not worth it. Now, looking at full-time school is another matter and if I'm not able to homeschool then I would want my child to attend a faith-based school that matches my beliefs and has a strong academic record. This is because my child will be in school so much longer and his/her mind and morals will be shaped more during this developmental stage due to the age and subjects being covered. Preschool is not a significant time sink (since it is usually only a few hours, a few days per week) nor are they covering subjects that are likely to be at odds with my faith. Therefore, the greatest source of influence on my child is still likely to be me (even though I am not a stay-at-home mom) and my husband.

Beyond the issue of the value of Christian preschool (which you actually didn't ask about, so sorry if I overstepped by bringing this up) is the question of whether it is appropriate to use an offering typically set aside for God for your child's spiritual development. My honest opinion is that this is a fine line between justification of satisfying our wants versus truly honoring God with our offering. I believe that a gift should never be about ourselves; this belief extends to the idea that my offerings to God should not benefit me or my family personally. The gift is to God and to be used for His purposes. If I allow myself to spend my gift on something that benefits me or my family, it becomes a slippery slope to where the gift is no longer a gift to God at all. In your situation, the funds could become something for your child instead of something for God, even though your goal is to bring your child to God.

I'm not sure how applicable this example is, but an example that comes to mind from the old testament is that, when a parent needed to make a sacrifice for the child (such as for a firstborn son) the sacrifice was in addition to the normal tithe. Again, this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but it is one example of precedent where the dedication of the child or an offering to cover a child's sins is not covered by the normal tithe/offering (keeping in mind that the tithe was not just money in the old testament). And so the argument COULD be made that God expects us to raise our children in ways that honor Him and prepare them for His service without using our tithes and offerings to do so.

It is indisputable that it is our duty to raise our children and educate them about God to the best of our ability. The question becomes: what does that statement mean and how do we go about fulfilling this duty? I believe that our children are gifts from God and that He has given them to us for a reason, that we parents have something these children need, and that God will provide for these children. I feel it is my job to make sure I am doing all in my power to not get in the way of God's purpose, such as prayerfully considering where all earnings are spent so that I'm not wasting God's provision, praying for my children daily, exposing them to God's Word (and Bible stories) early, making time to talk about God with my children, learning ways to help them develop good character, and so forth. If I'm doing all these things and still can't afford to send them to private school or homeschool, then I have to trust that God will make a way for my children to be a light in public school. Obviously we are careful with our children, but there will be things outside of our control and that is the time and place where our faith is tested regarding our children. Ultimately, our children are in God's hands - do we trust God with them? If God doesn't provide the funds for your child to go to private school and if He doesn't instruct you to use your tithe/offering for your child's schooling, will you do your best to maintain a positive influence at home and then trust God with your child? This may be a testing of your faith rather than a real issue of the right use of God's money.

Obviously, I can't tell you what you should and shouldn't do. What I can do is give you some more food for thought and some possible perspective. In summary, if you believe God is telling you to spend the money on your child's faith-based schooling rather than to give it to a ministry, then do what you honestly believe God is telling you do to. If you feel this is more subjective, then think about your motives and pray for clarification, wisdom, and discernment for what God may be trying to do in your life and in your heart. Sometimes these things come up because there is a deeper thing God wants to touch. I hope that is helpful! :)

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So you are giving your tithe but you have a certain amount over that 10% that you normally would give to the church or ministry? Just clarifying. I think it would be okay for some of the extra to go towards Christian education if that is where God is leading you.

But be aware that a Christian education is not as important as teaching your child about Christ at home. My husband and I were both in public school all the way, but our parents taught us well. We plan to do the same with our children. But there is nothing wrong with putting your child in a Christian school, especially if that is they way God is leading you!

I think you will make the right decision. You are praying and open and God will lead you in the right direction!

Leann - posted on 02/03/2010

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Thank you ladies, very much for voicing your opinions, I will think on and pray about every thing you wrote. :)

Leann - posted on 02/03/2010

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Yes, thank you for the reply.
I still plan to give my tenth of my income (tithe) in to my home church. And, also try to help give some offerings to some of the church projects (youth room project going on right now), and maybe missions, ect. , but I had purposed in my heart a certain amount, besides the tithe, and THAT I thought might be okay to invest into my daughters faith, at Christian - school. We are a low- income family, and do all that we can to take care of ourselves and children, so we cannot afford for more to come out for this tuition. That is my concern, I keep feeling drawn toward this church/preschool for Hannah, and since all - in - all, it's going back into the "Storehouse", I thought maybe this is an exception. Please, let me know what you think... I really don't know exactly what the money goes toward, answering the other question you had. Hope to hear from you soon.

Heather - posted on 02/03/2010

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I need to tell you that it is the parents job to raise the children to know the Lord. It is the parents job to educate them in God's Word. Now is it wrong to send our children to Christian schools? Absolutely not! Part of our jobs as parents is choosing where our children get educated. But they do learn the most at home. Many parents choose homeschooling for this reason, as it is cheaper and you are more in control of what they are learning. But if you can afford to send her to a Christian preschool, there is nothing wrong with that.

Before investing in a school, I would check to see what the money went towards. I guess that my question is if you are going to put all of your money into the school, or if you are still planning a regular tithe too? That would make a difference.

Andrea - posted on 02/03/2010

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I would say you always give God your first fruits...don't deviate from that EVER. God will provide for you and your family to full fill His will. Pray about it, then pray more...pray for His will and He will show you the way. IMHO don't take away from the first fruits you offer God.

Victoria - posted on 02/03/2010

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I honestly believe that the Whole tithe & the offering should go to God. And that when you hold God in the highest place in your finances He will provide all the other needs & wants we have. We couldn't afford to send our 3 daughters to Christian school, but we always give our tithe & offering to our home Church. Well we trusted God & He had another plan to send our kids to Christian school (we still can't afford it, But it is paid for in full) and we don't pay a cent & we never hold back on our tithe & offering. The faith part is believing God will meet our every need, but when we rob from God (the tithe & the offering) He has no seed to work with, (and God works within His word) using the seed time and harvest principle. He mandated that we bring in the whole tithe & offering through the priesthood (today that would be your home Church) and He promises that if we are faithful to do that, He will bless us so much that we will not be able to contain it, now that could be with finances or with needs & wants met via other means (someone else blessing you). Trust God with all you heart, but don't rob from him, as it also say that that will be met with a curse, I've seen people hold back their tithe & offering to do other things and they always end up in a worse financial state afterward. God means to bless us, but He's a God of His word & will therefore bless us in light of the decrees He has set in place through it.

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I believe that you can use your tithes for those in need, like someones light bill that will be cut off, As long as they are not not able to pay their bill do to drugs alchol and stuff like that. In the main it does need to go to church though. But I do not feel that your tithes can be used for school tuition. That is not what tithing is about. Tithes are used to help the poor, widowed, fatherless, and lost to come to Christ. I understand the desire to send your child to a christian school I would love to get mine out of public school, but at the same time if i raise him right and he shows those values at school them maybe some child who has not heard of Jesus will hear it from him. I pray protection over him everyday and have to trust God. If he wants me to send him to private school then he will provide the way to do it, with out me taking from my tithes and offering.

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