Generational Stewardship

Two young girls looking at a book together in a field

Helping Children Be Thankful

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 15, 2020

Almost every parent has been there: pressuring their young child to write the obligatory thank-notes to Aunt Charlotte and the next-door neighbor after Christmas or their birthday. But does sending those notes under mild duress make your kids really feel grateful? The fact is: we cannot make children be thankful. We can only make them…

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Remember Who You Are

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 30, 2019

It was thrilling to see the new version of the movie The Lion King! It was a whole, new experience with real animals (and evidently very sophisticated computer work): a you-are-there experience. I don’t know if it’s because this version was based on the screenplay, but it contained several have-to-reflect-on-it adult one-liners. I mean “adult”…

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Christian Family Week

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 6, 2019

Today marks the beginning of Christian Family Week. That can be a limited thing if it brings up a certain U.S. stereotype – perhaps a Leave It to Beaver image of a stay-at-home mom, successful-gone dad and 2.2 kids in a 1950s white suburb. But these days families come in all types and sizes, like…

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“Teach Your Parents Well”

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 12, 2018

I remember the good-natured difference of opinion my dad and I had in my teen years about “nature versus nurture.” He would say that a person’s good traits were “in your genes,” and I would say, “It’s how you are raised.” – But when it comes to generosity, scientific studies have increasingly found that it’s…

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Move Over Millennials: The iGens Are Here

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 30, 2017

That’s right: move over, Millennials! Teens and their younger siblings (born between 1995 and 2012) are showing some very different attitudes and behaviors from their slightly older cousins.1 Psychologist Jean Twenge has analyzed four national mega-data surveys of 11 million teens since the 1960s, comparing this generation with the responses of Millennials, GenXers and older…

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Helping Children to Forgive

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | September 25, 2017

Forgiving someone can be one of the greatest forms of giving. Writing about it in my new book, Growing Generous Souls, I’m reminded of how difficult it can be, but also how life-changing and rewarding it is for both the receiver and the giver. Above all, forgiveness is a process, and loads of studies have…

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A Tapestry of Grace

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 26, 2017

In a few months I will go to my fiftieth high school reunion. This is a courageous step, since I haven’t attended any of the previous reunion events along the way. But I’ve been curious to see what my classmates have done in their lives ever since graduation. Thankfully the organizers set up a website,…

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Millennial Givers

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 15, 2017

Thanks to Gary Hoag at, 1 I learned about some key findings from “The Generosity Project” 2 sponsored by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. The report is based on an online survey of 16,800 givers to non-church Christian ministries. Twenty-two percent of those were Millennials, ages eighteen through thirty-four. I emphasize Millennials’ participation…

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Contagious Generosity

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 9, 2015

What an act of generosity! Our friends were coming up to this year as their fiftieth anniversary. Having lived in Australia and the United States over the years, they had formed strong friendships with a great number of people. So they decided to spend their special anniversary money, and more, on bringing the two communities…

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Giving Simply

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 7, 2015

“I never carry my checkbook to church. Ninety percent of the time I make financial giving decisions, it’s in front of the computer monitor. How can I even participate in supporting the church financially when you don’t have online giving or even automatic transfer?” The young woman looked around at the room filled with stewardship…

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