“How can we encourage our youth to be spiritually-minded in this age of materialism and convenience?”
First, don’t spoil them. Giving them everything they want, or nearly everything, or pushing things on them they haven’t even asked for will create a materialistic mindset. Waiting on them hand and foot will make tyrants out of them.
Second, make them work. Teach them to do chores and generally help out around the house. Sometimes this means foregoing play time with friends. Make them get up and get going with the day (Proverbs 26:14).
Third, and this is an overall point, children must have the truth instilled in their hearts from a very young age (Ephesians 6:4). “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1). They need to be instructed in the pitfalls of materialism (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Pointing to the wrecked lives of the “stars” in our culture will help to impress on them the emptiness of riches for the sake of riches.
Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, we need to shun materialism and not shirk our duties in this age of convenience. Setting the right example for our children will put an indelible mark on their psyche that will stay with them the rest of their lives. If we are not doing right, we cannot expect them to do right.
We have an uphill task in raising our children. We must approach it humbly, with much prayer and patience. Others who have gone through it before can help us to avoid some of the bigger pitfalls and give wise counsel (Proverbs 15:22). Let us have conﬁdence we can do what the Lord requires of us and that our children will be good people.
Steven F. Deaton