The Desire to Possess
“We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil.”
The second force that makes youth prime candidates to follow the wrong crowd is the desire to possess. All men want to own, to possess. This longing for things is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Tim. 6:10). It is not possessions that destroy, but the love of them. Paul warns us of the destruction that awaits those who fall into the trap of foolish and hurtful lusts (1 Tim. 6:9).
This force drives youth, and its power often overwhelms them. I have seen children driven to stealing because they wanted shoes like all the other kids.
How can you explain this principle in the home?
First, make sure you don’t emphasize the importance of money, possessions, or career-mindedness in the home. Few Christian youth are pursuing Christian ministry. Why? They are following moms and dads who are following Mammon! Homes where dad is always preoccupied with making money, buying a new car, or getting a larger boat or where mom spends her time shopping to keep up with the latest styles—these do little to dull covetous appetites.
Second, stress the value of sacrifice and submission. Hold up as examples those who gave up things of this world in order to serve God—think of Moses, Paul the Apostle, or more contemporary figures like George Mueller William Borden.
Third, be an example of sacrifice yourself. Don’t flaunt possessions, and don’t honor those who do. Warn against the excesses of money. Teach your children the corrupting influences of money. Take on special ministries that require sacrifice and faith to accomplish.
Exalt Christian ministry above all treasure. Encourage your children to seek ministry rather than money in their future.
Final thought: A parent consumed with possessions will produce children consumed with possessions.