Caring for God’s world is part of mankind’s call to subdue the earth given in the book of Genesis and is a mindset that we ought to be instilling in our children. Included in this is a proper regard for others’ possessions, an understanding of what happens to things thrown away, and whether clothes get hung up.
Your child will buy into the crass consumerism of our culture, whereby the world is used for their own satisfaction without regard for its care… unless you are purposefully modeling and instructing them in a different way to think. Here is a simple, effective test to see how you are doing in this category. When you are outside your house and there is trash that has been thrown into your yard, are your children more likely to ignore it or pick it up? Do they put candy wrappers in their pocket when no trash receptacle is around, or do they throw them on the ground? Do they respond to your requests to clean up personal belongings at home with, “It’s not mine,” or do they pick it up?
Disinterest in taking care of this world leads to a cavalier spirit toward buildings, backpacks, and belongings of others. It will be “no-big-deal” if the paper towel doesn’t make it into the trash can. “So what” if I scratch into the paint of the restroom wall? “It’s not mine” will produce a mindset that looks out only for what is of personal interest to ME !
Christ gave us this world to take care of and enjoy. We must continually hold out for that truth which makes this important to our children.