2. Encourage teens to sow seeds for the fruits of patience.
Studies have shown that many teens can become addicted to their phones and the satisfaction they get from using them.
But why? Why is screen addiction such an epidemic among our teens?
New research has revealed that the ping of a new text message or buzz of an incoming call can trigger a dopamine drip in the brain similar to what happens when someone gets a hit from a drug. It feeds the individual’s desire for connection, and that momentary high and those that follow is what can eventually lead to addiction if not managed properly.
Screen addiction develops from the instant gratification smart phones provide. Teens crave instant gratification because they are constantly being told what they cannot have in life.
Smart phones can offer access to information, entertainment, and social connection that teens don’t have to work for or even wait for. They provide a certain sense of empowerment our teens may not get anywhere else, and that feels good.
Part of what we need to be encouraging and developing in our teens, however, is delayed gratification, which comes through patience.
What does it look like to wait on the Lord? (Psalms 40:1)
How does God patiently sow and prune your life to bear fruit over time? (John 15:1-8)
What blessings must we wait for, and why is waiting worth it? (Isaiah 30:18)
We live in a have-it-your-way and have-it-now society. Screen addiction is only a symptom of a much larger issue. People refuse to wait.
Patience, however, is a spiritual fruit that needs time to grow (Galatians 5:22-25). Does constant screen exposure encourage patience or foster anxiety, depression, and impatience?
Let teens answer that question by examining the fruit of their phone habits for themselves (Galatians 6:7, Luke 6:45).
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