You actively shape your child’s worldview every single day. Are you being intentional to shape your children’s view of the world through the lens of God and the Bible?
Now, we are not talking about sheltering our children and keeping them away from the world and current culture, although it’s tempting at times. We are talking about intentionally and pro-actively walking your children through real-life challenges with the Bible in your hand and the Holy Spirit in your heart. That can take a lot of work on your part, parents, but it is worth it!
The trouble is, we, as parents, may or may not have a Biblical worldview ourselves to start from. And we will naturally pass down the belief system that we already have. So, really, the first step to intentionally passing down a Biblical worldview to our children, is to make sure that we have a Biblical worldview ourselves. Do you filter everything through God’s Word, which is living and active?
Discovering your own worldview is difficult because it is so subconscious. Your worldview was formed when you were a child and has informed the way you see and interact with the world ever since then. There will have been moments and times when you have adjusted that worldview, as you matured and grew in knowledge and experience, but the foundation is going to generally come from your family upbringing, for better or worse. If you had a challenging or abusive childhood, counseling may be necessary to help you process and deal with those experiences in a mature, biblical way. But in general, you can ask yourself some questions to reveal what kind of worldview you were given from your parents:
Think back on your own childhood and journal your answers to these questions:
- Did your family have a “motto” or saying that you heard often growing up? What values does that motto lift up as sacred?
- What words or phrases did you hear a lot growing up? What do they say about what your parents held as important?
- When hard or challenging times struck, what fears came to the surface? When something is threatened, our fears can reveal where our hope and trust really lie.
- How did your parents’ actions align to their words? Did they? Our actions reveal our true beliefs. As a child, you naturally mimic what you see, not necessarily what you hear.
A few more leading questions to consider:
- What do you think your parents required most from you? Good behavior? Good grades? Wealth or the ability to create wealth? Accumulation of fancy things? Staying youthful / strong? Having a respectable career? Obedience unto the Lord?
- Were results emphasized over effort in school or other activities?
- How often was prayer the first resort when hard times struck?
- How often was the scripture, God, Jesus, and the gospel brought up in day-to-day conversation? Was it applied to real-life situations you were in? Did they coach you how to learn what God had to say about your situation or did they follow the world’s patterns/advice?
Then, think about your parenting of your children. Does it look a lot alike or a lot different from the way your parents parented you? How is it similar? How is it different? Journal your answers to some of these questions:
- What words or phrases do you tend to use a lot with your children? What do those words or phrases communicate that you value or hold in high esteem as a parent?
- What behavior issues do you seem to be tackling with your children over and over again? How are you currently handling those behavior issues?
- How often are you pointing your children to the Bible to find the answers to their real-life situations?
- When you read the news, watch television, read a book, or talk to a friend, are you actively comparing what is being said to what God says? How are you teaching your children to do the same?
- If you were your child, based on your words and actions (look at your list!), what would your child assume is the most important thing that you desire for them and value in their life?
Now, you might be looking at your journal page and be angry at your parents or disappointed in your own parenting skills. But, remember, our deeply held, often unconscious, beliefs and worldview dictate our actions. Our beliefs dictate our actions! Unless your parents took an objective look at their own worldview, they were only passing down what was passed down to them. Look at your answers to the questions and confess where you have sinned, strayed or made mistakes. And pray for God to change your beliefs, your heart and mind, and your worldview to better reflect His Truth. This is a prayer He wants to answer! And then, through the help of the Holy Spirit, let’s do the hard work, to shift those beliefs to stand more firmly on His Word. Here is where you are pro-actively changing your worldview to create new blessings to be passed down to the next generation! You are doing worth-while work: work that will impact future generations as you pass down a biblical worldview to your children!