Have you ever wondered why you see things a certain way while someone else can see the same thing and interpret it differently? Something you see as exciting or adventurous, someone else sees as scary and dangerous. A lot of that has to do with the worldview.
The dictionary defines “worldview” as “a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world.”
Basically, it is the lense through which you see the world: your immediate circumstances and the world around you as well as how you interrupt the meaning of those things.
Your worldview influences your thoughts and emotions. Your worldview influences your relationships and your opinions. Your worldview influences your beliefs and morals. Your worldview influences your actions. Your worldview even impacts the way you are raising your children: How you see the world will shape how they see the world.
As believers in Jesus Christ, raising our children with a Biblical worldview needs to be one of our top priorities in our parenting! But how do we do that? And what is a Biblical worldview?
Studies show that your worldview is largely shaped between the ages of 18mo-13yo. Much of how you are interpreting the world around you today was formed when you were a child. Your own childhood experiences, the way your parents raised you, who your friends were, what TV shows you watched, and what cultural events happened during these pivotal years all influence the way we see the world.
Worldview is shaped by parental influence, media, and current culture.
Back to the example of one person seeing something as exciting and adventurous and another person seeing it as scary and dangerous. I see this play out almost every time I take my children to a playground: some kids climb up high and try new things with little encouragement from their parents. Then I see other children of the same age too afraid to even try the same task. I would suggest that while some of this does come down to personality and past experiences, a parent’s influence is greater. Whether the parents are frightful or nervous influences their child’s perception of the challenge. But if the parent confidently coaches their child through the challenge, the child will gain confidence to continue to try other challenges. This is the same whether the challenge is a climbing wall at a playground, a dentist appointment, or heading into a new situation like a new school. The parent’s worldview will greatly influence their child’s perception of each challenge.
A Biblical worldview means that it is God and God’s Word (the Bible) that is the primary influence our thoughts, our emotions, and our actions on a day-to-day basis. It would mean opening up the Bible to find answers to everyday issues, including fear of new challenges like the ones mentioned above. It means letting God have preeminence in every area of our lives.
In the playground example above, were you more the hesitant parent, afraid of your child getting hurt or were you the confident parent, coaching your child to take on the challenge (trusting in their own abilities and God to get them through it)? It’s your own worldview that determines which parent you are.
First you have to determine what your own worldview is!
Determining your own worldview can be tricky because it is tucked away in your subconscious: something that you don’t actively think about. It influences much of your daily life and every single opinion you have. You can consider what values your parents had in raising you by thinking about a few key words or phrases that were said over and over again and what that communicated to you as a child. You can think about what was emphasized to be essential or important as you grew up. But often, the way we most quickly see worldview is when tragedy strikes: the way we respond to the tragedy shows a person’s true beliefs and how they perceive the world. Fears have a way of revealing our true beliefs.
As a Christian parent, I know you desire to pass down a Biblical worldview to your children. And that is definitely an admirable pursuit! But we cannot pass on to our children what we do not currently possess. So first, let’s take a deeper look at our own worldview and pursue helping it to be more in line with God’s worldview so that we can take active steps to bass down this, Biblical worldview, to our children.