As our children grow up, they will each have to find the answers to many questions of life. They will work to establish their own identities, to figure out how to relate to the world around them – and they will at some point have to figure out what they know about God. These are big questions that our little people have to figure out! In this week’s blog, let’s look at some of the ways we can help our children develop their understanding of themselves, of the world around them, and about the God who created them and loves them.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do you want for your children?
- What do you hope they will value?
- Who do you hope your children will grow up to be?
- What do I do to guide my children?
- What are my strengths as a parent?
- What are my weaknesses?
Questions that every person ultimately needs to answer:
- Who am I? (identity)
- Why am I here? (purpose)
- Am I loved?
All people ask these questions throughout their life and develop worldview around the answers to these questions.
Whether we say a lot or a little, our children watch us and the people around them and develop a value system based around knowing who they are, why they are here, and how they should respond to what life brings to them.
Our children are very perceptive. They are made in the image of God with desire to worship. They will find something to live for, something to worship, something to fight for, something to bring to them life. We are wired to worship and be needed to be part of a bigger picture. For our lives to matter and for us to have identity and purpose.
Here a few scriptures that tell us what the bible has to say about Worldview.
- Genesis 1:27-28 (made in his image)
- Isaiah 43:7 (made to worship)
- Zephaniah 3:17 (delighted in by our creator)
- Ephesians 2 1-10 (saved and reconciled through Jesus)
- Romans 8:16-17 (heirs with Christ)
- Jeremiah 29:11 (plans for a future and a hope)
What bible says about children and parenting:
- Matthew 18:2-6
- Deuteronomy 6:4-7
- Ephesians 6:1-4
- Colossians 3:20
- Psalm 22:6
- Mark 10:13
We are the greatest shapers of value and worldview for our kids when they are young. Children have formed their worldview and values by age 9 – most of it before they are 6. It becomes very hard to change these the older they get, so this is why the early years are so invaluable.
We need to know what we believe and why before we can pass that on to our kids. We are the greatest teachers they have. We have the greatest influence. We set the tone, mood, atmosphere and values. It’s much less about what we say and a whole lot about what we do. Children are imitators; that is by design. They know what we value by how much time we spend on things. What do you spend the most time doing?
The family unit and the parent/child relationship are the way that God has created relationship on earth that show a small picture of the intimacy of the Trinity and that we are to one day experience in perfection. We are the reflection of that to our kids.
Forming worldview in a developmentally appropriate way:
As with all things we share at a developmentally appropriate level for our kids. Telling our small child that they are sinners and bad people is an unhelpful way to present the Lord. We are sinners – but we want our kids to be motivated by the loving heart of their Creator God. The one that delights in them more than anyone else. The one who dances around them in utter delight. The amazing love of the Father and sacrifice of Jesus shows this and should motivate our hearts not the fear of missing out on heaven or trying to be something to earn God’s favor.
Keep identity and purpose at the forefront of discussions with your children. Remind them frequently that they were made by a loving God for his delight and He has amazing plans for them. This produces motivation through healthy relationship not fear.
As humans we desire to be part of something bigger than ourselves, to be needed and to belong. Our relationship with Jesus answers these desires in perfection. Nothing else will answer the cry of our hearts in a better or more fulfilling manner.
We serve a big and loving God – and he created you to parent your child. Enjoy the awesome responsibility and joy of shaping their worldview and watch them grow into all the amazing things God has for them!