Parents have the privilege and great responsibility of training their children in the ways of the Lord (see Deuteronomy 6:6-7). One of the ways we accomplish this is by instilling a biblical worldview in our children.
In the early years, a parent’s voice is typically the most impactful influence in the life of a child. This is the opportune time to build a solid biblical worldview in our children. Yet, many of us start this too late, thinking we still have time.
A study by the Barna Group shows alarming results of only 9% of born-again Christians holding to a biblical worldview. Daily, we can and should be instilling into our children the infallible Word of God, that the Bible is the final authority, period. Where have we gone wrong?
In many studies or personal experiences, we see the effect a negligent parent can have on a child. For example, in a neglected or abandoned child, the negative impact could be various forms of relational breakdowns, trust issues, and a low self-esteem that carry into adulthood. We may not be worried about physical or emotional neglect in our parenting, but what about spiritual neglect?
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
The word child in Hebrew means boy or girl, from infancy to adolescence. If this is true, God is not talking about starting the biblical training when your child is school-age. He is talking about starting at infancy, or maybe in your case, right now!
If you still aren’t convinced, another finding from the Barna Group shows us that by age 12 or 13 a child’s worldview is pretty much set. Think of the common comparison of a child as being like a sponge. They are constantly soaking up what they see, hear, taste, smell, and touch around them. Your infant, toddler, and young child can be spiritually nourished and positively impacted by the Word of God, just like they can be negatively impacted by physical neglect or exposure to inappropriate media. And this all plays into shaping their worldview.
Are we guilty of spiritual neglect in the raising of our children? Do we take seriously the biblical command in Proverbs 22 to “train up a child in the way he should go?” Are we intentionally building a biblical worldview in our children? Or will our kids be part of the 91%? We cannot afford to be complacent, thinking it will happen by accident, or that it is the church’s job!
Parents, it’s time to take up the call and be intentional in parenting our children. It’s our job to instill a biblical worldview in our kids, and we’re the perfect ones for the job!
Questions to reflect on:
The Foundational Years – Dr. Melodye Hilton