Helping Kids Develop a Biblical Worldview
A child’s early years are so formative
Christianity is on the decline — at least that’s what new national surveys keep telling us. The Pew Research Center recently reported that Christians could make up less than half of the U.S. population in the next 50 years.
What’s even more alarming is the number of Americans who have a biblical worldview — how people respond, experience, act, and interpret the world through a scriptural perspective.
George Barna’s book, American Worldview Inventory 2021-22, revealed that only 6% of Americans have a biblical worldview. The most prominent worldview held by Americans was “customized views” or syncretism (a combination of different worldviews).
So how do we address these dismal trends?
It starts at home. Studies show people develop a worldview by the age of 13. A child’s early years are so formative. Parents can have the biggest influence on children’s lives, behaviors, and actions for years to come.
As leaders in the Church, below are three ways we can encourage parents (and ourselves) to be proactive in helping children develop a biblical worldview.
Examine Our Worldview
Barna says in his book that “an individual’s worldview is developed largely by default, rather than intentionally and systematically.” He goes on to say how one’s worldview is “caught rather than taught.”
Before we can help our children develop a biblical worldview, we need to examine our own perspective.
A recent survey by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that two-thirds (67%) of parents with preteens claim to be Christian, but only 2% of these fathers and mothers actually possess a biblical worldview.
We can’t simply follow Christ; we must live as Christ did. We need a solid foundation based on the Bible if we are going to guide our children. This requires us to dedicate time to read the Bible daily, prioritize alone time with God, and apply Scripture to our lives.
Luke 6:47-48 reminds us of the importance to build a firm foundation. Christ describes someone who puts His word into practice “like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.”
Our children watch — and often mimic — our actions. When responding to certain situations, we need to make sure children understand how our decisions reflect what the Bible says and our obedience to God.
We can’t allow the world to teach our children what is
right and what is wrong.
James 1:22 tells us to not “merely listen to the word” but to “do what it says.” We have to view and respond to the world through the lens of the Bible.
Make the Bible Personal
Parents can play an important role in helping children connect with the Bible. Children need to understand how the Bible applies to their lives and how it is active today. And we must also share the message that Christ loves and values them.
When the disciples turned children away from Christ, He responded by saying, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).
Once children understand Christ’s love for them, we can teach them the significance of learning to respond in certain situations as He did. To do so, children need to be reading the Bible.
As children read the Bible, encourage them to take notes and talk about what stands out to them. Ask questions about what they just read. How can they relate to certain characters in the Bible? What consistent themes do they see about God?
The more active they are in the Word, the more children will see the need to apply it to their own lives.
Parents should set aside time daily to read the Bible with their children. Pick a Bible verse for the month that the family can memorize together. Talk about what they are learning in school, seeing on social media, and viewing on television and how it relates to the Christian faith.
If we want our children to act and experience everything in light of the Bible, we have to intentionally disciple them.
Recognize the Bible as Absolute Truth
The Bible must be the moral compass guiding our decisions. If our children don’t view God’s Word as true, they won’t respect and follow what it says.
Parents must point their children to the Bible in distinguishing between right and wrong. Barna talks about the growing belief that personal feelings are the most trustworthy source of moral guidance. Basing our decisions on feelings will only lead to chaos.
As 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
Explain to your child why truth can be found in the Bible. When difficult situations or questions arise, our children should turn to the Bible first for moral guidance.
Talk about what sin is. Read through the commandments in the Bible. Reflect on how our love for God leads us to be obedient to Him. While sin separates us from God, Christ paid the price for that sin. Children should understand they can be forgiven when falling short of God’s commands.
We can’t allow the world to teach our children what is right and what is wrong.
The surveys we read shouldn’t feel discouraging. Rather, they should spur us on to work harder for the kingdom of God. When parents are intentional about developing their children’s biblical worldview, it will also change their own relationships with Christ.