In 2017, a joint study by Barna and Summit Ministries looked at the worldview of church-going Christians. According to that study, only 17% of practicing Christians have what is considered a biblical worldview. Just 17%!!! It boggles the mind. The study also showed that the younger groups are significantly more likely to accept non-Christian worldviews. That means our young adults and teenagers.
But really, is anyone surprised?
Barna defines “biblical worldview” as believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.
Now, these are pretty basic Christian beliefs. We could have easily added several more things, including “believing that violating God’s law is sin, that sin separates us from God, and that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone, who, being fully God and fully man, died and rose again, and will return one day.”
Pretty sure the percentage would be even lower if that had been included. But these are among the basic doctrines of the Christian faith that we want to teach to our own children! How is it that so many children of well-intentioned, Jesus-loving parents end up rejecting a biblical worldview?
Well, I have some ideas based on my own observations as well as my experience thus far as a parent. These aren’t meant as pointing fingers, friends… I know that I have certainly been guilty of these as well, and I could still use some work in a few.
My prayer is that we would grow more consistent in sharing the gospel with our children, establishing sound doctrine, and teaching biblical worldview in all we do. I hope that I can spur you on as fellow parents who love the Lord to do the same in your own families!
With all that in mind, here are 6 reasons why I believe parents fail at teaching biblical worldview to their children.
This post is sponsored by Summit Ministries. All opinions are my own.
6 Reasons Parents Fail at Teaching Biblical Worldview
1) Thinking That Teaching Biblical Worldview Isn’t That Important
If you believe that teaching biblical worldview to your children isn’t important, then you don’t know your Bible well enough. The Bible is the Word of God, given to us so that we can know and love God. it also tells us what we need to understand who we are, why we’re here, and what we’re supposed to be doing with our lives.
All of reality, our purpose, and our future hangs upon the Word of God. If we aren’t holding it in highest authority and interpreting everything in life through the lens of scripture, we are failing at HAVING a biblical worldview, let alone teaching it. In other words, you need to know your Bible inside and out and teach it diligently to your children. But you don’t need to know it all at once or be an expert. It’s a lifetime of study and devotion that is worth every second.
If you value the salvation of your children’s souls, their personal walk with God, and their futures not only here on earth but in eternity, then you need to share the gospel with them regularly. You need to ground them in sound doctrine. And teaching them biblical worldview is essential.
Do not fall into complacency and think that worldview is a subject to teach when you get around to it, or that they’ll figure it out on their own. That is not wisdom. Instead, make it your TOP priority to share the gospel with them every chance you can and teach them biblical worldview to live their lives by! There’s literally nothing more important you can do with your time and energy.
2) Relying on Children’s Church and Veggie Tales
I’m not dissing children’s church or Veggie Tales, here. Both play a role in the lives of our own kids and we have several Bible-based resources we love! But YOU are the one responsible for having a biblical worldview yourself and then teaching it to your kids.
No Bible app, TV show, Sunday school teacher, Bible study class, church camp, storybook Bible, etc. can replace you and the responsibility and privilege God gave you when He designed the parent-child relationship.
You can start in simple ways. Here are a few:
- Find and practice ways to share the gospel with your children every week until it becomes second nature.
- Carve out pockets of time each day that you can sit to read and discuss God’s Word with your kids.
- Talk with them about what the Lord is teaching you.
- Pray with and for them regularly.
Building a Christ-focused environment in your family takes time, patience, and work. But the impact is eternal.
3) Ignoring the Influence of Entertainment
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that entertainment isn’t spiritual or isn’t that big of a deal. If your children are inundated with worldly messages and anti-Christian worldviews in their books, TV, movies, music, and more, then why would you be surprised that they begin to adopt some of those worldviews as their own?
Of course, as your children grow and mature in the faith, entertainment will provide golden opportunities for you to talk with your kids and evaluate those movies or songs together in light of the scripture. But, let’s be honest, that’s different than giving them free access to worldly entertainment. Even though most adults might SAY that worldly and anti-Christian messages don’t impact us, they really do, especially if we are not engaging it with with the full armor of God. Too many times, we’re taking the armor off, kicking back with a bag of chips, and letting unbiblical messages feed our minds and hearts. Don’t teach that habit to your children!
Different parents will make different choices about what they and their kids consume for entertainment. All I ask is that you not discount it as a factor in your child’s worldview. Make prayerful decisions about how your family will approach it. Then be proactive in instructing your children on how to evaluate entertainment and media in terms of worldview and provide tools for them to handle it wisely.
4) Assuming Educational Material Won’t Matter
As homeschoolers, we already take a major step in removing the worldly and anti-Christian worldview influences of the public school system from our children’s lives. However, we still need to be thoughtful about what materials we introduce into their educational experience.
When you are making your curriculum choices for the year, carefully consider its worldview. Nothing is neutral! I also strongly encourage you to research the worldview of the authors and companies that produce the curriculum you want to use. The truth is that what we believe about God and humanity will come out in our writings. If you choose to use a secular curriculum, take the time to present it to your children with a biblical worldview and be sure that there are no unbiblical messages being introduced without your knowledge and input. If you choose a Christian curriculum, be sure that it is from a truly Christian source and not a cult or secular source. Yes, this happens.
No need to approach such things with alarm and fear, however! Simply be aware and prayerfully evaluate materials before handing them to your children. As you continue to teach them the gospel, sound doctrine, and biblical worldview, they will become more adept at spotting untruths themselves as well!
5) Dropping the Ball As the Kids Get Older
As our kids get older, it’s easy to think that we’ve already been there and done that, having taught them the Bible stories and maybe even some deep study, so they’re good to go. But teenagers and young adults need to continue building up their biblical worldview and experience more and more challenging life situations with you as their worldview guide! In fact, it’s a more critical time than ever.
Be intentional to seek out solid biblical resources and engage in worldview conversations with your older kids. Help them put their worldview muscles to work and become stronger in recognizing opposing worldviews. Let them lean on you as they get their feet under them, gaining practice in handling sticky relationships and situations with the biblical tools you have equipped them with.
6) Not Living Out a Biblical Worldview Ourselves
Ouch, I know. But it’s true, isn’t it? If we aren’t living out an authentic and obedient walk with Christ, can we really expect our children to heed our instruction? If we aren’t demonstrating for them what it looks like to live according to our beliefs — whether it comes to entertainment, our words, our habits, or our devotion — can we really be surprised when our children turn away from biblical worldview and gospel-centered living? No, we can’t.
Of course, we’re not perfect and we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be. Instead, we can show our kids what it looks like to genuinely seek after the things of God. Let us also show them what it looks like to confess and repent of our sin! Our kids will fail and so will we. The most powerful thing we can do for them is to not only be an example of faithfulness in our walk with Jesus but also of sincere repentance when we fall short. The beauty of the forgiveness and sanctification we experience in Christ can be a life-changing witness to our children who are watching us.
Sobering… But We Don’t Carry it All on Our Shoulders
I realize this can all be sobering and even overwhelming. But there are important truths we need to keep in mind when it comes to what our job really is as parents.
Our role is not to MAKE our kids have a biblical worldview. We don’t have any control over what they end up believing or whether they end up following Christ.
Our role is to faithfully plant the seeds of the gospel, sound doctrine, and biblical worldview. It is to live out an example of genuine Christianity. It is to pray for them and with them. And it is to point ourselves and them to the perfect Savior.
Yes, our role is to cultivate the soil and plant the seeds. But it is the role of the Holy Spirit to change their hearts. Only He can bring forth growth and fruit.
Friends, let’s do our part and trust God with the results.
To Him be all the glory.
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