I want my children to develop a Biblical Worldview, but making that happen can be a challenge in our culture. We are all bombarded by so many confusing messages sometimes! Here are some tips I have found useful for helping my children to develop a Biblical world view. They're not grown yet, so this list is as much for myself as anyone else! I'm right here in the trenches with you. (And this IS a spiritual war that we are waging!)
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Read Directly From The Bible To Your Children
Having a Biblical Worldview is not something that our children cram for, it's something that is developed bit-by-bit, a little every day. “Precept upon precept, line upon line… here a little and there a little.” (Isa 28:10). So reading a little of the Bible to our children every day will add up over the days, weeks and years. Establishing the habit of daily family devotions is so difficult. Satan will try everything he can to discourage you from being faithful in this area. But persevere because it helps our children develop the life-long habit of diligently searching the scriptures and it offers a great opportunity to discuss Biblical concepts. Time spent reading the Bible is well, well worth the investment in our children's lives.
Fill Their Hearts With The Word of God
We all have to choose between “good,” “better,” and “best.” God's word is best. Pour God's word into your children's hearts any chance you can. Use it in your conversation, decorate your home with Scripture. Find examples in real life of scriptural principles in practice. Our family chose to spend the little years focusing on Bible Stories and Scripture songs. This has helped our children to become thoroughly familiar with the Scriptures and to memorize hundreds of Bible Verses while they were still very young.
Grasp Teachable Moments
Every-day situations offer a great opportunity for Biblical Training. Not a day (or hour!) goes by in our home where something doesn't happen that we can't self-reflect on and think, “Hmm… Did we respond Biblically to that situation?” or “Isn't it interesting how we saw that Biblical principle applied here.” Sometimes it is the mistakes of other people rather than our own that we learn from. There is a place for that (although it's generally better to point to a Bible Character's mistake than a contemporary person's). When learning from the mistakes of others, be very careful not to nurture or model a critical spirit and to always extend grace.
Pray With Your Children
Praying through life's problems with your children will leave an incredible impression. When my daughter was 18 months old I was in the fabric store with her. I foolishly let her play with our only set of keys for our only car while I shopped. When it was time to go, she had put the keys down somewhere in this huge store and couldn't remember (or tell me) where they were. My husband was stranded at work, the store was about close. After spending an hour looking (an enlisting the help of store staff) we still couldn't find those keys anywhere. In desperation I knelt down in the store to pray with my daughter that God would help us find the keys. When I opened my eyes my gaze landed on the top of a bolt of fabric on the lower shelf. I would never have seen that spot if I had been standing up, but it was exactly where an 18 month old could reach… and there were our keys! More than 10 years later my daughter still remembers that incredible answer to prayer, even though she was still young.
My children have also been praying with us as we have asked God to provide for the needs of European orphans to come to our home. Over and over again they have watched Him answer crazy, incredibly huge prayer requests for our host children and host children in other families. By taking our problems and challenges to God as a family, our children are learning that the answers to life's problems come from the Lord, and the Lord alone. (If you want to watch God perform miracles with us, we have a prayer group on Facebook. Please Join us! Dubois Adoption Prayer Warriors)
Model What You Want Your Children To Become
This is the hardest one because our children are with us all the time. They are the first to see (sometimes before we notice it ourselves) when we mess up. But it remains true that “more is caught than taught.” A wrong example will undermine every other good parenting strategy we have. So be the example of what you want your children to become. (And pray for plenty of grace to be that example, because it doesn't come from within us, it comes from God.)
It stands to reason that if we want to train our children to see the world from a Biblical viewpoint, we need to use educational materials that agree with this perspective and don't teach the opposite. (Our family has a special opportunity to do this because we home school, but even if your children go to public school, you can still surround them with good resources at home!) We want our children to see how Biblical values have permeated history and shaped the course of events.
We live in amazing times and right now there are so many resources for offering children a Biblical education! Our family has really enjoyed using the Illuminations program to educate our children. Illuminations comes with scheduler software, so planing out our year's lessons is literally just a few clicks of a mouse. (In this post I show you how I set up our entire year's lessons in under 5 minutes and then customize it in just a few more minutes. It's so easy!) Illuminations is built around the history curriculum Mystery of History. We read the daily history listen (well, we listen to the dramatized CD more often!). The lessons are either from Bible History or contemporary to Bible History. (What was happening in China when Abraham was in the land of Canaan, anyway?). World events are plotted on a timeline and then vocabularly, literature, writing and art lessons are interrelated to the main history lesson of the day. Even Science and Geography get woven in so that the children can see how everything relates to each other. (The only subjects we have added in are math, music and Russian.) Click here to see if Illuminations is a good fit for your family.
A Fun Giveaway!
We really love (and trust) the extra recommended resources from the Illuminations program. The videos and audio CD's they recommend help us to continue surrounding our children with solid, Biblical Worldview materials. One resource my children have loved is Jim Weis' CD Tales From the Old Testament. Well Trained Mind Press gave me a review copy a few months ago and my children loved it so much they literally wore it out! (There's nothing wrong with the CD…. but they played it over and over and over and over and over again…) On this CD, Jim Weis doesn't read from the Bible word-for-word, but he retells the Bible Stories in his signature style and really makes the stories come alive. He does all the voices and it's just like having Grandpa read to your kids. (Hint: I only let my kids listen to this CD while they were washing dishes…. so they happily volunteered for that job for a good long while!) The Well Trained Mind Press is giving away a copy of Jim Weis' Tales from the Old Testament CD to help you get your Biblical World View collection started. Simply enter by choosing one (or all) of the entry methods below!
Jim Weis Tales From The Old Testament CD