Updated: May 16
Proverbs 22:6 “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.
WHAT YOU BELIEVE MATTERS
In his book, Biblical Worldview, Dr. Josh Mulvihill defines a worldview as “a set of beliefs about life that determine how we live.” Have you ever thought about what you believe and how it shapes the way you live? Think? Raise your kids? Spend your money? Maybe you have from time to time, but for the most part we don’t really think about it, we simply act on it.
Why? Because it’s engrained in us. The Barna Research Group (as cited in Biblical Worldview, 2019) has found that “a person’s worldview is primarily shaped and is firmly in place by the time someone reaches the age of thirteen.”
THIR-TEEN. Let that sink in.
And although it may vary slightly during their teen and adults years, their primary beliefs are set before they even get to high school.
Mulivihill quotes J.C. Ryle, an English pastor from the 1800’s, as saying this,
“Youth is the planting times of full age, the molding season in the little space of human life, the turning point in the history of man’s mind. By the shoot that springs up we can judge the type of tree that is growing, by the blossoms we judge the kind of fruit, by the spring we judge the type of harvest coming, by the morning we judge the coming day, and by the character of the young man, we may generally judge what he will be when he grows up.”
The scary part is that it doesn’t matter if you or someone else teaches your child how to think, see, and believe. Many parents and grandparents are not training their kids in the Word of God, and that vacuum is being filled by a culture that rejects the Bible completely.
So it seems that training our kids to have a biblical worldview matters, but WHY?
WHY IT MATTERS
Dr. Josh Mulvihill makes a case for 6 reasons why every family and church needs to help children develop a biblical worldview—“a set of beliefs, assumptions, or values based on the Bible that determines how a person lives.”
1. To provide wisdom for life
Instead of looking to the latest New York Time bestsellers list or the hottest podcast, we should look to God’s Word. The Bible alone is able to give us “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). It’s also what we are commanded to teach in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, when Jesus said, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
2. To develop the foundation for lifelong faith in Jesus
Many children raised in Christian homes are deficient in three ways. They don’t know WHAT the Bible teaches, WHY they should believe it, or HOW to defend it.
Paul encouraged Timothy to “continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings” (2 Timothy 3:14-15). Paul is essentially saying that what a child learns, who teaches the child, and how they learn are supremely important.
Unless children are saturated in the Scripture and Bible-based teaching from parents and grandparents, they will be susceptible to falling away from the truth of God’s Word and his ways.
3. To shape character and conduct by truth
As much as we want our kids to just learn our faith by watching us, that’s not going to shape them into the people God wants them to be. We must teach. And when I say we, I mean YOU — the parent/grandparent.
As a kids pastor, I love teaching your kids to know, love, and serve God. However, I don’t have enough time or influence to shape them properly. You know who does have enough time, you.
Consider this — the average child from Kindergarten to 5th grade will spend:
18,000 hrs being influenced by their family
6,435 hrs being influenced by their schools (Oregon is among the lowest)
4,992 hrs being influenced by media
180 hrs being influenced by their church…if they go to one.
You have the overwhelming majority of time. And it’s your God-given responsibility to teach them the Bible and help them develop an understanding of how to live for God.
4. To defend against counterfeit ideas
Mulvihill writes this:
“In a post-Christian society children are going to face strong opposition and competing belief systems, and unless they are rooted in the Bible they will absorb the ideas of our day and assimilate to the beliefs of our culture.”
Paul wrote about this to the church in Ephesus, saying that the goal of maturity in Christ and knowledge of the Son of God was to protect the believer against being persuaded by every teaching or idea that would seek to deceive or derail their faith (Ephesians 3:13-14) This maturity in Christ cannot be realized by simply wishing it to be so. Our children must be trained to defend against the false ideas and teachings of our culture.
5. To answer the big questions of life
We all know that kids have big questions, and there are an endless number of places they can look for those answers. The problem is that most sources are unbiblical at best and anti-Christian at worst.
Type “where dd humans come from” into Google and you will find tons of answers that say we evolved from monkeys in Africa. You’ll notice an extreme lack of any counter views expressing the truth that we were created by God in his image.
As parents we need to be ready to talk about difficult topics, answer them from the Bible, and remain open to our children’s questions.
6. To equip individuals for service to Christ
Our whole purpose as followers of Christ is to serve and glorify God. You kids will be better prepared to do just that if they have a worldview that centered and grounded in the Word of God.
Dr. Mulvihill ends this section by stating, “God didn’t just save us from something, he saved us for something—to resume the task for which we were originally created.”
DOES IT MATTER TO YOU?
Now that you see the WHAT and the WHY of having a biblical worldview, I want to ask you a simple question:
Do you believe God’s Word is true, sufficient, and necessary for your life?
If the answer is no, you are living with a worldview that may include the Bible, but functions as if the Bible is not enough. This will ultimately result in you and your children replacing the authority of God’s Word with another source.
However, if the answer is yes, then you have some work to do. Work that cannot be abdicated to a school, counselor, church, or kids pastor. It’s your job.
It’s your job to believe the Bible…so that you can teach your kids to believe it too.
It’s your job to obey the Bible…so that you can teach your kids to obey it too.
It’s your job to defend the Bible…so that you can teach your kids to defend it too.
A biblical worldview is the most important thing we can teach our kids, especially while they are young, and it is worth your time and attention.
I encourage you to pick up a copy of Dr. Josh Mulvihill’s book, Biblical Worldview: What it is, Why It Matters, and How to Shape the Worldview of the Next Generation. It will challenge you as a parent or grandparent to place a high-priority on the teaching and training of your children.
God, I thank you for the people in my life that helped shape me and teach me about you and your Word. I pray that you would give me an urgency to teach my kids to know, love, and obey the Bible. Help me to take the task of shaping my children’s worldview seriously, and give me strength and courage to do it consistently. In Jesus name, Amen.
 Josh Mulvihill, Biblical Worldview: What it is, Why It Matters, and How to Shape the Worldview of the Next Generation (Roanoke, VA: Renewanation, 2019), 14.
 Ibid., 22.
 Ibid., 32.
 Ibid., 36.
 Ibid., 29.
 Ibid., 30.