The notion of raising a child with an “unbiased worldview” is growing increasingly popular. Parents want to raise children who are “free to find their own spirituality” without the bias of the parent’s preference. Conversely, attempting to raise a child with a biblical worldview seems to be going the way of high water pants and dial-up internet access. Not only is it unpopular, it’s often viewed as arrogant, controlling, and close-minded. Parents are seen as “imposing their worldview” upon their children, even “brainwashing” them.
The issue is so loaded that I’ve heard Christian parents question whether or not they should raise their children spiritually “neutral.” It just seems so intolerant, even manipulative, to teach an impressionable young child that God is real. That God created her in His own image for His own glory. That she inherited a sin nature from Adam. And that God loves her so passionately that He Himself died in her place to save her.
But here’s the bottom line–every parent raises their child with a biased worldview. We are constantly teaching our children how to view the world, whether we “mean to” or not. Every time they see us rejoice or get angry, we are teaching them something about what we value. The fact that you probably choose to raise your children in a home, with food and clothing teaches them that you find those things important. And if you get down on one knee and tell them that they can determine who God is for themselves, or that they can accept or reject any religion with no consequences–you are not raising them spiritually neutral. You are raising them with a very particular, biased worldview.
Thus the question isn’t should we influence our child’s worldview. Like it or not, we’re already doing that. The real question is how should we influence it? If you are a believer, the Bible gives you an answer. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, after exhorting the Israelites to love the One True God with their whole hearts, Moses issues a mighty charge: “And these words…shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Clearly Christians are to be intentional about raising their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Pro. 19:18, 22:6, 23:19; Eph 6:4) recognizing that only God has the power to save (John 6:44). Fulfilling this biblical mandate is loving not controlling. Think about it this way–you and I teach our children countless things from the moment they’re born. We teach them that the bump below their eyes is called a “nose” and that cows say “moo.” Nobody calls us close-minded or accuses us of “brainwashing” when we do this. Inherently, they recognize our teaching as truth. So dear Christian, if you really believe Christ’s claims are as true and real as the nose on your daughter’s face, how could you not teach them to her? How could you withhold the very Truth that has the power to save her soul on the grounds of allowing her the freedom to “find her own way”? If you’re willing to teach her that there’s a nose on her face, be willing to teach her the truths that matter so much more than that.
If you don’t believe the claims of Christ, then I understand why you wouldn’t teach them to your children. I don’t judge you for influencing your child according to your personal beliefs. But I do urge you not to judge Christians for doing the same thing, and not to deceive yourself into believing you are raising your child neutrally.
One final thing: To those of you who don’t know what you think of God, to those who are indifferent to Him, and those who hate Him–I wholeheartedly believe God loves you more than you could ever fathom (Romans 5:6-8) and longs to have a relationship with you (2 Peter 3:9). Regardless of what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, He is faithful and trustworthy. He is capable of bringing beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:1-3), of restoring what’s been lost (Joel 2:25), and of making you a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
You May Also Like: