Instilling Biblical Values in a Postmodern World
- Tuesday, December 30, 2008
On the one hand, the story of Creation is used to point children to God’s handiwork, while the other set of questions moves much deeper into the purposes of God’s creation, the rebellion of Adam, and the concept of sin. The latter questions serve to till the soil of a child’s mind as it relates to the larger questions of life and existence.
While some parents may think these questions would serve as overkill for a child, parents have a responsibility to learn how to communicate such abstract ideas to their children in such a way they will, to some extent, understand them from a very early age.
By the time a child enters kindergarten, he or she should have had significant exposure by parents (not simply Sunday school teachers) to biblical themes such as the Fall, sin, faith, the divinity of Jesus, salvation, sanctification, the Ten Commandments, worship, prayer, and baptism (to name a few). There is no doubt that the five-year-old mind will not conceptualize such constructs in-depth, but they should be quite familiar with them via consistent Bible study with parents. In actuality, parents may be quite surprised how well children grasp some of these ideas. Even more so, parents will learn to appreciate the high level of interest their children will exhibit in being given the opportunity to learn from them.
Certainly, Bible stories are a vibrant part of rearing a child in a Christian home, however, what children glean from such stories makes all the difference. The Bible, in the final analysis, is not about character enhancement, but about God, and his relationship to a rebellious people with only one hope. Every story from beginning to end points to Him, and the provision He has made in Jesus Christ for the purpose of redeeming for Himself a bride without spot or wrinkle.
The chief aim of Bible reading should be that children learn from a very young age to stand in complete adoration of and love for a God who will accept nothing less than perfection, and that such perfection has been provided through the finished work of Jesus Christ alone. Children who truly grasp this will, by His grace, live with their entire beings to celebrate the one true God who has given so much!
Finally, parents must train children to “love God and neighbor” as they embrace truth in a fallen world. Holding to eternal, unchanging, and universal truths does not warrant arrogance and pride when relating to the world. Children need to approach their place in life with great humility recognizing that it is God alone who has placed them in a home where God’s Word is honored.
The prevailing desire of a child’s heart within the social context must be changed (via study of God’s Word) from “being accepted” to “giving love”. This love is exhibited in kindness and compassion as relationships with people of different values is developed. Biblical values will not evolve in children by natural osmosis, but only as parents take time to consistently instill the deeper truths of God’s sacred Word into the lives of their little ones.
Postmodernism is the prevailing theme of the day. Although children need to learn the skills to function in relationship to the postmodern culture, they will only succeed in doing so as they develop a cohesive biblical worldview. The most effective way of fostering such a process is to begin tackling the larger questions of life when they are very young while of course depending on God’s precious grace to open their minds and hearts to Him.
The Association of Biblical Counselors exists to: Encourage, Equip and Empower all believers everywhere to live and counsel the Word.
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