Everyone is competing for your child’s attention and devotion: movies, tv series, book writers, their peers and of course you! But how do you help your child hear God’s voice over it all and follow His ways?
“Carpe Diem” or “To infinity and beyond”?
I remember the first time I watched Dead Poets Society with Robin Williams urging his inspiration-starved class to “Carpe Diem”. I was challenged, inspired and even started writing my own poetry (terrible stuff I must confess, mostly about my Alanis Morissette teenage angst).
I gave myself over to thinking that I had to embrace every moment with all my energy and with an intensity because as John Keating warned his class, we will all be “fertilizing daffodils” one day.
So I had to make every moment count!
A few months later, a politically motivated attack was made on a church down the road. In the attack, a childhood friend’s brother threw himself across two of his friends and saved them by sacrificing himself. He was 17 years old. The conversations, the painful grief and the media frenzy following the massacre, which claimed 11 lives and over 58 gun and grenade related injuries, was chaotic.
The country was angry and hurting, the church had been a place of integration and mercy despite the Apartheid regime. The church, however, was merciful and wanted to extend forgiveness to the perpetrators.
The difference in opinion between the world and the church as to what should happen to the perpetrators was extensive. The media reported with disbelief as the pastor of the church who had lost many close friends in the attack visited the perpetrators in their police cells and forgave them. He didn’t preach vengeance or Liam Neeson-esque violent retribution but peace and forgiveness.
The example of that young man and the pastor radically shook me out of my individualistic hedonistic (big words meaning me, myself and I first and foremost) and made me think about doing something with my life that would matter for eternity!
Whose voice is the loudest?
The difference between Dead Poets Society and that pastor is called worldview. It’s a series of answers to questions that define how we think and act. John Keating’s warning to his class to seize the day was based on his belief that once you die, you no longer exist. Both that young man’s act of sacrifice and the pastor’s acts of forgiveness were based on their belief that what you do in this life has eternal significance.
The young man and the pastor believed in the beyond – they leant into the future realities promised in the death and resurrection of Christ. Their heart was more aligned to Buzz lightyear’s “To infinity and beyond!”
Children are like onions – they have layers!
So… how do you get a worldview? Well, it’s formed in your childhood, affected by your parents’ choices and decisions. It can be altered by education, the influence of peers and experiences. It is presented in TV, movies, songs and movements. It’s all around us all the time. It affects the way you do everything. It defines how you raise your children. Vegetables or junk food? Letting them watch age restricted movies, TV and video games or age appropriate censorship? Commitment and responsibility or FOMO?
It can be obvious or subtle.
It builds in layers over the formative years.
It is also affected by sin.
This is why the Apostle Paul in Romans tells us that our minds need to be renewed to become aligned to God’s. This happens as God’s Spirit speaks to us and we intentionally allow His voice to remold our hearts and minds. His Word is full of worldview-altering challenges! The books of wisdom found in the Bible teach us lots about how to think about the world and the best way to respond and live.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus changed history and should change our understanding of death and life. God’s voice should be the loudest and the filter by which we understand ourselves and our world.
Parenting is about raising the volume
As you parent you will encounter a conflict of world-views with the world, with your children’s school, with other parents and even with your family. A recurring scenario is how Christian families do Christmas versus their non-Christian family.
“You go to church at Christmas?”
“Why do you invite non-family into your home for Christmas lunch?”
How do we discern what is being shouted at our children and raise the volume of God’s voice in their lives? What conversations could we have with our children, helping them to have God’s worldview?
Every month Come Away will spend time and energy helping you discern world views in popular children’s movies, TV series and books to give you a few conversation starters to get your family talking about what you believe. Feel free to send in suggestions of media you would like me to consider and write about, it’s all about equipping parents in their season!
Send suggestions our way to our email.
(Pst… If you would like to know more about the development of worldview, read James Sire’s “THE UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR”. It’s an excellent book that will teach you the nitty gritty of worldview systems.)
Want to be armed with the means to engage in your child’s worldview? Become a donor member today for R100 per month. You help us build into local women’s ministry and we give you the gift of flourishing in your motherhood journey.
Related posts that members have recieved in this series:
The Innocent View with Dire Consequences