What is a worldview and why is it important? Every person has one, even though they may not recognize it or be able to clearly articulate it.
Think of your worldview as a lens through which you view the world. It is made up of your fundamental assumptions about reality that determine your beliefs, attitudes, values, and ultimately your behavior. You think and act according to what you believe to be true.
You think and act according to what you believe to be true.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “worldview” as…
- The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world
- A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or group
A coherent life view must provide answers to questions in four key areas:
- Origin —How did we get here? Is there a God? What is He like?
- Meaning—What does this life mean? What is our purpose for existing? How do I understand sin and suffering?
- Morality –How do we know what is right and what is wrong? What is the basis for ethics and morality?
- Destiny —What will be the end of the matter? What is the end of our life?
When we consider the answers to these questions, there is no doubt why Origin is first. From our answer to the question, “How did we get here?” will flow the understanding necessary to address all the others. It also follows that if we have no good answer to this foundational question, we will have unconnected answers to the rest. The only tools left in our tool box would be our own speculations and musings in our attempt to find meaning in life.
Personal worldviews are often a miscellaneous collection of various belief systems, random beliefs from the culture, and perhaps one’s own interpretation of reality–a smorgasbord that can cause a person to not only see the world through a smudged lens, but to behave in ways inconsistent with reality.
A person’s worldview is typically formed prior to adulthood while children are still under their parents’ care. Development begins during childhood through interactions with family and friends. It is further influenced and shaped in school, church, and in social interactions. Media is having an increasingly powerful impact on shaping the values and beliefs of our youth.
How can parents equip their children to form and evaluate biblical worldview for themselves? The Bible never uses the word “worldview” but we are told to discern and discard false philosophy (Col 2:6-8.) Your children will need a solid, factual, scientific reasoned arguments to stand firm.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. –Colossians 2:8
Recent research by The American Culture and Faith Institute, headed by pollster George Barna, found only a small percentage of Americans truly have a biblical worldview. The A.C.F.I. determined only 10 percent of those polled answered the 40 question survey regarding biblical principles and lifestyle in a way consistent with a biblical understanding the world. Read about the survey here.
Because your worldview is shaped by your answers to the big questions of life, it determines your views on art, culture, anthropology, money, relationships, marriage, children, politics. It affects how you work, study, worship, and the way you view the sanctity of life and reality of death.
- First, examine your own worldview. Do your personal core beliefs really come from a biblical framework, or are they collected from various belief systems and possibly your own interpretation of reality? Know what you believe and why you believe it.
- Live consistently with a biblical worldview. Narrate your choices to your children daily as you live life within this framework.
- Model for your children how you apply understanding of biblical principles to various situations you encounter. Explain how you are seeing the situation through the lens of biblical truth.
- Post Big Questions in your home and discuss them often as a family.
What we do and say as Christian parents should tell the story of a coherent and truthful understanding of life.