The picture above is taped to the top of my computer. “Word Before World.” Three words that order and shape my days. Before the computer gets opened and the relentless noise of the busy online world rushes into my living room, the quiet Word of the Still, Small Voice is ushered into my soul. A foundation. A respite. These same three words should also order the steps we take when shaping our children’s worldview training.
When federal treasury agents train to spot counterfeit money, they do not begin by studying the counterfeit. They begin by saturating themselves in the knowledge of the real thing, and only by studying genuine bills until they master the look, feel, smell, and weight of them, can they recognize bogus money. In the same way, we must immerse our children in the truth of the Word of God before they are introduced to the world’s false ideas.
There is indeed a necessary time and place for the in-depth study of false religions, errant philosophies, and mistaken ideas, but this is where our training must begin – where it must always begin: With the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. The belt of truth is the first piece of spiritual armor listed in Ephesians 6:13 and 14 for a reason. Without truth, you and I leave ourselves and our children open to deception and thus unable to stand firm.
Satan’s every attack is marked by this one thing: deception (John 8:44).* As your children grow in the knowledge of the Lord and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, only then can they face the powers and false doctrines of this present world with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom (2 Pet 3:18; Matt 6:33; Eph 6:12; Prov 2:6). We must not teach our children to lean to their own understanding! We must acknowledge God and all of His ways in all of our ways – and He will make our paths straight (Prov 3:5&6). False doctrines can never stand up to God’s truth. When we know God’s truth, when we allow ourselves to be guided by the lamp that lights our path (Ps 119:105), the deceptions of the enemy are exposed. Ephesians 5:13 tells us that “all things become visible when they are exposed by the light.”
I read an article a few years ago on the topic of the benefits of Christian parents teaching their children about other religions.** The author wrote that her son was doing fairly well at learning his ABCs, but had trouble differentiating between Cs and Os if they were hidden in an exercise designed to help kids decipher the letters of the alphabet. She then began to show how many times false beliefs mimic the doctrines of Christianity, and how it can be difficult, if you are not fully aware, to automatically discern falsehood from Truth. Isn’t that just like our enemy?!
The Bible says that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). We must become aware, and ensure that our children are aware, of unbiblical beliefs and know how to differentiate between God’s Truth and false doctrines, to tell the difference between the Cs and Os. Yet, though it’s vital to understand how others believe and why, and how those beliefs differ from Christianity, a firm foundation of the truth as it is revealed in the Bible is where it has to start. It begins here, with knowing God and making Him known (John 17:3; Acts 20:24). It’s that simple; it’s that important. Word before world.
*Priscilla Shirer, Armor of God, Session 2
**Natasha Crain, Christian Mom Thoughts.comTags: Armor of God, parent apologetics, word before world