Toddlers and worldview are not concepts that seem compatible. The image of a three–year-old doing a google search about worldview brings humor. However, your toddler does have a worldview. It shapes the way he looks at his life. It shapes the way he looks at you as his parent. It may be limited, but it is a worldview nonetheless. He actually expresses his worldview constantly.
This worldview is shown in statements like
- “I’m thirsty.
- “He took my toy.”
- “I want a cookie.”
- “I’m tired.”
- “I’m hungry.”
- “I don’t want to.”
Do you see a pattern here? A toddler’s worldview begins and ends with himself. This should not be surprising given that the Bible tells you your toddler’s sole purpose in life from birth is to gratify the cravings of his flesh (Eph. 2:3). Left unchecked this limited, self-centered worldview will produce a teenager whose life is also centered upon himself.
Parents, this is where you come in. God commands you to challenge your toddler’s natural self-centered view of the world. Your job is to teach your children this is God’s world, not their world. Your instruction is to be just as basic as your child’s natural desires and cravings.
I heard a young mother recently living this out as she corrected her young son. She finished by asking her son two pivotal questions:
“Sweetheart, who is in charge?”
“Mommy and daddy.”
“That’s right! Now, who is not in charge?”
In this short exchange, this mother has given her son an accurate view of reality. She is teaching him the basics of a Christian worldview.
She has been consistently teaching her son that God has given his parents authority over him for his own well-being. Ephesians 6:1-3. She has also consistently reminded him that God’s word is the basis of her authority. By faithfully teaching these two biblical truths she is laying the foundation for a biblical worldview: God is in charge and he is not. This is the basis for instruction about the gospel. The God who is in charge has been sinned against by his own natural bent to serve himself. His only hope is to repent and seek forgiveness in Christ. Why? Because God is in charge and he is not.
God says that we are to serve him first. Your child’s natural response, based upon his worldview, is that he is to be served first. This is the challenge of biblical parenting. You want your children, even as toddlers, to be confronted with the importance of serving God over themselves. Whatever temptation there is to be faced, whatever hard decision that has to be made, whether someone is 3, 13, 33, or 53 will aways be rooted in this one key truth.
Your toddler’s whole life, all the hard decisions he or she will have to make, comes down to answering this one huge question: who is in charge?