Our children encounter new ideas every day. It’s thrilling to watch them develop an understanding of the world and their place in it and to consider what exciting contributions God might have for them to make. But not all the ideas they are being presented with are based on fact or truth. So how do we help our kids cultivate an accurate understanding of the world from God’s point of view?
In a society trying to make the question “Is this true?” irrelevant, we can help our children understand God’s ways and why they are for our best. Where modern thought often introduces chaos, we can show our kids a God of order and organization who has great plans for our lives. We can help our kids develop a gridwork of godly knowledge and wisdom by which they can test every idea and see whether it is from God.
During our kids’ school years, they gain an incredible wealth of information and instruction on how to apply it to the world around them. However, Scripture makes it clear there are two sources of knowledge: knowledge of the world and knowledge of God. We can pray for our kids to seek God’s knowledge so they can understand their Creator and His involvement in every area of our lives and education. He is the master engineer of math, the curator of science, and He holds the power to write history. He is the One who sparks our kids’ creativity and gives them specific interests, skills, and passions to pursue. As our kids understand God as the giver of every good gift and the source of knowledge and truth, they can better discern every idea they encounter. When they hide God’s Word in their hearts, they can line up everything against His truth and distinguish what is true, noble, just, and pure.
2 Peter 1:2-3 says, “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” With the knowledge of God also comes grace, peace, and divine power for godly living. This maturation of faith takes place when godly knowledge is empowered by godly wisdom.
Dear God, give my child an insatiable hunger for Your knowledge. Don’t let them take an idea at face value; rather, help them turn it over and test it according to Your Word. Hide Your Word in their heart so they can measure everything against Scripture and value truth over popular opinion.
Knowledge without wisdom won’t take our kids very far. Knowledge remains stagnant and ineffectual until it is enlivened by wisdom. If knowledge is like a map, wisdom is the compass that guides us in how to use the map. Wisdom activates knowledge and compels our kids toward healthy and helpful activities. Wisdom takes what we know about God and uses that knowledge to affect our hearts and how we live. It directs our decisions and informs our route.
We can train our kids to think critically and, when presented with a new idea, ask whether that concept comes from worldly sources or godly wisdom. James 3:17 offers a perfect description of godly wisdom: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
Although this wisdom is “full of mercy,” our kids will find it causes friction with society’s ideas. Wisdom equips our kids to stand firm on what they know is true. When our kids are refuted for their beliefs, we can pray 1 Peter 3:15 over them, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
We can use the Apostle Paul’s words as a model prayer for our children, “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” Colossians 1:9
Dear God, as my child learns more about You, infuse that knowledge with godly wisdom. Equip them through wisdom to be effective in this world, operating in Your plans and purposes and by Your power. Don’t allow knowledge to grow dusty on the shelves of their mind, but instead teach them to take what they know to be true and graciously live it out in the world around them.