by Nicki Truesdell
As a nearly lifelong homeschooler (40 years, in fact!) I can accurately report that the number one concern of homeschooling skeptics has always been socialization. I can also confirm that very few people are concerned with worldview, or even know what a worldview is.
This, in itself, is a worldview problem.
More parents are more concerned that their children will have playmates than that they will have a biblical worldview. But that’s probably because roughly 6% of Christians actually have a biblical worldview, and only about 34% of pastors do!
What is a biblical worldview?
Everyone has a worldview. It’s the basic core beliefs a person has that determine how they see the world. It determines your view of people, culture, politics, and morality. A biblical worldview shapes our view of every part of life through the lens of scripture.
Decisions, opinions, lifestyle, culture, governments, and civilization can be shaped by the scriptures when people operate from a biblical worldview. The opposite is true, as well.
Why is a biblical worldview important?
For Christians, it’s vital that we live and breathe the Holy Word of God. It’s imperative that we allow it to shape our lives and our families. It’s foundational to a Christian life.
Understanding that God created our world with a purpose is the beginning. Knowing that His ways are perfect helps us to make decisions that can impact us for good or for bad. His word, His commands, His principles all work together to shape healthy, happy lives (and by that, I don’t mean trouble-free lives; I mean that living in God’s will is the most fulfilling way to live).
But we live in a fallen world. All around us forces are at work, trying to shape our thoughts and actions contrary to what God has told us is true.
You are likely already facing this daily. Be very sure your children are, too. And if they are young and sheltered right now, just know that it will come, sooner than you think.
It is a biblical responsibility to train our children with a biblical worldview.
The government school has a worldview
Some will say, “Ah, but public schools are at least not anti-Christian. They are neutral. They teach the raw facts: the mechanics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. At home and in church, we teach our children about God.” This undoubtedly is the attitude of many professing Christians. But it is horribly unbiblical. Nothing in this universe is neutral with respect to God. (Dr. Jason Lisle, Biblical Science Institute)
There is no such thing as a neutral education. There is no neutral curriculum. Assuming that an education without religion is neutral is wrong. There is a worldview being taught in public education; in fact, there are many. Among them are naturalism, Marxism, feminism, and humanism.
When school lessons leave God out, they are still making a statement. They are teaching your children that God does not matter, and that He is not relevant to their lives. They teach that God has no involvement with humanity, that God is not the creator of life, and that the Bible is a myth or just a nice piece of literature. Without explicitly stating these things, they teach all of them to your children for thirteen years. (And honestly, some schools literally do state them openly.)
“No wonder that 71-88% of teens who identify themselves as Christians in America leave the faith by their first post-high school year.” (Voddie Baucham, Do You Have a Biblical Worldview? On YouTube)
There is no “good school,” or sports opportunity, or college scholarship worth the sacrifice of our children’s worldview. When we strip our parenting priorities down to biblical bare bones, this is what we come to realize. The souls of our children matter; where they spend eternity matters. And everything they learn throughout their childhood leads them somewhere: either to God, or away from Him.
Socialization and worldview go hand-in-hand
Please, for just a moment, consider how much time your children are “socializing” with their public school peers. 7 hours a day? 8 hours or more? 4 or 5 days a week? Consider the adult supervision taking place during this socialization.
Consider the 30-ish children they socialize with all day. What, exactly, is happening during these hours? As I have said before, it’s a lot more than playground games and friendship bracelets:
Parents, we must not be blind to our children’s propensity to sin. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child (Proverbs 22:15). What’s more, we must be aware of the hundreds of other little sinners they interact with at school. A crowd of children, from all backgrounds, and lightly supervised, is going to tend toward sinful behavior.
And I’m not referring to name-calling or rock-throwing.
Yes, those things happen. But don’t be fooled. In this internet-driven world, the kinds of sin your children are likely being exposed to is more sickening than you’d like to admit. Two of the most prevalent culprits are witchcraft and sexuality. But there are many others. (What About Socialization?)
Let’s go back to the education-worldview discussion. If your children and all of the other children are being daily catechized in a secular, humanist, Marxist worldview, they grow up hearing and believing together. The peer pressure to fit in is strong. Compare that to the one or two hours most Christian children spend at church or youth meetings. Now do the math: who is influencing your children? Which worldview is getting the most attention?
Proverbs 13:20 tells us, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but a companion of fools will be destroyed.” If we’re honest with ourselves, we know the second part happens more often than not.
To be clear, a secular worldview combined with public school socialization is the opposite of what the Bible commands.
Let’s go deeper than a concern about socialization
J.C. Ryle said, in his classic work, The Duties of Parents,
Precious, no doubt, are these little ones in your eyes; but if you love them, think often of their souls. No interest should weigh with you so much as their eternal interests. No part of them should be so dear to you as that part which will never die. The world, with all its glory, shall pass away; the hills shall melt; the heavens shall be wrapped together as a scroll; the sun shall cease to shine. But the spirit which dwells in those little creatures, whom you love so well, shall outlive them all, and whether in happiness or misery (to speak as a man) will depend on you. This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, “How will this affect their souls?”
We should choose our child’s education with this “mighty question, ‘How will this affect their souls?” instead of putting social activities at the top of our priorities.
In case you didn’t know, a social life is easy to provide for our children. A biblical worldview is, too. You can take responsibility for both. You can educate your children at home and immediately impact their worldview by providing curriculum that aligns with scripture. You will have the time to truly walk them through the Bible. And you can seek out quality companions and activities for your children (as you do for yourself).
Homeschooling isn’t just a different education option; it is a completely different upbringing. The discipleship is life-changing. It will impact your grandchildren and their grandchildren. It is no small thing!
If you are new to a biblical worldview, let me recommend some resources:
Nicki is a second-generation homeschooler and mother to five. She loves books, freedom, history, and quilts, and blogs about all of these at nickitruesdell.com.
This article was originally published on July 27, 2023 on www.expository parenting.org. Reprinted with permission.