3 ways to teach your kids a Biblical worldview surrounding the war in Ukraine

Written by Kate Stevens
Published on March 01, 2022

We are not born with a Biblical worldview. We are born with a sinful view. 

Example: If one child is given 4 toys and the other is given 6 toys, the former child will self-righteously declare, “That’s not fair! We didn’t get the same amount!” In this, he is completely blind to and ignoring the 4 toys he did receive. 

Sadly, this is not immune to the adult population. We can quickly look to the right and the left and take stock on what we haven’t been “blessed with.” We can survey our workload and a lack of grand possessions and draw the same conclusion of “unfairness.” 

On a carnal level these are perfectly rational, and even the worst math students take no issue with these word problems. But for the Christian this is deeply paradoxical, for the Lord teaches nowhere in Scripture about amassing wealth for ourselves alone. He teaches gratitude, contentment, humility, and self control. 

Shape their lenses

It follows, then, that we must develop a Biblical worldview for our children and maintain our own. A worldview has been likened to a pair of glasses. If we’re born with a view that is self-centered and bent toward our own comfort and (limited) logic and understanding, then we will all need work to put on lenses that love the things of the Lord and view His glory as supreme. 

I wrote a previous post titled, “The higher the walls, the taller the ladders: How to teach a Biblical worldview to your elementary-aged kids” which handles the fact that no matter what height of sky-scraping walls we construct around our children in order to insulate them from the evil in the world, someone will always build an even taller ladder in order to get over. 

One way we can shape their Biblical lens and equip them rather than attempt to (vainly) hide scary things is to expose them to current events—like this war in Ukraine. 

If you have kids with social media, they have already seen a barrage of opinions and details that need shaping and filtering, maybe even some undoing. If your kids are younger, like mine, then you will start at the ground and work your way up. 

3 ways to shape their worldview today

1. Start with Truth

Remind them and yourself again and again that God’s Word is true. When it doesn’t make sense it is because of our limited knowledge and understanding, not because God is conflicting in nature. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9 ESV).

Teach them that God is sovereign. He either ordains or allows, but He never misses. Kids will ultimately ask “why did God ______?” I still ask that, so I don’t question why my daughters do. Teaching them that God is always in control, even when we don’t feel like He is, is truly powerful worldview shaping. We tell our emotions to obey the Lord—we don’t obey our emotions.

The 4th question of the New City Catechism is “How and why did God create us?” The answer: “God created us male and female in his own image to know him, love him, live with him, and glorify him. And it is right that we who were created by God should live to his glory.” We should return to this all the time. This is our chief end—glorifying God. We should let our children ask all the questions, but we should likewise always end with a plan of how we will glorify God in all our situations.

2. Provide the facts

Our girls are 10, 8, and 5, so we kept the facts of Russia and Ukraine very simple. First of all, we were all gathered around the table eating together. Hard conversations are a bit sweeter when there is good food and a stable and familiar environment. My husband used the analogy of a school bully to illustrate President Putin (of which, they couldn’t stop laughing at his name). Since our daughters started school we often tell them to have eyes for the lonely, be kind, be courageous, be selfless, and to remember Who they belong to. Well—Russia has done the opposite of all those things, and now they are picking on someone of much lesser power.One of our girls asked, “So this is like when a robber comes in to steal your stuff?” She’s always been scared of the idea of a robber, so this conversation allowed us to speak to God being sovereign in our home as well. I followed up with what the Bible says about anxiety, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4–7).

This is the result of sin. Anytime we follow sin rather than the Lord, destruction will happen. President Putin’s sin of pride and selfishness and greed is catastrophic in our eyes. But the Lord hates all our sin, and so should we. If we are not turning to the Lord, seeking to glorify Him above all, then we are living in pride. We can show our kids all the men and women in the Bible who trusted in themselves rather than the Lord and they fell because of it (just throw a dart at 1 & 2 Kings and you will surely hit several). Our Bibles warn on repeat to stay low, humble, meek. “Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 31:23–24).

3. Chase everything with prayer

So now we pray for Ukraine. We pray for Russia. We pray for the whole world and the days ahead. At meals, before bedtime—this is a part of mine and Clint’s prayers, so it becomes a part of their prayers. This develops the part of their Biblical worldview where they are not so focused on themselves but consider others and their suffering.One of our girls asked yesterday, “are there little kids in Ukraine?” Oof—that one brought me to tears very quickly. “Yes, there are many children there. We must pray for them as well.” But we aren’t just praying for delivery. We’re praying that the Lord strengthens them for this battle, this affliction. We’re praying that the people of Russia and Ukraine and everyone watching it all unfold would glorify God because of this, for this is the purpose of man. 

Every nation will bow

Ultimately we can point to the fact that every proud man and woman will be brought low. God is storing up wrath for the coming judgment. And all nations will bow before the King in humility. We must orient ourselves in repentance and humility in our own ordinary walk, lead others to do the same, and pray for justice. 

“May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!
For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!” (Psalm 72:11–14, 18–19).

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Kate Stevens

Kate Stevens is a worshiper, wife, and mom. By vocation, she teaches high school students English, Bible, and debate, and has been doing so for fourteen years.  In addition, she serves as a freelance editor.  You can read more from her as she develops her newly published blog: “HEM-ology: Somewhere between zoology and theology.”

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