Helping our kids develop a Biblical worldview through time in nature

Written by Eryn Lynum
Published on April 28, 2023

Fielding our kids’ constant questions can be downright disorienting, not to mention exhausting. Yet when they come to us with questions about the world they’re growing up in, we can help them develop a wholesome and truthful worldview.

At five, my daughter’s questions are filled with whimsy, like the other night when she asked me, “When the sun goes to bed, what does it brush its teeth with?” However, her older brothers at eight, nine, and eleven, commonly ask more complex questions like these:

• Are evil people always evil?

• Why did God make both men and women?

• Why didn’t God just make everyone love and follow him?

• What is it like when someone dies? What do they experience?

Despite their age, they are trying to understand the world around them. As they grow older, those questions become more challenging. Our answers affect what kind of worldview they build. Thankfully, God has equipped us with two sufficient resources to help answer our kids’ questions well: his Word and his created world. Theologians, those who study God and the Bible, refer to these as: 

• Special Revelation: what we understand about God through the Scriptures.

• Natural Revelation: what we perceive about God through his creation, as seen in Romans 1:20. 

By helping our kids see God in Scripture and creation, we can guard them against culture’s toxicity and confusion, while nurturing within them a resilient faith. This can organically take place as we adventure outside!

Talk about God’s creation

My daughter’s question regarding the sun’s toothbrush brought me back to my childhood when I stood staring at the sky. I was enjoying a bike ride with friends, when we stopped to talk with a neighbor in their yard. The older gentleman pointed our attention to the setting sun. He told us, “Every evening, God paints the sunset.”

That interaction tucked itself into my mind as a profound memory. Since then, when I witness a brilliant sunrise or sunset, I picture God making careful brushstrokes across the horizon.

The secular, naturalistic worldview attempts to sweep anything supernatural under the rug. It tries to sever the connection between creation and Creator. However, we can point our kids to their maker by intentionally explaining nature as creation. As we play outside with our kids, we can talk about the sunsets God paints and how he provides for the sparrows of the air and the flowers of the field. When we meander through a creek bed, we can talk about how he measured the sea’s waters in the hollow of his hand (Is. 40:12), and told every river where to run and where its boundaries are (Psalm 104:6-9). 

The language we use can tether the created world to God’s inspired Word, helping our kids connect the dots between creation and Creator. 

Interact with nature

 “Mom, do you have anywhere I can put this?”

My son walked up from the pond’s shoreline with a handful of tangled fishing line. I directed him to the trash can beside the park shelter. He understands birds forage for nesting materials and often use leftover fishing lines to their detriment. So my son has made it his mission to unwind fishing line from the reeds and trees and throw it away before birds become entangled in it. As he does, he’s fulfilling deep, purposeful work given by God to humanity in the garden of Eden.

In Genesis 2:15, we read, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” The Hebrew word used for “keep” means to “regard,” “watch over,” and “preserve.” This work was given before sin entered the scene. Caring for creation is part of God’s original perfect design.

Whether tossing out old fishing lines, cleaning up garbage, restoring habitats, or planting a garden in your backyard, we can partake of Edenic work by nurturing and protecting God’s creation. In a society darkened beneath the shadows of evil, disease, depression, anxiety, and confusion, we can help our kids experience God’s heart of restoration and life as we participate in his work of making all things new. 

Adventure in nature

On July 31, 2022, we began our day at zero elevation on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, playing with crabs and jumping off driftwood. By dinnertime, we were over 7,000 feet high, munching sandwiches on the rim of a collapsed volcano overlooking Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States.

This world is wild. And I’m not talking about the culture our kids are growing up in—that is chaos. In nature, we find the perfect arena to remove our kids from culture’s confusion and point them to God’s order, reason, beauty, and wonder in his wild world.

 In Last Child in the Woods, Author Richard Luov wrote, “Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in the creek, turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that confusion.”

As our kids play with creation’s materials while building creek dams or stick forts, or they behold waterfalls, rivers, mountains, and creatures, their thoughts are sorted, which leads them to absolute truths only evident in nature. As George Orwell wrote in 1984, “​​The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet.” Nature presents these unchangeable facts to our kids and shows them everything is not up to our interpretations or definitions. As they splash in wet water and build towers of hard stones, they’re pointed to a Creator who does not change. He is steadfast and trustworthy. With this wholesome view of the world, our kids can make sense of their lives and place in the Creator’s plan.

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Eryn Lynum

Find more Bible + Nature teaching and resources, including a FREE devotional: God of Wonders: 5 Lessons from Nature for Teaching Your Child Who God is and How He Loves Them at Eryn Lynum is a certified Master Naturalist, Bible teacher, national speaker, and author of 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting and the upcoming book Rooted in Wonder: Nurturing Your Family’s Faith Through God’s Creation (releases 2023). Eryn lives in Northern Colo­rado with her husband, Grayson, and their four children, whom they homeschool—mainly in the great outdoors. Her family spends their days hiking, camping, and adventuring through the Rocky Moun­tains. Eryn leads nature classes and hikes and has been featured on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, Proverbs31 Ministries, MOPS Inter­national, Bible Gateway, Her View From Home, and For Every Mom. Every opportunity she gets, she is out exploring God’s creation with her family.

Read more about Eryn

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