Grimy gum on sticky tile floors. Scrape it off. Stacks of boxes in the stock room. Tear ‘em down. Sloshy, overflowing trash bags from the lunch counter-café. Haul those bad boys to the dumpster. Along the way, try my best to not break the slimy bags, spilling dead French fries and greasy liquids—thus making more work for myself. (I managed such an epic fail numerous times.)
These were my wondrous tasks at my first paycheck-producing job as a sixteen year-old. I was hired to work as an after-school stock boy by a grumbly Woolworth store manager named Mr. Akers. He never cracked a smile and refused to shake hands due to his Howie Mandel style aversion to germs. Honestly, to my youthful ego, this seemed like a less-than-ideal job. However, I felt confident, ready for the challenge, and eager to succeed in the workforce.
What’s it take these days to raise kids to be ready to engage in a lifetime of meaningful work? I recently had the privilege of doing a special interview with researcher, author, and a leading expert in perspective cultivation, Dr. Christian Overman. Enjoy gleaning from his rich insights!
John: “The thick thread, Christian, of your research and writing addresses worldview. Why does a kid’s worldview matter? What’s the big deal? Why is it important for parents to pay attention to their children’s worldview?”
Christian: “A worldview is what a person believes to be true about God, about spiritual things, about how everything came into existence, about what makes humans unique, about what is right and wrong, and about what gives people purpose and meaning in living. Children who believe that no God exists, and therefore there is no Personal Being ‘above all’ who knows everything done in secret, will have less of a moral dilemma with stealing—if they think they can get away with it—and be more likely to cheat on a test at school. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It is critically important to pay attention to a child’s worldview, because it is their worldview that will shape their personal values, and their values will shape their behavior.”
John: “That makes solid sense. Worldview shapes values, and then such values lead to long-term workplace behaviors. Also, a firm grasp of what gives us purpose and meaning obviously can have a huge impact on our attitude and actions in our daily work. OK, so if worldview is that important, how should parents do their work of deliberately forming kids’ all-important beliefs and values? What would you say are the top three or four best practices parents can/should utilize in order to be more intentional about shaping their kids’ worldview?”
Christian: “On the top of my list, #1 is building into children a view of the Bible as the fully-true and inspired Word of God. An acceptance of the unquestionable authority of Scripture is critical. Of course, the Bible isn’t always easy to understand. For that reason, I recommend #2: having regular conversations about Scripture at opportune times, particularly as it relates to the real-life experiences in the child’s life. Along with this goes #3, which I’ll call the “best practice” of all: parental modeling. Kids need to see their parents living out their own respect for God and His Word, especially in the “little things” of everyday life.”
John: “Big thanks, Christian. Most of us as parents don’t just naturally engage in such intentional conversations and modeling with our kids. You’ve shared empowering tips! We’ll continue this interview in next week’s post. Great thanks!”
Want to glean more from Dr. Overman? For greater detail and further insight on intentional cultivation of a God-honoring worldview in your own life and your kids’ perspectives, I highly recommend Christian’s book, God’s Pleasure at Work: Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide.
To learn more and order your own copy, visit: http://biblicalworldview.com/bookstore.html
Watch for Part 2 of this interview in our next blog-post!
Blessings in all your endeavors this week!