by Juan Carlos Rodríguez Soto PhD in Biology | Perú
by Marisol Contreras Quiñones
Master’s in Biology | Perú
Everything that surrounds the human being, including himself, is part of what we know as nature, and natural sciences include biol-ogy, chemistry, and physics. Everything existing on this planet, and even outside it, follows a number of laws that man tries to discover and analyze, from their origin to the present time. Men, however, choose to ignore that such order was put in place by God at the very creation this world.
Throughout the years, man has managed to unravel some laws that govern the behavior of nature, such as gravity, states of matter, the water cycle, the rotation of the earth, and the growth and reproduction of living beings. These are just some of the many topics of human interest. By devoting much time and study, man has managed to know “part” of the origin and functioning of creation but, sadly, he does not know his true Creator.
Because of this situation, it is necessary for parents to deepen their study in the subjects of nature so they can teach their children, from infancy into childhood and through the teen years, these matters in the light of truth. Teach them to acknowledge creation as the origin of this order, which is maintained to the present time. Throughout the ages, nature has been one of the best gifts that God has given us; and we can find the choicest life lessons in it. Here are some topics to discuss with our children:
- Plant development, from a small seed to a large tree, gives us lessons in patience and perseverance. God has a plan for each of us. Good things will happen, but they require effort and time.
- The movement of the water in a river, coming from the high snowcapped mountains to the sea, points to an undeniable order. Thus the history of humankind, represented in the “statue” of the book of Daniel, points to a direction in the history of mankind that cannot be denied.
- The behavior of ants, which store their food when summer conditions are favorable to them, could lead to topics such as savings and making provisions for the future, not only in the material realm but also in the spiritual.
- The movement of locusts, which do not usually “collide” with one another even when they number in the thousands, points out to us the importance of order in our lives, even when no one is watching or controlling us –from the simple duties of cleaning our bedrooms to the order that we should manifest in our occupations and our Christian lives.
- The bird’s nest on the top of a tree reminds us of the care and love of human parents for their babies and how they care for their little ones in any situation of danger. At the top of that same tree, which is difficult to reach, is where the birds will teach their youngsters to fly. In the same way, our children must be educated and prepared in the nest that constitutes every Christian home, for the different situations that the children will have to face in this world.
- A beautiful landscape, in a trip to the countryside, allows us to observe the beauty and balance of creation, and to remember that nature follows the sequence established by the Creator. The waters of a river follow its course, the waters of the sea do not cross their boundaries, the water follows its cycle, and the flowers die to produce the fruit within which are the seeds that will give rise to still more flowers.
- The rainbow itself, after a heavy rain, reminds us of the promises of our God, including the peace promised in the Holy Scriptures. It is amazing to know that, after the storms of this world, we –the children of God– will have peace, happiness, and eternal life in a better world.
Many of the things that God wants us to come to know about His power and love can be learned in nature. Hence the importance that children, along with their parents and teachers, can enjoy nature and understand the phenomena that surround them from a perspective in accordance with the power of divine intention. In our local church we should promote trips to the countryside with clear objectives and goals that can be evaluated.
Childhood is the best time to start this learning, since at this age the experiences are better recorded in the mind. Recent studies indicate that science taught in the first years of life expands the capacity of children to learn in different areas of knowledge. Observing and enjoying nature allows them to develop their logical, creative, and explorative thinking, while making them tolerant and respectful of their peers and the environment.
All this allows the formation of a per- sonality capable of developing according to God’s plan, with all of the potentials that have been given to each child. Thus today’s child will later be able to make the best decisions regarding his nutrition and health, as well as social and environmental situations.
The power of creation is depicted in all of nature, from the highest mountains to the smallest molecules detected in living beings; everything points to a structure and engineering that, far from being the fruit of “evolution,” shows the wise work of the Creator, a notion that even some brilliant minds in today’s world of “human science” have acknowledged.