As one who loves the outdoors and who also desires to instill that love in my son, I find this article by Albert Mohler to be a helpful reminder to intentionally cultivate in my children a God-centered passion for mountains and streams; for lakes and trails; for bikes and backpacks. In the article, “Have Our Children Forgotten How to Play Outdoors,” Dr. Mohler reviews a recent book by Richard Louv entitled, Last Child in the Woods, in which Louv suggests “that the current generation of American children knows the Discovery Channel better than their own backyards-–and that this loss of contact with nature leads to impoverished lives and stunted imagination.” Mohler contintues,
Louv begins by recounting an anecdote involving his son, Matthew. When the boy was about ten years of age, he asked his father: “Dad, how come it was more fun when you were a kid?” The boy was honestly reflecting on his knowledge of his father’s boyhood. Richard Louv, like most of us who came of age in his generation, spent most of our playing time outdoors, building forts in the woods, exploring every nook and cranny of our yards, and participating in activities that centered in child-organized outdoor fun. Louv reflects, “Americans around my age, baby boomers or older, enjoyed a kind of free, natural play that seems, in the era of kid pagers, instant messaging, and Nintendo, like a quaint artifact.”
Although Louv leans toward a kind of nature mysticism, Mohler believes Christians can read his book with great profit. At the very least, Christian parents can take Louv’s observations as a challenge to steer their children away from so much time indoors to more time outside. After all, the whole earth is full of the glory of the Lord (Isaiah 6:3).
You can read the whole article here.