- - Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Culture challenge of the week: Recognizing design as divine

One of my favorite things to think about, talk about, and revel in is how much God loves design — and to design.

From detailed instructions on the decorations and colors to adorn garments, to specifics on the materials and dimensions of buildings, to dictates on the metals and the way that tools and other objects should be cast and formed, the Bible is filled with accounts of God’s intense interest and care in directing people to create beautiful, useful and meaningful clothing, textiles, tools and structures.

The Scriptures reveal that God is quite specific, quite intentional and quite demanding when it comes to design.

Then I start thinking about all the other things he made that are referenced in the Bible but that he did not invite people to help with: the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, the oceans, the animals the list is endless.

When my mind wanders to all the intricate things he created that are not mentioned in the Bible, I become overwhelmed. Because I live by the shore, seashells frequently become the focus of my amazement.

As I turn a banded tulip shell over and over in my hand examining the patterns and colors that are repeated on every shell of its type, or the way the curves increase in perfect mathematical equation and ratio, or as I wonder about how the soft secretions of the slug inside can harden into a protective home, or that such a simple creature is able to do any of it at all, I stand amazed.

Then, there are the people. Each one of us created in his image but cast with our own unique talents, personalities and looks. The fact that God blessed some humans with the ability to share in his world and love of design probably intrigues me the most.

When I meet people with artistic abilities, my mind goes back to the fact that God loves us enough to create beauty — beauty that often serves no other purpose than our own enjoyment. That is the kind of God I can’t help but want to follow. And when I consider the fact that he created many things to be both beautiful and useful, I am blown away.

How to save your family: Join God in design

How do we develop a sense of “awe” in our children? To help open their eyes to the beauty and wonder and majesty that is around them?

By first seeing it ourselves and by taking the time to point out what should be the obvious — but that the master deceiver, Satan, intentionally causes us miss.

There are many biblical passages that can help your family see, understand and marvel at God’s wonderful creation. One particular passage helps me in my own quest to praise my God more often for all that he is — for all that he has created.

Psalm 19 (The New Century Version) is my favorite for reminding me of the amazing divinity of design: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies announce what his hands have made. Day after day they tell the story; night after night they tell it again. They have no speech or words; they have no voice to be heard. But their message goes out through all the world; their words go everywhere on earth.”

Why not take the time to memorize the above passage and then encourage your children to do the same? On this very night, in the warmth of the summer eve, take a stroll outside and marvel at the countless stars in the sky and how they silently and boldly declare the God that created them — that created us. Talk about God’s intentional and marvelous design, and of his loving invitation for them to join him in becoming designers too.

God calls all of us to join him in the act of creating — to harness and develop the many talents, tools and materials that he created from nothing and use them ourselves to create more beautiful things.

Perhaps your child loves to paint or has a knack for sculpting or designing clothing. Maybe your son or daughter loves the written word or speech. Maybe your child has a knack for envisioning processes, techniques or systems. Does a budding musician live in your home? Whatever the talents or interests, encourage your children to explore and develop.

Above all else, take the time to help your children tap into the inspiration of the great Creator — the one who made it all — to discover that to design is divine.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at rebecca@howtosaveyourfamily.com.

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