Mathematics is one of the core subjects of schooling. "Reading, writing, and 'rithmatic" have always been the top three for a reason. Unfortunately, many children hate math, especially when they get into the upper grades. All but the most elementary math is often beyond the parents' understanding as well. Try as I might, I wasn't able to give all my children a love for math either. However, math is an important skill to learn and it helps to develop our mental powers.
Some people think that math is the one subject that is spiritually neutral. In other words, math is math, and it doesn't have anything to do with a Christian or biblical worldview. Nothing could be further from the truth. (If you doubt that, read James Nickels' book Mathematics: Is God Silent? See link below.) Mathematics of all subjects reveals the mastermind of God as no other. The mathematical world provides us with evidence upon evidence of the wise, skillful hand of an intelligent Creator. There is design and precision EVERYWHERE!
One of my favorite quotes is from a music professor at the University of Alaska: "Math is the language of God. And music is math made audible." Math is indeed the language of God. Math is all around us and is part of everything we do. The computer age has made that more evident and practical to us than ever before. Everything we do is based on numbers, counting, computations, measuring, figuring, geometric shapes, etc., etc.—from music, to art, to cooking, to time management. All of science is based on math. Even grammar and writing have elements of math within them: order and sequence, patterns and symmetry, form and shape.
Help your children discover the wonder of mathematics. If God is the Creator of math, then math reveals things to us about God. He created it for His glory. By learning math, we are learning things about God—all kinds of things! Simple counting teaches us the importance of every individual before God. A walk in nature reveals geometric shapes galore in which we can see the creative genius of God in using simple lines and curves to define all that is. Patterns of numbers are all around us in flower petals and pineapple eyes and pinecones—all things that tell us that the God who created all these things understands the mathematics of beauty.
I remember cutting open a green pepper one afternoon at the kitchen sink while I was preparing dinner and marveling at the abundance of God. Every one of those seeds could become a plant that would produce dozens of peppers, and every one of those peppers would have hundreds of seeds inside it. Talk about the principle of multiplication! No one understands multiplication and its implications better than God!
Sometimes children, bored with math, say things like, "Why do I have to learn this? I'll never use it!" Don't ever affirm this sentiment, regardless of the subject. All knowledge belongs to God. All knowledge originated from the brilliance of His mind. Proverbs says it well: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." The more we fear the Lord, the more knowledge of His world in all its facets will captivate our hearts.
More on math in the coming weeks . . .