One of my children has major issues with eating. He’s physically able to eat- no allergies, no underlying causes. Every food placed before him is “goss” (gross), disgusting, ew, or has something minuscule wrong with it. Any meal time, I have to physically hold him in my lap and promise he can get down after a few bites. There are some foods not even worth the battle simply because even ones he consistently eats are still a battle! But alas, we can’t live on oatmeal and pizza with no sauce forever. I find myself not even trying to venture into other foods because of the time and energy they will consume from me just trying to even get him willingly to put them in his mouth. The kid won’t even eat ice cream if it has sprinkles in it. Like seriously?
However, this is a battle that I will continue to fight because literally, my child’s nourishment is on the line. His health, his growth depends on eating good foods that will help his body work the way it is designed. Even though I have to fight every inch of the way to get one bite in his mouth, it is worth the battle.
But, I can’t help but think- why does my child resist food so?
And what am I, as a parent, resisting that is for my nourishment and strength?
Why do we spiritually, mentally, and physically fight a taste of the goodness God has for us?
The answer has been evident since the beginning of time- we want our own way, plain and simple. Our children want their own way, and we do too. My children are all very strong-willed, which I know will serve them eventually as adults if it is honed in the right direction. But for right now, as children, their strong will is doing exactly what they want...and usually in direct opposition to what I know is good for them. I weep and cry over their fight over going to bed, eating vegetables, and washing their hands. Truly, any parent knows that these simple battles are exhausting and can drive even the strongest parent to tears...or hiding in a closet and eating cookies.
And us. While we might have healthier habits because we now understand the benefits and enjoy what is good for us (except kale), there still is that spirit within us that wants our own way. We probably don’t have to look very hard to find an example of us choosing what we wanted over what was best in our lives... sleeping in versus working out? Kale shake over tacos? That hurtful word over stepping away? Spending our time bingeing on Netflix versus devotions? If we were to be completely honest with ourselves, our strong wills spend a lot of time thinking about what WE want, what would make us happy, and what is the best for us. Horrible? No. But if we fail to pursue our own way without relationship rooted deeply in His heart, we’ll never experience the things we want as truly fulfilling. He is the only one who can satisfy. We have to stop fighting against it.
Just like I know my three year old is hungry when he is acting out, I know that I am hungry for the things of God when I get in that funk I can’t get out of on my own. God is what is good for me, plain and simple. But honestly, there are times that I need to check off my never-ending to-do list rather than spending time in His presence. And I end up feeling the after-effects- unfulfilled, tired, and stressed. I fight against what will nourish me with my choice to go my own way. As a parent, raising the world-changers my children are called to be, I simply cannot do it without Him. How many times however, instead of consulting Him, I react in the way that I think is right? I’m not advocating to be plagued by indecision- God answers our call for wisdom and guidance that we should ask for daily. But if I have not really asked Him for His help, if I have not spent time with Him before investing in my children, then my parenting will be unfulfilling.
Taste and see. If you are new to seeking the Lord, spend a few minutes in His presence- praying, reading the Bible, and worshipping. The more mature you are, the more you should want to taste and see for yourself that the Lord is good. Watch your marriage, parenting, and life change- slowly, steadily, and beautifully. Don’t fight against what is good, just do it...and watch your legacy unfold