Lately my kids have not been eating very well at mealtimes. They eat just fine at other times of the day…candy, chocolate milk, Little Debbie snack cakes, Pepsi, cookies, pretzels and other assorted snacks. The problem, of course, is that they fill their stomachs with snacks and then they aren’t hungry when meal times come around. Gary has pointed this out to me several times, but I’ve finally been noticing it myself. It’s much easier to just let my kids have a snack when they beg for one whenever they are bored or restless. It’s time to start explaining “delayed gratification” and encourage them to eat when they are truly hungry instead of whenever they see food.
Maybe I need to review some of those principles myself before I try to change my children’s eating habits. I guess I have been grabbing a handful of candy corn when I get stressed about something, a bowl of ice cream in the evening if I feel depressed, a candy bar when I’m bored. I don’t feel too hungry at meal times most days either – but I still clean my plate. That could be why I’ve put on a few extra pounds and can’t fit into some of my clothes.
Come to think of it – I haven’t been very spiritually hungry lately, either. I still go to church, think about the Lord, pray a little, read the Bible a little…but the hunger is definitely not there. Could it be that I’ve been filling my life with so many other things that I’m not very hungry for God? I know I have some “junk food” in my life – some of the TV shows I watch, or the mindless computer games I sometimes veg out with too often. I also have lots of good things in my life – like MOPS, activities at church, reading good books, listening to great music…but sometimes I get so busy with those things that it crowds out my relationship with God. I’m afraid I’m not very willing to sacrifice some of the things I do so that I have more time for God. The Bible warns us about worrying too much about satisfying our earthly desires:
Romans 13:13-14 – Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Phil 3:19 – Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.
I Peter 2:1-2 – Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
I hope your mind is spinning with all of the ideas those verses can inspire. I find myself wondering why I don’t crave that “pure spiritual milk” anymore. I thought I was a very mature Christian – dining on the “meat” of all of those deep spiritual truths in the Bible. But maybe in our spiritual lives it’s possible for us to regress and become babies again when we stop “eating” and growing. I’ve been so busy with good things (and some junk) that I am not even very hungry for the Lord anymore. I think to myself spiritually…hmm, what am I hungry for? And my mind answers: Ice cream! when my soul actually desires to be filled with God and his Spirit.
That’s probably why I sometimes feel restless and empty even after I finish my snack or some activity. God is the only One who can satisfy the desires within me:
Isaiah 55:1-2 – “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
I think I need to think before I grab my next snack. Maybe I need to grab the Bible instead, or talk to God for a while. What are you hungry for today?
© Robyn Mulder 2003, therobynsnest.org