Thanks to Deb del Villar for today’s post ___________________________________________________
Baby animals begins life by depending solely on their parents for their food.
A mother bird will find the food, chew it up, and spit it into the baby bird’s mouth. If you have ever seen a nest full of hungry baby birds, you can’t help but notice the sounds and wide open mouths as each one clamors for lunch. They actually appear to be all mouth!
Like baby birds, many newborn animals start by being fed from and by their mothers. In time, they learn to eat for themselves while sometimes still being fed by their mothers. Then, the time comes for them to be weaned. They are on their own for nourishment.
This progression is very much like our children when it comes to spiritual nourishment. In the beginning, they depend solely on us their parents (teachers) to teach them the “sincere milk of the Word.” May this hunger for milk – the true Word of God – always be in their hearts for by it they grow [1 Peter 2:2]. May their hearts be open and ready to receive this sincere milk. Yet may they not stay dependent on us to find it, chew it up, and spit it into their mouths. May they not stay baby birds.
Instead may they move on to eating meat which will help make them grow strong and mature [Hebrews 5:14]. The meat of the Word will train their senses to discern both good and evil. How we need to teach our children this truth! By three months of age, a lioness is teaching her cubs to hunt. As a lioness teaches her cubs, may we raise our children to seek and devour the meat of the Word for themselves. In the beginning, they will need help and encouragement but the goal is to get them doing it on their own. A lion cub is on their own by 16 months. How are you doing with your youth –will they be ready by age 16? May we seek to prepare them so they do not have to stay on a diet of milk because they are not ready for meat [1 Corinthians 3:2].
They also need to be like cows when consuming the Word of God. Have you ever choked
on a piece of meat? It is important to chew it up well. So we need to teach our children to chew slowly, thoroughly meditating on God’s Word. This is a great way to get the most out of His Word. Additionally, we need our children to graze daily, throughout the day, taking their time, not being in a rush. Just chewing and moving through the pages of Scripture, growing in grace and knowledge.
Where are your children on this discipleship journey – are they baby birds, a lion, a cow? Help them to move on to the next stage.
This discipleship journey is not only for our children – it is for us too!