|Volume 17 Number 4 April 2015||
“Lo, children are a heritage of Jehovah; and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). These precious gifts come to us as tiny packages—pure, fresh and completely dependent. They are dependent on parents for feeding, protection and love. Commonly, parents provide for them the physical necessities of life. “And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he give him a stone?” (Luke 11:11). To refuse meals to a hungry child would be criminal.
We do not fully understand “how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child” (Ecclesiastes 11:5). Neither can we comprehend how God “forms the spirit of man within him” (Zechariah 12:1). Nevertheless, He does it. Every infant makes his or her debut with body and spirit. Bodily care is only part of the parental responsibility. What about spiritual feeding? “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Neither adults nor youths learn the ways of God through osmosis. How often have we seen mothers struggling alone each Sunday to bring their children to worship? What role ought real men fulfill regarding their children’s spiritual wellbeing? “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Some men are good breadwinners. However, children with contented bellies are still in need of the bread of life. It is no surprise that Timothy became spiritually strong, since “from a babe” he had “known the sacred writings” (2 Timothy 3:15). Wholly-healthy children feed from the table and from the Bible. Do your children enjoy a balanced diet, or are your children half starved?
Watch Your Mind Food
Gary C. Hampton
It is amazing how much time Americans spend on eating. We either prepare the food or discuss where we are going to eat. Then, we eat. Afterward, we discuss how it was and what we might do to make it even better the next time. There are even television channels devoted to food.
Christians need to realize that what we put into our stomachs is not as important as what we put into our minds. Jesus said,
Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man. (Matthew 15:17-20)
Each child of God would be blessed by devoting time to consideration of what he is feeding his mind. The best “restaurant” for the mind is not found in popular music, magazines or television programs. Instead, it is found in a diligent search through God’s Word to discover how to be a proper workman for him (2 Timothy 2:15). Those who have been risen with Christ must put their focus on “those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).
Paul gave specific types of “mind food” on which to focus. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Any faithful reader of God’s Word will recognize the greatest source of materials of these sorts is the Bible. Let us resolve to make daily Bible reading a habit. It will make us better people.