I don’t believe I could have ever quantified in my wildest dreams how much time in my life I would spend saying “don’t put that in your mouth”. I’m a father and besides being elbow deep in diapers (I’m exaggerating, my wife does so many more than me), I’ve found that an important part of my parenting is making sure my children don’t eat nonsense.
On any given day, in any given moment, my 1 year old will bend down, pick something up, and put it in his mouth before I’ve had time to discern if it’s edible or not. He finds great delight in seeing my jumpy reaction as I race over to perform what I consider a 3rd year med student procedure of extracting said item. Could be a part of a toy, a 4 week old cheerio (3 weeks is the threshold), or just a piece of lint. His proclivity to scan and locate these items with Robocop precision is admirable. Also infuriating. Here’s why it’s so upsetting.
We invest much of our money in food. We try to buy organic vegetables. Grass fed beef. Free range eggs. Free trade coffee. It’s an investment we make on a regular basis to make sure we’re ingesting healthy nutrition that will not harm ours or our children’s bodies. It’s expensive, it requires budgeting, and we’re mocked for it at times. As we sit at dinner, this same child will take a piece of organic chicken sausage, hold it over the edge of the table, and drop it. Each time to me is like one of those slow motion tragic scenes in movies. I’m thrifty (read cheap) and I immediately calculate how many dollars that floor bite costs me.
Why is it that as much intention and personal cost I’ve invested in this healthy nutrition for my children, they feel no remorse wasting it? They will literally eat trash or poisonous substances without a second though. Yet, when I provide something that will help them thrive and grow, they do not hesitate to throw it away?
I think you know where this is going. We have a loving father in God. He has provided a way to feed our hearts with his word. He has provided a way for us to be encouraged and loved with community. He has provided us with healthy nutrition so our hearts can flourish and have true joy. Yet we keep going after trash. We’re motivated by sexual desires. We isolate ourselves to preserve our “privacy.” We intake poison through our social media feeds, through unhealthy relationships we choose to have, through the tv programming we follow. We have the most healthy nutrition available, yet we scoff, throw it off the table, and carry on without ever considering the cost to our Father. We take in substances that are killing our souls just because they’re easy and within reach. Let’s be more committed to what we intake. Read more scripture. Have more gospel centered relationships. Stop watching certain programs. Let God do a cleanse of your heart so that it can beat with the furor He designed it to have. “Get that out of your mouth!”