It’s not a popular concept in 21st century America. Generally speaking, our culture promotes just the opposite: instant gratification over perseverance; entitlement over hard work; living in victimhood rather than seeking to overcome.
And, sadly, that attitude often filters into Christians’ view of spiritual growth.
We expect to be “fed” at church every week – that the music will minister to us, the sermon challenge us, and others notice us enough to seek us out as we fellowship before and after a service. In fact, we even church-hop until we find a place that “meets our needs.”
It’s obviously important to attend a biblically sound church. And having relational connections at church is a plus. However, we make a grave mistake when any of us expects all of our family’s spiritual needs to be met during an hour or two on Sunday morning and when we rely on pastors and Sunday school teachers to impart the only spiritual nourishment we consume all week long. Imagine how you – and your kids – would look and feel if the only food you ate week after week was at Sunday brunch. Even if you stuffed yourselves at a huge buffet every week, you’d obviously become weak and ill in very short order.
So it is spiritually when the only devotional “food” we “eat” is what is served at church.
In fact, just as we know we must prepare nutritionally balanced meals and snacks multiple times a day – seven days a week – in order to meet our physical and mental needs, it’s also our personal responsibility to provide daily spiritual “meals” for ourselves and for our kids.
Is that hard in the midst of our full, hectic days? Of course. In fact, we know people are sometimes so busy that they literally forget to eat. Thus, it’s understandable that we might forget or discount the need for daily spiritual meals. But just as the person who regularly forgets to nourish herself physically will suffer in very short order, so, too, we – and our kids – will be starved if we fail to take responsibility for feeding ourselves spiritually every day.
Most people eat at least three meals a day. Some eat five or six times daily. Perhaps we should make the spiritual analogy and aim towards some sort of spiritual nourishment – sometimes in large amounts and sometimes smaller – three or more times a day. And we surely ought to take responsibility to spiritually “eat” – and feed our kids – once a day at the very least.
What’s on the menu at your house today?
Photo Credit: Laura Smith