There’s nothing like coddling your newborn when they first come home from the hospital and they still smell so new. Starting the journey of parenthood can be an exhilarating time in one’s life. My wife would wrap our children when they were in that infant stage and bring them to me, so I could feed them and love on them. Wow! There’s nothing like it!
But if you fast-forward the journey, it definitely will get different. They have nothing on their mind other than playing with their friends and living life to its fullest. Feeding time can look like a litter of young pups knocking over anything and everything that stands in the way of their bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning. Sadly, the memories of cuddling babies are filed away in the archives of the past.
Even in the bird kingdom in the coming of spring you can find mother’s bringing worms and insects back to the nest, where the newly hatched babies eagerly await dinner with their mouths open.
King Solomon in his wisdom sums it up in the Bible when he says there’s, “A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted.” He pens what many of us parents have already experienced or what some are learning as they are currently in the trenches with raising their children. There are seasons! What might be cute and making of great memories with your newborn would totally be absurd with an older child. Keep cuddling by all means, but let them feed themselves when they’re older.
As Paul writes his letter to the believers in Colosse, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”
Paul in his spiritual fathering exhorts those who had made a decision to receive Jesus as their Lord: to not stop with just a decision but to begin the journey of following their new master. What he says here he also says with more detail to the Hebrews who weren’t progressing in their spiritual walk. He says in Hebrew 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again … you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age.”
There comes a time when children must mature to feeding themselves. It is unnatural for anyone healthy that is growing to stay spoon-fed. In the same manner as we receive Jesus as our Lord we must then begin to grow by following him. We have many benefits by receiving Jesus (Psalms 103:2-5 ) but unless we take responsibility in walking them out we can’t get the full potential of what God has for us. Just like the children of Israel had an obligation to get up in the morning and gather the manna that God had given them. (Exodus 16:4, 13-24)
We must take the responsibility ourselves to grow by following him. We do that by some basic and fundamental things. In short, we read his word, we talk to him, we obey him and we get involved in his family. It’s time to grow up. It’s our responsibility!