Okay, so I am currently on a diet. I started it, let’s see…around 1992. I should be nearly invisible by now, I know, but nursing school, marriage and 3 kids need to be taken into account. As well as 25 years of holidays and birthdays. I probably should just be happy with my current weight considering all that, right? (Joking aside and truth be told it isn’t about my size, it is the idolization of food in my life. I’m on a quest to stop bowing to my stomach and seeking consolation in calories [see Phil. 3:19 and 1 Cor. 10:31]).
It was brought to my attention that when I diet, it affects the whole family. I don’t cook as often and I don’t buy as much food (flee temptation!). I also don’t bake if I can help it (don’t mix up and eat temptation raw, that should be in the Bible too). My 12 year old, Peyton, takes notice of all of this. He is where I got the title. For the first few weeks of my diet, he would proclaim to anyone who would listen, “Mom is on a diet, so ALL of us are STARVING!” He wanted everyone to know he was suffering and I was responsible.
Peyton has lightened up a little on the complaints (Easter candy helped), but it made me realize the influence we moms have on our homes. Do the “little” things we do really affect the family that much? The clear and decisive answer is YES! But I think you already knew that. How many of us have tried to take a night off of cooking and suddenly everyone is irritable and confused (You didn’t make dinner? What are we supposed to eat?!?). When we are having a bad day and get grumpy, how long is it before everyone in the house is grumpy and having a bad day? Yes, we wives and moms have great, influential power over our families. But…we need to be very careful with that “power”.
Ladies, this blog today is not about food or dieting. It is actually about starving. Some of you are starving yourselves and in effect starving your families too. How do I know this? Well, I have been talking to some of you. And I have observed some of you. And I have been listening to many of you. And I have seen the Facebook posts. Some of you are emaciated and your family is suffering. They may not shout, “Mom isn’t reading her Bible, so all of us are starving for encouragement, grace and love!” But they are expressing it one way or another if you are paying attention.
When we skip (or skimp) on reading our Bible there will be effects. God tells us, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt.4:4) and “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63). God’s Word is the Source of life, that makes it essential for living.
Separating yourself from the living waters of God will cause you to dry up and produce thorns, these thorns will pierce those around you. It is difficult and painful to love a thorn bush. Don’t make your husband and children try to do that. Stop the insanity of denying yourself what you most deeply need. Exercise your faith and dive in. Let your soul be refreshed and replenished with God’s Word. Begin to produce fruit that will bless those around you.
Read Psalm 19:7-8, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;”. In just a few consecutive lines we get a glimpse of the value of reading God’s Word - it revives, makes wise, brings joy to the heart and enlightens our eyes! This is what we need in our homes.
Stop the starving. Love those around you well by reaching for scripture throughout your day. Just like oxygen on an airplane, put yours on first so that you can then help the ones you love. Act like God’s word is your lifeline and like you can’t survive without it…because you can’t. I have not met a single person on earth who is too busy to read the Bible and you won’t be the first. No excuses.
The best thing you can do to help your man, encourage your child, love a screaming baby, fold laundry with joy, discipline with wisdom, or fill a house with grace is to read God’s Word daily. It is only God’s Word that can accomplish these ordinary, yet divine purposes in our lives. If mom has joy in her heart and praise for God on her lips, her husband and children will be blessed by it. Her home will be a sanctuary and a place of peace and God will be glorified.