Part of the reason we pursue physical wellness with such passion is [that] we worship a secret idol: the idol of being guilt-free. What if we do something wrong? What if we feed our kids the wrong thing, or put on the wrong sunscreen, or use the wrong detergent?
When I had my first baby I was obsessed with doing everything “right.” I remember making my own baby food from scratch. I thought I was on the right track, but my research quickly proved me wrong. I made the mistake of making the baby food with store-bought vegetables instead of my own organic ones. Once the baby food was made, I froze it in forbidden plastic. I even made the fatal mistake of covering it with tin foil. The web said it was as good as garbage.
I was a mess. How could I do right for this tiny life when “right” seemed so elusive? The “right” way was actually staring me in the face. I just wasn’t looking in the right place.
God’s Word tells us the right thing to do for our kids — and it has nothing to do with organic baby food or BPA-free plastic. Are you ready? Our job for our kids is to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
That doesn’t mean we abandon our responsibility over our kids’ physical wellness. But we recognize that physical wellness is not an end in itself. It’s a means to a greater end: pointing our kids to Christ. Our ultimate goal is not to extend their earthly lives as long as possible, but to prepare them for the life to come. This perspective frees us from fear.
Jesus knew we moms would struggle. He knew we would be tempted to let physical cares cause fear. That’s why He lovingly reminds us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
There is a way to be guilt-free and it’s not by getting all of our nutritional ducks in a row. It’s by trusting a sovereign God. We trust His perfect plan for our kids — a plan that takes into account a fallen world, our weaknesses, and even our sin. We fear God, not our environment. In a beautiful logic-defying twist, fear of God produces peace. We acknowledge that He’s in control and He loves us. We recognize that everything we see and touch now will fade away, but we have an eternal hope to offer our kids. And when this physical world fails us, again and again, we remind ourselves (and our kids) of what David said: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)