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Picky Eating and Gospel Strategies

August 10, 2009

One of our kids has developed a bad habit of being a picky eater – won’t try new foods, tends to like only certain kinds, etc.  My wife and I are trying to form strategies to counter this recent development.  Yet, whatever strategies we use, practically speaking, I hope that one thing that we are able to get across to her are the implications of “picky eating.”

Picky eating does not simply make life difficult for the cooking mom or cause dinners to go longer while we sit and wait for the child to finish dinner.  Picky eating doesn’t just imply that their taste buds are simply narrowly focused.  Picky eating says something of the heart.  For parents, the picky eating of their children be may a good, gospel teaching moment.

At the risk of an overstatement, picky eating is the first few steps down the dark and hollow path of Romans 1:21, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Romans 1:21 has a larger context within Romans 1-2 and much more is implied, but at the very heart of Romans 1 and 2 is the refusal to recognize God as Creator and ourselves as creatures.  Everything we have is derived from him.  The proper response of the creature’s heart is thankfulness and gratitude, but their sinful response was to not even recognize God as God and Creator.

I don’t want to necessarily jam the entire context of Romans 1-2 into my child’s picky eating, yet, in a very real sense, there is no heart of thankfulness, contentment, or gratitude in picky eating.  In fact, it is the opposite of thankfulness, contentment, and gratitude.  Instructing the child’s heart in the little mundane things like eating what their mother has prepared for them begins to prepare them to have a thankful heart, being content in the Lord and in what he has ordained for them.

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