Saturday, September 1, 2007
Good and Bad Appetites
What appetites have been cultivated in your children?
No, I am not talking about food---instead I am talking about those things of which your children have set their affections on, what they desire and what they want or would like to incorporate in their lives.
That being said, I want you to take a good look at your children (I have already done this with mine too many times to count). What appetites do you see have grown into their lives? Are they good--are they bad? Most importantly:
Do they line up with the biblical goals for your family?
In order to know that, you need to actually have biblical goals for your family. Here is an example:
Purity. Your biblical goal for your child and family is to live a life of purity. Therefore you will not want to cultivate an appetite that would do the opposite of that. You probably would not let your child have free run of the TV for risk of what their eyes would see or learning poor ideas about relationships. You would not have magazines around the house that they might browse through that have scantily clad women on the cover or the inside. You would be careful to warn them about the dangers of dating and not urge them to have a boyfriend/girlfriend in any subtle form. You wouldn't allow them free run of the computer in case of them running into pornography or the like. We also wouldn't allow them to run with crowds that we knew were practicing immorality lest they be tempted likewise.
Does this make sense? See, wrong appetites can pull a child's heart from the Lord and from their parents. Positive appetites can do just the opposite. As we consider what biblical goals we have for our children and what influences we will allow in their lives, we need to be wise in considering what appetite of each of these might cultivate.
We want to point our children to the Lord, loving His Word, contentment, gratitude, fellowship with other believers, witnessing to the lost, serving others and obedience to God. It can be hard to do that if their hearts are wrapped up in wordly pleasures and peer influence so much so that their hearts turn cold to these things that are most important. As parents, we much watch over our children with diligence to see how they are progressing in this area. If we see negative influences or appetites that are drawing them away from those important things I listed above (which is by no means exhaustive, as I could've written a very long list but for lack of time and space chose just to list a few of the most significant goals) we must be careful to protect and to lead them back into the paths of good appetites. Sometimes it can even be a good thing like extra activities or sports. Too much of even what we might deem ' good things' in a child's life, without balance, can have the same affect. If we are wise parents we will understand the power of appetites and how they affect reaching biblical goals for our children.
So again I ask, what are your children's appetites?