Soon, the mad rush for school supplies, new clothes, electronic devices, dorm supplies, and the thought of packing school lunches will settle down and kids will return to classrooms. Their backpacks will be full, their new duds will match their anticipation for renewing old friendships and filling their minds with knowledge. Well, maybe not so much the mind thing. Moms will opt for cafeteria lunches and an additional bill for each month, or possibly choose to pack bag lunches.
The bag lunch was aways my choice. At first the lunches were amazing. I cut the bread into various shapes – made sure all the nutritional value was included – included an inspirational note inside and felt my job was done. By the end of the school year, they were lucky to get two slices of bread with peanut butter and jelly between them. For some unknown reason, I have this inner fear that I would forget to pack those lunches and be accused of being the worst mother of the year. In fact, my dreams continue to be filled with thoughts of not making those lunches. I never failed to do so in reality. It’s funny how some things remain in a mother’s memory for so long. Maybe there’s some deep psychological reason for this fear. Maybe I still have a hard time letting go of my children (even though they are all competent middle agers now.) It could even mean that my striving to be the perfect mother had nothing to do with the lunches I packed.
Sometimes we place so much extra pressure on ourselves to be what the world expects us to be, that we forget the real purpose of parenting. We can provide food, shelter, love and knowledge for our children, but the spiritual food they receive is just as important, if not more, than those other necessities.
Jesus often used children as examples in His time spent on earth. He talked about childlike faith -which is an unconditional acceptance of what they learn. He told His disciples to feed His lambs – not with earthly food, but the food of His Spirit. The one thing needful for our youth is not the amount of money we spend on them. It has nothing to do with their clothing, their stuff, their gadgets, but everything to do with their future. When we feed the truth of God’s Word, we’re giving them more than their daily bread.