As my family officially heads into summer holidays today, this notion has been the longing of my heart and the subject of my prayers. If you hope to serve up heaping, helpings of sweetness to your family this summer, then read on and join me in my quest!
“One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.”
As the years have passed, I’ve almost lost my taste for junk food. Knowing what my body thrives on, I wouldn’t cross the street anymore for candy, fast food or say… chips. Usually.
A couple days ago, I was up before 5:30 to have breakfast with my hubby and get him out the door with a healthy lunch, which is our new normal. That’s a wee bit early to be eating breakfast considering how much more of the day I have yet to get through, but I’m typically able to come back for more sustenance and don’t want to greet my children uncaffeinated and “hangry”, so breakfast at 5:30 it was.
Like a good Hobbit, I was ready for second breakfast and certainly “elevenses” within a few hours, but this was an errand morning and I forgot to pack my snacks. Since ingesting gluten turns me into the Wicked Witch of the North, bagels and muffins weren’t going to cut it. As I was finishing my errand in Winners (That’s like T.J. Maxx to my American friends) I saw the clearance priced bag of Montreal Steak Spice Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. I like steak. I like steak salt. I was hungry. The deed was done for an easy $2.00 but I paid a much higher price for it as I groaned and walked around the next store.
Why would something that is normally unappealing to me and not remotely good for me become irresistibly alluring? It’s because….
I went into the situation unsatisfied.
Our verse today warns us that a hunger for something good that goes unsatisfied causes even bitter things to be appealing. As a wife and mother, the applications of this principle challenge me and the implications of it terrify me.
It causes me to evaluate how effectively I am addressing the various “hungers” my family may have:
- Do I dish up encouragement or dole out quick criticism?
- Do I provide peace and order or rushing and chaos?
- Do I work some laughter into the mix or is what I offer soured by drudgery?
- Do I supply a steady diet of grace and unconditional love or does my family have to go out to find acceptance?
- Will they find listening and understanding among my offerings or do they have to look elsewhere for someone to really “get” them?
- Am I supplying enough physical touch and tender affection to nourish their hearts or do they leave my home craving what they lack?
- When they ask for my attention, do they get a heaping helping or are they scrounging for the leftovers?
We need to ask these questions because if our husbands or children are leaving our homes spiritually, emotionally or relationally hungry for the things we are responsible to provide, the bitter counterfeits of this world are going to look really good to their starved spirits. What a powerful influence we can exert simply by offering sweet things that fill their hearts, “right up to the humps” as my Taylor once said.
Though there is no amount of wisdom and love that can guarantee that our precious ones will avoid bitter and harmful choices, one of the greatest defenses we can provide them with is a spirit satisfied by the goodness and grace that God has designed to give our families through us.
What are you serving up today?