Do you know a fussy eater? Maybe you are one.
I couldn’t wait until my son Timothy was old enough to eat solid foods– –even if solid food consisted of sloppy baby rice. Before that moment, I had spent months staring into my mouth every time I ate. He looked at me like that to show what he thought, “Why can’t I have one?” His big brown eyes always made me guilty.
When the day came when he could eat solids, he immediately took it up. He immediately wanted to hold the spoon himself and put the rice in his mouth. He didn’t even trickle a bit (I think he thought he had waited so long, better not to waste any). Over the days, his eating skills also increased. He ate pretty much everything we offered him. One of his favorite things to do was pick tomatoes from the greenhouse and eat them straight away.
Then one day Timothy decided on his favorite food. He decided that he no longer wanted to eat what was in front of him, but only what he wanted to eat, what he wanted to eat.
The technical term for this behavior, which peaks between two and six years, is Food neophobia. In January 2016 research by a Magazine called Appetite Of 120 children aged three to eleven, 39% were identified as picky eaters at some point. Personally, I think the percentage is much higher.
As I thought about Timothy’s eating habits, I wondered how often I had approached my spiritual diet the same way.
Similar to physical food, I tend to digest things that suit my taste and reject the parts that I don’t like. I tend to be too soft and sweet rather than too tough and nutritious. When I read a chapter from the Bible, I often feel like a child at Christmas and eat what I enjoy while avoiding Brussels sprouts.
Three reasons why we are picky eaters
According to the experts, there are three main reasons why children become picky eaters: fear, independence and boredom.
The main reason why children become fussy eaters is because they are afraid that food could hurt them. Consider the time before there were supermarkets. We had to hunt in the wild and collect our food. In such an environment, we needed to know which foods were safe to eat and which would kill us.
Today we don’t suffer from the same extreme (unless, of course, you choose to vacation with Bear Grylls). Nevertheless, we still experience joy or displeasure when we put food in our mouths. Imagine eating a sweet piece of fudge or red hot chili pepper. Both are very different tastes, and without knowledge or experience there is no way of knowing what experience you will get. How safe would you be to eat blindfolded? This is how a child feels when they get new food for the first time.
Fear is often a greater motivator than pleasure. For example, imagine there are two unmarked boxes, one with a thousand dollar check and one with a deadly scorpion. Most people would not take the risk of putting their hands in either of the boxes, even if they had a chance to win a thousand dollars.
In addition to the fear of the unknown, there is also the fear of the known. If we don’t like something as adults, we just don’t eat it, but imagine that someone has forced you to eat your least favorite food. Dr. Gillian Harris, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Birmingham, asked: “What’s going through your mind?– –disgust? And if I tried to get you to eat your horror food– –Fear and then fear. “
What does it look like when it comes to reading God’s Word?
I often want to stay in the parts of the Bible where I feel most comfortable. For example, many Christians like to read the Gospels and the Sunday school stories “Noah and the Ark”, “Samson” and “Joseph and his Technicolor dream coat”. However, you choose to stay out of the more difficult passages and Old Testament prophecies. We like to stick to what we know. The Hebrew Church had a similar problem. They were content with drinking milk and did not switch to solid spiritual food.
“We have a lot to say, but it is difficult to make it clear to you because you are no longer trying to understand. Although you should be a teacher at this point, you need someone to re-teach you the basic truths of God’s Word. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk and is still a child does not know the doctrine of justice. But solid food is for the tires that have trained themselves through constant use to distinguish good from bad. “Hebrews 5: 11-14
Maybe we have to wean ourselves off spiritual milk and focus on solids.
Another reason why children often reject food given by their parents is that they want to show their independence. At first, Timothy was more than happy to be fed a spoon, but suddenly he hated it. He wanted to hold the spoon himself. In fact, he would often rather not eat than be helped. Well, that wasn’t a problem at all when it came to finger food, but when it came to eating breakfast cereal, we just say the phrase “Don’t cry over spilled milk” that didn’t sound so funny anymore.
As parents we try everything. The choo-choo train comes through the tunnel. The plane is flying in the sky, however NO, NO. This tunnel is bricked up and remains closed.
We often call this time “the terrible two”. Although children often show their independence long before they are two years old. The growing independence of children is evident in a variety of contexts that go beyond eating. They want to choose their own clothes, decide which toys to play with, go alone, and so on. On some days toddlers want help, on the next they refuse to help.
In this way, when children demonstrate their independence, they say: “I know what is best for me.” Children do not care about the nutritional value of food. They don’t care about a balanced diet. They just want to eat the food that gives them instant pleasure.
Like children, we tend to refuse to eat something that doesn’t suit our tastes. I could list all the reasons why sugar is bad for you, but when I mention cakes, ice cream, and chocolates, you will most likely only ask for them. If you’re more of a tasty person, I could talk about fat and salt in chips, sausage rolls, and pork pies. Even if you know that they are not good for you, you will still want them.
I could also talk about the healthy benefits of tofu or how raw cabbage and spinach shakes lower your acidity and provide you with lots of micronutrients. But it probably won’t encourage you to go out and have a drink.
How does this translate into spiritual food? Well, we only read the things we enjoy and ignore the things we don’t like or that don’t fit our belief system.
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, correct and encourage – with great patience and careful guidance. Because the time will come when people will not put up with a reasonable lesson. Instead, to meet their own desires, they will gather a large number of teachers to say what their itchy ears want to hear. “- – 2 Timothy 4: 2-3
What does it look like in its simplest form? It means that we read about God’s love, but not about His holiness. It means that we learn about God’s blessings, but not about God’s disciplines. We often try to select verses from the Bible to support our positions on something. Our motivation is that we want to live our own lives and not that God interferes. This is a very dangerous and godless way. The believer’s life is a life of dependence– –no independence.
Another reason why children often refuse to eat is because they are bored (sorry parents, but it’s true). After all, as parents, we decide that it isn’t worth a battle every time, so we choose the simple option of only cooking food our child likes. Then, to our surprise, they also refuse this meal. The reason? You are fed up with eating it. There are only so many chicken nuggets a child can eat.
My grandfather always said to me, “Don’t tell your nan that you like something, because if you do, you’ll stick to it forever.” He then told the story of how he told my Nan forty years ago that he enjoyed the ham, potatoes, and parsley sauce she made for tea on a Wednesday night and had eaten every Wednesday night for the rest of her life.
Spiritually, sad as it is to admit, we can be bored with God’s Word. We scan the things we are familiar with. We turn off our attention during Sunday service and think, “I’ve heard that before.” This has often been my Sunday school experience as I heard the same stories year after year with the same application. A survey found that 75% of Sunday sermons come from the New Testament. Could it be that we don’t have a balanced spiritual diet?
I love the passion this psalmist had for writing:
“I am happy if I follow your statutes, how you are happy about great wealth. I meditate on your prescriptions and think about your ways. I look forward to your decrees. I will not neglect your word. Be good to your servant as long as I live so that I can obey your word. Open my eyes so I can see wonderful things in your law. I am a stranger on earth. don’t hide your orders from me My soul is always consumed by the longing for your laws. “- – Psalm 119: 14-20
There is no boredom in these verses. If you’re not happy reading the scriptures, you may need to challenge yourself. Read new scriptures. Try a devotional or reading plan. Read comments from various authors and pastors. Find a new way to study the Bible.
“Jesus replied:” It is written: “Man should live not only on bread, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4: 4
Matthew 4: 4 is a familiar passage to me, but I want to focus on one word: “everyone.” Man should not only live on bread, but on EVERYONE Word. Just as we need a balanced physical diet, we also have to balance our mental nutrition. We cannot live from SINGLE words. We need every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Did your child teach you a lesson about your relationship with God or scripture?
What tips can you give so that we no longer become mentally fussy eaters?
Note: We are not the author of this content. For the Authentic and complete version,
Check its Original Source