Candy for Breakfast {and all day long}

candy for breakfast

I am amazed at the steady stream of candy that comes into our house. Just when one batch disappears, another holiday is upon us, or another parade comes through town, and our candy dish is overflowing once again. My kids would love nothing more than to eat candy…all day long.  As a parent, I set some ground rules {and even throw the stuff out on occasion to try to limit the quantities}.  As my kids ask for it, I have told them more than once, “If candy was good for you, I would be thrilled to feed it to you all day long, every day, because I want you to be happy and I want you to love me and think that I’m the best parent ever, BUT, BECAUSE I love you, I am saying no and I do NOT let you do that. Although you may not understand why now, hopefully someday you will.”

Am I unloving because I don’t let them consume as much sugary deliciousness as they want? No, quite the opposite, I would say.  I happen to know what is best for them in this area, and eating candy for meals is not it. I realize that it provides no nutritional value and will eventually cause them great discomfort. So guidelines are set and need to be followed. If left to their own juvenile thinking process, my kids would choose unwisely…often. So parents and guardians give guidance and establish boundaries to help kids grow and learn to make wise, healthy choices. Is that unloving? Is that rigid and unfair? I think not. It is the most loving thing we could do. To let them make themselves sick and cause long term problems and expose them to undo risk is unloving. To nurture and lovingly guide shows care and concern.

To me this seems like a great analogy of God’s love for us. It guides and protects. He is not trying to keep us from fun, but from harm and from suffering from our own foolish decisions.

In church this past Sunday, our pastor drew something similar out for us as he spoke of how the Israelites grumbled and complained as God {through Moses} led them out of the incredibly harsh bondage of slavery in Egypt to a promised land and better life. It wasn’t an easy journey to freedom and the people forgot where they came from and wanted to go back to “the land flowing with milk and honey.” Really—milk and honey? They were burdened with forced labor and cruelty but because they weren’t content with the way this journey out of slavery was going, they looked back with rose-colored glasses. But before we condemn them for their short-sightedness, we must look inward and see these same emotions welling up in us at times.

Pastor Wayne drew a chart with 2 columns: Benefits and Liabilities. Then, as a group we began filling in the “benefits” of sin—like immediate gratification, it’s easy, it’s fun, it’s exciting; and then the liabilities of sin—guilt, regret, hurting others, addiction, losing control, depression, damaged reputation, disease and other health risks, incarceration, separation from family, broken relationship with God and on and on. {I didn’t copy the exact things down that were mentioned, but they were similar to this}

We then charted the benefits and liabilities of obedience to God. Liabilities included—delayed gratification, persecution, opposition to the unbelieving world’s way of thinking, being wrongfully labeled, hard work, conquering our desires, learning self control—but wait—can’t most of those really all be seen as GOOD things in the long run?  Benefits included—unbroken relationship with God, confidence, peace, hope, joy, increased faith, increased patience, endurance, Godly humility, growing to be more like Christ, eternal rewards…

It may be more difficult, but why would we not choose obedience when we see it from the proper perspective? God isn’t a kill joy. Through His son, Jesus Christ, He is the Savior, Who sacrificed His very life for us. He. Loves. Us. So. Much, and He has our best interests in mind if we will humbly accept His guidance and not march off in a different direction following paths that seem wise to us, filling up on candy all along the way.

3 comments

  1. Connie says:

    Timely & well put!

  2. Cheryl says:

    Great job, Laury! Your hubby is right…..you ARE wise!

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