I was having dinner with some young parents last week. I was teasing them about being trendy south London types. I'm nice like that.
So when they said that their baby was keen on his solids. I said, "I expect he gets a lot of spinach then."
To which the mum replied, "Yes he loves his spinach!"
"And kale?" I said on a roll. "You don't give him kale?" said dad. "Yes, he loves his kale as well!" came the reply.
I resisted the temptation to follow up with, "And what is his IQ at 7 months?" But instead I asked, "Has he ever had a Fish Finger sandwich? With Ketchup?"
People are very concerned about their children having the right diet. And that's a good thing. No really it is. As long as you don't think that taking all the E numbers out of their squash, and all the salt out of their baked beans, will stop them having tantrums. That's not sugar excess. That's sin.
The problem is that though I can't give my children a diet of food that will make them pleasant, well adjusted members of society, I can give them a diet that will harm them spiritually. And alternatively, a diet that might, by God's grace, do them some good.
That's the diet of the ideas that I feed them. Children are little sponges. Absorbing everything going on around them. Apart from the instructions you give them that they don't want to obey.
So we need to ensure that what we're feeding them is good. God told his people this in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 4:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
So often we think we can do a little Bible story with them before bed and that's job done. But that's not the majority of their diet.
I was convicted about this at breakfast today. I was playing some Christian music on You Tube and my and my 7 year old was singing along as the lyrics came up on the screen. It was so different to the sexualised hip thrusting that she can produce when dancing to a piece of popular music, trying to look like the teenager that I don't want her to grow up into.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not joining the Amish. And I don't think all non-Christian music is the work of Satan. However, we need to think about what ideas we are feeding our children on the radio at breakfast.