Once you become pregnant and have a kid, everyone begins to tell you things to avoid or what to do. Have a natural childbirth! Don’t give your child a bottle or sippy cup. Make your own baby food and use cloth diapers. Don’t give your children immunizations! Wear your baby. Sleep with your baby. Don’t let him cry. Give him everything he wants (except wheat products or plastic toys). There is a push and frenzied fixation in our culture for “natural” and “baby-led” child-raising.
While there is wisdom in creating healthy eating habits and diet for your child, being careful as to what chemicals he’s exposed to, and being proactive in your child’s education, we should evaluate the reason and purpose behind what our culture believes is right! We shouldn’t become so obsessed with “going natural” that it becomes our idol, a driving fear, or the end goal in raising our child.
When I found out I was pregnant, I had my whole birth and baby raising plan written out! I did my research. I read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears, Babywise by Gary Ezzo, The Baby Book by Dr. Sears, articles on attachment parenting, co-sleeping, sleep training, baby-led weaning, Montessori, cloth diapers, homemade baby food, elimination communication, etc. The list goes on forever! Mark and I talked over things we valued and things we believed to have biblical principles behind them.
As I read the latest blog posts, I realized that many of these articles are rooted in fear and the desire to make sure your children live a productive, successful, and comfortable life (according to our culture). Doing “research” can create a fear that you will do something wrong which will cause your child not to develop properly, become a criminal, or heaven forbid, have autism!
What does God want for our children? Where in the Bible does He tell us what foods not to feed our child? Or how to put our child to bed? In Christ, we have the freedom to choose what we think is best for our child and our family, though throughout the Bible God does say, “bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). He even tells us, “Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives” (Prov. 19:18). Not training your child in the Lord will bring more ruin to your child than brain damage caused by an ultrasound or the food coloring that you accidentally fed your child.
So while your child is living under your roof, teach them to seek and obey Truth! Show them God’s love! That God will still love them and still has a plan for them even if they get sick or a disorder. God can still be glorifed through and still has a purpose for the broken, the “defected”, and those who are “different”. Our culture says to abort babies who wouldn’t be able to have a “quality life”, or that having a child with a disorder will take away the happiness and life you deserve.
Moms! Are you trusting Christ with the health of your child? Or do you take pride in your ability to feed an organic, grain-free meal to your un-immunized, breast-fed, and naturally birthed child? (Again there’s nothing wrong with that. But what is motivating you? Are you finding your identity in being gluten-free instead of Christ? Are you giving yourself grace for your mistakes in being a parent?)
Our lives on this earth are short and our time as a mom is fleeting, especially in relation to eternity! Defects, disorders, and diseases are only temporary. I hope and pray that I will spend my days teaching Leo the Word and teaching him to conform His thinking to God’s (and not worry if the cheap shampoo I bought him will give him cancer).
I’d love to hear what you think. Comment below!