Devotion in Motion: The Proper Care and Feeding of Christians

“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby.” 1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

We live in a wonderful century. Whether by mother’s milk or fortified infant formula, American babies have every opportunity to be well-nourished and to thrive. When I hear stories about what mamas fed their babies in years long past, it makes me shudder a little.Scientific information was more primitive, and resources were more scarce.People had to “make do” with what they had.

My building principal, Mr. Michael Wade, was allergic to cow’s milk when he was a baby. When goat’s milk also proved unsatisfactory, his mother took him to a country doctor who prescribed a homemade baby formula made from equal parts of orange juice and 7-UP. Even though he thrived on it (even going on to graduate MississippiStateUniversity on a full basketball scholarship) somehow it just offends my 21st century sensibilities to consider mixing fruit juice and a soft drink together and putting it in a baby’s bottle. Just thinking about it makes the caps on my molars hurt.

My own father is another example of a child raised on baby formula that was less than ideal. Dad did not like milk after it had been put in a pitcher and then allowed to cool.His daily routine as a toddler never varied.Each morning he followed my grandmother out to the barn, carrying his cup. Grandma Cash milked the cow directly into Dad’s cup.Every morning started with piping-hot milk, straight from Bossy, right into the cup, and down the hatch. After he drained the cup about three times, that was Dad’s milk for the day. A word of advice: Don’t try this at home. You’d never get by with it now. The department of Human Services would take your child away from you, AFTER the kid came down with Ebola virus.

The problem with the aforementioned stop-gap formulas is obvious; They are imperfect.They are incomplete and don’t contain everything that a human needs to grow and thrive.That’s why we opt for the carefully designed formulas we use today. We choose the milk for the baby carefully because so much is at stake.

We need to take the same amount of care when we choose SPIRITUAL nourishment for ourselves and our families. In the text at the top of the page, Simon Peter speaks of God’s Word as milk. He calls it “pure milk” because it is the perfect formula for His spiritual infants, having everything we need and nothing that would harm us. Peter says the Word will make us grow in Christ, and therefore, we should desire it.

So, spend a bit of time in God’s Word this week. And set aside a few minutes to read your little one a Bible story. I think you’ll be surprised how much you are strengthened by the Source of nourishment that has never needed improvement.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” *Sing that title to the tune of “Secret Agent Man” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi.He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 17) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where a baby’s first solid food is apt to be a mashed butter bean). You should write him at