When babies first come into the world, it is not beneficial to feed them an adult diet. Without a mature digestive system, teeth, and the ability to hold themselves up, they would not get the nutrition they need, and they would likely become ill from adult food. That is why in God’s design, an infant’s mother is uniquely prepared to nourish her child.
That said, if the diet never changes as the child grows, what was once beneficial becomes a poor substitute for the full complement of healthy proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. One’s diet must mature as one matures.
It is the same when it comes to the Christian faith. At first, we are fed the basic doctrines of the Bible and we should absorb them as the infant absorbs his food. But, like a growing child, the time comes when we need to feed ourselves more than just the easily digestible food and move on to a heartier diet. The New Testament speaks of this issue more than once:
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— (1 Peter 2:2) [This was presented as a starting point, not the final destination.]
I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, (1 Cor. 3:2) [This was not a compliment to his listeners. It was a reproof!]
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, (Heb. 5:12) [Again, the writer is noting how far behind the curve his listeners are, exhorting them to mature in their faith.]
So, what is the “meat” of the Word? It is the active and deliberate application of God’s law-word to every area of life and thought, acting in integrity, with intent to be faithful. Contrary to popular opinion, the doctrines of election, predestination, etc., are not the strong meat. They are what the Bible clearly teaches and should be received as a child receives a mother’s milk. The meat of the Word is how we take the commandments of God and apply them in our day-to-day life even though we live in a culture that hates God and His law. The “meat” is endeavoring to be faithful in the midst of turmoil and sin, and demonstrating that God’s Kingdom and His righteousness are our priority.
It was with this in mind that I conducted a webinar (a seminar online) with some mothers who submitted questions to me regarding parenting issues. Parenting: The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love deals with the particulars of raising godly children and having a home that manifests its covenantal responsibilities. I invite you to listen to this edited version of me answering questions from committed mothers who want to tackle the “meat” of the Word as they endeavor to raise up a generation of people who will serve the Lord with singleness of heart as they purpose to take dominion in Jesus’ name!