During my last semester of seminary I picked up a book that was sitting in the hall for the taking. I’m a sucker for free books. This one was called Sacred Parenting. I thought some reading on parenting might be good since I have an infant and a 2 year old. Judging the book by its cover, however, I would guess it to be the fluff found filling the shelves of Christian big box bookstores (yes, we have them too). So far, though, it’s a good read.
The basic premise of the author is that parenting is formative for parents as much as it is for the children. Parents have the options of choosing how to react to circumstances and situations, whereas children are necessarily products of their environment. In this way it makes sense that parenting should be viewed as a spiritual discipline that forms parents as much as children.
I won’t try to impress you with my parenting. I would soon be exposed as a charlatan. However, I do try to heed Jesus’ words about having the faith of a child. So, I try to pay attention to my kids, who they are and how they see and engage the world. One thing I noticed the other day about my kids is that they have no pretension of being self sufficient. They know they need their family and the ones they love. They are dependent and not afraid to show it. We expect that of infants, but we can find it annoying in toddlers and older children. We make sure to instill in them the time honored American values of independence and John Wayne-ism ™.
But when my son comes out of his room at night crying for whatever reason, he holds his arms out to me and through tears and scrunched up face and says, “Hold you me, daddy.” He knows he needs me. The question is whether I know that I need him.
This is why I’m writing about this realization on a blog about food. The way we produce and consume food assumes that it doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. The truth is that we depend on other people whether we like it or not. It is when we live as if this is not true that we design our own destruction.