Ezekiel 34:15, “I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. “
God is the true Shepherd of his flock. As we parent in His likeness, He shows us how to shepherd the little flock that He has graciously given to us. When Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem to restore and build the gates of Jerusalem he started with the Shepherds’ Gate and ended with the Shepherds’ Gate. There are many things we do as a shepherdess in watching over our flock, but there are two main things. The Knox translation of Ezekiel 34:15 says, “Food and rest, says the Lord God, both these will I give to my flock.” Above everything else, the true shepherd provides food and rest for his flock. They are the most important.
To feed our families is a very important part of motherhood. Many mothers despise the hours spent preparing and cooking meals. It seems endless. You can never get away from it. It is day after day. Can I remind you that this task is not unimportant, even though it may seem thankless at times. It is the chief role of the shepherd. We read the testimony of a shepherdess/mother in 1 Timothy 5:10. The first attribute it mentions is that she “brought up children.” The Greek word for “brought up” is teknotropheo which means “to nurture, to feed, to nourish, to pamper with food.” Providing food is a very big part of bringing up children.
The true shepherdess/mother will not give any kind of food to her family. She provides them with good food, “rich feed for them to graze.” (v.14) She leads her children to eat wholesome foods to nourish their bodies. She turns them away from all junk food—the devitalized and refined food that lack nutrients. She throws out all white bread, white flour, white rice, white sugar and so on. She would not dream of leading her children to pastures of sugary cereals, soda and pop. The true shepherdess leads her family into wholesome pastures. God says in Psalm 81:16 NLT, “I will feed you with the best of foods.”
Good food is enjoyable and should also be eaten with joy. In the Scriptures we see how God links eating with joy and gladness.
Esther 9:19 “A day of gladness and feasting …”
Psalm 103:1-5, “Bless the Lord, O my soul… who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Ecclesiastes 9:7, “Eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart.”
Acts 2:46-47, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their food with gladness…”
Acts 14:17, “He gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
But there is more to feeding our family than food for their bodies. The responsible shepherdess/mother also provides wholesome food for her children’s souls and spirits. She provides rich food in conversation and teaching, excellent books and music. She does not lead them to the destroying diet of TV, but provides them with wholesome DVDs that will nourish their souls. She does not keep any junk food among their books, music or DVDs. Everything in her home is for the purpose of inspiring, enriching and nourishing.
When raising our children I continually prayed Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians, “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) It is not enough to care for your children’s physical needs. We must enrich their souls and spirits too. Psalm 107:9 tells us that God “fills the hungry with good things.” Good food for the body and good food for the soul and spirit.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Oh Lord, please help me to be an enricher of my children’s souls and spirits as well as their physical bodies. Show me how to fill my home with good food. Amen.”
Junk food out; good food in!
Many women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week.