Vol.XI No.III Pg.3
May 1974

Starving Children

Dan S. Shipley

Recently the news media informed us of a Texas mother who allowed her child to starve to death. We are almost sickened speechless to hear of such inexcusable neglect, not to mention its deplorable consequences. We who love our children would never dream of depriving them of their life-sustaining food. In fact, most of us worry for fear they dont eat enough. When it comes to providing our boys and girls with such necessities as medical care and education, we want the best— even if we cant really afford it. But even beyond that, we shower them with toys and spending money, the likes of which most of us never had as children. It is only right and natural for concerned parents to want to give them everything essential to their welfare, and more too.

However, even the most concerned parents sometimes lose sight of what is essential; or at least, what is most essential for their children. Consequently, multitudes of young people are being neglected in their most urgent need: the need to learn the word of God which is able to make them wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:l5). Without the word of God, spiritual life and growth are impossible (Jas. 1:21; 1 Pet. 2:2). In it, and it alone, is found nourishment for the soul (1 Tim. 4:6). How many untold thousands of children are being starved spiritually simply because their parents have failed to provide them with opportunities to taste the good word of God! Have our spiritual senses become so dulled and our priorities so perverted that we are incensed at the thought of little starving bodies but indifferent to the more precious starving souls? — even those of our own children? Is it enough to do no more than what any godless heathen would do in providing the physical needs of his own? Is it enough that we fill the childs stomach with food and his pockets with money while neglecting that part which is eternal?; that part which Christ says is of more value than the whole world (Matt. 16:26)? How is it that professed God-fearing parents have come to conclude that school subjects are more important for their children than are Bible subjects? Why is the lesser made imperative and the greater made almost optional? It is not too difficult to understand why some young people come to decide that getting along in the world is more important than getting along with God. Little wonder so many of them seem to leave the Lord when they leave home. No mother or daddy has any right to expect their child to have spiritual health and strength when they have failed to provide the very things that would give it— when they have starved the childs soul!

God has never intended that any, whether old or young, should live by bread alone, but by His word (Matt. 4:4). Children are as dependent on the parent to provide the Word as much as the bread. As the bread, the Word is needful continually and in good measure if it is to have its intended effect. Most youth have eager appetites for spiritual food, which, if not satisfied, will wane and cease. Lets not allow our children to go hungry or to starve spiritually! Let us not pass any opportunity to nourish their souls!