Do you like meal prepping and cooking for your family?
Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen helping my grandmother and my mom cook up some delicious meals, and I learned quite a bit just by watching them. And by the time I got married, I had some serious cooking skills and a nice collection of cookbooks. My husband really enjoyed my cooking, and he couldn’t wait to see what I would whip up next for dinner.
Then the kids came along, and I was eager to make homemade baby food, and I did, most of the time. But the kids started growing; their taste buds started changing, and our calendars started filling up with activities and appointments. Then I went back to school and back to work, and the challenges of life started multiplying, and the joy of cooking went out the door, and Mac & Cheese, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizza made their way in.
We have very fast-paced lives; cooking nutritious meals from scratch every day is challenging, and figuring out what to make for lunch or dinner is often frustrating and daunting.
So, what are we supposed to do when cooking for our families becomes more of a burden than a blessing?
When I feel overwhelmed with my many responsibilities, I usually try to take a step back, take a deep breath, and redirect my attention to God’s Word. God has a lot to say on all kinds of issues, and since “all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives,” (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT), searching the Bible for truth, wisdom, and encouragement has become an integral part of my life.
Here are three verses that stood out when I searched the Bible for wisdom about this matter.
The LORD reminded me that, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). He reminded me that, even though I am in a very busy parenting season, it is a precious time to be cherished as my children are still at home with me.
He reminded me that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). My family is a gift from God, and to serve them is to model Christlikeness for them.
And lastly, he reminded me to focus on my blessings and to be thankful. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
When it’s hard to make time for cooking, when life is overwhelmingly busy, it is okay to grab the frozen pizza and packaged salad mix. It is okay to go for the occasional drive-through dinner. I am very thankful for all the conveniences that are readily available. The main thing is to cherish our time in the kitchen with our families and to make wonderful memories cooking and baking for them and with them whenever possible.
The kitchen can be a place of reflection, connection, and conversation. We can make the most of this time and seize the moment to teach our children about eating healthily, about the fact that our bodies are God’s temple, and that He expects us to take good care of them so we can function well, so we can serve Him well, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10).